So you’ve got the vehicle you love and are looking to add a body kit. Awesome! Before you start, read on to learn what you need to know before you purchase a bodykit and complete the customisation of your vehicle.
Getting Started – Three Things You Should Consider
Before you start looking into exactly what body kit components you’d like, it is worth considering first your budget, the style/look you are wanting to achieve, as well as the different body kit materials available.
First and foremost when adding a body kit to your car, you need to determine how much you are prepared to pay in total (including allowing room for installation costs). It is important to note that similar to the process of purchasing a car itself, with a body kit, you get what you pay for. (You may be inclined to just go ahead with a fibreglass kit, based largely on its low price-point, but it’s really important to consider all available materials and their value in the long run).
If at this point in time you have a limited budget, that’s OK, just add components in stages. If what you’re after is a higher quality kit (and therefore more expensive), buy each part as you have the finances to do so.
Materials There are a number of choices available regarding material from which a body kit is produced. Three of the most popular choices are fibreglass, polyurethane and carbon fibre.
Fibreglass kits are commonly seen on the road due to their low price-point, however, they are fragile and may be easily damaged when subject to low-impact bumps. They also have the ability to shatter if they do not undergo careful and precise installation.
In contrast, polyurethane kits are renowned for their flexibility and durability and as a result, are easier to install than fibreglass kits (and are more expensive).
Finally, carbon fiber kits are of superior quality and lightweight (think racing vehicles), but unfortunately, they come with a price tag to match.
Perhaps you have a certain look in mind for your car – be it sporty and sleek, or heavy and aggressive. Whatever look you are after, it is important to decide your preferred look before you purchase any kit components.
A full body kit generally includes bumpers as well as side skirts. Roof scoops and side guards are often additional options. If you are looking for something simple to start with, lip kits can be a good choice as installation (and removal) are normally quite straightforward. Additionally, you may wish to consider the following body kit components:
Spoilers bring the look of your car to the next level, while also providing downforce when travelling at high speeds. If you’re looking to alter the drag of your car, go for a front spoiler (which fits under the front bumper). If it’s traction as you accelerate that’s important to you, think about adding a rear spoiler to your car. Rear spoilers are often referred to as the “wing/wings” at the rear of a car and can vary largely in style, from the subtle ‘lip’ style to higher, full-width options.
The material of your hood is an important consideration, as customisation of your hood can provide a number of different benefits. If you’re concerned about weight, consider fibreglass (or if you have the cash handy, carbon fibre). If you are focusing more so on strength, investigate polyurethane or carbon fibre. Custom hoods have the ability to better the handling of your vehicle and some hoods include scoops that can assist in cooling the temperature of your car’s engine.
Potential Disadvantages To Consider When Customising Your Vehicle
Customising your vehicle by adding a body kit is an exciting process. However, to make sure you won’t run into any trouble in future, you should consider any changes to the resale value as well as insurance, warranty and the safety of your vehicle.
Despite the love you might have for the customised look of your vehicle, potential future buyers of your car may not. Unfortunately, most people looking to purchase a car are generally looking to buy a standard model. Don’t despair however, you may locate the perfect buyer for your vehicle who loves and appreciates what you have done to enhance the look and/or performance of your car and is therefore willing to pay more for it than a standard model.
Insurance, Warranty and Safety
It’s very much worth getting in contact with your insurance company to check as to any rules regarding modifications to your vehicle, including body kit components. Street racing may be associated with heavily modified cars by some insurance companies, which can drastically increase your premiums and in some cases reduce their eagerness to insure you.
The last thing you want to do is add a superb body kit to your vehicle, then later find out your insurance will not cover it.
Similarly, read your car’s warranty booklet in detail to understand how any customisation or modification to your vehicle may void your warranty. Give your local dealer a call for more detailed information or if you have any specific questions.
Your safety is the most important thing at the end of the day, and any bodykit you buy will lessen or risk the safety of your vehicle should not be considered.