No matter how much love and care you give to your car, it will inevitably get some wear and tear with age. If left alone, your car can look really shabby in a short amount of time, affecting not only the aesthetics but the potential resale price.

Luckily, there are several things that you can do to freshen up and restore your car to its former glory – without having to fork out for a new one.

Get your paintwork touched up

It’s easy to let pesky little dents, knicks in paintwork, and scratches worsen over time. In fact, many car owners are slow to get these fixed at all. But if you don’t have your paintwork looked at, your car could be at serious risk of developing rust. Nothing says “old banger” like rust.

Having a professional vehicle body shop touch up paint takes your car from shabby to showroom-ready, leaving it deep, glossy, and pristine.

It might even end up looking like you’ve had an entirely new paint job done. Removing years of oxidation and thousands of tiny scratches and bumps will turn the clock back on your car. The best bit? It’s far cheaper than buying a new car.

Replace or refinish your wheels

Let’s be honest: some of us have had some major parking incidents, and our wheels show the damage.

Scratches and dents on your alloy wheels can make your car look older, more tired, and more beaten up than it actually is. Even if you’re an incredibly careful parker, years of cheap and rough car washes can leave a layer of brake dust on your wheels that likes to bake itself on.

Luckily, a good body shop will be able to carry out cosmetic repairs on your alloy wheels which means that you can achieve that shiny, new wheels look without actually having to fork out for a whole set of new wheels.

This can include wheel paint touch-ups to get rid of scratches from the curb, spoke and rim repairs, and cosmetic repairs.

Don’t neglect overdue repair and maintenance jobs

Any damage to your car can massively affect its looks. Think about it; that dent from reversing into your neighbours’ fence immediately makes your car look old and unloved.

Luckily, this means that it’s easy to find and fix the problem.

This is also a good time to carry out any maintenance jobs that might be overdue. Doing a fresh oil change, for example, might not make a noticeable difference to the outside of your car, but it can often make it better to drive and give you some reassurance.

Keeping your car in good running condition is even more important than making sure it looks good – and a breakdown is a sure-fire way to make your car look and feel old.

Some drivers think that basic maintenance isn’t worth it for older cars, but it is! Regular oil changes, filter replacement, services, and belt checks can keep a car running for years, even if it’s an older car.

Give your car a good clean

This might seem like a small change, but a good deep-clean can make a huge difference to an older car.

Obviously, if you’re a messier driver (think wrappers in the footwell and under the seats) then this will be transformative. Even if you’ve kept your car looking like it’s just rolled off the forecourt, a clean will refresh and reinvigorate your interiors.

  • Remove any and all rubbish
  • Clean and dust down the dashboard, steering wheel, and gearstick
  • Hoover the carpets and seats
  • Clean the windows
  • Wash and wax the exterior of your car
  • Aerate the car to get rid of any funky smells

Once you’ve given your car a scrub, you’ll probably realise just how gross your interior had become over years of use.


The good thing about any of these improvements is that you can see real, instant benefits to your car without having to buy a new vehicle. A simple touch-up of paint or some attention on your alloy wheels can breathe new life into an old car and make you fall in love with your vehicle again.

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