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Modifications to a car can add extra, useful features or even change the purpose of the car completely. But there are a few things you should know before you start making any changes to your vehicle.

Cars are, for many, a staple part of our lives, helping to get from A to B on a daily basis. For others a car is the ultimate accessory, an extension of our personality. Whether it’s adding cool cosmetic features, new in-car technology or to improve a specific aspect such as handling or horsepower, car modification is something that can appeal to all motor owners. But it is worth being aware of these five bits of advice before you make any major modification decisions.

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Safety First

The number one priority when modifying your car should be that it does not in any way compromise the safety of your vehicle. Even small interior modifications can be a safety hazard; in-car technology such as DVD players and TV screens have seen a huge increase in recent years but it should be noted that it is illegal to have moving images within the view of the driver, considering that they can be very distracting.  For more specific additions and changes, such as altering a car for racing, then safety should come hand in hand. Depending on the racing that you intend to take part in, you may need to add a safety harness or even a roll cage to the vehicle.

Plan Before You Buy

As with anything, it is definitely worth doing some research and planning exactly what you need for your modifications. Though you might already have in mind the car parts that you will need, every set up is different – depending on whether it is drag, road or track racing, among others — and you might even need more modifications than expected. For example, alterations for racing do not just involve increasing power and speed; consider performance enhancements as well, such as faster gear changing and better brakes. In order to get all the modifications you require there are packages available that provide springs, shocks struts and other necessary parts, that often need adding to the car together.

Budgeting Time

As aforementioned, some car parts need to be added to the car together, though it may only be possible to purchase them separately. Thankfully, there are plenty of good car part retailers on the web which will have a wide selection of parts.  It’s good idea to try and schedule when to buy the necessary parts, particularly if they have to be ordered or delivered. This is especially important when parts have to be from shipped overseas, which is likely to be applicable if the car itself is from another country. It may be that you car will require an uncommon or even rare part, which may take time to research, find and be shipped out to you.

Style vs. Substance

Once you start modifying your car, you may find yourself getting carried away, especially as one alteration can have a knock-on effect onto other parts that then may also need changing, too. Cosmetic changes such as carbon add-ons – air vents, spoilers, alloy wheels – are generally used to make the car more visually appealing, but it is best to try and stay in the brand’s image to avoid going over the top. These additions, as well as in-car entertainment features, can also make the car more appealing and attractive to thieves, which can affect an insurance provider’s decision on how to insure the vehicle.

Resale

And finally it is important to bear in mind that modification can often lower the price of car from its original amount. Selling the vehicle to someone who is looking for a car specifically modified in such a way may be possible, but overall if you intend to resell the car at any point, you may find yourself losing some money.

Have you considered making modifications to your car?