Options 'may not retain much value'

Motorists will find that buying a higher-end model is more cost-effective in the long run than getting extra fittings for one lower down in the range, say experts.

According to used car valuers CAP, optional extras on average retain just one-fifth of their original cost. One the other hand, the same features coming as standard in a higher model could fetch as much as 90% of their original value.

This means the higher purchase price andcar insurance paid for the next model up in the range would be a more sensible choice for drivers than adding options.

CAP cited the example of a BMW 318d ES upgraded with cruise control, rear parking sensors, self-dipping rear view mirror, automatic air conditioning, multi-function steering wheel, interior lights pack and different style alloy wheels at a cost of £1,520.

With 60,000 miles on the clock, the value of the additions is around 20% of the original cost, at £300.

In an SE variant, which has these as standard for an extra cost of £1,030, the value of the features after 60,000 miles is around £925, said CAP.

According to CAP's Mark Norman, a better understanding of the 1 value of options helps fleets make more cost-effective vehicle purchase choices and they can also benefit by placing more emphasis on the options present on their stock at remarketing time.

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