Options may be nice but they may not help your car hold its value.
Adding options to a brand new car can be really rewarding. With some cars, like the Porsche Cayman, you can add so many options that the extras actually cost more than the car itself. Sometimes these options help your car be more attractive on the secondhand market, but oftentimes these extras are completely worthless when you sell your car. Your Cayman may have $60,000 worth of optional extras, but we guarantee that your car won't hold that value over time. Here are some options to avoid.
Don't assume that just because your car is the "special" and fully loaded model that you'll get more for it as a trade-in. According to Kelly Blue Book, if you purchased a 2012 Acura TL with a $3,730 Technology package with navigation, keyless-entry, and rearview camera, your car would only be worth a few hundred dollars more than one without it. If you're buying an economy car, loading it up might be extremely worthless. For example, a Honda Fit EX-L with navigation costs around $5,000 more than a base LX trim. The EX-L has nice features, such as heated front seats. However, when people shop for a cheap car like this they are usually looking for a no-frills model that is inexpensive.
One option that you may be interested in is a larger engine. Opting for a V6 or even a V8 instead of a base engine can go both ways when it comes to increasing a car's value. Most of the time these options will increase the value of your car, but if gas prices are high that can hurt your resale value. Interestingly, according to BlackBook, a diesel car holds a larger percentage of its original price premium versus a hybrid. Another option that you may want to watch out for when it comes to resale value is the transmission. Some rare manual transmission models do hold value very well, but in general dealerships have difficulty moving manual cars off the lot. The automatic may cost extra, but it could be worth it for resale purposes.
Even though many options won't hold value when you trade in your car, there are a few options that may be worth it. For example, safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning might not have the best resale value but the increased protection that they give you is worth it. Two options that typically add to resale value are leather seats and a moonroof. Used car buyers really appreciate these features, especially on higher-end models. Like we said earlier, these options may not be worth as much on economy cars. Surprisingly, larger wheels make an excellent impact on resale value. Bigger wheels make the car look more expensive and add curb appeal.
If you upgrade to alloy wheels, or simply opt for larger optional wheels, your car will be worth more when you trade it in. Just remember, we are referring to wheel upgrades from the manufacturer, not aftermarket wheels. When you go to buy your next car, you may not want to add every available option. The dealership may tell you that your "fully loaded" model will always be worth more, but the extra money that you spend might not be worth it in the long run.