Lessons learnt from ridiculously expensive car accessories.
It’s way too easy to spend more on car floor mats than a living room carpet, or to pay thousands of dollars on a GPS system when all you really needed was a hands-free phone mount. However, at the end of the day, these are amateur-league ways of wasting money when buying a new car.
If you really want to spend a lot of money on exorbitant car extras, look for the ones that cost more than a new car on their own.
A $63,000 paint job
The Porsche 918 is a natural attention-grabber no matter what paint job you go with, which makes the $63,000 silver or chrome liquid metal option a fantastically expensive form of self-indulgence.
Odds are nobody but you and other Porsche enthusiasts will recognise it as “the good” paint, which makes it a great extra for those who really want a Porsche 918 but have a personal rule to never spend less than $900,000 on a car.
Cars you could get instead: For $63,000 you could choose from a range of new consumer SUVs and still have money left over.
$153,700 for no paint job
Leaving off the paint can cost even more. Choosing an exposed carbon fibre body for your ultra-exclusive Pagani Huayra will set you back $153,700, while choosing a two-tone paint scheme with some exposed carbon fibre will set you back more than $80,000.
While you’re at it, consider choosing to include the $20,000 luggage set option, or paying another $10,800 for “premium leather”. The car itself costs over $1.4 million, but apparently Pagani only breaks out the nice leather for customers who pay another 10 grand on top of that.
Cars you could get instead: Take your pick. $153,000 will get you almost any standard consumer vehicle, or a new house if you’d prefer.
Pay $9,300 for a reverse camera
With 20/20 hindsight you might regret paying almost $10,000 for a reverse camera. Or perhaps not, when it’s installed on the Lamborghini Aventador V12 which carries a total price tag of at least $750,000.
The annual cost of car insurance for monsters like this can sometimes run into five figures, and features such as reverse cameras can pay for themselves in the long run, even at exorbitant costs like this.
Cars you could get instead: At any given moment there are countless used cars on the market for under $10,000.
$300,000 for a dashboard clock
The $450,000 Bentley Bentayga is touted as the fastest SUV in the world. If you don’t believe it, buy one then time your trip with the standard built-in car clock and see for yourself. If you still don’t believe it, upgrade to the $300,000 diamond-studded Breitling car clock and try again. It won’t measure time any more accurately, but this way you’ll at least be getting some use out of it.
Half a million dollars might seem like a high price for bedazzling your dashboard, but it’s worth remembering that you’re getting so much more than gold and precious stones. You’re also getting a fully functional timepiece.
Cars you could get instead: What’s your favourite supercar brand? Get one of those instead.
$12,750 for a blind spot warning system
The 2012 Infiniti QX56 is a bit of a behemoth, so the blind spot warning system is highly recommended. All you need is the $3,000 Technology Package. Unfortunately this involves buying the full set of nested Russian dolls.
First you’ll need the Theatre package which lets you get the Tire and Wheel package which lets you get the Deluxe Touring package which then, finally, lets you get the Technology package. All up, this now-basic option will cost you $12,750. The good news, if there is any, is that this will also get you a range of other benefits that you didn’t want or ask for.
Cars you could get instead: $12,750 is enough to get a fairly good range of used cars and to not pay for things you don’t want.
Whether or not a car extra is value for money depends on the person behind the wheel. If you wouldn’t even consider driving a car without a diamond-studded steering wheel, then it’s absolutely worth looking for that option.
Before you buy it can be a good idea to choose your desired extras so you aren’t caught off guard by the dealer, and to decide on either a car loan or dealer financing so you know what the plan is going in.