Sell your car today Dealers bid to buy your car!

How to sell a modified car

January 12, 2024 by

So you’ve done some tinkering to your car. That’s great, but will you have a hard time trying to sell it when you’re ready for something new? 

Well, the process isn’t too dissimilar from selling any car, but you may find your potential buyer pool has dried up a bit.

If you’re wondering how to sell a modified car, this guide is here to explain.

What is a car modification?

A car modification is when you do something to your car to alter it from its original spec.

This can vary from something as simple as repainting the wheels or fitting a new exhaust, to swapping the engine or fitting a massive widebody kit.

That said, changing tyres won’t count as a modification if they’re the same size as the tyres your car came with when it was new. General wear and tear bits such as windscreen wipers, fluids and filters won’t either (unless you’re fitting a performance air intake, however).

How do modifications affect a car’s value?

As much as tweaking your car to suit you might be appealing, modifications won’t be to everyone’s tastes.

Whether the car’s value changes will depend on the extent of your modifications, but there’s a strong chance a modified car could be worth less than an unmodified example of the same make and model.

There are exceptions, of course. For example, if you’re restoring an old car and you’ve made some upgrades to modernise it a little, it may be more desirable. Then again, collectors often value completely original classic cars above those that have been tweaked by previous owners…

Fitting significant performance upgrades to a car may increase its value relative to other models, but it’s unlikely these upgrades alone will guarantee a profit when the time comes to sell it on.

Where can I sell a modified car?

You can sell a modified car in the usual ways, including selling it privately or through part-exchange. That said, your buyer pool may be severely limited by the modifications. Again, your tweaks may not be to everyone’s taste and stock examples of a car are usually more desirable.

One of your best options may be to sell your car directly through an owner’s group of that specific model on social media or online forums. You’re more likely to find a like-minded buyer there, and your modifications may prove more appealing.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to the hassle, why not sell your car with carwow? Our dealers will compete to offer the best price for your modified car as well as arrange collection if you decide to sell.

What to consider when selling a modified car

Selling a modified car carries the same caveats as selling any other car, but there are a few things to consider.

Will reverting some upgrades increase the value of my car?

If you’ve put different alloy wheels or swapped the radio out of your car for example, and still have the originals, it might be worthwhile putting those back on. That way you can bring your car to a more original, desirable spec without much work.

This also goes for removing any stickers or other easily-removable cosmetic bits you’ve done to the car.

Have I made a note of all the modifications?

Your buyer will need to declare all of the modifications made to their car with their insurance. It’s better to be transparent at the point of sale and make a full list of the modifications made to the car, no matter how small.

It’s worth including any receipts for parts of work done. Buyers are likely to trust the modifications more if there’s recorded history behind them.

Have I valued my car appropriately?

Adding upgrades to a car won’t necessarily translate into adding value to your car. If you’ve made upgrades and are trying to recoup the value of those in the price of your car, you may find yourself without much interest.

You’ll likely need to take depreciation of those parts into account when valuing your car. This is where advertising directly in owner’s groups may prove more fruitful than advertising on conventional car-sales websites.

Sell your modified car with Carwow

Looking to sell your modified car without hassle? Now you can sell your car with Carwow.

All you need to do is provide some details on your car, take a selection of pictures and wait for the offers to roll in from a network of trusted dealers.

Once you have an offer you’re happy with, just accept it and the dealer buying will take care of the rest. All you need to do is hand the keys over.