cars, utes

Hansy Mannil Jul 10, 2023

Car accessories come in many shapes and sizes, and there’s a difference between factory-fitted, dealer-fitted, and aftermarket accessories. It’s important to know the difference as getting a few extras can have flow on impacts to warranties and insurances. Let’s have a look at what you can get:

The factory-fitted accessory

This is an extra or accessory that the car manufacturer designed and produced for your car. They are fitted in the factory and included in your manufacturer's warranty. Factory-fitted accessories can include:

  • Safety tech
  • Navigation systems
  • Leather or heated seating
  • Sunroof
  • Parking assistance

The dealer-fitted accessory

Your dealer will have a range of accessories that they can easily fit on a car. Many are genuine parts from the factory, but some are aftermarket extras. The warranty on this type of accessory depends on where it came from. The dealer-fitted accessories can include:

  • Alloy wheels
  • Spoilers
  • Heavy duty floor liners
  • Towbars
  • Scuff guards

The aftermarket accessory

This accessory comes from a third party, and either you or the dealer fits it on the car. This accessory may be covered by a separate warranty of its own, and will definitely not come under any coverage offered by the manufacturer. These can include the dealer-fitted options mentioned above and:

  • Window tints
  • Seat covers
  • Additional lighting
  • Bull bars
  • Performance parts

Questions to ask yourself

Before you make any decision on extras and accessories for your new car, you need to ask yourself a few important questions.

Will this accessory affect my warranty?

It’s worth noting that any dealer-fitted or aftermarket accessory that you put on your car could affect your warranty coverage. Check with the manufacturer or dealer to make sure that you don’t inadvertently void your coverage by messing about with the engine or tampering with any onboard tech.

Will it affect my insurance coverage or premiums?

This is one that many people forget. If your accessories increase the value of the car, then it goes without saying that you’ll need to pay higher premiums.

Always inform your insurance provider of any accessories or extras that you add to your car. Fail to do so, and the insurance company won’t include the cost of these parts in their valuation of the car which means you won’t get the full value of your car back if it is stolen or written off.

Can I afford it?

Accessories don’t come cheap, and this is particularly true of factory-fitted extras. Decide on a budget (either monthly or overall spend) before you go into the dealer. And whatever you do, stick to it. Knowing that you can only spend a certain amount on extras will help you decide which ones you really need and which ones you can live without.

What do I need?

Think about why you’re purchasing a new car and what you might need that will make your life easier. If you drive your car for work, then you might benefit from a navigation system. If you’re about to have a baby, then rubber mats and seat covers are a great option for easy to clean up messes.

Accessories such as a spoiler, leather seats and alloy wheels are nice to have, and if you want them and can afford them then go for it!

Know your prices

While there’s no replacement for factory-fitted extras and accessories such as airbags and much of the car’s onboard tech, you can shop around for alternatives to dealer-fitted extras. Alloy wheels, tow bars, and spoilers are often cheaper when bought from independent stores and sellers. If you know the going rates for certain accessories, this will help you decide if the dealer option is worth it.

However, remember what we said earlier about aftermarket parts and your warranty. If using a part from a third party manufacturer affects your warranty, then stick with the dealer-fitted option.

Make your accessories part of the negotiation process

A very wise person once said ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ and you’d do well to remember this when buying a new car.

Dealers don’t always offer free extras off their own bat. But what many buyers don’t realise is that a dealer is often prepared to make little or no money on accessories if they can sell that car. So don’t be afraid to ask if they can throw anything in for free; you never know what you might get.

If you’re thinking about getting a new car, then you’re in luck because here at Stratton we’re the car finance experts. So give us a call on 1300 787 288, or fill out our online application for pre-approved finance.

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