Getting a car personalised isn’t for everyone. Most drivers are content to buy the car and let it speak for itself. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – right? But if you look at it differently you can see why people would get cosmetic modifications for their car. If you’ve spent all that money on a car, why not really make it your own?
In this article, we take a look at some of the popular cosmetic modifications people make to their cars.
Aluminium alloy wheels
Steel is the metal of choice for most parts of a car. It makes a lot of sense: steel is cheap, and can be made into different shapes quite easily. The vast majority of wheels, therefore, are made of steel.
But more and more cars are now equipped with wheels made from aluminium alloys. Aluminium alloys are much lighter than steel but are also stronger. The reduction in weight means there’s less for the suspension to cope with. When you turn the wheel of your car, you’ll be able to feel the difference in weight.
Many new and luxurious cars come with aluminium alloy wheels. Alloy wheels tend to be stylised and polished. Steel wheels eventually rust unless given rust-resisting treatment. In fact, steel wheels are usually covered with a decorative plastic trim. (Look to the side of any road and you’ll see some of these laying around after having been knocked off.)
All of this is giving steel a ‘cheap’ look and reputation. People are replacing their steel wheels with aluminium not just for function, but to enhance the look of their car. These alloy wheels achieve two things that are rare in the car personalization world: a cosmetic edge and practicality.
A unique license plate
Personalised number plates have a bad reputation, which is perhaps unfair. They’re often used in films and television shows to signify the arrogance or vanity of a particular character. (“KEN WINS” from Breaking Bad, anyone?) They are, in fact, popularly referred to as vanity plates.
But they’re actually pretty cool collector items. Have a look at the top ten most expensive registration plates sold directly by the DVLA. As of 2015, the most expensive is one reading “25 O”, which went for £518,000. The reason for its expense is that it can only be attached to very expensive cars. Reportedly, it is currently residing on a £10m car that was once owned by Eric Clapton.
Many people will grimace when they see a number plate with the owner’s name spelled out in alphanumerics. But hey, if you’ve got the money, why not? It certainly makes your plate easier to remember.
Not sure I have much to say in defence of this particular modification. I guess it’s just not my cup of tea. But maybe you want to bedazzle onlookers with intense sparkling. In that case, maybe you should consider giving your car a glittery coat. It’s probably best if you get a professional to do it, though. You need to have very specific glitter that can stand being held in strong car coating. Your everyday arts-and-crafts glitter will just melt on top of the car!