Ticking off boxes on the options list is tempting. Picking the right ones means money saved, more enjoyment out of your new ride, and a better resale value in the future.
Maximize vehicle enjoyment with the right options
Avoid: Specialty Paints
Get: Heated Seats
Avoid: Extended Warranty
Avoid: Big wheels
Get: Leather Seats
Avoid: Integrated GPS
Get: Power Features
Avoid: Runflat Tires
Get: Automatic Transmission
Sure they look great, but in most cases, so does the regular paint. Unless you’re buying an enthusiast vehicle, standard paint should more than suffice. Canadians tend to prefer neutral colours anyway. Save the money special paints cost and put it towards something you can actually use.
The majority of new cars on the road can now be had with heated seats – usually for not much money either. They’re a welcome option in our Canadian climate (especially if you have leather seats). They’ll often warm up faster than your car’s heating system and should you ever decide to sell the car, it’s an attractive feature to mention in the ad.
It seems like a great idea at first, but by keeping up with maintenance and setting aside some money for anything that may come up in the future, you’ll probably be better off. Extended warranties may also not be as extensive as your car’s factory warranty.
Some cars in Canada are intended for just getting from point A to point B. While saving money is vital, sometimes it’s worth it to shell out a bit more. One can get by without air conditioning, but driving in winter without a heater is not for the faint of heart, or the average driver for that matter. Plus, a car without air-con/heat will be hard to sell on the used market.
Unless you’re buying a stylish or sporty car, there’s no practical need to opt for a larger wheel package. Bigger wheels mean a stiffer and harsher ride. While it’s more attractive visually, for the average driver, the tradeoff likely isn’t worth the often huge cost. However, choosing alloy wheels over steel hubcaps is a worthy investment.
If your car can be purchased with leather seats, it’s not a bad idea to go for the upgrade. Leather seats will be more durable, easier to clean and present higher resale value when compared to their fabric counterparts. Plus, it (subjectively) looks nicer.
If you plan on keeping your car for longer time, avoid integrated factory navigation. While initially, it’ll be fine, these units can quickly become outdated. Updating its software would require a trip back to the dealership too. A standalone GPS unit will be far cheaper and more practical.
Power features like electronically adjustable seats, power mirrors, or an electronic telescopic steering wheel can add a lot of resale value to your car, as well as convenience. Power features often include a memory function, making it easy to share the vehicle with others.
They give a harsher, less comfortable ride, generate more road noise and are far more expensive than a standard tire. So why would anyone get them? The idea is that they’ll keep you moving in the event of a tire puncture, but this is only for a limited distance. The tire will need to be replaced or repaired regardless. It’s cheaper to keep a puncture repair kit in your trunk.
Look away, enthusiasts. For the majority of drivers, an automatic transmission is ideal. Automatic gearboxes these days are often just as efficient (if not more so) than their manual counterparts, and they make the vehicle far more accessible. If you later decide to sell the car, you’ll have a much easier time selling an automatic vs. a manual.