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How to Make Your Car Look Way Cooler for Under $100 Total

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Man mechanic working on cleaning car in garage

Face it—your car isn’t a classic, it’s just old and boring. While you’d like to drive a sportier, more appealing vehicle, your bank account simply won’t allow it.

However, that doesn’t mean you’re restricted to driving the same yawn-inducing beater. With some creativity and elbow grease, you can turn your bland-mobile into a bodacious babe-magnet.

Not sure how to accomplish that without emptying your wallet? Here are some suggestions for tricking out your car for less than $100.

Ways to Turn Your Car from Dopey into Dope

Clean the Exterior: Grab a water hose, a sponge, and a bottle of cleaner and give the body a thorough scrubbing—including the underside. Peel off any bumper stickers, dead bugs, or other imperfections. Wax and polish the paint to give it extra sheen and protection. Do this regularly to prevent any rust from creeping in.

Touch Up Paint: Touch-up paint isn’t as pricey as you might assume. Order a small bottle matching your car’s color (do your research beforehand) from a dealership of the brand or a local auto parts store. Follow the directions to fill in any cracks in the body paint.

Organize It: You can sink tons of money into the outside of your vehicle, but if the inside is a pigsty, the vehicle still can be qualified as an embarrassing mess. Clear out all the loose contents piling up and organize whatever you absolutely need

Fake Upgrades: Artificial body upgrades don’t necessarily have to be poorly made to be affordable—depending on what you get. Go with minimal touches that add a lot without taking up much space. Instead of a spoiler, consider a pack of fake, adhesive side vents; a set of thin-spoke hubcaps (doesn’t have to be the full rims); or chrome paint on the grille.

Brighten Up: Scrub the inside and outside of the headlamps/taillights using these tips and replace the bulbs with brighter units. This will give your vehicle a strong presence at night while being safer, too.

Pimp the Interior: Invest in some matching accessories for the car cabin to give it a more premium or street racing aesthetic, like stylized car seat covers, floor mats, a steering wheel cover, or gear shift knob.

Go Retro: If you’re not one for leather and chrome, consider taking the opposite route and going back in time. There’s a lot of personality and charm in vintage accessories and styles. Plus, a lot of these old items can be obtained for cheap from junkyards and thrift stores—be it orange shag carpet mats, 8-track player, or woodie accents.