It doesn’t matter if you drive a new commuter or a vehicle that’s about to cross the 200k mark, you want your car to look and feel good. Although upgrading your ride to a luxury vehicle probably isn’t in the cards, you can make subtle changes to what you have to give it a more luxurious look and feel without breaking the bank. Keep reading for 10 ways that you can upgrade your car on a budget.
Add a Heated Seat Cushion
Few things feel more luxurious than a warm seat on a cold day. This is a feature that you’ll only find in higher trim levels of average cars and high-end luxury vehicles. You can add a heated seat cushion to your car to give yourself the toasty treatment on your daily commute during the winter months.
Restore Your Headlights
You’re not the only one who has that cloudy film on your headlights. This is caused by oxidation as your headlights are exposed to UV rays. You can pay an auto body shop to clean your headlights and restore them to their clear, beautiful origins or you can do it yourself. This is as simple as buying a headlight restoration kit, toothpaste, and baking soda. Use an old rag and a toothbrush as you follow the directions on the kit and your headlights will shine like new.
Get Your Car Detailed Regularly
Other than buying an air freshener, you probably won’t ever get that new car smell back. However, you can make your car smell fresh by getting it detailed. Car detailing services include a wash and wax of the exterior as well as a shine of your tires and wheels. The detailer will vacuum the inside of your car and shampoo the upholstery. If you have leather seats, the person detailing your car will use a special leather cleaner to lift all the dirt out of the pores of the leather and condition it to restore its soft, smooth feel.
Tint Your Windows
One thing that all private cars and limousines have in common is tinted windows. After you get your windows tinted you’ll immediately notice that your car looks newer and sleeker. Don’t discount the benefits of tinted windows either, which include protection for the interior of your car from UV rays and for you and your passengers from broken glass in a car accident.
Get a Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Nobody likes walking out to their car in the morning or after work and giving their car a sideways look trying to figure out if a tire is low. You can make your life easier and feel like you’re driving a luxury car by getting a tire pressure monitoring system. The sensors and wiring can be installed in the tube of the tire next time you get new tires or repair a flat. Make sure you get a Bluetooth alert system as well.
Put on Seat Covers
Even if you don’t want to go with a heated seat cover, you can easily upgrade the upholstery on your seats with new covers. Choose from memory foam, leather, or polyester based on your personal taste. You can even get them with your car manufacturer’s emblem or personalized with an image or phrase.
Touch Up Your Paint Job
Paint chips and door dings take a lot away from your car’s outer appearance. You can take care of chipped paint with a simple DIY repair kit. Door dings are a little bit more difficult as you’ll likely have to get a professional to do the work for you. Ultimately, you’ll be amazed at how new your car looks after all the minor nicks and scratches are taken care of.
Replace Your Shifter Knob
While the shifter knob that came with your car is probably fine, it can be awkward, clunky, and feel uncomfortable in your hand. You can easily replace this with something that not only fits your hand better but adds a refined appearance to your car. This will make for more comfortable and easier driving overall.
Bluetooth is the current standard for mobile connectivity. However, this hasn’t been the case until relatively recently as many cars that were built prior to 2016 don’t have it if they’re not a luxury model. You can toss the auxiliary cable and upgrade with a Bluetooth adaptor for around $20 to upgrade the connectivity of your smartphone to your stereo.
If you’d like to get more of the hands-free features that come with a stock Bluetooth system, you won’t find that with a simple adaptor. Although, aftermarket car stereos have many of these features available if you’re willing to spend the extra money for a new installation.
Upgrade Your Emblem
Every car comes with an emblem for the company that manufactured the car. You can swap this out and upgrade to a custom color or design to fit the look that you’re going for on the exterior of your car. Many luxury or special trim levels of vehicles offer a premium version of their emblem to distinguish that model from others. Examples of this are the Black Out packages for Chevrolet trucks and SUVs. Set your car apart from the rest with a custom emblem positioned on the hood and trunk.