People love to accessorize their cars. It helps make the cars unique, and they make the owner feel like the car is truly theirs. But they don’t just accessorize with practical things like roof racks, cargo nets, or fog lights. They also upgrade wheels, body kits, add HD or satellite radio, and even performance enhancing options. There’s any number of ways to upgrade and accessorize your car, and most people will take their car to a third party to add those upgrades. But in fact, most dealerships will offer manufacturer upgrades to your vehicle before you even drive it off the lot.
Wrapping Up the Price
There’s nothing wrong with going to a third party to get your upgrades. If you’re trying to be savvy about your spending, though, dealership upgrades could save you in the long run. For dealership-added accessories, you can bundle the added costs into your financing. With that said, manufacturer-approved upgrades may be more costly up front and some may also require installation fees. It does mean, however, that you’re getting accessories that were designed specifically with your car in mind. They’re guaranteed to fit your make and model, and won’t have to be adapted.
Many manufacturers also offer extended warranties on dealership upgrades, and those won’t affect the standard warranty of the car itself. With a third party, those warranties and guarantees may not be available, and might even void your overall vehicle warranty from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers are even offering accessories from third parties that have been approved by the manufacturer. If they’re installed by the dealership, they’re still covered under the full vehicle warranty.
Watching the Bottom Line
When you’re adding accessories, don’t go too crazy. They can add up fast, and some accessories won’t have an added value to the car—at least not one that will carry over when you plan to sell it. Wheel upgrades, for example, might matter a lot to you; when you’re selling the car, though, the person buying may not care about the different wheels and won’t be willing to pay for them. That means you’re eating the cost of those wheel upgrades.
Think about the usefulness and practicality of every upgrade you want before you have it installed on your new car. Is it something that a potential buyer down the road will also find valuable? Is it primarily something exciting that makes the car uniquely “you?”
You don’t have to add an accessory to your car before you buy it. In fact, most upgrades are done weeks or even months after the purchase. In most cases, you can still take your vehicle back to the dealership in order to have the accessory installed. So, when you decide that your car needs an upgrade, shop around. Consider going to the dealership for a manufacturer-approved upgrade. If you choose a third party, make sure their installation won’t void your vehicle warranty.