Best Cars to Modify: Top Picks for UK Customisation Enthusiasts

Best Cars to Modify: Top Picks for UK Customisation Enthusiasts

Welcome to the world of modifying cars! If you're reading this, chances are you have a passion for customising cars and want to know the best cars to start with. You're in the right place! In the UK, there's a thriving community of customisation enthusiasts who love nothing more than transforming their vehicles into unique, personalised works of art.

In this article, we'll provide expert advice and inspiration to help you embark on your own custom car build. From factors to consider when choosing a car to modify, to performance upgrades, exterior and interior customisation ideas, budgeting and planning, and legal considerations – we've got you covered.

Key Takeaways:

  • Customisation enthusiasts in the UK love transforming their cars into unique, personalised works of art.
  • Choosing the best car to modify involves considering factors such as aftermarket parts availability, tuning options, and potential for customisation.
  • Some of the top modified cars in the UK include the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus RS, and Nissan Silvia.
  • Performance upgrades can significantly improve a car's overall performance and driving experience, with options such as engine modifications, suspension upgrades, and brake enhancements.
  • Aesthetic customisation options include body kits, paint jobs, vinyl wraps, and custom wheels.
  • Interior customisation possibilities include custom upholstery, steering wheel upgrades, audio system enhancements, and aftermarket accessories.
  • Budgeting and planning are crucial in a custom car build, with prioritisation of upgrades and finding reliable suppliers being important factors.
  • Legal considerations for modified cars in the UK need to be taken into account, such as regulations on exhaust noise limits and modifications affecting vehicle handling or safety.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Car to Modify

When it comes to car modifications, not all vehicles are created equal. Custom car builds can be a significant investment, so it's important to choose the right car to work with. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a car to modify.

Availability of Aftermarket Parts

One of the most significant factors to consider is the availability of aftermarket parts. Look for cars with a wide range of available upgrades and parts, as this can make the customisation process easier and more affordable. Popular car models may also have a larger community of aftermarket suppliers and tuners, making it easier to find the right parts for your build.

Tuning Options

The potential for tuning is another important consideration. Look for cars with engines and drivetrains that can handle significant power upgrades. Some cars may have limited options for engine tuning due to their construction or design, so it's important to do thorough research before committing to a specific car model.

Performance Upgrades

Another important factor is the potential for performance upgrades. Look for cars with solid performance out of the box, as this can make it easier to achieve the desired level of power and performance. It's also important to consider the cost and availability of performance upgrades before choosing a specific car model.

Unique Customisation Potential

Lastly, consider the potential for unique and eye-catching customisation. Look for cars with aerodynamic lines, distinctive design features, and a strong visual presence. This can allow for more creative customisation options when it comes to exterior modifications and styling.

Top Modified Cars in the UK

When it comes to choosing a car to modify, some models are simply more popular than others. Certain cars have a reputation for being mod-friendly, with plenty of aftermarket parts and tuning options available to improve performance and styling. Here are some of the top modified cars in the UK:

Car ModelReason for Popularity
Volkswagen Golf GTIThis classic hot hatch has been a favourite of modifiers for decades, with a wide range of aftermarket parts available to enhance its performance and style.
Subaru ImprezaThe Impreza's rally heritage and powerful turbocharged engine make it a popular choice for performance enthusiasts.
Mitsubishi Lancer EvolutionAnother Japanese performance icon, the Evo is known for its advanced all-wheel drive system and impressive turbocharged engine.
BMW M3The M3 is a high-performance sports car that offers great potential for both performance upgrades and aesthetic customisation.
Audi RS3The RS3 is a powerful and versatile hatchback that can be upgraded for impressive performance gains, while still retaining practicality for daily driving.

Of course, these are just some of the many popular choices for customisation in the UK. Ultimately, the best car to modify is one that fits your personal tastes and goals for your custom car build.

Performance Upgrades for Modified Cars

When it comes to modifying cars, performance upgrades are often at the top of the list for customisation enthusiasts. Upgrading your car's engine, suspension, exhaust and brakes can all improve overall performance and driving experience. Here are some of the most popular performance upgrades available for modified cars:

Engine ModificationsUpgrading your car's engine can involve installing new parts such as camshafts, pistons, and turbochargers. These modifications can result in significant horsepower gains and improved acceleration.
Exhaust SystemsAn aftermarket exhaust system can improve horsepower and torque by increasing exhaust flow and reducing back pressure. It can also give your car a deeper, more aggressive sound.
Suspension UpgradesLowering springs, coilovers, and sway bars are all popular suspension upgrades that can give your car better handling and improved cornering capabilities. They can also give your car a more aggressive stance.
Brake EnhancementsUpgrading your car's brakes can improve stopping power and reduce brake fade, allowing you to brake harder and more consistently during performance driving. Options include high-performance brake pads, rotors, and calipers.

It's important to note that performance upgrades can be complex and may require professional installation. Customisation enthusiasts should also consider the potential impact these upgrades may have on their car's warranty and legal compliance.

