Costly car options could be a bad investmentHigh-tech gadgets 'lose their value quickly'

08 October 2009

Luxury-car buyers should choose options carefully

Luxury-car buyers should choose carefully

Costly add-ons like cruise control could be a bad investment for luxury-car buyers, according to the latest research.

For the latest car deals, sign up to the Which? Car email

Valuation experts at Glass’s found that many of the most expensive car options lose their value quickly – making the impact of depreciation bigger when it comes to selling.

Among prestige models like the , Audi A8 and Mercedes S-class, for example, the average cost of radar cruise control is £1,750. But after just a year, the average trade value of the system is just £250 – an 86% reduction. The story is the same with night vision systems, Glass’s said, which lose 80% of their value in just 12 months.

Resale values

As our guide to car options shows, it’s often simple choices like trim levels and the colour of the paintwork that boost resale values.

Richard Crosthwaite, prestige car editor at, said: 'Investing in a manufacturer-fit styling upgrade is often very worthwhile, as it can return more than 100% of its original cost.

‘For example, a one-year-old BMW 325i with an optional M Sport pack is currently worth £3,500 more than a standard 325i of the same age, even though the pack itself would have added only £2,500 to the list price.’

Tips for buyers

Other tips for buyers include choosing larger wheels, which enhance the desirability and value of luxury cars. 

Crosthwaite said: ‘Opting for 20-inch alloy wheels in preference to the standard-fit 19-inch items on a BMW 330i coupé will add £1,000 to the value of a one-year-old example.’

For more on the options that will boost the value of your car, and to see which extras buyers have come to expect from luxury cars, read our car options guide.


Which? Car on Twitter

Follow Which? Car on Twitter

The Which? Car team is on Twitter, to offer you help and advice as and when you need it.

We're monitoring our Twitter account every day, so if you have an account, please send us you thoughts and questions to @whichcar.

Don't worry if you haven't got a Twitter account - you can still stay in the loop by regularly checking