Even with regular maintenance, a car will eventually look used. However, buying a used car and restoring it to its former glory is often likely cheaper than buying a new one.
If you want to make your car look and feel new again, try some of these strategies:
1. Sandblast and powder coat
Sandblasting and powder coating your car’s metal parts (wheels, bumpers, trims, door handles, etc.) is one of the best ways to make your vehicle look like it’s in mint condition. While sandblasting removes rust, old paint, and other impurities from the car’s metal surfaces, powder coating gives them a smooth, long-lasting finish that will make your car look brand new.
2. Deep clean
Deep cleaning your car’s interiors and exteriors is a great way to make your car look and feel brand new at the same time. However, this type of cleaning takes more than just wiping and vacuuming. You will have to remove the carpet and upholstery and clean them, clean every nook and cranny of the dashboard, vacuum every inch of the interiors and the trunk, and take out all of the junk and trash in your car.
This will take a lot of elbow grease–and possibly a whole day to do. But it’s well worth it in the end when you get into your spotless vehicle.
3. Fix dents and scratches
A used car will likely have a few dents or scratches here and there. If the damage is superficial, you can use easy fixes, such as hot glue or repair pens, to repair dents and scratches. However, if the scratch is too deep or the dent is too big, you might have to take it to the auto shop instead.
4. Restore headlights
Headlights tend to get foggy over time. Not only are clouded headlights visually unpleasant, but they can also decrease the illumination of your lights. Fortunately, you can restore your car’s headlights with some sanding, waxing, and polishing to make them look clear and shiny again. But if the headlights are too old or damaged in some way, it’s better just to replace them entirely.
5. Reupholster the seats
If the seats in your used car are looking ratty and unkempt, reupholstering them is a good idea, especially if they make your car look years older than it really is. Afterward, make sure to put seat covers on them to prevent damage and fading.
6. Repaint the exterior
Although a new paint job is a bit on the expensive side, there is no doubt that it can make your car look fresh out of the factory.
7. Get a tune-up
If your car looks good but performs poorly, then it will still feel like an old jalopy. Apart from the appearance fixes, get your car tuned-up, and perform maintenance tasks regularly to extend its life. Moreover, having a well-maintained car will make you feel like you’re driving a brand new one.
It doesn’t matter if you are driving a used car or a new car; its value will ultimately depend on how you treat it.
There are a lot more ways to upgrade your used car to make it like new again, but these are the most basic ones that you should start with.