Car accessory tips

It's easy to get excited by accessories or extras when buying a new car. But when choosing them consider the effect they will have on the price of the car, and also that some will add little long-term value.

New car dealers often offer a vast range of extras at the point of sale. Some will be genuine factory accessories - supplied, approved and guaranteed by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Others will be offered by the dealer. These have no connection with the vehicle manufacturer and won’t be covered by the vehicle’s warranty. Nor will any damage they may cause to the car be covered by the car manufacturer's warranty.

Factory fitted extras or options

Includes things like:

  • Air-conditioning
  • Automatic transmission
  • Airbags

They offer safety and comfort benefits and can add to a car's value. They usually can’t be added after the vehicle is built.

Dealer fitted extras and options

Include things like:

  • Tow bars
  • Bull bars
  • Optional wheel packages

These are designed to be fitted after the vehicle has been built and can add to its resale value. Some may be genuine factory accessories while others may be aftermarket equipment.

After-market or non-genuine accessories and treatments


  • Seat covers and floor mats
  • Rust and fabric protection
  • Sound proofing and window tinting.


  • May or may not be cheaper than genuine accessories (where available)
  • Are not covered by the vehicle’s warranty
  • May have a shorter and different warranty cover to the rest of the vehicle
  • Will not be approved by the vehicle manufacturer.

After market accessories and treatments are often heavily marked up and will have little impact on resale value, but if you really want them this is likely to be of little importance. Shop around to find the best deal if you want them.

When buying accessories always ask if they are genuine or non-genuine and what warranty applies to them.

Spare wheels

It's worth looking in the boot of your new car as it's becoming increasingly common for manufacturers to provide inflator kits, space savers and temporary-use spare wheels rather than a full-sized spare wheel. Find out about the significant practical limitations these solutions have. A full-sized spare is worth considering if available, and if it will fit in the boot. You may also be able to negotiate its inclusion as part of the deal.

A full-sized spare wheel may not add to the vehicle's value but it has practical benefits that could save inconvenience later.

Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.