September 28, 2021

What Car Modifications Devalue & Increase Value the Most?

Modified car experts at Keith Michaels discuss all the modifications that increase and devalue cars. Find out more before starting your modification project.
What Car Modifications Devalue & Increase Value the Most? Header Image

As a specialist insurer of cars, including modified cars, we have a wide variety of modifications on our books. From professional drifting cars to daily drivers with an extra boost, we’ve done it all. One question the team get asked a lot by people starting out in modifications, is what mods increase and decrease my car value the most?

We’ve collated research and public opinion from across the internet to provide you with the answers.

What Are the Most Popular Car Modifications?

Some modifications are more popular than others. As some people choose to modify their cars to fix factory issues, there are often smaller modifications that don’t drastically impact the look or feel of the car, but instead solve a problem.

However, others choose to go to the other end of the spectrum, completely customising their car for their own preferences. But what are some of the most popular car mods?

  1. Wheels and tyres, from alloy upgrades to high spec wheels
  2. Number plates, including custom plates
  3. Spoilers of any kind!
  4. Tinted windows
  5. Upgrading lights, including headlights
  6. Brake pads and brake systems, as well as brake cables
  7. A mapped exhaust

What Car Modifications Devalue Cars the Most, According to Other Motorists?

car mods that increase value

While within the car enthusiast community, car modifications are revered, outside of this many people see car mods as noisy and excessive. So, what does the UK public see as the lowest value car modifications?

Data from carwow shows that the car mod that devalues a car the most is extreme negative cambered wheels, (or wonky wheels, hella flushed wheels), whatever you call it, it takes over around £300 off the value of the car.

A modified exhaust can also take £240 off a car’s perceived value, with novelty decals taking £230 off, and custom paint jobs or wraps taking off the same! Spinning rims are also seen as a negative, taking off just under £200.  

And of course, everyone’s least favourite mod; eyelashes and eyeliners on headlights. While this can be easily removed, it is technically a mod and it’s generally considered not the most attractive look on a car.  

It’s also worth knowing that some people say that they would not buy a car if it had any mod whatsoever, regardless of how extreme it is!  

The Modifications That Affect the Saleability of a Car

While some modifications simply devalue a car, some also affect the likelihood of a sale. Consider things like wonky wheels and lowered cars, which for someone to revert to factory, may cost them a lot.

Similarly, the eyelashes come up here as well, again according to carwow, reducing the chance of a sale by 31%. Anything novelty, whether decal, horns, or car stickers (more the ‘powered by fairy dust’ style than the brand ones) also affects the saleability anywhere between 22% and 30%.

However, some modifications that improve factory issues or rectify a common problem can improve the saleability of a car, meaning these mods may actually increase the value of the car.

What Modifications are Worth Doing?

Often the modifications that are widely considered worth doing are the ones that improve either the driving experience, or ones that rectify a common fault. For example, a thermostat housing that is plastic has a high risk of failing a cooling system, particularly on older models. By replacing this with a metal housing system, you reduce the risk of the cooling system failing on future owners.

Similarly, if a fault is a known factory fault, such as the window mechanism on some Renault Scenic models, getting this modified will reduce the risk of a broken car for future owners and can increase the longevity of the car.

What Modifications Increase the Value of a Car the Most? 

If you’re looking to increase the value of a car, unfortunately there’s very few that hold value. Cars are sadly depreciating assets, as much as we throw love into them. Unless you create a sought-after modification and sell it to the right person, you will end up loosing some amount of money.

The main categories of mods that increase value are:

  1. Infotainment and GPS. Adding in a high-spec infotainment system that adds new life into an older model will help to increase not only the chance of sale, but the value of that sale.
  2. New tyres and wheels. Tyres are one of the most popular modifiers on a car, whether you add in alloys, upgrade the tyres to high spec (think Bridgestone or Michelin), or add in rim protection, all of these can add perceived value to a car.
  3. Lowering suspension. For some cars, especially sports cars and JDM ones, this will increase the overall aesthetic and appeal of a car, and in some cases even increase performance.

A large proportion of modifications don’t increase the value across the board, instead they add value to an owner who is looking for such a modification. Someone may want a stock car with all OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts, whereas someone else may see high value in a car that has had love and affection poured into it.

Are You Considering Modifying Your Car?

Speak to us at Keith Michaels. We’ve got 30 years of experience insuring specialist cars including modified cars that need an expert’s eye. As car enthusiasts ourselves, we understand how much your modified car means to you, and so we look at each individual car and case. Get a quote today!