If you’re reading this blog – you want your car to stand-out, but you don’t want to spend all of your wages or savings on your vehicle. We’re going to show you how to improve your car without breaking the bank with 12 cheap car mods.
How Much Does it Cost to Modify a Car?
That depends on what you want to modify – certain modifications are more expensive than others. For example, adding new car mats is going to be cheaper than modifying your engine for enhanced performance.
The quality of the parts will also determine the price of the upgrade. For example, if you’re buying new tyres, high and low-quality tyres will have different price ranges.
You’ll also need to consider installation costs as well – unless you’re skilled enough to do it yourself.
Does Modifying a Car Add Value?
It’s a bit like doing DIY in your house. If you add ghastly paint to the walls and pick horrendous decor, nobody will want to buy it because they’ll have to overhaul it.
On the other hand, if you make your car stand-out in the wrong way, you might struggle to sell it further down the line. If you make your car stand out the right way, and you may even get eager buyers making offers when you don’t want to sell!
Cheap Exterior Car Mods
If you want to wow people as you drive by them, experiment with some exterior car mods:
1. Window Tinting
A long-time favourite car modification, and for a good reason too. Not only do window tints make your car look amazing, but there are also a host of other benefits that come with them.
Traditionally, they were associated with ‘boy racers’, but are now popular practical tools for parents and dog owners.
Here are the major benefits of car window tinting:
- Prevent fade reduction – if you see your car as an investment (and we presume you do if you’re reading this), you’ll want to maintain your interior for as long as possible. Window tints help keep car interiors from fading by reducing shine.
- Protect yourself – UV rays are harmful to our skin, if you travel in the sun, you’re exposing yourself. Window tints keep out 99.9% of the sun’s harmful rays.
- Protect your passengers – whether it’s your kids, your dogs, your friends or your family in the car, window tints are designed to prevent glass shattering, which improves safety.
- Protect your belongings – when you get out of your car, you might not want to take valuables with you or forget they’re on the seats. Window tints prevent thieves from being able to see your possessions.
Window tint price: usually costs between £150-300, you can tint yourself, but we would advise you seek the help our a professional as there are regulations you need to abide by. Check out or our window tints in the video below.
2. Wind Deflectors
The perfect accompaniment to window tints, wind deflectors make them look even cooler, and they’re cheap too.
If you drive with your windows down you can often get unwanted splashes of rain or wind battering the inside of your vehicle – wind deflectors prevent this from happening.
When a car window opens, the aerodynamics of the vehicle change. A wind deflector redistributes the air over the top of the car, so it doesn’t flood inside.
Other benefits of wind deflectors include:
- Tints reduce sun glare.
- Easy to fit.
- Sleek design.
- Car wash friendly.
- Reduce drag.
Window deflector price: deflectors are usually £20-40. See the video below for how to install them.
3. Racing Stripes or Car Wraps
Again, we’re going down the traditional route here – but there are so many different colours and patterns you can use to make your car stand-out.
We have to refer back to our earlier point about taste here if you want to increase car value. While you should go with what you like, if you’re thinking of selling, try to go with what other people like.
This mod is cheaper than getting a paint job, but it requires a lot of time and patience. If you’re going to do it yourself, you’ll need to prepare the car, buy all the equipment and ensure it’s dust-free.
4. Stem Valve Caps
Probably the easiest and cheapest car mod on this list, and while they aren’t the most visible, they do make your wheels look great.
Not only are these caps easy to install, cheap and great to look at, they also protect your car against harsh environments and prevent an accumulation of dust.
Installing stem valve caps reduces the chance of tyres deflating, which in turn, reduces the likelihood of an accident.
Stem valve cap price: prices start from as little as 99p, but you can get some high-quality caps for £10-20.
Cheap Interior Car Mods
If you want to wow your passengers when they enter your vehicle, install some cheap car interior mods:
5. Short Throw Shifter
A short-throw shifter is a gear stick that reduces the time it takes for you to shift gears.
It’s an inexpensive mod that looks cool and improves performance for manual transmission cars.
One of the most annoying things about stock gear sticks is that they’re so long, so it feels like it takes forever to change gear. Some gear sticks can feel flimsy and rough on the transition.
Contrastingly, short throws feel more robust and smooth. One of the main praises of short-shift throwers is that drivers feel more ‘connected’ to the car.
Here are the main benefits of short-shift throwers:
- Less arm movement required to change gear.
