Custom cars may lose or gain value based on the customizations that are made. This review focuses on custom car modifications and how they influence the value of your vehicle. Specifically, we highlight the types of custom car modifications, the importance of professional customization, and discuss how you can customize your car without losing resale value.
Do Custom Car Modifications Influence Value?
Ultimately, the short answer is it depends. Custom cars may lose value if the original parts are switched with parts that do not fit properly or if buyers are turned away by the changes that were made (i.e. adding a hydraulic suspension kit).
Of course, every car is unique, and the goals of the car owner matter, particularly the long-term goals and plans the owner has for the car. Below we discuss several factors to keep in mind when determining if customizing your car will impact its value.
Custom Cars Attract a More Specific Type of Buyer
A custom car may lose value with the general public, but it may significantly increase the value for certain audiences. For example, if you customize your older Nissan to the point it no longer looks or drives like the original model, then a typical buyer who is simply searching for a reliable Nissan to drive daily is not going to be interested. However, the car may have gained value with someone who wants a customized car that is unlike any other on the market.
The Type of Your Custom Car Modification Matters
The modifications you make matter. This is why it is essential to carefully choose how you customize the car and trust a professional to ensure the customization is done correctly. Some of the more common modifications that may impact the value of your car include:
- Enhance (or restore) the look of your vehicle
- Wheel and tire changes and upgrades
- Add electronic displays such as TVs
- Change the paint color
- Replace the engine (and other essential car parts)
- Improve the car’s racing ability
For example, changes to the car parts, engine, and performance can alter the value for many everyday drivers, but it may enhance the value for some car enthusiasts. As a general rule, modifications to the car’s performance may cause the car to lose appraised resale value overall; style modifications may also have a negative impact on appraised value. On the other hand, however, some select buyers may be willing to pay more for a custom car that has had the performance and design of the car enhanced and altered.
Professional vs. DIY Custom Cars
Of course, no matter how skilled you may be and how much time you have spent on your custom car, buyers are not likely to trust a DIY restoration. They are more likely to fear the car breaking down or having unforeseen issues if you customize the car yourself.
On the other hand, professional customization and restoration is much more valuable. In fact, it can increase the value of your car in many cases and the restoration may pay for itself to a large extent in the form of increased resale value.
How Can I Customize My Car Without the Car Losing Value?
Any customization that undeniably improves the safety, ease of driving, and/or comfort the vehicle offers will likely add value. Any customization that makes the car more complex or less safe, such as personalizing the license plate, tinting windows to an illegal level, or adding a spoiler of any kind, may (as a general rule) decrease the resale value. With that in mind, some customizations that can help add value to your custom car include:
- Upgrading the tires and brakes
- Adding a built-in GPS and infotainment system
- Lower the car’s suspension (this can improve the aesthetic appeal and performance)
- Upgraded headlights and taillights
- Fixing dents and upgrading the paint job
Another great way to help maintain the value of your car is to keep the original parts. This allows you to change the parts back if doing so is ever necessary. You can also easily find the original part specifications, if necessary, as well.
It is also important to determine your purpose and goal for your custom car. If you have no intention of selling and simply want to create a collector’s item, then the return value is less important. Instead, the focus is more on personalization and creating the vehicle that you want, rather than creating a vehicle that others may have a stronger desire to purchase.
Considering a Car Customization or Restoration? Contact Us Today
Robs Customs and Restorations takes pride in helping clients restore their vintage car to a new and improved model. Whatever vision you may have for your vehicle, we help you bring it to life. For more information and to get started, contact us today.