Regular readers will know that I’m a strong believer in paying as little for your new car as possible. This sometimes means buying a nearly new model or, if you really must have a showroom-fresh car, using an intermediary like carwow to drive the price down as much as possible.
It is also a truism that the base model almost always provides the best driving experience of the whole range, which is a handy way of saving money and having more fun.
For all that, there are some optional extras that you should consider, if for no other reason that they help protect the residual value of your car.
Rupert Pontin, director of valuations at Glass’s Guide, puts it very well when he says: “Apart from these five, almost nothing that can be added to a vehicle has any real value. Even some options that are very expensive, such as advanced safety features and upgraded audio systems, offer little or nothing in increased value.”
Of course, none of this takes into account the stuff you might want to buy, but if you’re being hard-headed these are the only five options worth paying extra for:
Despite the ready availability of some very good sat-nav apps for your smartphone, it seems that the car-buying public now demand a built-in system, especially on larger and more expensive cars.
So while your small city car might still sell very well without one, buyers of family and executive cars, including 4x4s and crossovers, now consider a factory fitted satellite navigation system as a must-have feature.
How do sat navs work?
A panoramic glass roof brightens up an otherwise dull car interior like nothing else, flooding it with light and making it feel far more spacious and upmarket than the same car does with a standard metal roof.
Named after the tenth-century Viking king, Harald Bluetooth, in-car Bluetooth is now almost on a par with food and water as a human right. Almost every car comes with it as standard now, but if the model you are considering doesn’t then you’d better budget in the cost of adding it.
Aftermarket systems do exists, but they’re all pretty rubbish, to be honest.
What is Bluetooth?
While we can all remember burning the back of our legs on scorching vinyl seats as children, younger folk can’t, which means they wouldn’t dream of exposing their offspring to the sort of temperatures that we grew up with.
This either means that our parents were callous and indifferent to our suffering, or that modern parents are too pampering and cossetting; either way you’ll need to stump up for air conditioning if you want to flog ‘em your old car when you’re bored with it.
Better alloy wheels
A car’s colour might make the biggest difference to a car’s forecourt appeal, but upgraded alloy wheels come a close second according to the chaps and chapesses at Glass’s.
I’ve never paid extra for bigger, shinier and wider alloy wheels but apparently their presence adds to a car’s appeal, presumably making that particular car stand out against its siblings that are saddled with bog-standard wheels.
No, I don’t understand it either but if you do fancy upgraded alloys on your next new car then you can quote Glass’s with a completely clear conscience to justify it to your (probably cynical) other half.
Is there a feature that is essential to you when you’re buying a car? If so, what is it? We’d love to hear your thoughts over on our Facebook page.