The Optional Extras That Are Worth Adding When Buying or Leasing a Car
Is there anything quite as exciting as buying or leasing a new car? It can be so tempting during the customisation section to get carried away with the optional extras. Solid or metallic paint? Satnav? Parking sensors? How about keyless entry? The optional extras list just gets longer and longer, so it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Fear not, because we’re here to help you out. Not everything on the optional extras list is worth the money. Below we concocted a list of the extras we think are worth considering and some you should steer well clear of.
The Best Optional Extras on Cars
Bluetooth connectivity comes as standard with most modern cars but not all of them. It’s well worth the extra cash to have it included as it comes with a wide range of benefits. First and foremost, it allows you to play your favourite tunes with ease, adding a lot of enjoyment to your driving experience.
You may get the option of Apple CarPlay or Android Audio. Both have been designed for seamless connectivity to either your Apple device (iPhone/iPad) or your Android device (basically any smartphone that is not made by Apple).
Beyond music, Bluetooth is also useful for:
1. Saving your life: Think about how many accidents happen as a result of using a mobile device to change a track, send a text, answer the phone or navigate using Google Maps.
2. Hands-free: Answer the phone and speak with friends, family or colleagues without needing to touch your device.
3. Free satnav: Let Google Maps or other navigation apps safely guide you to your destination without taking your eyes off the road.
If you’re not confident parking your precious new car into tight parking spaces, then let the built-in parking sensors do all the hard work for you. Sensors are fitted to the front and rear of the car, and a beeping sound lets you know how close you’re to other vehicles or objects around the car.
More advanced (and pricier) parking sensors come with cameras built-in to the vehicle’s front and rear with a video display built-into the front dashboard or rearview mirror. Some even have guiding lines on the screen so you can park perfectly every time.
If you frequently need to park your vehicle in tight spaces and parallel park, parking sensors are well worth the extra expenditure.
Alloy wheels are not just for aesthetic appeal (although they do look nicer than steel). Alloys are made of light metals such as aluminium and magnesium or a combination of both. They increase your car’s performance as they’re lighter than standard steel wheels, which allows for quicker acceleration and braking.
Less weight means alloy wheels put less strain on the suspension components. They’ll also increase the value of your car when it comes to selling it.
The Optional Extras You Might Want to Think Twice About
As mentioned above, you get satnav for free on any smart device, such as your smartphone or tablet. If you have Bluetooth connectivity in your car, you can use Google Maps, Apple Maps or any other navigation app, and it won’t cost you a penny.
Even if you don’t have Bluetooth connectivity in the car, you can use your smartphone with an appropriate car holder and use it just like satnav. You can also buy stand-alone satnavs that fit in your vehicle for £30 or more.
Built-in satnavs are also notoriously rubbish and are not as great as the navigation apps on your smartphone or a stand-alone satnav device.
LED lights are a fine example of overengineering. The standard lights that come with modern cars are more than capable of guiding you down even the darkest roads. LEDs are also really annoying for other drivers on the road, needlessly blinding and dazzling them.
It can be tempting to pay the extra for sports suspension as you imagine yourself gliding around the country roads like a formula one driver. However, the reality of sports suspension is a lot different. You’ll pay a hefty price and compromise your comfort at the same time. You’re essentially paying to be less comfortable in your car.
If you’re tempted by the sports suspension option, you should definitely try it before you buy or lease the car.