5 ways to upgrade your car without buying a new one


Buying a new car can be expensive. But if your car just needs a bit of a facelift, you don’t have to necessarily invest in a new vehicle. There are many car restoration specialists and do-it-yourself toolkits to help you make your car look as good as new. Read on to find our 5 simple tips for upgrading your car without buying a new one.

Get Your Alloys Repaired

Over time your alloys pick up chips, dents, scuffs and scratches, which can age your wheels. Stones can chip and kerbs can scuff your alloys, while water can also enter into scratches and cause moisture damage to your rims. Fortunately there are alloy specialists that can help to fix rims and restore them to better than their original state. Expert alloy repairs should also include alloy paint that patches the original color of your rims. Repairing your alloys can make your car wheels look good as new.

Fix Your Dented Car Body

There’s nothing more frustrating than damage to your car body. Dents and deep scratches are highly visible on your vehicle and can also scratch off the original paint, making damage even more obvious. Fortunately, there are a number of toolkits you can use before you even consider a car body repair shop. 

To repair a dent in your car, first evaluate the dent and see how deep it is. If it is a fairly minor dent, then boil your kettle but turn it off just before it reaches boiling point. Pour it on the dent, and if it is very minor, then the metal might just snap back into shape. You could also try using a plunger, or pushing the dent through if you can access the other side, like with a car door. 

For bigger dents, you could try hammering it out, or investing in a dent removal kit, which may include specialized dent pulling tools, tapping tools, or rods to slide under the back of the panel and lift the dents out.

Remove Those Unsightly Scratches

If your scratch isn’t covered by your insurance, then you might want to consider whether you can repair it yourself. The body of a car has three layers of paint which sit on top of the metal bodywork. If you run your finger over the scratch and your finger doesn’t catch, then it should just be on the surface layer of the paint that is affected. If this is the case, clean any debris away from the scratch and then rub toothpaste in a circular motion into the affected area. Do this three times and wash away the toothpaste each time to assess whether this has improved the scratch.

For scratches that go beyond the top layer of paint, there are scratch removal kits that can help repair deeper damage to your car body. Scratch removers often come in a resin or paste, and require you to rub a small amount in and wash in between each application. Read the instruction manual carefully to avoid further damage to your paintwork.

Restore Your Paintwork

If scratches have also removed some of your car paintwork, there are several paint-matching tools which can allow you to restore your paintwork to its former glory. First, clean the car to remove debris that can cause further damage if you rub or paint them into your car body. Next, make sure you’ve taken the steps above to remove any scratches or dents.

If it’s only the clear coat of paint that is affected by a scratch, then the scratch advice above should rectify the issue. If the scratch goes into the deeper layers of paint, you can invest in a paint-matching service and order the correct spray paint color directly from a repair shop or online. Once you’ve ordered the correct paint and applied it to the car, invest in some car polish to give it a glossy finish.

Upgrade Your Car Upholstery

We’d recommend thinking carefully about completely reupholstering your car to avoid affecting its resale value. However, you can take a number of steps to make your interior appear good as new:
  • Get new carpets for your car 
  • Invest in some new mats
  • Buy some new seat covers
  • Repair your cracked leather or damaged fabric seats
To upgrade cloth seating, buy a curved upholstery needle and strong thread and fix it in with a fabric sealant. To repair cracked leather, try a lacquer or buy a leather repair kit. This won’t restore your seats to good as new, but will prevent further damage. Try some new seat covers over the repairs.


It is possible to upgrade your car without investing in a new one, by getting your alloys fixed or repairing scratches, dents and paintwork yourself. You can even undertake some basic upholstery renovation yourself. When the damage is too great, go to a car body repair shop to see whether repairing the damage is more cost effective than buying a new vehicle.