4 Cost-Effective Ways To Dress-Up Your Car

Jek Ray Low
3 Jan 2020

It's finally 2020! That also means that the Lunar New Year is just around the corner, and it's not uncommon for car owners to want to spruce up their existing rides in a bid to impress relatives throughout the entire ordeal that is the seemingly endless family visitations. Here are 5 things you can do to your car to make it look and feel just that little bit smarter and fresher for the special occasion!

1. New Floormats

Photo: 3M

Your car’s OE carpet takes quite a beating on a daily basis, and it is this heavy wear-and-tear that can really betray your car’s age. The rest of your car can look, feel and smell new, but nothing spoils that timeless illusion more than some threadbare carpet. Remedy that on the cheap with some custom cut floormats. From a quality supplier, these can have a close-to-OE fit-and-finish, and can be had in a wide variety of options and colours as well, to best suit your taste and to best match your interior trim panels. Budget $70 to $160 for said fresh floormats, with pricing varying with car size and carpet options!

2. A Good Detailing

Photo: pixabay

If your car is in decent condition overall, then a good detail may be all it needs to look and feel factory fresh again. Detail jobs go far beyond just your run-of-the-mill car wash. Seasoned detailers obsess over every nook and cranny in your vehicle, ensuring that it is not just superficially clean. This means your car will look fresh and rejuvenated too, and there's nothing better than starting a new year with a grime-free car, that can be beneficial for your health too! Most detail jobs finish with a ceramic coat, a tough, inorganic compound that bonds with your paintwork to form a scratch-resistant and water-repellent surface. Smaller cars will cost you around $400 at a good detailer, with larger ones going for $600 and up.

3. Wrap

Photo: 3M

A full car vinyl wrap job may be the most expensive on our list, but it still is more cost effective than a full respray, and is the cheapest way to drastically transform the look of your vehicle. There are finishes you can get with wraps that you can't with paint; with a virtually endless catalogue of vinyl wraps with differing colours, textures and finishes, and with wrap suppliers constantly reinventing and coming up with new products, there will definitely be something to suit everyone's taste. These wraps are also not permanent, allowing you to go back to stock should you so choose. As an extra layer over your paintwork, it acts as paint protection as well! Expect to spend upwards of $1,200 for a full car wrap with quality vinyl.

4. New Wheels (But With A Twist)

Quality aftermarket wheels that fit and look good are expensive. An alternative is to go used, but these wheels can come with imperfections that cost huge chunks of change to perfect. If you desire a unique combo on your ride, consider swapping your current set of wheels for OE wheels but from other marques.  You can still get that OEM quality, and as there is a surplus of these almost-new wheels, without a significant dent in your finances at that. Rim and tyre shops are often one of the first few places buyers of new cars who are seeking a more unique look head to, choosing to get rid of their stock wheel setup for a more aggressive aftermarket one. A huge and unintended bonus is that should you find a wheel that matches your offset and other requirements and/or specifications, these rims often are shodden with fresh tyres as they often are only used on that short journey to the tyre shop from the dealership! Prices vary significantly depending on which car the wheels came off of, so do shop around for the best deal! 

Seeking a new-to-you ride for the new year? Browse through our extensive used car classifieds! With thousands of listings, you’ll definitely find something that matches your budget and your needs!

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