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It’s natural to want a car upgrade after a few years. Even if you can afford a newer car, the down payment and increased monthly payments might make you think twice about upgrade to a newer set of wheels.
A better option might be to simply invest a bit of time and effort into your existing car to make it feel a bit fresher. There are lots of simple, do-it-yourself ways to upgrade your vehicle without breaking the bank on it.
Here’s six of the best ways to liven up your old vehicle without spending a fortune:
Give It a Thorough Washing
It’s hard to beat that exciting new car smell, but you don’t need to have a new car to enjoy it. All you need is an air freshener- they even make ones specifically to give off that new car smell!
Air fresheners are a great start, but you need a little elbow grease to really spruce your car up. The best way to get started is by cleaning your seats and carpeting by shampooing them. Afterwards, you should vacuum the car and remove any trash or loose debris.
You’ll want to finish up by giving the outside of your car a washing with good old-fashioned soap and water. Afterwards, to really give it a shine you can wax it up. After all that work, your car will look brand-new again, even though it’s the same old car!
Buy A Dent Kit
The waxing and washing may be wasted if your car has lots of scratches and dents. Taking them to a mechanic to fix defeats the purpose of saving money, so try a $20 dent kit instead. These kits can be found at many auto stores, or purchased online. They give you everything you need to fix up your car’s dents, although you will need to work hard to remove tiny dents as they tend to be the toughest to flatten.
For these smaller bruises, you can consider using a paintless removal solution. If you aren’t able to fix them yourselves, you can consider reaching out to a local repair shop. Dents aren’t too labor intensive, and they might be able to fix them up cheap!
Install A New Stereo
One of the biggest downsides of older vehicles is that their sound systems are usually old, without any of the current bells and whistles. The good news is that technology increases so quickly that newer stereos can be found for less than you might think. A new system with Bluetooth and XM radio that can pair to your smartphone, for example, can be purchased for $99 or less if you shop around. The top 5 cool car gadgets of 2015 may also add value to your car.
Power Your Vehicle Up
After you power up your sound system and have your smartphone syncing with it, you’re going to need to make sure you have enough battery life to keep the music going. Modern cars have USB chargers built right in, but the odds are that your older car doesn’t have that capability. Luckily, you can buy USB chargers that plug right into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. USB car chargers can be found for well under $20, and take away the worry about losing all your phone’s charge before you even get where you’re going!
Get Rid of Your Scratches
One of the easiest ways to make your car look worn down is by driving around with a ton of scratches. To freshen up the body and make it look like new, you’re going to need to hide this wear and tear by using special touch-up paint. You’ll be able to pick a bottle of it up at any local body shop or auto store. If the scratch isn’t deep, all you need to do is find the color that matches your car’s, and you can spread the paint carefully with a brush. After waiting one or two days, you can apply a layer of polish using an applicator to make sure it blends properly.
Transform Your Car into A Docking Station
With legislation banning the user of most handheld electronics while operating a vehicle, adding docking stations for them is a great way to spruce up an old vehicle. If, for example, you need your mobile phone or GPS to be clearly visible while you navigate around town, you can purchase a dashboard mount online for less than $20. This will hold your device in place, allowing you to legally operate it while also operating your vehicle.
If you’re the handy type, you can try making one yourself. Simply purchase a sheet of plastic that’s six inches by six inches, and place self-adhesive fasteners on your electronic device and the plastic mount. Your device will then easily hook to the plastic, allowing for convenient hands-free operation.
One Final Tip
These six improvements are a great way to make your car new again while saving money at the same time. Another great way to save money on your driving expenses is to attend a defensive driving course online or in a classroom.
Attending one of these classes will make you a safer driver, helping you steer clear of annoying dents, scratches, and worse. It may also remove traffic violations from your record, which could lower your mandatory fines or sentences.
Attending a class will also remove points from your record, which will help keep your license from being suspended. Most importantly, it will also significantly impact your insurance rate- making it much more affordable!
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