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Next model 'cheaper than add-ons'

Thursday March 10th 2011

Car valuation experts have said it is more cost-effective to choose the next model up in a range, rather than loading a car with higher specification add-ons.

CAP said about 90% of the original additional expenditure is retained if a higher spec regular model is chosen, while optional extras typically retain no more than about 20%.

Anyone worried about the value of their car depreciating can take out car value protector, which pays the difference between the insurance payout and the value of the car when the car value protector is taken out.

In an example case, three years ago there was a combined cost of £1,520 for adding different style alloy wheels, interior lights pack, multi-function steering wheel, automatic air conditioning, self-dipping rear view mirror, rear parking sensors and cruise control to a BMW 318d ES.

The combined residual value of those features is now £300, or 20% of the original cost new, at 60,000 miles.

In contrast the cost of upgrading to the SE variant, which has the same list of features as standard, was £1,030, of which £925 - or 90% - has been retained today, at 60,000 miles.

According to CAP's Mark Norman, a better understanding of the true value of options helps fleets make more cost-effective vehicle purchase choices and they can also benefit by placing more emphasis on the options present on their stock at re-marketing time.

Copyright © Press Association 2011

If your car gets written off, helpucover will pay the difference between your car insurers valuation at the time of the accident or theft, and the car's value when you purchased Gap Car Insurance.