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Just got a new car and can't wait to start your journey of car modifications? Here are the five aesthetic mods you should check out.

Category: Car Ownership Advice


Most of us love personalising our belongings. Why else will you pick up that genuine leather case for your new iPhone? But when it comes to cars, we might not even know where to start, or how to create an aesthetically appealing modified car. And when you do broach the topic to a friend, this could be his reply:

"Wah bro, you want to modify your car ah? LTA won't catch meh, later kenna saman, chor sia!" But, tell your bro to relax. Today we are here to share how you can zhng your car to improve its looks in five easy steps, without incurring the wrath of LTA. However, if you want to avoid incurring the wrath of your significant other, maybe you should stop at step two...

1. Decals

Here's a full-liveried Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 3, inspired by its rallying counterpart
Slapping stickers on your car is one of the cheapest modification you can do to your car, and as long as it doesn't contain any expletives, you should be fine in the eyes of the law.

While some might argue that you can't really consider stickers and decals as a modification, we beg to differ. If anything, decals can vastly affect the exterior of your car, and allow you to personalise it to the finest detail. Think of all the fancy race cars, or even commercial vehicles such as taxis, buses and delivery trucks, the decals and vinyl wraps on them sure give them their character eh?

Of course, as with any kind of personalisation, the end result depends on one's creativity and preferences. It is easy to end up at the wrong side of the spectrum if you choose to plaster stickers on your car without much thought. Clearly, in the case of decals, more might not be better. The only exception is when you are trying to replicate a race car - these tend to have more stickers than one can count!

Expected Damage: $10 - $1000 and above (replicating a full livery, or creating custom decals can be an expensive affair!)

Want to get some custom decals for your car? Check out these recommended decal and stickers specialists!

2. Wheels

The perfect set of wheel complements a car perfectly to achieve impeccable style
The wheel of a car is something special. While it arguably makes up just a small part of a car, it can often bring about the biggest difference.

No matter what direction you want to go for your modified car, aftermarket rims and tyres should be a part of it. Remember our previous article on the top 10 modified Japanese cars we found on Instagram? You would probably remember that most, if not all, of them are on aftermarket rims. And don't just think that only heavily modified cars would benefit from them!

Aesthetically, practically all sorts of cars can benefit from a choice set of rims, and when you splurge on a high-end lightweight rim, you would also find performance gains from the reduced unsprung weight, as well as lower fuel consumption!

Depending on the brand, design and size, a wheel upgrade can cost from a mere couple of hundreds of dollars to even tens of thousands. It is often one of the more bang for buck (cost-to-result ratio is favourable) upgrade you can go for. Additionally, getting a set of upgraded tyres to go with your new rims can also improve the safety and performance aspects of your car!

Expected Damage: $400 - $5000

Looking to get a nice set of wheels? Check out these recommended rims and tyres merchants!

3. Ride height

Most modified cars are lowered, why? Well, don't lowered cars just look so good?
After you have gotten a nice set of wheels, the next step is often to lower the ride height (or raise it if you are building an off-roader)

There are many benefits to lowering your car - if you haven't noticed, most race cars are low to the ground. Lowered cars enjoys a lower centre of gravity, positively affecting the car's handling characteristic and stability.

When lowering your car, be it with aftermarket coilovers or lowering springs, it will result in a stiffer ride, which is beneficial to the car's stability at the expense of some comfort. Some aftermarket coilovers also open up the possibility to adjust more aspects of the wheel alignment, such as its camber, allowing you to achieve a different 'stance'.

The most prominent downside to a lowered car is its reduced ground clearance, and that explains why an increased ride height is desirable for off-roading vehicles. Do note that getting your suspension setup correctly can be a costly and time-consuming affair.

Expected damage: $400 - $8000

Smitten by the look of lowered cars? Check out these recommended suspension specialists!

4. Bodykit

With bodykits, you can replicate the look of a race car - this example here happens to be a really fast Evo as well!
Ah, this is surely one of the most drastic modifications when it comes to the aesthetics of a car. And it can be rather costly as well!

There are many ways you can customise the body of your car. It can be a simple add-on lip, or an all-out custom widebody kit that cost as much as an economical car. You can try to replicate race cars with huge GT wings, aggressive bumpers, wide over-fenders, huge splitters and diffusers if you like to. Or you can go for a one-of-a-kind, customised bodykit that sets your car apart from the plain vanilla ones on the road. The point is, the sky's the limit.

You will, however, have to take note that this is an expensive route to go down, and chances are you will also need to spend on a paintjob to colour-match your car's new bodykits!

Expected damage: $150 - upwards of $30,000 (a simple add-on lip can cost just a hundred or so, meanwhile customised bodykits can be crazily expensive!)

Want to spruce your ride up with some custom bodywork? Check out these recommended bodykit specialists!

5. Paint job or full car wrap

A fancy paintjob can set a car miles apart from another build!
All right, you have done everything else on the list, and your car is tricked out to the limit, well, almost to the limit.

To complete that fully customised look, you should go for a fancy custom colour! While factory paintjobs aren't bad by any means, to truly set your car apart from others, nothing does it better than a coat of quality and unique paint. With today's aftermarket paint offerings, it is even possible to achieve colours that you would previously only find on million-dollar supercars, for a fraction of the price!

Alternatively, you might also consider wrapping your car. These days, high tech materials opens up a whole new world of possibilities. You can have a brushed aluminium finishing, a satin finish, or even more exotic ones!

A unique and quality paintjob or wrap can be really expensive, though. We are talking about more than a couple of thousands! Well, that's the price to pay to own a really unique ride.

Expected damage: $800 - upwards of $10,000

Refresh your car with a coat of sparkling new paint! Check out these recommended paint experts.
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