In the market for a new or used car? Be very careful of “over accessorising” your car. You could end up losing thousands of rands when the time comes to sell. This warning comes from Darryl Jacobson, managing director of Burchmore’s.


“Car buyers are often tempted into buying alluring or sexy accessories – anything and everything from spoilers to fancy sound systems.

There is a common misconception that, when the time comes to sell, this will improve the resale value of the car. But that’s simply not true!” he stresses. Accessories can also impact on safety. “For instance some tail light guards can obscure your lights, which can be extremely dangerous.

Those tail lights need to be visible to fellow road users – they give the person behind you an early indication that you are braking,” explains Jacobson. Jacobson warns that motorists should never expect to recoup their “investment” in accessories. “Aftermarket accessories are not investments; you should enjoy them for what they are, and never expect them to boost the value of your car,” he advises.

According to Jacobson, sellers are often disappointed when – after investing R30 000 in a fancy sound system – they are only offered book value for their car. “They believe that their car should be sold for R30 000 above book, but this just doesn’t happen in the real world; a buyer will never pay a huge premium for a car with expensive accessories – we are trading in an extremely price-sensitive market,” he reveals.

Where accessories do assist however is in securing a deal. “They may well make the car easier to sell,” comments Jacobson. “After all, if the buyer can choose between two identical cars in similar condition – one with and one without a CD, it’s obvious which one he or she will select.”

The one exception to this rule is a navigation system. “They are extremely popular and buyers are prepared to pay a premium. However it is rare to find a used car with an aftermarket navigation system; the sellers normally remove these systems and transfer them to their new cars.”

Mag wheels are also popular amongst used car buyers. “But once again, they will generally only swing a deal – a buyer won’t pay substantially more for a used car with mags,” Jacobson warns.

The message therefore is clear: “If you want to spend a small fortune on aftermarket accessories, then do so – by all means. Take, for instance, the example of the sound system: invest the R30 000 and enjoy the spectacular sound that it delivers. But understand fully that, when the time comes to sell, you won’t get that R30 000 back,” the Burchmore’s MD concludes.