No matter if you have £1000 or £10,000, there are a multitude of options when it comes to picking the ideal car to modify. We’ve covered our top 10 cheap cars that are popular choices for modifying, so whether you’re a complete beginner or experienced tuner, take a look below.
The Lupo is potentially the cheapest car on our list. Thanks to its age and small 1.0L and 1.4L engines, it’s usually available for under £1000. This makes it the perfect beginner’s car for modifying.You can pick up reasonably priced coilovers for the Lupo, and because it has small wheels, you can add aftermarket alloys for under £400. A 1.2” to 1.5” sports exhaust will help air flow through to the engine, and if you know what you’re doing, there are many engine and fuel upgrades possible on the Lupo.
Subaru Imprezas are one of the most popular Jap cars to modify. In fact, it’s very rare to find a used Subie that hasn’t been modified by its previous owners. But, there’s more to it than fitting those famous gold alloys. Your Impreza modification options are endless. Depending on the model you get your hands on, you can perform engine upgrades and remapping, intercooler upgrades, add new alloys, a new exhaust… and should you wish, many rally team decals.
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Mitsubishi Lancer / Evo
Thanks to the range of models available, you’re able to get your hands on a project car that suits your budget. If you have a tight budget, look for the early 2000 models.Much like the Impreza, the Mitsubishi Lancer and Evo are cars you often see modified on the road. There are a multitude of cosmetic and performance upgrades you can make, depending on what you want to achieve with your budget.
The classic Mini is a great starter car for your first modification project. With endless customisation options, body kits and alloy packages available, you can easily beef up the look of your mini and make it truly individual. There are the usual engine tweaks you can make to give your Mini some extra oomph, including suspension upgrades and new exhausts.
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Depending on age and condition, the MX-5 is another car that’s perfect for smaller budgets of around £1500. Of course, this rises considerably the newer the model, but the MX-5 remains a all-around popular car to modify.There are a multitude of body-kits, spoilers, splitters and wheels available for a reasonable price.Take a look at this stunning modified MX5 in our Garage…
Starting at around £5k or £6k for an older model, it isn’t on the cheaper side. However, in the RX-7, you can increase power without making excessive modifications thanks to its Rotary engine.If you did want to make performance enhancements, you could simply organise a remap and add a low resistance high flowing air filter.
Back to the cheaper options, a Citroen Saxo offers great opportunity for customisation, having been a strong feature of the modding scene since the 90s. You can grab one of these hatchbacks for under £1000, and you’ll be able to find many, many cheap external mods on the market to get you started.
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You’ll never find a Supra Turbo for super cheap, however, if you’re lucky, it is possible to find a Supra for around £9k.It’s hard to spot a Supra on the road that hasn’t been modified, and for good reason. There are countless parts and add-ons available. Some people have even gone as far as to replicate The Fast and the Furious…We love Supras, in fact, take a look at this beauty in our Garage…
Though the car already has an impressive engine, there are a few modifications you can make to improve performance and handling. This includes a full exhaust and throttle body conversion, a new set of coilovers, uprated bushes and more.If you’re lucky, you can get your hands on an S2000 from £6k and up.
You can pick up an E46 for relatively cheap, with starting prices at around £2000. Easy to modify, you can make the car very much your own. New coilovers, an intake upgrade… new exhaust, wheels, the list goes on. Mod Bargains has some great suggestions.
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Had a project car? What’s been your biggest success? Make sure to share with fellow petrol heads on our Facebook page!