personalize your vehicle

Ways to Personalize Your Vehicle Without Looking Tacky

Many drivers take great pride in owning their vehicle. In fact, most see it as a reflection of themselves. Whether you like to drive a classic car or modern luxury is more your style, it goes without saying that the type of vehicle you choose says a lot about the kind of car enthusiast you are. And for real car fanatics, the love for your vehicle doesn’t stop there. Drivers are constantly looking for ways to customize their ride and make it one-of-a-kind. All while staying true to its classic design. In the past, we’ve seen steering wheel covers,  car decals, and personalized licensed plates become the go-to option for customization. But today, we’re here to show you the best ways to personalize your vehicle without looking tacky or outdated.

How to personalize your vehicle

As car owners, you have the responsible of keeping up with routine maintenance and making sure your vehicle gets a proper bath every 2-3 weeks. As a general rule of car ownership, this is how you maintain the livelihood of your vehicle for years to come. Plus, who doesn’t love a sparkly clean ride? But beyond regular care, your vehicle deserves a little customization. Especially if you plan on keeping it for the long run. Below we’ve outlined some of our favorite personalization features to add to your vehicle in 2022.

So, let’s get down to business:

Create a distinct fragrance

After the new car smell wears off, your car will likely take on its own personal aroma. And let’s just say, its either for better or for worse. However, to really personalize your vehicle, we recommend finding a distinct smell that speaks true to your personality and to your vehicle. It’s also an easy way to combat lingering odors, like sweaty gym bags and sports equipment. These days, lots of drivers opt to use essential oils to create a subtle fragrance that can be switched up whenever you feel like. But you can always resort back to an old-fashioned air freshener to get the job done as well. All and all, with the wide range of options on the market and DIY alternatives, you aren’t locked down to the traditional Black Ice air freshener.

Consider a custom paint job

Typically when you shop for a new vehicle, you try to find options that come available in specific paint colors of your liking. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always work out for some buyers. At the time, you might be constrained by budget restrictions or limited inventory, especially in this chaotic market. This means, you could be driving away in a burnt orange vehicle versus the crisp white finish you were looking for. Luckily, you can easily fix this with a custom paint job. Most consumers will spend anywhere from $1,000-$3,000 for a quality-grade paint job. However, depending on the level of customization, you could be looking at much more considering labor and supplies. Not all money is lost though. Repainting your vehicle is actually a decent investment and adds to its residual and resale value. This is particularly the case if you decide to spruce up an old vehicle with chipped or worn paint.

Add ambient lighting

Lately, we’ve seen more and more automakers include ambient lighting into the design of their interior cabins. It adds a sophisticated and luxury feel, but it’s also a great way to personalize your vehicle. For example, the Volkswagen Jetta includes up to 10 customizable ambient interior lighting features that give this low-cost sedan a more elevated look. If your vehicle doesn’t come equipped with this lighting detail, not to worry. You can purchase your own interior lighting on Amazon and create the same look using a DIY approach. To help make the process that much easier, here’a quick video by #ChardTheTechGuy on how to install LED lights in your vehicle:

Get techy with new gadgets

Perhaps you drive an older model or classic car but are looking for more advanced safety. One of the best things you can do is invest in advanced car tech to improve your driving experience, as well as your safety. To start off, we recommend adding a back-up camera to your vehicle. This will help you better prevent back-end crashes and have greater sense of pedestrian protection. Essentially, a backup camera is a second set of eyes, which any vehicle could use. To keep the character of your vehicle in tack, we suggest purchasing a backup camera mirror that will give you the tech you need without junking up your interior dashboard.

Image source: Amazon

Swanky tire rims

Car enthusiasts simply love the look of custom rims, which is why we couldn’t continue our list without including this item. The go-to option is usually black-out rims, however, there are so many different wheel finishes to consider. From powder-coated to bare-polished, you can give your vehicle a totally refreshed and refined look by upgrading to new tires. Since it’s an investment you’ll already make every two to four years, it’s definitely doable. Another point to make, tires need to remain functional and durable. Keep this in mind as you shop for a different type of finish to personalize your ride.

Final thoughts on how to personalize your vehicle

It’s 2022 and the world is your oyster when it comes to vehicle customization. Though prices will vary, there are plenty of DIY touches you can add to your vehicle to make it standout. We’ve gathered this list together in hopes that every driver could find a little inspiration to spruce up their ride this year. However, we know there are plenty more DIY customization options out there. Want more tips on how to personalize your vehicle? Check out other DIY topics and how-to guides on

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Michaella Malone
Michaella Malone is a content specialist and full-time freelancer with 5+ years of experience working with small businesses on online platforms. She is a graduate of Florida State University (Go Noles!) and avid traveller, having visited over 25 countries and counting. In addition to blogging, ghostwriting, and social media content, she has contributed to the development of English as a Second Language (ESL) curriculums for international programs.

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