If you were thinking of upgrading your car this year, you might have decided to put it off given the state of the world. Good news, though! You can still do a few things to make it feel like it’s a bit newer or spiffier before. There are lots of ways to update your car, from a simple deep cleaning to a wheel or stereo upgrade, so you can spend as little or as much as you want to make it feel more home. I asked people from around the country what they’ve done to primp their old rides. Here’s what they did, and maybe it will inspire you.
I chose to upgrade an older truck instead of buying a new one for cost reasons; it’s paid off and I can invest money into it slowly. My most recent upgrade was changing out the radio for a modern head unit with Android Auto and CarPlay, giving me Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio, and more made it much more convenient. I chose a Kenwood DMX4707S with a few accessories to make it reasonably seamless and almost factory looking. - Christine White, Sloatsburg NY
“I drive an ‘07 with low miles. I’m tempted every day to buy a new car but that would be such a stupid financial choice considering it’s paid off and runs well. I use Meguiar’s Scratch X 2.0 polish to wax my car and spruce up my ride. It takes out a ton of scratches and makes the car look brand new. After a car wash and applying this polish, my temptations seem to fade away for a day or two.” - Mike Madry, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
When the headliner started to fall down in my old van, I was going to just use a spray adhesive to stick it back up. Instead, I thought, it’s a van, time to have fun. I found some orange faux fur on amazon because I felt fur was more exciting than that shag look vans have. My van was black so I decided orange would give it some life. I couldn’t stop there though, I ended up painting the interior with black and orange with additional plans to really make it my own design. - Judy Graham-Taber, Greenville, North Carolina
“I love my old truck, and to be honest, I’ve taken such good care of it that it doesn’t feel old to me. It’s a 2000's model, and I made the decision to keep it and upgrade it to make it a bit more functional for today’s world. I decided to add a backup camera because even though I’m good at it, maneuvering a honking truck in some places can be dicey. I wanted to take the stress factor out of the situation and see where my tail end was going. Since I also love trailblazing in the mountains, the backup camera addition couldn’t be more appropriate.” - Elliott Reimers, Idaho Springs, Colorado
“For a long time, I drove a much older car and was able to stay comfortable in it by making some changes to the inside in order to enjoy the driving experience more. Since I live in Austin, a new air conditioner that worked better was key. I also got cooling seat covers and a steering wheel cover for added comfort. These changes really made a difference and helped me to hold off on buying a new car for another year.” - Jesse Silkoff, Austin, Texas
“Found on Amazon, these floor mats come in a couple of colors, including purple which is one of my favorite colors but didn’t think my husband would like. They also come in cobalt blue. However, my Camry is a dark green so thought the orangey-red/black color I chose was the best as the color really popped. My husband loved them. I suspect he will continue to drive it until the wheels come off.” - Carol Gee,Atlanta, Georgia