If your car is looking a little worse for wear, the best solution is to buy a new one, but that doesn’t mean you can afford a new car.
You might not be ready to get rid of your existing car, even if you can afford to buy a new one. New cars often come with costly monthly payments that you would rather spend on something else. Not to mention, driving your existing car for longer before buying a new one is better for the environment.
No matter what your reason for sticking with your existing car, you aren’t stuck feeling like you’re driving an old beater. The tips on this list can help make you feel like your vehicle is newer than it really is.
Fix Scratches, Dents, and Cracks
There’s a lot to do when dealing with the aftermath of a fender bender. In between dealing with your insurance and possibly an attorney, you should also fix your cracked and damaged fender. You can take your car to a body repair shop, or you can find a new fender on the cheap at your local salvage yard.
While you’re at it, fix all of the scratches and dents that you can:
- Fix superficial scratches with a rubbing compound
- Fix paint scratches with a paint scratch repair kit
- Fix glass scratches with a cotton swab and a little toothpaste
- Try removing small dents on plastic bumpers with boiling water
- Use a car dent repair kit to fix car body dents
Clean Up Your Headlights
It’s normal for car headlights to get cloudy and grimy over time. Fortunately, it’s a relatively easy problem to fix.
Using toothpaste to clean your headlights works just as well as regular car detailing supplies. If you don’t have any luck with toothpaste, you can try vinegar and baking soda instead. Using window cleaner and car polish can be an effective way to clean your headlights too.
Don’t want to deal with foggy headlights again in the future? Park your vehicle away from direct sunlight, as the UV rays of the sun can make your headlights hazy. If you can’t avoid direct sunlight, use a car cover to protect your car.
Get Your Car Professionally Washed and Detailed
Even new cars don’t feel all that shiny and new when they are dirty. Getting your car washed can go a long way towards making you feel like you’re driving a newer car.
If you really want your car to look and feel cool, get it professionally washed and detailed. Professional cleaners really get into the nooks and crannies to make your car sparkle. That includes polishing wheels, rims, and hand-drying your vehicle before the water can leave drip marks.
They also detail the interior of your car. They will wipe and condition your dashboard, vacuum your floors and mats, and even condition leather seats. By the time they are done washing and detailing your car, you’ll feel like you have a brand new ride!
Get New Wheels
Few things make a car look tired more than an old, worn set of wheels. Driving on old wheels can be dangerous too. Update the look and safety of your vehicle by replacing your wheels.
If you’ve got the budget, replace your rims while you’re at it! There are a lot of cool-looking rims out there that enable you to upgrade the look of your vehicle without having to spend money on a brand-new car.
Cover the Seats
Covering the seats in your car can give them an updated look. It can make your car more comfortable, too. You can find seats with massage features and contouring that can make it more comfortable to sit in your vehicle.
You can find covers for front seats, but you should also find a matching cover for the backseat. It will give your car’s interior an upscale look for less than replacing the seats themselves.
It’s an especially good idea to cover the seats in your car if you have kids. Children are notoriously messy, spilling crumbs and liquids on seats that can make your car feel old and icky. Seat covers can be removed, washed, and replaced easily, so you can keep your car clean.
Buy Car Mats
The floors of your car can get dirty fast. That’s especially true if you live in a cold-weather climate where sand and salt get tracked into your vehicle. Car mats can help preserve your vehicle’s floor so that it looks nice for longer.
Don’t just buy any old car mats! If you want to give your car a newer, upscale look, you should splurge a little on contoured liners. The best car mats are specially designed to fit snugly into foot wells for a custom look. And because they have curved sides, they trap crumbs, dirt, and sand better than traditional flat car mats.
Add Interior LED Lights
If you want your car to have a newer look and feel, consider adding interior LED lights.
Update your car’s existing interior lights with LEDs. Traditional bulbs can give off a yellow glow that isn’t very bright, making your car’s interior look old. New, bright LEDs will give your car’s interior an updated look.
If you really want your car to look cool, consider installing LED light strips in your car’s interior. You can light up the footwells, like your console, or line underneath your hood with LED lights that are extremely easy to install. Many are controlled with your smartphone or a remote too, so you can change the colors in your car to match your mood.
Don’t give up on your car if it’s looking a little old and worn! Chances are, you can get at least a few more years out of your vehicle if you update its look. From fixing scratches to getting your car properly cleaned and tricking it out with new features, there are plenty of things you can do to make your existing car look like new.