Driving Advice & Safety

7 Top Ways to Customise Your Car

December 28, 2023

4 min read

Leon McKenzie's avatar

Leon McKenzie

Content Writer

Want to get your licence ASAP?

Our driving courses have been rated 'Excellent' 6,000+ times on Trustpilot.

Left brake light on a yellow car

Once you've passed your driving test, there's an obvious next step: getting your own car. For some, this is simply a matter of getting from A to B. Other drivers, however, want their car to reflect their personality. If you're one of them, then you might be looking to customise your car.

We've compiled some of the top ways you can customise your car without breaking the bank. Read on for the rundown of our top customisation tips!

1. Get better brakes

Accelerator and brake pedal of a Honda Civic

Good brakes are fundamental to the running of your car, for obvious reasons. If you're only looking to make quick trips around the city, then the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brakes that come with your car as standard will probably do the job.

However, under strain, they may fall victim to brake fade. This refers to the situation where, after heavy use, brakes become less effective at slowing and stopping the car. If you're looking to get involved in high performance driving, live in a particularly steep area, or simply want to improve your car's braking power, then an upgrade may be the way to go. An upgrade is also a must if you've modified your vehicle to increase its speed.

Options for brake upgrades range from changing the brake pad material or rotors, upgrading brake calipers or using steel brake lines. Be sure to research the right choice for your car's needs.

2. Make your own decals

Gold eagle linework decal on a blue car bonnet

Whether you're looking to set your car apart with some elegant linework or want to be the joker on the road with a humorous sticker, decals are the way to go.

One thing you may not be aware of, however, is that you can actually create your own decals. There are a few ways to go about this. If you have a graphics program which supports vector drawing, such as Photoshop or Inkscape, then you can create designs on your PC or tablet.

Don't worry if you prefer to sketch freehand on paper, though, as programs such as Scan2CAD can enable you to convert your drawing. Your best bet is to convert to G-code; a CNC machine can follow this code to cut the decal out of suitable material. Sorted!

3. Upgrade your sound system

Harman Kardon speaker mounted in a car's A-pillar

If you've taken inspiration from our epic UK road trip ideas, then you're going to need to do some preparation. Snacks? Check. Appropriate clothing (for literally all kinds of British weather)? Check. Road trip playlist? Check!

But there's one more thing to consider here: what good is a great playlist without great sound?

Most new cars' entertainment systems are pretty slick nowadays—thankfully, the days of fiddling around with cassettes are long gone! However, if you're a true audiophile, you might want to invest in an upgrade. This needn't be too pricey, though it is worth noting that, higher-end sound systems really do offer better quality.

4. Ride in comfort

Car interior with leather seats

While cars allow us to roam freely, it can be easy to forget that driving essentially involves lots of time spent sat down. This means that comfort is crucial—and shoddy car seats could ruin your driving experience.

Luckily, there are plenty of options at your disposal when it comes to your car's seating. Move away from the standard black or grey colour schemes by choosing some more interesting seat covers—or, if you have the cash, change the seats themselves for a ride in the lap of luxury.

While we're on the subject of seating, don't forget the little ones! By law, children under 135 cm or 12 years old (whichever comes first) must ride in a child seat. This doesn't mean that you need to opt for a dull, bog-standard car seat, though—there are plenty of cool seats that your kids will love, so feel free to explore the options!

5. Find your way

A Nexus One satnav mounted on the front windscreen of a car

If ever proof were needed that sat navs have become ubiquitous on our roads, then 2017's driving test changes provided it. That's because most learners now need to follow sat nav directions on their practical test.

Luckily, this means that new drivers arrive on the road with the skills they need to follow a sat nav without it proving a distraction. If you're buying a new car, then you may not need to invest in a separate sat nav; manufacturers now often include the devices as standard. This won't be the case for all models, though, and older or used cars will be less likely to feature them.

That leaves you with the choice of whether or not to use a sat nav—not to mention which model to buy. To help you out, we've created a guide to the different types of sat nav available on the market today.

6. Light it up

Left brake light on a yellow car

One of the most versatile ways to customise your car is through the creative use of lighting. In fact, choosing to customise your car through lighting is just the first step: you can then choose from a range of both interior and exterior custom lights.

A subtler option to go for here might involve a lightbulb conversion kit, which allows you to change the colour of your headlights. Meanwhile, you could show off the marque of your car by lighting it up. More extravagant choices could include LED floor lights, or even transforming the ceiling of your car to look like the night sky. The world is your oyster here, so have fun!

7. Customise your wheels

Mercedes-Benz wheel with Continental tyre

Last but not least, we're turning our attention to the wheels. There are thousands of options on the market here, allowing you to go beyond the basics and create a vehicle with a far more luxurious feel.

Your inspiration here might come from the racing track—or, if you just want to live your mid-2000s Pimp My Ride dreams, it might come instead from a music video. Either way, there's plenty to explore, so get customising!

Have you thought about personalised number plates, for example? Be aware, though, if you're a learner or newly qualified driver, some learner driver insurance policies and young driver insurance policies will increase premiums on cars that have been modified.

Subscribe for driving advice, offers & more

We'd love to let you know about our courses, news and offers via email. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Star Genie Limited trading as PassMeFast. Company number 10093359

Copyright © 2024 owned by Star Genie Limited

PassMeFast, Blue Tower, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2ST