Get advice first
The most important guideline for making adjustments to your vehicle is that you should still be able to drive it afterwards, without breaking any laws. Check that what you have planned is suitable for your car and if you’re planning any big jobs, get help from a professional.
Changing your wheels is one of the less invasive updates you can make to your car that can actually improve performance. But don’t make your choice on looks alone – you’ll most likely want to find custom wheels that are the same size as the original wheels to avoid having problems crop up, but check with a professional before you make your decision.
While you’re updating your wheels, consider switching your tyres for some that are better quality.
Good tyres improve safety and can reduce friction as you drive, lowering your fuel consumption.
Custom paint job
If the exterior could use some work, you can look into getting your car repainted. You’ll be able to get the exact colour you want, and can even add a stripe or accent in a different hue. Just remember to keep it simple, and avoid anything that might make you cringe when you pull into the driveway at your partner’s parents’ house. If you end up with painted flames down the sides of your car, you’ve done it wrong.
You can either buy covers to fit yourself, or get your seats re-upholstered if you want to go the whole hog. Seat covers can mask any ugly fabric and will help prevent your seats from fading in the sun. If you’re replacing the fabric on the seats, leather is a popular choice that can make the car easier to sell down the road (at least easier than if your fabric is Aladdin-themed).
A new sound system
If you’re really into your music, chances are the factory stereo isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, getting a new car stereo isn’t usually a big deal – you might want to get a professional to fit it to make sure it’s installed correctly, but this is often quite cheap to do. Of course, if you’re planning on decking out your entire back seat with subwoofers, the set-up will be more involved.
Change your gear shift
The gear shift can be customised fairly easily, and is a good way to add interest to the interior of your car (much better than fluffy dice hanging on the rear-vision mirror). Remember it still needs to be functional as well as act as a point of difference in your car.
To improve your car's performance, find out how to upgrade your exhaust system.