Aesthetics and Exterior Customisation

Customising a car's exterior is one of the most exciting aspects of vehicle modification. There are countless ways to enhance the appearance of your car, from subtle upgrades to head-turning transformations. Here are some popular options for exterior customisation:

  • Body kits: Installing a body kit can change the look of your car dramatically. These kits typically include parts like bumpers, side skirts, and spoilers that create a more aggressive and aerodynamic profile.
  • Paint jobs: A custom paint job is a great way to make your car stand out on the road. From bold colours to intricate designs, the possibilities are endless.
  • Vinyl wraps: If you want to change the look of your car without committing to a permanent paint job, a vinyl wrap is a great option. You can choose from a range of colours and finishes, and the wrap can be easily removed later on if you change your mind.
  • Custom wheels: Upgrading your wheels is a simple way to give your car a more aggressive or stylish look. Options range from classic spoke designs to bold and modern shapes.

When considering exterior customisation, it's important to make sure the upgrades complement your car's overall look and feel. You want your customisations to enhance the car's natural beauty, not mask it with gimmicks or distractions.

Interior Customisation Ideas

Customising the interior of your car can completely transform its look and feel. From stylish upholstery to high-tech gadgets, there are countless ways to personalise the inside of your vehicle. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Custom Upholstery

Upgrading the seats and other upholstery in your car is a great way to add a personal touch. Consider using unique materials, such as leather or suede, and experiment with colours and patterns to create a custom look.

Steering Wheel Upgrades

A new steering wheel can completely change the driving experience. Look for a wheel that is both comfortable and stylish, and consider adding features such as built-in audio controls or paddle shifters.

Audio System Enhancements

Upgrading the audio system in your car is a popular customisation choice. Install a high-quality sound system with powerful speakers and a subwoofer for a truly immersive audio experience.

Aftermarket Accessories

There are countless aftermarket accessories that can enhance the look and functionality of your car's interior. Consider adding features such as ambient lighting, custom gauges, or a wireless charging pad.

Remember to keep the overall design aesthetic in mind when choosing interior upgrades. Consider how each element fits together and avoid going overboard with too many different styles or features.

Budgeting and Planning Your Custom Car Build

Before diving into your custom car build, it's crucial to establish a realistic budget. Research the cost of modifications, parts, and labour to ensure you have a clear understanding of how much you'll need to spend. Prioritising upgrades is also important, so determine what is essential and what can wait until later.

When it comes to purchasing parts, be sure to shop around and find reliable suppliers. Look for reputable companies with positive reviews and don't be afraid to ask for recommendations from fellow enthusiasts or mechanics.

Staying organised throughout the build process can help prevent overspending and ensure that everything is completed on time. Consider creating a spreadsheet or using a project management tool to keep track of expenses, timelines, and tasks.

Tip:Don't forget to factor in unexpected costs, such as replacing worn-out parts or fixing unanticipated issues that may arise during the build process.

By carefully budgeting and planning your custom car build, you can ensure that your dream car becomes a reality without breaking the bank.

When modifying a car, it's important to be aware of the legal considerations that come with such alterations in the UK. While customisation can be a fun and exciting way to personalise your ride, there are regulations and restrictions in place to ensure the safety of all road users.

Exhaust Noise Limits

One important consideration when modifying a car's exhaust system is the noise level. The UK has strict limits on the amount of noise a vehicle's exhaust can produce, with a maximum of 74 decibels allowed for cars registered after 2010. If your car exceeds this limit, you could face a fine or even have your car impounded.

Affecting Vehicle Handling and Safety

It's also important to consider how modifications might affect the overall handling and safety of your car. Any changes that could potentially compromise the stability of the vehicle, such as overly stiff suspension or significant changes to weight distribution, may not be legal for road use.

To avoid any legal complications, it's important to do your research and understand what modifications are legal and permissible for your car. Consult with experts, such as mechanics or car clubs, to get advice on the best modifications for your specific vehicle. Make sure to always use reputable suppliers and parts that meet UK safety standards to ensure compliance with the law.


Customising cars is a passion that many enthusiasts in the UK share, and with good reason. The excitement and thrill of creating a truly unique vehicle is unmatched. However, with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

That's why it's essential to consider factors such as availability of aftermarket parts, tuning options, performance upgrades, and aesthetics when choosing a car to modify. The top modified cars in the UK offer excellent performance capabilities and chances for eye-catching customisation.

Whether you're planning to enhance your car's performance with engine modifications, exhaust systems, suspension upgrades, and brake enhancements, or you're eager to explore the possibilities of interior and exterior customisation, planning and budgeting are crucial. It's always best to research the cost of modifications and set a realistic budget for your custom car build.

Lastly, it's important to be aware of the legal considerations surrounding modified cars in the UK. Regulations and restrictions on modifications exist, and compliance with UK laws is essential.

In conclusion, customising your car is an exciting journey that can offer limitless possibilities for creativity and personalisation. With inspiration and expert advice, you can confidently embark on your custom car build with the knowledge and resources needed to make your dream car a reality.