Does an upgraded sound system increase my car’s value?

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4 min read

A good sound system can transform a car journey. Whether it's pumping out Old Town Road while you cruise along the interstate, listening to your favorite podcast on your commute, or making hands-free calls while you’re stuck in traffic, having high quality audio can be the difference between a fun drive and a dull drive. And many drivers invest a lot of time and money tweaking their rig to provide the best audio experience possible.

But you don’t have to be an audiophile to judge whether the factory sound system installed in your car is good or not. Turn up the speakers, hit play, and have a listen. Does it sound tinny? Can you hear the vocals clearly? Does the bass have depth?

Most importantly, you should be able to hear it clearly while driving, without having to turn the volume to max. A quick assessment of these levels can give you an idea as to whether your default sound system is high quality or not.

But is it really worth investing in your car sound system? And does an upgraded sound system increase your car value? Stay tuned to find out. (See what we did there?)


better quality sound

It goes without saying that an upgrade on your car sound system will provide an improvement in sound quality both in volume and clarity. A higher end system will give you even more capacity to tweak and adjust the levels according to your vehicle and personal preference.

improved connectivity

An upgraded sound system can provide better connectivity to a range of devices—such as bluetooth or USB—and be better placed to sync up with the apps and features on your iPhone or Android. This means a smoother experience with music playback, hands-free calls, and GPS.


There is almost no limit to the options out there for car audio and speakers. And that’s just sound quality. There are other features drivers might want to customize too. Maybe it’s the design aesthetic on your car dashboard, extra outputs to link up backseat video displays, or a removable faceplate for extra security.



Having a car filled with expensive audio equipment can make it a prime target for thieves. If it’s a particularly high-end sound system you might find your car insurance premiums increase too.

installation problems

Depending on the sound system you have in mind, installation can be a complicated job with lots of wiring. If it’s installed poorly, you could find yourself facing ongoing costs and problems and the more parts, the more risk of repairs.

reduced trunk space

If you want to roll with some heavyweight speakers, the most likely place to install them will be the trunk. This means less space for luggage and equipment when you drive.

common costs

The average cost of installing a car sound system can range as much as the cost of the equipment itself. Labor costs start at around $150-200 as a base rate for an install, but this could cost as much as $1500 if it is a complex, specialist system.

The stereo system and speakers could cost hundreds of dollars, while a high-end one could easily cost several thousand. There really is no limit—check out this one for starters…

how will it affect car value?

To the right buyer, a high end sound system could be a bonus. In most cases, though, an aftermarket sound system doesn’t make a big difference to the resale price. Drivers are often disappointed to learn that their expensive, custom audio setup is not the investment they thought it would be.

Here at Peddle, we love our road trip anthems as much as anyone, but when it comes to making an offer on an old car the quality of the sound system is one thing we’re not fussy about. The only thing that can affect the offer we make you is if the car doesn’t have a sound system at all. Otherwise, let’s jam.