Options and Accessories
Factory OptionsFactory options are those options that are fitted at the factory as part of the manufacturing process. There are two factory options of particular interest:
- Safety Pack. Not all models have a Safety Pack as an option, but many have them (or similar). Safety is becoming a more important consideration for car buyers and you will have an easier time selling the car if it has “safety features”.
- Sunroof. There have been many bad experiences (i.e. leaking water) with aftermarket (or dealer fitted) sunroofs. If you want a sunroof, you’re well advised to make sure it’s factory fitted.
Dealer OptionsDealer options include such things as towbars, headlight protectors, bonnet protector, and mud spats. Basically, it is an item that is best fitted by the dealer since in many cases it will avoid any warranty issues if there are problems down the track. (e.g. Was the damage caused by the way the towbar was fitted, or by the way the car was designed?)
Aftermarket OptionsAftermarket options are those sold by “the aftermarket lady” in dealerships. We have a separate section discussing paint protection and fabric protection. Other items include mats, window tinting, and car phone kits (which are not so common now).
Whilst there are good reasons to have “dealer options” fitted by the dealer, you should consider having the aftermarket options done after delivery. Any aftermarket option you specify from the dealer will be subject to stamp duty. The stamp duty varies depending on what state you’re in, but generally ranges between 2% and 5%. In addition, if your car is subject to luxury car tax, all accessories will attract an additional charge of 25% of the price (above the LCT limit). If you buy your accessories separately from the vehicle, you avoid these unnecessary added costs. Of course, the dealer would rather sell them to you. You might think dealers get a better price on (say) window tinting. You’re right! Unfortunately, they will not pass on the saving to you. Instead, most dealers see these items as an “added service” and charge more than what the regular price would have been (from a tinting specialist).
Window tinting is highly recommended because it:
- Protects the interior from UV light.
- Keeps the car cooler.
- Reduces running costs (less need for air conditioning because of the lower temperature).
- Enhances the appearance of the car.
Some like to specify “darker than legal” tinting. while this may look good, you need to remember that it is illegal, and police may issue you an unroadworthiness certificate, forcing you to remove it. Also, darker than legal tinting is very obtrusive at night time. It may also affect any insurance claims you make. We strongly recommend that you do not choose darker than legal tinting. Tinting should be done after delivery to ensure you do not pay stamp duty or luxury car tax on the cost.
Fabric protection does work. It provides a very resistant protection for the interior. We recommend you get this done after delivery to avoid stamp duty and/or luxury car tax being charged. Read more about it here
Mag Wheels / Special TyresYou need to get quotes from your local tyre dealers. The way to do it is this: Buy your new car with standard tyres and rims. When you take delivery, you drive straight over to your tyre dealer where you have pre-arranged the changeover to new wheels and/or tyres. The tyre dealer will resell your old tyres as brand new ones, and you will save a great deal of money. Especially if your car costs more than $57,000 as the luxury car tax will ensure you pay an extra 25% on your accessories. Please note that fitting non-standard rims and or tyres can lead to unexpected problems:
- Fitting a wheel or tyre with a non-standard profile will give inaccurate speedo readings. Not only will your current speed be wrong, but so will your overall mileage.
- Fitting a lower profile tyre will adversely affect the ride of the car. It may look great, but you will suffer fatigue over longer distances due to the reduced shock absorption.
- Fitting non-standard rims/tyres will affect the handling of the car. In some cases, you may get better handling, but in many cases it may get worse. You should consult a professional tyre mechanic before making your choices.