Should You Modify Your New Car?
Accessories and modifications are part of our daily tech life. We upgrade our laptops and tablets and we purchase cool covers for our phones. We do this as this reflects our personality. So why can’t we do the same with our cars?
I recently purchased a vehicle and wanted to add some components to it. After some time online researching where to purchase each item, I realized that before I actually install the items, I need to check if there are implications – glad I did that as there are!
What is a car modification?
A car modification is described as any change made to a vehicle so that it differs from the manufacturer’s original factory specification. The changes can be made to improve the car’s performance, aesthetics or simply be functional modifications.
Modifications impact your car insurance
Insurance is based on risk; insurance providers take a number of factors into consideration before setting a price for your cover. Having modifications done to your car could increase the value or even the risk of your vehicle. .
The main reason why Car Insurance premiums increase for cars that have been modified is because the vehicle is equipped with “non factory fitted” equipment which will increase the odds of something going wrong with the vehicle. Standard vehicle components are put through rigorous testing before being approved and even with all these precautions factory-recalls do happen. When you install an aftermarket part in the vehicle you are increasing the odds of something failing and therefore the insurance company will want to cover for that risk.
Modifying your car decreases its value
While there are rare occasions where a modification will increase the selling price of your vehicle, various car experts advise that adding very personal touches to your car will almost always drive its value down – not everyone wants to drive a luminous pink Mustang! And even if you do decide to carry out a modification, it’s advised to always keep the original parts, as they may be rare and irreplaceable at some point.
Warranty and Service Plans
Some car manufacturers have disclosed that they don’t endorse any tuning companies and that any performance-enhancing modifications done to their vehicles will render the vehicle plan and Motor Warranty void if it is discovered that the problems relevant to any given claim were as a result of the modifications. It is therefore critical to have a discussion with your car manufacturer and insurance provider before you make any changes to your new vehicle.
Modifications you can consider…
Certain performance and aesthetic modifications such as tinted windows and alloy wheels are quite common and are considered a low risk. According to IOL.co.za, modifications which may not increase your Car Insurance are those that do not tamper with the structure or mechanical functioning of the vehicle. You can consider modifications that serve to protect your vehicle, such as anti-smash-and-grab window tinting.
So in summary:
Don’t make irreversible modifications, as they could end up costing you more in the long run and as an extra measure, make sure you take the time to compare Motor Warranties from a range of South African providers.
*Disclaimer: Post was written in collaboration with Hippo. As always opinions are my own.