5 Ways Birmingham-Based Petrolheads Can Customise Their Vehicle

According to recent research conducted by the Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA), car enthusiasts (more colloquially referred to as ‘petrolheads’) between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four spend an estimated £5.8 billion modifying their vehicles each year. And with one of the most popular car shows in the UK, ‘Automechanika’, taking place in Birmingham’s very-own NEC arena, it is no surprise that Birmingham is one of the most densely populated areas for petrolheads.

For many petrolheads, customising their vehicle isn’t just a pastime; it’s a passion that allows people who love all things grease and engines to express their personality and style. Not only can it help you give your vehicle a personal touch, but modifying your vehicle can also enhance its performance, increase its aesthetics, and much more.

But if you’re just starting to get into vehicle customisation, with a whole world of new possibilities at your fingertips – where do you possibly begin? To help you, we’ve created this article exploring several ways; Birmingham-based petrolheads can make their vehicles stand out in a car-dominated city.

From changing your DVLA number plates and adding a fresh coat of paint to upgrading your upholstery and swapping your headliner, there are many ways budding Birmingham-based petrolheads can unleash their creativity and ensure their vehicle stands out on the Birmingham roads – keep reading to find out more.

Purchase A Private Number Plate

One of the most popular ways petrolheads can add their own personal flair to their vehicle is by purchasing a private number plate since you can choose numbers/characters to represent your personality. Whether you’d like to buy/sell your DVLA number plates, you can transfer a private number plate to your car that will make it feel special.

You can buy a plate representing just about anything, whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, hobby, date, person etc. However, since two of the same private number plates cannot be used, if you have your heart set on a specific layout of numbers/characters, you can check that it’s available using the websites of providers such as Regtransfers. Consider visiting their website for inspiration, reading guides about selling/buying DVLA number plates, or getting additional questions answered using their frequently answered questions page.

Using their handy search tool, you can see what’s available and draw inspiration based on any name, date, initial, car, etc., making selling/buying DVLA number plates much more straightforward. Once you’ve decided which numbers/characters to feature on your registration, it will take around ten to fifteen days to complete the process before you can drive around with your chic new accessory.

Give It A Fresh Coat Of Paint

Another popular way for petrolheads to modify their vehicles (without breaking the bank!) is by giving the exterior a fresh coat of paint. Paint can instantly make a car look brand new even if no other changes have occurred, and depending on which hue you opt for, you can make it stand out with a bright colour, multiple colours, or patterns.

If you’d like to modify your vehicle while spending as little as possible, you could consider painting your car yourself. But you’ll have to research it properly to ensure it lasts as long as possible, protect things you don’t want to paint, prepare the vehicle to be painted, get even coverage, and much more. Alternatively, you can enlist the services of a professional, which can take the hassle out of a complicated process and ensure that it looks pristine.

On the other hand, if you’d like to make an almost instant change to your vehicle, you could consider getting it wrapped instead of painted. Generally, getting your car wrapped is quicker than getting it painted. Yet, it costs around the same benchmark (depending on whom you approach!), so if you’re looking to refresh the exterior of your car with a quick turnaround, wraps are the best option.

Update Your Headliner

If you’d like to modify your car’s interior, you could consider updating your headliner, which is the material covering the ceiling of your vehicle. Like the exterior of your car, the interior can be customised to your liking, whether you’d like to opt for a ‘Y2K’ aesthetic and choose a brightly coloured faux fur to cover your roof or go for a more ‘corporate’ vibe with white leather – you can modify your headliner to suit any aesthetic.

Like the other modifications on this list, you could enlist the services of a professional to help update your headliner, or if you consider yourself an avid DIY-er, you could update it yourself. However, suppose you do decide to go down the DIY route. In that case, we suggest using helpful online guides as an aid, as some headliners can hide electronics, antennas, insulation, and other accessories, so ensure that you refer to them before you commit to the job and potentially create a bigger problem.

On the other hand, if you’d like to ensure that your new headliner looks pristine (and that you don’t run into any trouble while trying to change it!), you could consider hiring a professional. Generally, changing a headliner is only a minor job, so at most, it will only take half an hour out of your day, but be warned it could cost anything between £500 to £1000 depending on your specifics.

Install LED Lights

In today’s world, sustainability is becoming too difficult to ignore in both our personal/professional lives. As a result, we’re constantly searching for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint and lead an eco-friendlier lifestyle – this includes making changes to the interior/exterior of our cars.

While opting for an all-electric or hybrid vehicle is one of the most popular ways for petrolheads to reduce their carbon footprint when out on the road, you can add many performance/visual improvements to your existing car to make it eco-friendlier.

One of the best improvements for a more sustainable fleet is LED lights, which can be used instead of traditional headlights as they are more energy efficient and last longer. Not only are they a good choice for eco-conscious petrolheads, but they’re also excellent for those wanting to improve their car’s visuals since they can come in various colours.

Whether you choose LEDs that complement your car’s existing paint job or if you’d like to choose a contrasting colour to make your vehicle stand out, there are hundreds of styles and colours available that can complement your style/personality. Plus, vehicle lights are readily available from online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay etc. or in-person, for a reasonable amount, depending on the style you opt for!

Improve Your Vehicles Suspension/Handling

Not all modifications are aesthetic-based; petrolheads can find many improvements that can enhance the performance of their car, even ones that can help with suspension/handling. Unlike America’s roads which are often heralded as some of the best to drive on, the Birmingham roads aren’t known as the easiest.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade your car to drive better on them! If you want your vehicle to handle Birmingham’s twists and turns with ease, you could consider modifying its suspension/handling elements like its coilover or sway bars, which can improve the overall stability of your vehicle and make a difference to your driving experience.