- Improved appearance.
- Enhanced driving experience.
Short-shifter price: If you want to install the kit yourself, you can get a shifter for as little as £15 from Amazon. If you need a garage or a mechanic to install it, expect to pay for 1-2 hours labour plus the part if you don’t have it.
6. Racing Pedals
While racing pedals won’t make your car any faster, they’ll make it look faster. Most stock pedals are black and don’t offer much in terms of aesthetics.
Racing pedals come in a variety of colours, so get creative and pick the pedal that best suits your style.
They’re also easy to install – you should be able to peel your stock pedal off and slip the new pedal on. See the video below.
You could even go as far as installing a dead pedal, which sits next to your clutch. It prevents you from resting your foot on the clutch and causing unnecessary wear and tear, as well as preventing knee and ankle pain.
Racing pedal price: you can get racing pedals from Halfords for as little as £20, but if you’re willing to increase your budget slightly you could get better pedals.
7. LED Lighting
If you think your car looks a bit dull, get some LED lights to brighten it up. Don’t worry about losing power in your car; LED lights are incredibly efficient and don’t require much juice to emit light.
Also, LEDs shine much brighter than traditional bulbs, are more responsive and activate much quicker. While you may pay a little higher upfront cost, LED lights can outlast the life of a car – so you shouldn’t have to buy any more.
They don’t strain the car’s battery either, making them ideal if you’re concerned about damaging your car.
LED lights price: you can pick up a set of USB powered LED lights from Amazon for as little as £10. If you want to wire it yourself, check out the video below.
Cheap Performance Car Mods
Want to extend the life of your car or make an impact when you whizz by people? Try some cheap performance car mods:
8. Cold Air Intake
Your car’s engine is like a set of lungs, the better the air going to it, the easier it is to breathe. There are many benefits of installing a cold air intake:
- Cars engines love cold, dense air.
- Improved mileage.
- You can clean and reuse custom air intakes, unlike standard filters which have to be replaced.
- Quicker acceleration and up to 20% more power.
- Gives your car a deep sound.
Cold Air Intake Price: As little as £20 from Halfords, although the price will depend on your car and whether you need someone to fit it. If you already have the part, expect to pay for 1-2 hours of labour costs at a local garage. If you want to give it a shot yourself, check out the video below.
Bushings sit between the suspension, engine and chassis of your car, and their job is to prevent vibrations.
The trouble is, factory bushings are often made from plastic, which cracks over time. If you want to improve the performance of your car, try polyurethane bushings; they last longer and prevent vibrations and minimise weight transfer.
Bushings Price: Between £100-200 from a garage, part usually cost about £20-50 depending on the car and quality of the bushings.
10. ECU Reprogramming
Your car’s ECU controls the mixture of air and fluid in the engine to maximise efficiency and power. However, parameters are often set below the car’s true capabilities, meaning it never reaches its full performance potential. Reprogramming the ECU is fairly simple, and increases power and mileage.
ECU Reprogramming Price: Usually ranges between £200-500.
11. Spark Plugs
Your car wouldn’t be going anywhere without a spark plug, which is why weak or faulty plugs cause big problems. If your car misfires or cold starts, it’s probably got something to do with your spark plugs.
They’re directly linked to performance as well, if they aren’t healthy, your car won’t reach maximum power and could see a drop in fuel economy.
Here are five advantages of replacing your spark plugs:
- Remove startup problems.
- Avoid engine failure.
- Lower fuel consumption.
- Smoother drive.
- More power.
Spark Plug Replacement Price: Usually costs between £70-150. If you want to install them yourself, you can watch the video below for a complete guide.
One of the easiest, cheapest car performance modifications are the things that keep you rolling around the streets – you tyres.
We don’t need to tell you about the importance of tyres, but we will tell you about how better tyres can improve your performance.
Handling. Focusing on improving power is pointless if you don’t have some tarmac-sticky rubber to keep your vehicle on the ground.
Think about whether you want to change the tyre yourself or whether you know someone that can do it. If you want to learn how to change a tyre, watch the video below.
Tyre Replacement Cost: will depend if you want low, mid, or high-range tyres. Lower range tyres will cost between £80-100, whereas higher ranges can be anywhere from £250-600.
What’s Your Next Cheap Car Mod?
Did any of the above take your fancy? If you want to get a free quote for window tinting, visit our contact page and fill out the form, we’ll make your car look cool!