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Buying Accessories for a Used Car

By: Scott McBride - Updated: 24 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Buying Accessories For A Used Car

There are so many car accessories available nowadays that it is easy to spend a small fortune on extras for a used car. There is no point in sticking to a strict budget when buying a used car and then going over the top when buying accessories, however, so take care to choose extras that will be well used and prove to be value for money.

The days of spending a few quid on fluffy dice and an air freshener are long gone and now car accessory stores are crammed with high-tech gadgets, including hands free telephone kits, audio systems, DVD players and, of course, satnav systems.

Satellite navigation systems – often called satnav or GPS (global positioning system) – were once the preserve of luxury cars, but have dropped in price so much that just about anyone can afford one. There are loads to choose from and any car accessory store worthy of the name will have a wide selection that can be fitted to any car in a very short space of time.

Easy To Operate

Satnav systems work by receiving signals from satellites in order to calculate the car’s location. It may sound a bit complicated, but nowadays a satnav is no more difficult to operate that a video game console or PC. Most are plug and go, so are ready to use as soon as they are charged up. Just fix the satnav securely in the car, plug it into the power socket and drive off.

The driver simply enters his destination, either a house number, street and town or a postcode, and the satnav will work out the best route. Different systems have different features, yet most satnavs provide directions via arrows on a screen and many give voice directions too. Some show speed limits, weather updates and the locations of speed cameras and petrol stations, while many include hands-free telephone facilities and will read out text messages that arrive.

Some satnavs will only handle UK destinations as standard, while others have all of Europe at their disposal. Most allow additional maps to be added, however, either by buying a CD-ROM or by getting updates over the Internet on a home computer.

Choice of Entertainment

Never has there been such a wide range of in-car entertainment systems. Audio systems can play digital radio, CDs or hook up to MP3 players, while DVD players can keep children amused on long trips. Parking sensors can help drivers squeeze cars into tight spaces and camera detectors will warn when a speed camera is just around the corner. Hands free kits allow telephone calls to be answered safely and legally while on the move, and many consider car alarms and steering locks to be essential accessories in order to protect such a valuable investment.

It is easy to understand how buying accessories can get out of control and not all extras are high tech either. Roof boxes and bars will allow more luggage to be carried and then there are cycle carriers and trailers. Those with pets may need a dog guard fitted and car mats can help to protect the interior while all-weather car covers and tarpaulins shield the exterior.

Be sensible when buying accessories. Decide on a budget and stick to it, buying the gadgets that will be used most often and will therefore provide value for money. Remember that adding accessories can boost the resale value of the car, but will not add as much as they cost to install and, like the car itself, will depreciate.

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