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Crazy Cheap Car Upgrades: 7 Simple Ways to Customize Your Car

Do you want to have your car stand out from the pack? There are actually some affordable options to give your car a personality and identity of its own without having to shell out thousands of dollars.

We’ve put together a list of some cheap car upgrades that you’ll love. Read on to see how you can upgrade your car on a budget! (And yeah, we’re talking about more than just slapping on a bumper sticker and calling it good).

1. Stereo

Are you still rocking a tape deck in your car? Aftermarket car stereos might be more affordable than you think and could bring your road-trip-music-experience into this decade. 

There are thousands of models of aftermarket stereo out there for every price range. The sky’s the limit as far as how much you want to spend. You don’t have to spend a ton to get a nice update though. If your car is 10 years old or older, chances are you can get a serious stereo upgrade for under $100.00.

Here are some of the features you can expect from modern aftermarket stereos in the $80-$150 range.

  • USB input: Play files from a jump drive in some models, or control your phone via USB – or use it to charge your phone.
  • Bluetooth Music: Bluetooth is standard on just about all but the cheapest aftermarket stereos these days. Have your phone automatically connect when you get in your car to play your music library or stream services like Spotify and podcasts.
  • Hands-Free Calling: Bluetooth also enables you to make a receive calls while driving. This is a great feature that helps keep you safe while giving you the freedom to communicate while on the go.

2. Exhaust

An aftermarket exhaust system can be another way to give your car some personality of its own. There are systems with varying degrees of volume, but they are all sure to turn some heads! Cat-back and Axle-back exhaust kits are only a little over $100.00, so you can get some growl for not too much green!

3. Custom License Plates

A custom license plate can be a great way to make your car one of a kind. A custom plate is something that can be yours and yours alone. Once it is registered, no one else can use that one for their car. It gives you a unique statement.

Also, you have the luxury of always having your plate memorized. No more running out to the garage when filling out a form to check your plate number. For more awesome benefits of having a custom plate, click here to find out more.

4. Lights

Another way you can customize your car and really make it your own is by replacing your headlights. A light bulb conversion kit will run you less than $100.00 and you can change the color of your lights to yellow, white, blue, or even purple.

You can also use an LED Conversion Kit to swap out your old halogens with new, brighter LED bulbs. These types of lights outlast halogen bulbs and draw close to 1/3 the power that halogen bulbs do.

You can also buy kits that allow you to light up the lettering on your car, which can look pretty sharp!

5. Remove Extra Weight

This hack is practically free! There are certain things in your car that you don’t need, depending on how you use the car and what your preferences are. Minimizing your car’s weight will do a few things. A lighter car will accelerate more quickly and will also get better gas mileage.

Here are a few things you can remove:

  • Rear seats: If you only ever use your front two seats, you can ditch the other ones and free up some weight, and give yourself a little more room.
  • Spare Tire: If you aren’t worried about getting stranded with a flat, removing the spare will save you some weight – especially if it’s a full-size spare!
  • Sound Proofing: If you are trying to maximize performance and don’t care about noise, the soundproofing on your ceiling and doors can go!
  • Roof and Hood: Now, you still need your hood and roof (unless you have a convertible). However, by replacing them you may be able to save some weight. This isn’t a free option of course, but aftermarket roofs and hoods exist that are lighter than the ones that come stock.

6. Strut Tower Brace

A strut tower brace is a quick and easy modification that can give your car better handling around corners.

As you turn the frame of your car flexes a bit. This can make your turns feel sluggish. This is caused by the struts folding inward. By installing a strut tower brace you can keep this from happening. And, if you can’t find one for your particular engine, they are pretty simple to have fabricated from just a piece of steel.

7. Remote Starters

A remote starter can be a great upgrade that won’t blow your whole paycheck. Remote starters allow you to start your car from a distance with a key fob or even a smartphone app. This is an awesome convenience, especially in the winter if you live somewhere cold. Just think, while you’re still getting ready to leave in the morning, your car could already be warming up without you even having to go outside.

Automatic starters can run from as cheap as $50.00 (not including installation) and can be a great option for upgrading your car on the cheap.

Cheap Car Upgrades That Are Cool!

It doesn’t take a millionaire to have a cool car. With some of these simple customizations, you can really make your car your own! These cheap car upgrades will give you some sweet features to personalize your ride- and you’ll still be able to afford to put gas in it!

If you liked these money saving tips, check out this article on how to save money when your car needs repairs!