How do Aftermarket Parts Affect Resale Value?

Remember when you took your truck to get fixed quickly because you needed it for work and had to settle for aftermarket parts? Or when you added that lift kit to your Jeep? Or that time you made some adjustments to improve performance?

Whether aftermarket parts were used out of necessity or deliberately, the addition of aftermarket parts often raises the question of whether the parts will impact the resale value of a car  — for better or for worse. Let’s dive into how aftermarket parts could affect your car sale.

Aftermarket vs. OEM Parts

Original equipment manufacturer parts are parts either made by the vehicle’s manufacturer or produced by a contracted third-party. Some people think that by sticking only to OEM parts will increase the vehicle’s value because the car is more or less original. But the truth is, using OEM parts unfortunately won’t matter too much when it comes to value. Nor will using non-OEM parts void your vehicle warranty. That’s good news because some aftermarket parts are cheaper or easier to find than OEM parts, especially if your car is a bit up there in years. So if you had to settle for aftermarket parts for a quick repair or just couldn’t bring yourself to pay more for the same part, this is good news.

The Potential Downside of Aftermarket Parts

There are some downsides, however. For one, that part could have been cheaper for a reason. Sometimes the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true. Aftermarket parts can greatly differ in quality, as Edmunds has mentioned in the past. OEM parts also could have a warranty while some aftermarket parts do not, so in many ways it is buy at your own risk. Not only do some not have warranties - some have the potential to void your vehicle’s warranty, so be sure that you do your research.  

Visual Enhancements - Yay or Nay?

So what about those visual enhancements? While you may think your car looks cooler with that special designed decal or that flashy spoiler, your buyer may not think so. However, depending upon the market for that vehicle, the enhancement might be seen as a value-add. The most important thing is that you know what you’re doing and that you understand the long term impact - which may mean narrowing the potential buyer pool. If you don’t want to narrow the potential buyer pool, then it’s best to stick to visual enhancements that can easily be undone.

Thinking About Potential Future Buyers

Even if you aren’t planning to sell any time soon, thinking about your potential buyer could help steer your decisions. As mentioned in the previous section, certain visual enhancements might improve the car’s value - depending upon the market. Similarly, adding functional enhancements such as suspension or vehicle snorkel could appeal to your potential buyer. Or perhaps you sprang for the higher quality tint job that came with a warranty? This is something that your potential buyer may have already planned to do and you may have saved them the hassle.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, if you plan to sell your vehicle and resale value is important to you, then you have to think about the market for that vehicle and the likelihood that your enhancements will appeal to them. No matter the amount of money that you spend, if they’ll spend time or money undoing your enhancements then they’ll typically be less willing to pay a premium for your “upgrades”. Additions that appeal to your target audience can add value.