Read This First Before You Customise Your Car!

Read This First Before You Customise Your Car!
09 Nov 2015

When you buy a new car, you have the option to choose from one of several trims. In the automotive world, a “trim” is a level of specification. For example, one might come with air conditioning while another offers climate control.

Some car enthusiasts aren’t satisfied with the features their car has as standard. Of course, one can buy optional extras through the dealership. But, there will be some customisations that aren’t available as an option.

In those cases, car fans will buy the things they want as aftermarket add-ons. In essence, these are parts bought outside of the dealer network. They are usually sold by car accessory and tuning companies.

If you’re thinking of getting a new car, you might also be considering customising it too. But, before you do that, it’s important to bear in mind the following facts:

Will your customisations affect your safety?

You might not think it, but certain add-on or upgrade items can affect the safety of your car. For example, aftermarket lowered suspension will alter the handling. You might think it will improve it, but you could end up damaging other components. That’s because the extra stress added onto those other parts could cause them to fail.

When such a situation occurs, you could end up losing control of your vehicle or worse. You should consult with a mechanic or an expert before opting for such customisations.

Will they add value to your car?

Another fact that isn’t talked about in the car modding world is value. Sure, things like lowered suspension and stainless exhausts may enhance your car’s looks. But, will they make your pride and joy more valuable? In most cases, such aftermarket products could devalue your car!

Savvy car fans tend to put their cars back to standard specification before selling them. That way, they can reuse the parts on their new car or sell them to recoup some of the money back.

The customisations that do add value are usually the ones for non-enthusiasts. For instance, many adaptations for disabled motorists can add value. That’s because they are practical changes that other disabled drivers can use.

Are you a disabled driver? If so, you should contact RRG Motability to learn more about the adaptations you could get. You may even qualify for grants under the Motability scheme towards the cost.

Are they legal?

The thing about aftermarket parts is some get sold on the basis they get used for track or off-road events only. For example, “show plates” are illegal if your car has them on public roads. Check out the FAQ section on the Show Plates Direct website for more information.

Other upgrades that might be illegal for road use include HID lights and loud exhausts.

Will they affect your insurance?

The general rule is any changes to your car’s standard spec count as a modification. When that happens, you may have to pay more money for your insurance cover.

It’s worth checking with your insurer what is OK to change and what isn’t. Otherwise, you could end up voiding your insurance policy.

Thanks for reading today’s blog post. See you soon!

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Amir Saeed

Passionate about cars, love to ride muscle cars in particular. I am big fan of old and classic cars of various decades.