Leather seats are nice and many car buyers like big wheels. Unfortunately, most of the time lights don’t get the same attention. Arguments against the best lighting technology simply don’t hold water.

OK, there are many people who have to watch every penny when buying a car. And in the end, you have a cheap small car of Asian or Eastern European origin adorning your driveway. No frills, just the basic trim. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s different if the new acquisition boasts many things that start with “Sports” or contain the nice word “Premium”. Then you’d expect the car to be also well equipped for driving at night – not such a rare occurrence, I think you’d agree. In other words, state-of-the-art lighting technology should be on board.

But often it isn’t. Orders for xenon lights, which are extremely powerful, have always remained below the industry’s expectations. The trend has shifted a little for LEDs, but tick boxes on order forms are still skipped far too often. The reason may also be that many dealers refrain from recommending good main headlights. This is different for fog lights or other things which, in their opinion, enhance the design.

Obviously costs are always an argument. The counter-argument is that better lights cost about the same as metallic paint or wide tires. Not to mention the leather upholstery which is even more expensive in most cases. It no doubt looks impressive, but you can’t really see it at night.

Would you do without good lights for cost reasons? Road safety experts recommend saving on a design gadget instead.

 

Every now and then you’ll hear a very strange reason to justify the decision against better lights: in the event of a collision, the expensive headlights would push the repair costs to astronomical heights. Well, it’s an open secret that car manufacturers make excellent money from replacement parts. That’s true for other things too though. So does anyone leave out the fancy sports package with its add-on parts which would also be at risk in an accident? Touching up the metallic paint also leads to significant additional costs compared to standard colors.

Overall, the decision against good lighting technology appears as if the buyer were to renounce airbags because they break in a crash – the way they’re supposed to. By the way, the headlights are useful for every trip at night; an airbag just once. And at the end of the day, improved visibility thanks to modern technology even saves airbags. According to a study carried out by the German inspectorate TÜV Rheinland, cars with better lighting technology are less often involved in accidents.

That alone should be worth a tick in the extras list.

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