With more affordable prices and federal Tax credits, the Tesla Model 3 continues to gain popularity. As with other popular vehicles, owners are often keen to personalize and enhance their cars with aftermarket modifications.
Tesla Model 3 mods can significantly improve aesthetics, performance, and functionality.
If you’re considering any upgrades, weighing the benefits against the possible effect on your car’s resale value is essential.
I recently wrote an article on Model 3 customization options and how to avoid common mistakes. In this one, we’ll look at the impact modifications have on Tesla’s future value.
What Tesla Model 3 Mods Will Boost Resale Value
Generally speaking, modifications that protect the car and extend its lifespan will have a positive effect. But when it comes to Tesla vehicles, there is much room to improve aesthetics, comfort, and performance.
It’s a fact that explains the variety of Model 3 mods available on the market. Let’s look at some examples:
Applying a paint protection film and adding mud flaps or wheel covers are the most common among Tesla Model 3 owners. Those simple DIY customizations won’t cost you much and will preserve the factory paint and the car’s value.
Having your Tesla Model 3 ceramic coated will have a similar effect but with extra durability. As an alternative to waxing, the ceramic coat will keep the car’s paint safe from external factors like dirt, grime, and stain marks and make cleaning easier.
Window tints are a good example of protecting a Tesla Model 3 interior from the sun and providing more comfort for the driver and passengers. Aftermarket cushions and seat covers will be appreciated by a buyer who spends many hours in the car daily.
Both are easy to install and cost-effective ways to personalize your car interior.
Many Tesla owners endorse genuine carbon fiber mods. A center console wrap, dashboard cover, or door inserts in a glossy or matte finish will add more style. Combined with a yoke steering wheel, those will impress most people looking for a used Model 3.
As for the exterior, adding a little bit of carbon fiber will surely make your Tesla Model 3 stand out by giving it a sporty look. From what I see at car meets, carbon fiber bumper lips, trunk spoilers, and turn signal covers are trendy.
Basic performance mods that improve the overall driving experience can make your Tesla Model 3 a winner. If the potential buyer test-drove a couple of stock Teslas before yours, he would certainly notice the difference in the car’s behavior on the road.
A combination of lowering springs with proper ride height and aftermarket wheels with flush fitment will positively impact the handling and appearance of your Model 3. Plus, those can be easily uninstalled and sold separately for extra cash.
According to an Only Used Tesla survey from 2019, 42% of Model 3 buyers said that mods made no difference in their purchase decision.
Looking at Tesla threads online, that’s not the case today. People are researching customization options even before buying a car.
What Mods Will Devalue Your Tesla Model 3
Making significant alterations to the appearance and performance of your electric vehicle may not be as appealing to potential buyers and could negatively affect resale value.
That applies even more to irreversible mods, which I discuss in detail in my street car modification guide. Here are some examples:
Custom Paint Jobs
Custom paint jobs can significantly alter the appearance of a car. While some Model 3 buyers may appreciate a unique look, few would care for it or pay extra. Remember that custom paint jobs are expensive and will likely devalue your Tesla.
Full Body Kits
A lightweight body kit will take your Tesla Model 3 appearance to a new level and positively impact performance and range. However, such a mod will narrow the list of potential buyers, especially if you choose a kit made of low-quality materials.
I referred to lowering springs as a mod that can increase the Model 3 resale value, but that’s not the case with sway bars or adjustable end links. Those improve handling but are not visible, and someone who has never driven a stock Tesla won’t appreciate them.
If you consider coilovers or air suspension installation, be sure that no one will pay you extra for such modification. Yes, Tesla Model 3 owners tend to install such mods, but 99% would prefer to buy a stock car and install them after as these are more complex.
Buying brake caliper covers won’t break the bank; those look cool. However, big brake kits are expensive, and not many would care about them. On top of that, to avoid fitment issues, you’ll need to spend more on bigger wheels or at least wheel spacers.
Impact of Aftermarket Tesla Accessories
As I mentioned in my Car Customization Tips article, accessories are an affordable way to customize your Tesla Model 3.
There are plenty in any online shop that sells EV aftermarket parts. Most won’t affect your car’s resale value, but certain wheel accessories will enhance the look and keep you safe on the road.
The all-weather aftermarket floor mats are another good example. They are durable and protect the interior, especially when driving during the winter. Wrapping the center console and other interior elements you touch the most will help, too.
Where to Sell a Moded Tesla Model 3
There are several ways you can sell your Model 3. Those include trading it in for a newer model in Tesla, selling it through a dealership, or listing it privately online. Let’s quickly look at each option.
If you’ve modified your Model 3 even slightly, trading it in is your worst option. They will charge you whatever it costs to return the car to stock. In other words, any mods you have installed will drop the trade-in valuation at Tesla big time.
They can’t list a car with additional features different from what they offer from the factory. For example, you won’t see a listing saying that the Model 3 has a vinyl wrap because it doesn’t exist in their system. Therefore, Tesla can’t give it a set value.
Used Car Dealership
Not the option to get the best price for a customized Model 3. Used car dealerships must make a profit when flipping it, but still way better than trading it in at Tesla.
If you don’t want to bother with more complicated processes or deal with people asking stupid questions and lowballing you over the phone, that’s a good choice.
Private Party Listing
Many places offer private listings, but I recommend choosing one specifically for electric cars. You’ll be able to add all the features and options of your Model 3, and potential buyers can compare it to many others.
Based on my research, the best place to sell a used and modified Tesla Model 3 would be Find My Electric. They charge you a small one-time fee, and you can also list all your mods and upgrades, which will help your car stand out from the rest listed for sale.
Frequently Asked Questions
Summarizing my Tesla articles with a few common questions has become a tradition, so here are a few answers in case you missed any important information.
Impact of Mods When Selling a Model 3
It is essential to understand that modifications can positively and negatively impact a Tesla Model 3’s resale value. Generally, mods that are easily reversible and focus on preserving the car’s condition are considered favorable.
Mods devaluing Tesla Model 3
Low-quality mods that are considered irreversible will decrease the Model 3’s resale value. This includes cheap body kits and coilovers or custom paint jobs. If you can’t afford parts from reputable brands, keeping the vehicle close to its stock condition is better.