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Are Value-Added Extras Worth It When It Comes to Your Car?

Discover the value of adding extra features to your car and whether they’re worth the investment.
Published on November 26th, 2020
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas

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Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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Purchasing a car involves more than just selecting the make and model. It often entails navigating a plethora of value-added extras designed to enhance your driving experience. But are these extras truly worth the investment? In this guide, we'll explore the world of value-added extras, examining their benefits, considerations and strategies for maximising their value.

What are value-added extras?

Value-added extras on a car refer to additional features or accessories that are not essential for the basic functioning of the vehicle but are included to enhance its comfort, convenience, safety or aesthetic appeal. These extras can vary widely depending on the make and model of the car, as well as the preferences of the buyer.

Some common examples of value-added extras include:

  • Advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and autonomous emergency braking.
  • Infotainment systems with touchscreen displays, navigation systems, smartphone integration (such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and premium sound systems.
  • Comfort features like heated and ventilated seats, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable seats with memory settings and ambient lighting.
  • Convenience features such as keyless entry and ignition, automatic parking assist and wireless charging pads for smartphones.
  • Exterior enhancements like upgraded alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, LED headlights and power-folding side mirrors.
  • Interior upgrades such as leather upholstery, wood or aluminium trim accents and customisable interior lighting options.

Is it worth buying value-added extras?

Whether value-added extras are worth it depends on several factors. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

  • Budget: value-added extras can significantly increase the price of a car – and with it loan repayments and car insurance costs – so it's essential to consider whether the additional cost fits within your budget. Evaluate whether the benefits of the extras justify the higher price tag.
  • Resale value: some value-added extras may increase the resale value of the car, making it more attractive to potential buyers in the future. However, not all extras have the same impact on resale value, so research which features are most desirable in the used car market.
  • Utility: consider how you plan to use the car and whether the added features will enhance your driving experience. For example, if you frequently travel long distances, advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist may provide added convenience and safety.
  • Personal preference: value-added extras are often a matter of personal preference. If certain features significantly improve your comfort, convenience, or enjoyment of the vehicle, they may be worth the investment for you.
  • Long-term ownership: ff you plan to keep the car for several years, consider whether the value-added extras will continue to meet your needs over time. Some features may become outdated or less relevant as technology advances, while others may retain their utility and appeal.

Some additional features like autonomous emergency braking (AEB), blind spot monitoring and forward collision warning are crucial for safety and deserve serious consideration. These features have the potential to save lives by alerting drivers to potential hazards and assisting in avoiding accidents.

How can I get the best value out of my added extras?

To get the best value out of your added extras on your car, consider the following strategies:

  • Do your research: before investing in any added extras, conduct thorough research to understand the available options, compare prices and read reviews from other users. This can help you make informed decisions and avoid overpaying for accessories that may not offer significant value.
  • Choose high-quality, durable accessories: opt for accessories and add-ons that are known for their longevity and reliability. While they may be initially more expensive, they can offer better value over time by requiring fewer repairs or replacements.
  • Prioritise functionality: focus on adding features that serve practical purposes and enhance the functionality of your vehicle. Whether it's safety upgrades, convenience features or technology enhancements, prioritise options that align with your needs and usage patterns.
  • Proper installation and maintenance: ensure that the added extras are installed correctly by professionals to prevent any issues or damage to your vehicle. Additionally, maintain the accessories regularly according to the manufacturer's recommendations to prolong their lifespan and functionality.
  • Negotiate when purchasing: when buying the added extras from dealerships or aftermarket shops, don't hesitate to negotiate the price. You may be able to secure discounts or package deals that offer better value for money. Be prepared to walk away if the price doesn't align with the perceived value of the accessories.

Do value-added extras have to come from the dealership?

While dealerships can showcase a tempting array of value-added extras when you buy your car, there are alternatives:

Aftersales extras: dealerships sometimes offer the option to add value-added extras after your initial car purchase. This can be useful if you weren't sure about specific features upfront or prefer to spread the cost. However, these might be pricier compared to getting them included at the time of purchase.

Aftermarket alternatives: the aftermarket industry thrives on providing parts and accessories that can match dealer-installed value-added extras. This can be a budget-friendly option, especially for features like sunroofs, sound systems or performance upgrades. However, there are some factors to consider:

  • Warranty impact: check your car's warranty to understand if aftermarket installations might void certain coverage.
  • Prioritise quality: research reputable aftermarket brands known for their quality and reliability. Cutting corners can lead to malfunctioning parts or damage to your car in the long run.
  • Seek expert installation: ensure qualified mechanics with experience in aftermarket installations perform the work. Improper installation can create safety hazards or functionality issues.

Value-added extras can offer significant benefits and enhance the overall car ownership experience. However, whether they are worth it ultimately depends on your individual needs, priorities and budget. With careful planning and informed decision-making, you can navigate the world of value-added extras with confidence and drive away in a car that truly enhances your driving experience.

If you’re looking for a car loan, Savvy can help. We’re partnered with more than 40 of Australia’s most trusted lenders, offering hundreds of different car loan options. Get in touch today to begin your journey with us!

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