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What Changes Can I Make to My Car Without Affecting My Finance?

If you’re thinking of modifying your car, you may be asking, “are car modifications with finance allowed?” Modifications don’t have to mean big upgrades to the car like getting alloy wheels. For example, maybe you want to put a tow bar on your vehicle or getting LED lights to replace the standard ones. Would those be considered car modifications? Yes, the car finance company will most likely consider these changes to be modifications. 

Before you start modifying your vehicle, whether for a car show or just upgrading some parts, it’s important that you know what’s allowed by the car finance company. You wouldn’t want to break any agreement you have with them on your car finance contract, right? As much as you’re excited to make the car truly your own through car modifications, don’t forget to know first what are the allowable changes for cars on finance. 

Can I Make Modifications to a Car on Finance?

HP stands for hire purchase and PCP means Personal Contract Purchase - these are types of car finance deals. If you bought your car through an HP or PCP agreement, read through the terms and conditions first. You’ll find there that the car finance company doesn’t allow any kind of modifications to the vehicle you’re driving. 

The reason for this is because the car is a finance product and you’re not yet the owner of the car. While you’re still paying for it, the car finance company owns the vehicle. Once you’re down with the payments and the ownership of the car has been transferred to you, then you’re free to make all the modifications you want. 

Keep in mind that the car finance company looks after the value of the car because it’s considered to be the security for your car finance. For example, if you stop your payments for the car, the car finance company will take it back and then sell it so they can get back the money that was loaned to you. If changes were made to the vehicle, then there are also changes to the car’s value, which is the car finance company’s security. 

What If Modifications Will Increase the Car’s Value?

Modifications to the car may potentially affect its value, and that will be problematic to the car finance company. But what if the changes you’re planning to make on the car can actually increase its value rather than decrease it? It’s still a complicated idea. 

For example, you bought a certain model and you want to spend on modifications to upgrade the car’s performance like the power, brakes, and other parts. These changes make the car more powerful and actually more desirable, right? Not quite. 

Here’s the problem with this situation. The car finance company will have a challenging time determining the value of the modified vehicle. And since you’ve made changes based on your preferences, there will be fewer people who will be interested to buy the car compared to the one with the original features. 

It’s possible that because of the modifications, some parts of the car have been compromised since they’re not designed for such changes. Even if you say that you’ve made sure that the modification processes were done excellently, it’s not something that will have any weight on the car finance company. Remember that what they’re looking after is the value of the vehicle. 

As you can see, the questions about modifications to cars that are on finance cannot simply be answered by a yes or a no. As long as the car remains free from changes, the car finance company will be able to calculate its worth. Once there are modifications, then they will have a difficult time determining its value. 

What Changes are Considered as Modifications?

Whether you’re planning on simple or complex changes to the vehicle, see to it that it’s something that the car finance company will allow. Here are some examples of car modifications. 

  • Entertainment: Upgrades on software, stereos, and screens. 
  • Equipment: Adding a tow bar or upgrading the battery.
  • Cosmetic: Changing the colour, installing new wheels, adding body kits, diffusers, spoilers, window tints, wraps, as well as light upgrades.
  • Performance: Adjustment to the engines, brakes, gearbox, exhausts, suspension, and others. 

The modifications mentioned above are just a few examples of the common changes that people make to their cars. If you’re planning on changing even the smallest part or detail, make it a point to check with your car finance company first. 

Ask the Car Finance Company First

Whether you’re still shopping for a car or you’re already driving one, if you’re thinking about making any changes to it, the safest route is to ask the car finance company first. You can call them or email them about it. Describe the modifications you want for the car as detailed as possible. The car finance company will definitely help you with your question. 

You may also check your car finance contract and look for the parts that state what you can and cannot do to the vehicle. You may find that the contract isn’t so clear or specific about this. If you’re confused about it, it’s best to call or email the car finance company. Explain to them that you’ve already read the contract but it would be helpful if they can clarify some details. 

Takeaway

So, the short answer to the question, “are car modifications with finance possible?” is no. For as long as the ownership of the vehicle has not been transferred to you, you can’t modify anything. Since the car is being held as security to your loan, the car finance company keeps its eye on the value of the car. 

However, once you’re already the owner of the vehicle, you can make all the modifications you want. If you’re looking forward to that point, it’s best to get a shorter contract term for your car finance so that you only have to wait for a few years until you can modify your car.

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