The mechanics of a car haven’t changed a lot in recent years; instead, technology and accessories have become the main drawcards. In the flashy world of shiny cars, it can be easy to add things to your car left, right, and centre. But the simple fact is you probably don’t need the majority of them. Find out which are necessities and which are luxuries here.
What types of car add-ons are there?
There is a massive range of add-ons available for vehicle, but each typically slots into one of three categories:
Dealer-fitted accessories - These are fitted after the vehicle’s production by the dealer. Examples of these include alloy wheels, and spoilers.
Factory fitted accessories - These are designed specifically for a certain car and are fitted by the car manufacturer. Examples of these include GPS, sunroofs, and safety features.
Aftermarket accessories -These come from a third-party and can typically be fitted yourself. Examples of these include seat covers and floor mats.
Car add-ons to avoid
Here are some of the main car add-ons you should avoid:
An extended warranty period means you’ll get a longer warranty period which you may be able to use to make a claim if something is wrong with the car. However, cars already have a manufacturer’s warranty which should cover you if something is wrong with the car that you had no control over. Extended warranties usually aren’t worth it as a result, and are often overpriced and come with a mountain of restrictions, and terms and conditions.
Extra tinting is intended to darken windows further and keep the inside of your car cooler. However, the majority of cars already come with tinting, and dealer tinting is usually poor quality and expensive. It’s often better to hold off and if you wish to get extra tinting down the road, go to a specialist.
Headlight protectors are covers designed to provide extra protection for your headlights. Unless you’re buying a big 4WD and often plan to drive offroad, it’s highly unlikely you’ll need these.
Bundled insurance means your dealer will throw in tyre and rim insurance, car insurance, even life insurance, all in one package when you buy the car. However, a 2019 Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) report found these bundles were often poor value for money and provided little benefit. In a three-year period, customers paid $1.6 billion but only received $144 million in successful insurance claims, just 9%. In contrast, dealers earned $602 million in commissions.
Car alarm installation
Although a car alarm may sound good in theory, they’re often not very practical. People often ignore loud car alarms, even if someone is trying to break in, and if your car alarm repeatedly goes off, you could be fined by the police.
Car add-ons you should have
Some car add-ons can provide added value and safety to your vehicle, including:
Many cars come with a rear-view/reversing camera standard these days, but if yours doesn’t, it may be worth considering getting one. Although expensive, they can provide incredible peace of mind and may make you a safer driver. If you’re not confident about reversing or parking, always have kids and pets running around your home, or simply have a big car, a rear-view camera can be incredibly useful.
Another feature that is often standard in new cars, anti-lock braking (ABS) is an incredible safety feature that is a must-have. ABS automatically pumps brake to prevent them from locking up, stopping you from skidding and losing control of the vehicle. You’d hope you never have to use it, but if you do you’ll be very glad you purchased it.
Bluetooth is also usually standard in most cases and is arguably not a completely necessary feature. However, if you don’t have it, and are a person who is often on the go, taking a lot of phone calls, Bluetooth can make your life a lot easier and safer. Jumping in and out of the car and having your phone automatically connect to the dashboard, and being able to legally and safely take calls can save time and help you drive safer.
By no means a vital feature, floor mats are a cheap and easy add-on that can save you a lot of money. Your car will undergo wear and tear naturally, as people and objects scuff the surfaces. Floor mats can protect the surface of your car at a very low cost, and help to keep it clean.
If you’re looking at purchasing a car and want to know how much your repayments would be using one of our low rate car loans, use our car loan calculator below.
Car Loan calculator