​Do optional extras make a car easier to sell

When buying a new car people often add extra features to either personalise the car or make it more comfortable and efficient. Options such as full leather or larger alloy wheels rarely add any true value when a car hits the used market. But some options car make a car more desirable and in some cases optional extras can add thousands to a used cars value.

For example, a modern Porsche 911 with ten thousand dollars worth of option will probably sell for only slightly more than the same as a car with only two thousand dollars worth of options. So in most cases the more common options do not add any true value once a cars let the showroom, and are not really worth paying a premium for as a dealer. However they can make a car more desirable and easier to sell when it’s on the secondhand market.

There are obviously some exceptions. Using Porsche as an example again, some 911 were offered with rare Power Pack options that were expensive when new and therefore rarely specified. Enthusiasts will now often search out models with these rare and desirable options. These options now make cars worth thousands more used than a none power pack equivalent.

But you need to look at every car and option individually, a Vauxhall Corsa with leather might sell quickly due to its rarity, but wont necessarily make any more money than a car with cloth.

Some manufactures offer a paint to colour service. Allowing the original buyer to customise the cars paint and interior at the factory. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on your testes. But a car painted in a unique colour can really boost a cars value.

Manufacturers at all price points are also keen on offering cars in “Special Edition” trim levels. Whist not strictly an option extra they are worth mentioning and thinking about. Again Porsche have a habit of offering such cars to mark anniversaries and also offer higher spec models towards the end of the production run of a model. Both the BMW, Rover and Austin Mini’s are another good example of this and have been offering Special or Limited Editions for decades.

Some of these models are rare and will make a premium over the normal cars. But in most cases these are just marketing exercises designed to shift more cars or clear old stock that’s sticking. So you need to do your homework and understand exactly what you are buying before taking the plunge.

Here are some of the best options to lookout for:

Panoramic roof
A panoramic glass roof  can make a car feel far more spacious and upmarket than it might actually be. Again this might not add any value to a car but it can defiantly make it an easier car to sell.

Air conditioning
Air conditioning is a must have for most people. It’s not only good on a summer’s day, but it also stops windows steaming up on a rainy winters day. If you have a car without it you may struggle against the competition, so price the car accordingly. 

Leather seats
Leather seats look good and easy to keep clean. So if leather option has been ticked then a car will be easier to sell in most cases.

Performance packages
​More powerful engines and opting for a GT or similar package on a small hatch, will always make a car easier to sell. As stated above in some cases you may even make a premium. 

Alloy wheels
Upgraded wheels rarely add value but can improve the looks of the car. Making it standout and helping it sell faster.

Metallic Paint
Metallic paint is one of the most common options people pay extra for. It also makes selling a car on easier. The only flat colour that sells quickly is black. Some other optional colours can make selling a car harder, some modern pastel colours aren’t going to tick the box for everyone.

Parking Sensors
Parking sensors do make life easier and have become an invaluable addition to larger cars. So if you find a car with them they defiantly make a sale easier.

Premium audio
A pricey option when new and very rarely does it add and value to a used car. But it can really make a difference to at the saleability of a car.

Sat Nav
Technology dates quickly and smart phone apps these days are equally as good as traditional sat navs. That said, sat nav will help most cars sell quickly and are still essential in executive cars.

All wheel drive
Some cars come with the option of all to four wheel drive. This can be rare and appealing to some buyer and in some areas of the county. So it can aide in the speed of sale and can also help a car make a premium. 

Bluetooth
Built-in bluetooth is a big selling point. Especially to you younger buyer and can make the difference to a car selling quickly or not.

Car decals
​Custom decals offered by manufactures such as Mini and Fiat can, if done tastefully make a car sell quickly. But are defiantly not worth paying any form of premium for when flipping cars.

Some options to avoid:

Some optional extras can really help a car sell. But there are definitely some that should be avoided. Here are some of the worst:

Extra under-body rust-proofing
Materials used to build today’s cars mean they are not as susceptible rust in the same way as older cars. So this option isn’t worth anything as a selling point. It is just used by new car salesman to fleece customers out of extra cash.

Paint protection
Same as above. Paint protection is just a salesman very expensive snake oil and wont help you sell a car in any meaningful way.

After market alloys
Ill fitting or unsuitably styled alloys are a no no when trying to flip cars quickly.

CD-Changers
The CD players days are long gone. If anything it will make car look dated and harder to sell. Everyone expects AUX input or bluetooth these days as a minimum.

Performance upgrades
Similarly to aftermarket alloys, any form of performance upgrades should be avoided. Anything that’s not factory fit will make car harder to sell.

Car wraps
Unless you are selling a Lamborghini or similar a car wrap mostly affects a cars saleability in a negative way.

Car decals
In the same way as wraps aftermarket go faster stripes and stickers generally detract from a cars value and saleability.

Conclusion

You need to approach a cars optional extras in a similar way as you would colour, mileage or spec level. They can make car easier to sell but as a rule of thumb optional extras aren’t worth paying a premium for when flipping cars. The only time it makes a difference is if you have a very rare car with a super rare option.