If you like enhancing your automobile, the world of aftermarket vehicle modifications has likely held your attention for a long time. These modifications generally relate to power and speed, though the term is all-inclusive. Aside from your own pleasure and pride of ownership, there is another consideration. If you don’t plan to keep the car for long, how can you be sure you’ll get your money back? Here’s what you should know.

What Constitutes Aftermarket Vehicle Modifications?

Any change you make to the car once it gets driven off the lot is an aftermarket vehicle modification, though adding a luggage or bike rack may not feel as if it counts. According to Bohn & Fletcher, “aftermarket vehicle modifications” is a broad term that refers to any work done on the vehicle after it first leaves the initial manufacturer. Among automotive aficionados, this term covers engine modifications designed to increase power and speed. It can also refer to lowering the ride, adding custom wheels, upgrading the suspension or improving the steering mechanism to make it respond more quickly.

How Do They Impact a Car’s Value?

Cars depreciate quickly, especially if you buy them brand-new from the dealer. If you start making modifications, you may raise the value of the car in the eyes of other gearheads who love the idea of lowering the ride, increasing the power or improving the wheels. However, according to Instamotor, you can waste a lot of money making modifications that cost a great deal but bring nothing in additional resale value. If you invest too much in idiosyncratic changes, you’ll price yourself out of the market. You’ll have limited the number of potential buyers and put yourself in the hole for a lot of modifications that not everyone will see as improvements. Once you start modifying a car, you’ve restricted yourself to a very specific audience, and not all of them are willing to pay for your changes. Some may actually wish to do make these alterations themselves.

What Modifications Are Really Worth It?

For a vehicle to enhance in value, it must appeal to those who enjoy cars with a lot of power and speed. If you want a car to race with and you make the appropriate modifications for that, you may still have a limited resale market, but you can possibly make your money back selling the car to other fans of racing. Invest in safety and speed. Make sure to get good tires, quality brake components, great shocks, and racing seats. Stay away from the pretty stuff unless you’re going for a look that you know will sell, such as custom wheels. Most importantly, once you’ve made these aftermarket improvements, go out and win a few races with your new ride to let other racers see that you know your stuff and can make modifications safely and effectively.

Modify slowly. Buy on the low end, and pick a car that you know you can find replacement parts for. Check out junkyards, and be willing to dismantle other cars to find the right parts. Learn what you need to know to protect your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road or track.