Are All New Car Features Worth It?

Are All New Car Features Worth It?

It seems the latest and greatest in technology is being infused into the vehicles we drive on a regular basis, including advancements in convenience, entertainment, and safety. However, all the added bells and whistles can make it a challenge to figure out what's really worth it—and what can be left behind.

If you're in the market for a new vehicle, it's best to think about fancy upgrades and exciting features in terms of the resale value of the car. Prioritizing new car features that boost resale value down the road will help you tremendously in keeping the purchase within your budget now while also setting you up for long-term financial success. Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting vehicle features.

Features That Add to Your Vehicle's Resale Value

Certain additions to a vehicle add value as it relates to selling it down the road, meaning the next owner of the car will appreciate—and potentially pay a little extra—for certain features. Built-in navigation is one that gets a lot of attention. While it's sometimes easier to plug a destination into your phone or handheld device, navigation built into a vehicle's entertainment display is often safer to follow and less of a distraction. The same goes with a backup camera—it's like having eyes in the back of your head! In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require backup cameras in all new vehicles manufactured after May 1, 2018. Because more and more people will begin to expect this feature in a new car, opting in now is worth the extra cash.

Other new car features that add value to your vehicle are more comfort-focused. Leather seats are preferred by more drivers than other materials, and they often hold up better over time. Adding a sunroof is also a boost to the resale value of the vehicle. Simple additions like a USB port, heated seats or steering wheel, and Bluetooth connectivity also add more bang for your car buying buck.

Car Features That Don't Help Resale Value

Not all features are created equal, so try not to get swept up in the excitement of expensive but unnecessary additions. For instance, getting a premium paint color isn't going to add to the resale value of your vehicle, no matter how much you fall in love with it. Similarly, beefed up stereo systems are pricey and hardly worth the cost in the long run. The same can be said about tinted windows and, in some cases, fancy rims.

One of the latest features to make heads turn is Wi-Fi connectivity built into the vehicle. While in-car Wi-Fi certainly shows the advancement of tech in the driving world, most car buyers simply aren't swayed by this feature, making it another add-on you can probably skip to help you stay in budget while car shopping.

How to Choose Features for a New Car

Overall, new car features can be exciting, but as a car buyer, you need to be cognizant of what you can afford and what additions or upgrades fit well into your budget. Don't be swayed by fancy new features that won't add to the long-term value of your vehicle. Instead, focus your attention—and dollars—on features that boost resale value and stand the test of time.