Part exchange cars lined up ready for auction

Pimping your ride lowers resale value

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Retrofit add-ons can "destroy" used car values, Glass's has warned.

The valuations specialist said that added features such as big bore exhausts, aftermarket alloys and tinted glass can put off potential used car buyers and diminish a car's value.

Line up of Land Rovers ready for auction"These non-manufacturer options suggest that the previous owner was a boy racer and the car would have been driven hard," explained Andy Cutler, forecast values editor.

"To the previous owners, particularly younger drivers, these retro-fitted extras must have increased the overall appeal of the car.

"However, when it's time to sell or part exchange, such enhancements put many buyers off, even when they have been fitted really well, due to the image that they portray."

At auction, such cars are often overlooked by buyers, Cutler said.

Illustrating the impact on values, he cited a recent example of a 2011 registered Seat Leon 2.0 TSI 5dr at 55,000 miles that was ostensibly worth £6,610, but sold for just £5,700 in the trade.

"Apparently, this was because of its aftermarket tinted windows and non-standard alloy wheels," Cutler added.

But not all add-ons are bad for resale values: original factory-fitted optional extras such as larger alloy wheels and tinted rear windows tend to have a positive effect. That's because they not only improve the look of the car, but are trusted by buyers and won't look out of place on the forecourt.

Cutler concluded: When it comes to the retrofit market and car values, our advice is very simple. Don't.

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