A Guide to Upgrading Your Car

Upgrading your car doesn’t have to be an expensive or time-consuming process. Whether you’re just trying to refresh an old car you’ve purchased, or you’re an enthusiast looking to do a complete renovation, here are some areas to consider when upgrading your vehicle. 


Changing your rims is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your car. You have a number of options here; you could refurbish your existing rims and have them sprayed a different color, you could pick up a set of stock alloys in a different style to the ones you have now, or could go all out and get a bespoke set from a specialist alloy wheel manufacturer like BBS.


To make your car really stand out, you could go for a custom paint job. Find a body shop and speak to them about the kind of work you want doing. You can go outside the box with styles like camouflage or animal print or keep in simple with a pearlescent paint job.  

Window Tints

This can be one of the best ways to change the look of your vehicle without spending a lot of money. There are DIY kits out there with films and sprays, but it might be a good idea to speak with a professional who can advise you on the level of window tint you’re allowed in accordance with state law.  

Decals and Stickers

Another very cost-effective way of upgrading your car on a small budget is to purchase decals and stickers. With the right preparation and tools, these are easy to apply yourself and can change the look of a car dramatically. You can get decals with the logos and names of numerous car brands and even sports teams and bands. 


There are lots of different parts you can use to tune up your car and maximize its performance. Brakes, exhausts, fuel systems, and suspensions can all be bought from specialist car tuning dealers. If you know what you’re doing, you can fit the parts yourself. Otherwise, you can head to a garage where they may be able to install the parts if you supply them, helping to keep the costs down. 

Sound System

The sound system in older cars is often not up to the standards found in modern vehicles. That’s probably why one of the first things people do when they get a used car is to upgrade the sound system. A new system will require multi-input stereo, a complete set of front and rear speakers and something to provide deep levels of bass like an Earthquake subwoofer.  

Seats and Interior

The interior trim is just as important as the exterior. Upgrading seats to racing seats or getting the fabric recovered can really refresh the look of the interior. You may choose just to buy the interior of a car the same as yours and install it into your own. That way, you know everything will fit and buying parts second hand is cheaper than buying them new. You may also be able to sell your old parts too to help cover some of the costs. 

Emily Muelford
Emily is a British writer whose love of car culture is augmented by a fascination with both the European and American automotive markets. Her perspective is uniquely fish and chips.