Let’s face it: buying an attractive car is easier said than done. Only some can afford a sweet ride fresh out of the showroom, which is a bummer for people who want their vehicles to be both efficient and glamorous. Remember, if you can’t afford the latest car model you’ve dreamed of, you don’t have to drive an unbecoming vehicle.
With a little effort and spare dollars in your savings, you can elevate your ride in several affordable ways to make it look chicer. Not only will this eradicate the desire to get a new car, but you’ll also feel way better about flaunting what you already have. Here are a few wallet-friendly, practical tips to make your car look chicer.
Get Your Car Professionally Washed
Take it from us – nothing makes your car look worse than if it’s visibly dirty. Dust, grime, crumbs, and stains are the biggest reason your car looks worse for wear. So first, clean any residual trash from your car – say goodbye to leftover fast food bags, water bottles, and snack wrappers. The first step for your car to look better is making sure it’s clean as a whistle; even the most excellent cars look horrible when they’re dirty.
So don’t just get your usual car wash and vacuum – take your vehicle for a full-scale detail clean by a team of professionals.
Repair Any Dents
Anybody with a car knows that dents – no matter how negligible – take away from the overall appearance of your car. Not only does it make your car look worn down, but it also reflects on your driving; people will assume you’re irresponsible and avoid driving or parking near you, fearing that you might also dent their cars. So it doesn’t matter if the dents on your car weren’t your fault – people will always assume they are!
Don’t ever cover your dents with paint. Paint will make them stick out even more. Instead, look around your local auto body places and gauge repair prices. Some repairs are less effort than others if you get replacement parts at junkyards.
Getting your car waxed is a relatively low-effort, low-cost procedure that removes small scratches and gives your car a brilliant shine. Not only that, but it also protects your car from damage like rusting and fading.
What’s more, waxing is easy enough for you to do yourself; wax kits are available at almost every auto shop. If you can’t find any, you can order one online for less than $50.
Fix Scratches And Paint Defects
Having a flawless finish on your car shows how much you care about it. Of course, you can wax your car and protect it from damage, corrosion, and the like. But if a shopping cart crashes into your vehicle or gravel flies up from a bumpy road and knocks against the exterior, scratching your paint – don’t let those scratches stay untreated.
Especially not when it’s so easy to repair them! You can get wallet-friendly scratch repair kits at auto body shops or take your car to them and get them fixed. Make sure you match the paint when fixing your scratches – colors that aren’t the perfect match won’t do. You don’t want your car looking like a patched-up, decades-old clothing item.
The scratches on your car and the swirl marks left by washing only need an annual polishing for your vehicle to have a high-end shine. Use a good power polisher for the best results, and make sure your body paint is clean before polishing it – or else you’ll end up with more scratches on your car.
PaintScratch.com is a helpful, nifty website where you can order original factory paint that matches the paint on your car exactly. So if you have scratches on your vehicle that you know need fixing, look no further. It’s super easy and will make your car look ten times better.
Car wrapping is arguably one of the coolest ways to improve your car’s look. It can make your car look brand-new, even if you already have an impeccable paint job. The vinyl wrap can to change your car’s color and apply images and even textures to your beloved ride. What’s more, vinyl wraps these days cause zero damage to your vehicle’s preexisting paint job and can be removed whenever you want!
It’s up to you what parts of your car you’d get wrapped in vinyl, but if some of it gets dirty or damaged, you can always replace it. There are innumerable ways you can style your car using vinyl wraps to make it stand out, and you’d be surprised at how much cheaper they are than traditional paint jobs. A vinyl wrap lasts about 5-7 years, which, if you ask us, is a reasonable period for something as cost-effective as that.
Tint Your Windows
We only endorse tinting your vehicles with over 80% limo tints if you want to look like an obnoxious try-hard. Instead, slightly tinting your car’s rear windows can add a nice flair to the overall look of your car. Even tinting the front windows is okay – just make sure the amount of tint is legal. Tinting your windows more than the legal limit of your area can get you heavily fined.
