Budget Project Cars in the UK
If standard market cars seem underwhelming, especially with how they look and perform, then a project car could be the ideal remedy. No matter if you have £1000 or £10,000, there are a multitude of options when it comes to picking the best project 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 an experienced tuner, take a look below.
The Lupo is potentially the cheapest 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 coil overs 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 a new exhaust… and should you wish, many rally team decals.
Mitsubishi Lancer / Evo
Thanks to the range of models available, you’re likely to be able to get your hands on a Mitsubishi project car that suits your budget. If you have a tight budget, look for the early 2000 models, which are more cost-effective to use as good project cars. Much like the Impreza, the Mitsubishi Lancer and Evo are the kinds of 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 ramp 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. Or, you can choose to tweak it cosmetically, setting it apart with a custom paint job or decals.
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Depending on age and condition, the MX-5 is another car that’s perfect for smaller budgets, starting at around £1500. Of course, this rises considerably the newer the model, but the MX-5 remains an 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, this project car 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.
As a budget project car, a Citroen Saxo offers great opportunity for customisation, having been a strong staple in 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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Check Out Our Garage…
Many have poured their passions into these kinds of projects as an expression of their enthusiasm for cars. From the Keith Michaels Garage, you can discover an impressive line-up of finely tuned machines that testify to the power of project cars.
Insuring Your Project Car
Whilst good project cars are cheap to find and modify, their insurance can typically be costly if not approached correctly. Modified car insurance is vital to secure the true value of your project car, whether you’ve made small tweaks or done a complete overhaul.
With over 30 years of experience, Keith Michaels has built a solid reputation for specialist car insurance, including modified insurance. We can find you a cheap policy to ensure that your project car is covered. Request a quote today.