Car accessories – the good, the bad and the ugly

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When you spend so much of your time behind the wheel, adding a little personal flair to your surroundings can go a long way towards making you feel more at home. Accessorising your car can help you stand out from the crowd, but you need to be careful not to go overboard on the dcor – especially as poorly thought out accessorising could harm your vehicle’s resell value in the future. .

You can avoid this problem by choosing temporary improvements to your car that can be easily removed without leaving any tell-tale marks once they are no longer needed, or when it’s time for you and your car to part company. Permanent accessories can be like tattoos for your vehicle – they seemed like a good idea at the time, but you may come to regret them further down the line.

If you’re keen to make a striking impression, you can choose stick-on graphics for your car, avoiding the problems that can arise from getting a whole new paint job. However, the choice of precisely which images you use to decorate your vehicle can create an instant impression on anyone who sees your car – so choose wisely.

Among the more popular gaudy car stickers for young drivers are flame stickers and bullet holes, which often end up looking more like something from a cartoon than a style statement to be taken seriously. On the other hand, bullet hole stickers that look too realistic could lead to run-ins with the law, and any stickers that leave behind a permanent mark or scratch on your bodywork or glass could mean you have to pay for services like windscreen repair to undo the damage.

Even more of a statement than colourful decorations are ornaments attached to the outside of cars, which can sometimes have the opposite effect to what was intended. Featuring highly in the list of car accessory faux pas are rear wings and bonnet ornaments. A much more pleasing alternative is ornaments affixed more subtly on the back of cars, near to the make and model. Choosing symbols such as the Christian fish can indicate your lifestyle or beliefs, rather than shouting about them.

If you’re looking for car accessories that really add value to your vehicle, you should investigate options that actually improve the driving experience. This includes fog lights to improve visibility and mudguards to offer improved protection to your vehicle’s lower body, as well as technology that aims to make the driving experience more pleasurable, such as MP3 player docks.