There’s no denying that tinted windows add mystery and intrigue to your car. It also gives a high-end effect since people outside can see whoever’s driving less clearly than they would with no tint, indicating that a driver is an important person. As silly as it sounds, trust us – this is how the human psyche works. Make sure you determine how dark you can go with your tinting while not breaking the law; if you don’t, you’d have to empty your pockets for the fine and remove the tints.
New lights are a foolproof way of making older cars look fresher and new. Old, worn-out, foggy headlights make your car look tired and aged. Adding a new set of headlights or tail lights can make your car look good as new.
You can even restore fogged-up, dirty headlights to freshen up your car’s appearance. Or you could replace the bulbs in your car’s lights to make them look brighter and sharper.
Changing The Wheels
Despite how expensive your car’s wheels once were, years of driving on them can and will wear them down. They will peel, rust and chip away as the years go by and give your car an aged look you never asked for. However, this doesn’t mean you need to get rid of them; several auto body shops offer wheel restoration services, sanding down and refinishing your wheels.
This is a pocket-friendly alternative to buying a new set, but if you want to pull out the big guns, do that by all means.
Nowadays, the options for wheels are limitless: you can choose them according to what sort of car personality you want to depict. Plenty of options are budget-friendly too. Installing alloy or chrome wheels, for example, is comparatively cheaper and makes your car look high-end.
Decide on your wheel size before anything else. Though bigger wheels draw more attention, you’d need a new set of tires for them. On the other hand, choosing a size the same as your original wheels means you can reuse the tires and save up on the extra costs. Then decide the wheel finish you want; shiny, reflective chrome wheels give you a glitzy metallic look, while painted wheels have a different vibe.
However, if you match or accentuate the color of your car’s body paint, it’ll look even better. And remember that wheel finishes need as much care and maintenance as every other part of your car – so once you get new wheels, maintain them, so your vehicle keeps looking chic, not cheap.
Enhance Your Pedals
It’s not common to cover your accelerator and brake pedals with something like aluminum, but it does add a unique look to your ride. Not only that but changing your pedal covers would give you non-slip, scratch-resistant surfaces for your feet, along with the welcome illusion that your car may have a knack for racing (even if it most definitely doesn’t).
The icing on the cake is that this process can be executed for as little as $10 if you make it a DIY project. Bang for your buck if we do say so ourselves.
Pinstripe Your Car
Elevate your car’s body by applying pinstripes or pinstripe graphics to it. Pinstripes can be the splash of color your otherwise monotone car needs. Not only that, but you can place them strategically to cover something like a dent; they’ll serve as an optical change depending on how you put them on.
There is a wide variety of pinstripe kits available online. You can find ones for basic pinstripes or ones with unique brushes and templates inspired by Steve Kafka, the pinstriping master. So give it a go and push yourself out of your comfort zone, pinstriping the way your creativity allows you to.
Change Your Seat Covers And Floor Mats
Changing your seat covers and floor mats is an effective, easy way to upgrade your car’s interiors and fix its upholstery. Not only that, but they serve as protection for your car’s original seats and prevent staining on your car’s floor too. Just be careful when buying seat covers – there’s a fine line between tacky and stylish. Research which ones will look best considering your car’s appearance.
There are several ways you can make your car look newer, chicer, and more high-end, and most of them are very budget-friendly. Remember, the mark of a true car-lover is the amount of care they take for their ride. How well your car is maintained also reflects on your personality as a car owner, so ensure you’re keeping it in top shape and leaving little to no room for improvement.
Are you looking to elevate your car’s look? You can start by servicing your vehicle with full-scale detail here at Auffenberg Chrysler of Herrin. Our team of professionals is highly experienced with all sorts of vehicle services and upgrades, and we guarantee your car will be in good hands. Schedule a car servicing and maintenance appointment on our website now!