In this era of product standardization, customized cars make a powerful statement. Whether you wish to renovate a used car or personalize a recent purchase, you can remodel your car’s interior on any budget.
Customization comes at a cost. The cost of redesigning your car’s interior will vary depending on the changes you want, the vehicle make and model, the number and quality of parts you acquire, and the labor cost. On average, your budget will range from $40 to $4000.
This guide will cover the most common questions on interior remodeling to equip you with the information you need to build your dream vehicle.
You can alter or customize nearly every part of your car—with or without the help of a professional.
There are three approaches to changing a car’s interior. You can “restore it to factory” for $40,000 to $60,000, complete a total interior remodel for $1,000 and $4000, or customize individual components of your car to add style and personality (prices vary).
Your cost will depend on the make and model of your vehicle, the changes you wish to make, the degree of customization you want, and the cost of labor in your area. For example, the average cost to reupholster a car’s interior is $2,500. Complete reupholstering replaces carpets, seats, side panels, sail panels, headliners, and more and is often performed by a professional.
Alternatively, you can alter individual components of your car’s interior for as little as $10.
To repaint the interior yourself, purchase ColorBond paint spray ($5–$20) and follow these steps.
The standard cost of outsourcing a paint job ranges from $1000 to $4,500. The advantage of having your car repainted is that certain materials (plastics and carbon fiber) are challenging to paint correctly.
Alternatively, you can change the color of your car’s individual components or add colorful accents like floor mats ($50) and door lock accents ($10–$20). Purchase interior vinyl wraps (one foot by five feet) for $10–$20 and wrap one item at a time, or commission a full interior wrap for $2,500–$5,000.
You can replace the cloth upholstery with leather for $1500–$1700; Katzkin sells professionally installed interior leather kits for $1500–$2,000.
Changing to leather is difficult to perform on your own. However, if your budget prohibits reupholstery, you can purchase leather seat covers for under $150, leather dash kits for $100–$200, and leather interior door panels for $100–$300.
There are various ways to change interior car seats. You can purchase universal car seat covers and easily install them yourself for $10–$70, or you can spend $40–$150 on a package set.
Professional reupholstery costs $200-$750 per seat. It is performed at an auto body shop and consists of replacing the material rather than covering it with a slip.
You can also replace the seat structure for $200–$400. Prices vary depending on material and installation cost: small, low-back booster seats can cost only $10, while luxury combination or convertible seats cost $300–$500 (not including labor cost).
Replacing your car’s headliner (interior roof) costs $50–$300. You can replace the headliner for around $50 ($5–$10 per yard of cloth).
However, a professional headliner replacement will cost $150–$300. You must also consider the cost of the material you are using and the make and model of your car.
Professional seat reupholstery will cost $200–$750 per item—substituted leather for cloth will double the cost.
DIY reupholstery is complex and not always cost-effective. But, should you choose to do so, your budget should include the price of the material you are using and the necessary tools.
Complete interior reupholstering (including side panels, headliners, etc.) costs between $1000–$4000. The average cost to have all interior fabrics replaced by a professional is around $2,500.
Your budget will vary depending on the material you use—leather is twice the price of other fabrics—and the labor cost in your area. Reupholsters should give you an estimate of your price before installation.
You can also progressively reupholster items in your car; in addition to seats, you can replace carpeting for $800–$1600 (including labor), or you can purchase trunk liners and mats for $30–$100 and install them yourself.
There are many ways to customize your car, with options for every budget and level of expertise.
You can replace your pedals and shift knobs with customized pieces ($100–$400) or simply add covers to modernize the look of your car. ($20–$40.)
Interior LED lighting is a cheap and popular way to customize. You can purchase EL Wire for $15 and accentuate your car’s details yourself, or you can replace your interior lights with LEDs.
Your car’s electronics are its most customizable feature; there are dozens of technological modifications you can make for $20–$200. The most popular installations include:
- Subwoofers and amplifiers ($150–$500)
- Satellite radios ($40–$100)
- In-dash navigation or video ($100–$220)
- Speakers ($60–$100)
- Backup or dash cameras ($50–$150)
- Rear-seat screens ($120–$220)
You can also purchase accessories—stickers, decals, bumper stickers, and more—for under $10.
Any aftermarket changes to your car must meet your state’s legal standards. Luckily, most restrictions concern exterior modifications such as headlights and suspension modifications.
Although interior modifications are typically unregulated, check your state’s traffic laws to confirm the legality of your changes.
Keep in mind that certain modifications can affect your car’s insurance premium; call your auto insurance representative and inquire about your desired changes before installation.
With proper preparation, you can customize your car on any budget. Use this guide to identify the modifications that matter to you most and begin planning your upgrade.