First Gear English edition, Bling it on (Chapter 11)


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Everything you need to know about your first car.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wheels!
We know that every single person dreams of owning a car. It’s understandable: a car epitomises independence. Success. Stature. Mobility. The freedom to go your own way. But we also know that the decision to purchase a car can be fraught with challenges. What car do you buy? What can you afford? What about the servicing requirements? What safety features should you look out for? What about safety out on the road? These and many other important questions plague your mind. First Gear aims to address all these topics and many other essential issues associated with car ownership. We have canvassed the opinions of the world’s leading authorities and this book aims to give you independent, authoritative and utterly essential advice. We want to take the mystery and malaise out of car ownership, and replace it with easy to follow advice and tips… so that your road to car ownership isn’t filled with potholes! We trust that it will provide you with a stress-free introduction to the world of wheels.

Enjoy your first car; you’ve worked hard for it!

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First Gear English edition, Bling it on (Chapter 11)

  1. 1. CHAPTER 11: Bling it on Jill’s not happy. Jack is fixated about customising his new (pre-loved) car. To be honest, apart from the costs, she’s worried he’ll go completely over the top and she’ll have to endure the embarrassment of driving around in a bling-mobile. He’s been looking at wild and wonderful options, ranging from a mild engine modification and some chroming here and there, to outrageous ideas like spinners on purple ostrich-skin styled wheels to coloured body foils – with 150 colour choices, from gloss and matte finishes to glitter, chrome and metallic. Seeing Jack is pretty much colour-blind, it’s a given, thinks Jill, that the end result will be quite terrifying. The reason for his insane desire? His buddy’s just come back from a trip to Dubai, where OTT (over-the-top) is the order of the day. Also, Jill’s convinced that once he’s changed the look of the car, despite spending a whole heap of money on it, the resale value will drop. She’s dug out some ammunition for her argument, quoting Wissam Azhari, founder and owner of the Foil-a-car concept in the Middle East and Europe. He had said the84  First Gear First Gear  85
  2. 2. colour foils (which Jack wanted) are a better choice than paint. “The biggest advantage is they can be very easily Fast facts 20 to 30 removed. As most clients change their The percentage by which colour as a fashion statement, this is a Don’t ever mess with the electrics of the value of your car can good option. With a paint job you will lose the vehicle on the resale value and to repaint will cost decline if you mess with the you twice as much. In fact, with high-end Check that accessories don’t impact original paint finishing. super cars, the second you start playing on the warranty of your car. Certain with original paint finishing you lose about modifications could negate the 20 to 35 percent of the car.” He added that warranty on some vehicles customising a car might be a nice option Chat to your dealer and ask for for when you sell, but it didn’t always independent advice before fitting increase the value. And while auto-styling something weird and/or wonderful could add value, it often boils down to taste. “If you do something that’s pretty far Don’t even consider an accessory that out, it’s a matter of taste and is worth impacts on safety whatever someone wants to pay for it.” Always consider resale value when Incidentally, always remember the laws for customising your car vary from country accessorising your car to country. This even applies to issues such as how dark you can tint your windows. Being a typical guy, Jack did endless have to say. In the end, he decided maybe research on what he could do to his car he’d just put a subtle colour foil on the car, and what other guys who have done it fit fat 20-inch rims, chrome some fittings, drop the suspension, slap on a rear spoiler, order a custom built exhaust, and fit a racing steering wheel. “Why stop there?” asked Jill grumpily. “Why not stick TV setsTop Tip in the headrests and put fur on the dashboard as well…” Actually, she’d had no idea of the choicesDon’t ever accessorise your car in available to “pimp your ride”. From chrome After much deliberation, it was agreedsuch a way that you impact on road beading to boot spoilers to bonnet scoops he’d save bucks by buying sticker decalssafety. For instance, don’t mess with – even chromed skull cup holders! And and asking a buddy to help him fit a super-the tail lights by fitting tail light tailpipes and mufflers and woofers and sized stereo system and some sub woofers;guards. It is vitally important that sub-woofers and performance dump- if she paid half for the new tailpipe (hisyour car’s tail lights are visible to valves and goodness knows what else. birthday was coming up), and his brotherfellow road users – otherwise they So she devised a plan: Jack should sit threw in some cash for (lightly) tintedwon’t know when you plan to slam down, make a list of what he wanted – and windows as a birthday gift.on the anchors. If ever in doubt, go another of what he could afford. Peace reigned once again in the house ofand have a chat with your car dealer. Jack and Jill.86  First Gear First Gear  87