Aftermarket Car Upgrades that Increase Resale Value

While gearheads may differ on vehicle make and model, the common thought that car enthusiasts can improve their vehicles with a personal touch is widely shared. Unlike before, you can easily modify your car, bike, or truck thanks to endless online and social media inspirations. Thousands of aftermarket parts are also readily available.

Modifying your car to increase value isn’t an easy task. Ideally, aftermarket upgrades don’t always guarantee an increase in the car’s resale value, primarily because customizations are highly subjective. However, some upgrades can increase your vehicle’s resale value if done well.

Choosing Upgrades that Increase Your Cars’ Resale Value

Aftermarket upgrades that increase property value depend highly on the vehicle type, common problems, popularity among car owners, and whether the changes are reversible. Modifications can increase car resale value if:

  • They solve a known problem – An upgrade that solves future known issues of a car certainly increases its resale value. This includes upgrading specific engine components, clutch, performance, and other transmission issues that fail over time.
  • You are upgrading to OEM components – If your car doesn’t have an option offered by manufacturers, installing it increases the value of your vehicle. Such upgrades include installing quality OEM wheels, factory leather seats, and navigation panels.
  • Upgrades increase functionality – If the upgrade makes a vehicle better suited for its intended purpose, it can increase its value. Perfect examples include mid-lift kits on Jeep Wranglers, quality Corvette tires, and durable tonneau covers on pick-up trucks.
  • They have widely appreciated mods – Vehicle owners widely appreciate some aftermarket car upgrades. For instance, off-road tires for off-road vehicles and wheels on sports cars.

The key to ensuring that aftermarket car upgrades increase car value is hiring a professional. You should also choose high-quality components.

Popular Aftermarket Upgrades that Increase Car Value

Regardless of their effect on the car, some aftermarket upgrades are more popular than others. You should consider the following upgrades:

1. Upgrading lights

Though often ignored, headlights are an easy way of improving your car’s appearance, performance, and safety. Replacing your vehicle’s headlights with quality and beautiful options from XK Glow can modernize its appearance. New headlights also improve the vehicle’s efficiency, especially by switching to HID or LED bulbs. While many options are currently available, you should consider the following types:

  • Halogen headlights – Halogen lights are preferred by many because they are affordable and durable. If your car has stock halogen lights installed by the manufacturer, you shouldn’t change them.
  • LED headlights – This option started becoming popular in the last decade. They shine brighter and last longer than halogen lights. However, some jurisdictions don’t permit switching from halogen to LED headlights.
  • Xenon HID headlights – High-intensity discharge headlights are common with Volkswagen, BMWs, and foreign vehicle models. These headlights have a farther reach than LED bulbs. However, they are costly and should be installed by a professional.

You should choose headlight sets that suit your vehicle. Replacement headlights for the 1990 Dodge Ram are different from those of the 2003 Tacoma. You should find suitable headlight sets that complement your vehicle’s factory headlamp.

2. Wheels and tires

Wheels and tires also have an impact on vehicles’ resale value. Like other upgrades, wheels, and tires are very subjective, primarily because your preferred set may not please potential buyers. If you are searching for new wheels, choosing OEM wheels is a safe option. However, they should be from a higher trim level.

Choosing OEM wheels from a relatively higher trim level will make your car look newer and improve its appearance. However, remember scratches and dents on your wheels also affect your vehicle’s value. If your vehicle has been damaged by curb rash, ensure they are reconditioned before listing your car for sale.

On the other hand, tire brands don’t matter, especially to average buyers. However, the tires’ tread life is something to look into. Tires shouldn’t necessarily be brand new but should have sufficient tread life remaining. Clean and shiny tires also complement your wheels and increase your car value.

3. Tinted windows

Most car owners are often uncertain about the effect of aftermarket tint on vehicle value. Regardless of state laws surrounding tints in vehicles, most potential buyers find tinted cars convenient, cosmetically appealing, functional, and cost-effective. Tinting your vehicle windows can increase its value in the following ways:

  • Better interior protection – Interior parts of the vehicle, especially the dashboard, are often affected by UV light. Extended exposure to sun rays causes fading and cracks. Tinting windows reduces your vehicles’ exposure to damaging sun rays by over 60%. Most potential buyers will consider and be willing to pay more for already tinted vehicles for this benefit.
  • Reduces glare from sunlight and oncoming vehicles – Tinting front windows protects drivers from dangerous glare from headlights and sunlight during commutes.
  • Minimizes cooling costs – Tinted windows reduce sun exposure by up to 60%. This significantly saves cooling costs and boosts fuel economy.

4. Infotainment system

Making aftermarket upgrades to meet modern technological innovations also boosts your vehicles’ resale value. The following changes on your infotainment system can raise car value:

Driver-assist package – Most modern vehicles come equipped with driver-assist features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitors, and lane-departure warning. These are desirable features that modernize your vehicle.

  • Driver-assist package – Most modern vehicles come equipped with driver-assist features, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitors, and lane-departure warning. These are desirable features that modernize your vehicle.
  • Apple Carplay and Android compatibility – Most vehicles have the standard Apple Carplay and Android interactive system. Upgrading these systems unlocks several functionalities, such as Spotify, Google Maps, WhatsApp, and other features. Drivers won’t have to look at their phones anymore when driving.
  • USB ports – USB chargers are an important feature for charging phones and portable devices while in commute. Installing additional ports can increase your vehicles’ resale value.


Most car owners make aftermarket upgrades to improve their personal driving experience. If such is your case, there’s no limit to what you can change. However, if you are making upgrades to increase vehicle value and make it saleable, you should invest wisely. On the other hand, vehicle mods that are specific to user taste, negatively affect performance and reliability, or are irreversible can hurt your vehicle value.