Insider: Modifying Your Car On The Cheap

You want to modify your car, by adding a few decorations here and there, and maybe even a couple of little upgrades to engine system. You’ve been all over the internet, and in and out of your local hardware/DIY stores, to find something that’s fun and practical to add to your vehicle.

You want to be able to add some personality to your vehicle, and to make it a little more comfortable to ride around in, especially if it’s an older model.

But you haven’t been able to find anything yet. Because modifying your car can get really expensive. And you’re already forking out for insurance, fuel, and any repair costs. In truth, you don’t want to have to budget any more of your income this way.

And yes, it can really cost you an arm and a leg to modify a car, and you just don’t have the excess disposable income to put to use on adding shiny and chrome rims to the wheels of your vehicle.

So let’s try and workshop your car ownership cost a little. It doesn’t need to be expensive, just to put some accessories in the interior and on the exterior of a car, and there’s quite a few ways you can shop on the cheap.

Wonder what modifications they’re making…

Decorate Your Dashboard

The dashboard of your car is a big center piece, and that means it has a lot of modification power. It’s the place where you can stick a phone holder, where you keep an eye on the speed you’re going at and the amount of gas in the tank, and you’re always reaching out to change the station on the radio installed in it. Every car out there has a dashboard to it, so it’s no wonder there’s so many cheap and little modifications out there for you to invest in!

Something like a vinyl sticker, perfectly cut to fit the size and shape of your dashboard, is a great way to add a bit more prestige to the interior of your car. There’s plenty of patterns for you to shop around with, including wood surfaces or water bubbles, so you can chop and change as you wish.

Then comes the little bobble-heads you can fit in the middle – nodding dogs and hula girls are quite popular, but they’re certainly not the only model options for your dashboard accessory needs. You can get all sorts of different figures, such as your favorite video game and cartoon characters. They’ll certainly look a lot more unique whilst out on the road.

If you’ve always loved the idea of novelty dashboard figures, websites like eBay are going to have a lot of auction listings for these bobble figures, so make sure you take a look there first. Older pieces are going to have vintage value attached to them as well, which you’ll be able to get dirt cheap off of a seller here.

Buy a Pair of New Plates

This might seem like a pricey option, but in reality, there’s quite a few cheap number plates out there that you could invest in. Of course, something from the 1950s is going to cost a few thousand, so don’t try to shop around for those, but something from this year is going to be a lot more affordable. And the shorter the plate, the more you’ll be looking at forking out for it.

You can also customize some plates yourself, and it won’t cost you more than a $100 at most. Usually, you can grab Private Plates For Sale for not much more than $30 to $40, which is a bargain when you consider how dramatically a new registration can change your vehicle. So instead of getting a new paintwork, or tinted shades on your windows, look into a new set of plates. They’re worth the money, because they make your vehicle that bit more unique, and might even accumulate some extra value one day. Unique number plates, that clearly spell out a message, are something quite a few collectors are after!

Change Your Pedals 

The pedals you’re using to accelerate and brake, and change the gear if you’re in a manual, are able to be modified as well. And they’re also very easy to switch out for something that’s a little more aesthetic, and dare we say, cool. Racing pedals, for example, are all the rage in cheap car modifications, and you can even make some yourself.

There’s a little tutorial right here, if you’re interested in a bit of pedal DIY. (Video by Dudes and Tools)

Pedal covers are made for most cars, so if you’ve got a different shaped accelerator pad than the norm (older vehicles tend to have varying shapes amongst them), there’s going to be a cover option for you as well. You might even be able to find a set made out of furry material, which is a nice little addition for anyone who likes driving barefoot in the summer months. Modifications are meant to make the car more comfortable, after all!

Cover Your Steering Wheel

The steering wheel is one of the main parts of the car, seeing as without the wheel, you’re definitely not going where you want to. Which is why it’s got such a large cheap sector of the market; steering wheel covers are one of the most popular quick, easy, and low cost solutions for those of us who want to modify a vehicle a little.

There’s a whole list of the best steering covers from last year right here, so have a read through for a bit of inspiration. Some covers will just stretch over the wheel, others you will need to stitch together, so take these varying forms of application into account – they might just put the price of a cover you like up a little.

Stick Some LEDs in There

LEDs are great for dark nights when you’re cruising down the carriageway, and there’s little to no outside lighting to take notice of. But don’t worry, LEDs aren’t as bright as the overhead lamp you can turn on, so there’s little chance of getting distracted while you try to control the car.

LED light strips are usually placed underneath the dashboard, backlighting the front of the car, and creating more of a low disco effect. They can be colorful, or they can just be plain white or blue lights, but they’ll still do a lot for making sure your car feels modified.

They can also help to provide just a little more entertainment for anyone stuck in the back, who’s getting bored of such a long trip and having nothing outside to look around at. They really can help to set the mood just a little bit more, and keep things calm, if there’s youngsters getting a bit heated in the seats behind you.

Are You Big on Modifying Your Vehicle? 

A lot of us, in little ways, so it shouldn’t be too expensive for most of us to do so. So remember, modifying a car doesn’t have to be as expensive as everyone tells you it is.

And when you’re buying cheap items to outfit a car with, you can switch them out for new pieces whenever you like. You’re not investing in something permanent that you’ll have to live with for years; you’ve got a temporary solution that can be replaced and removed as need be. Even seat covers and pedal pads can wear away, after all.