How To Customize Your Truck With A Small Budget

One of the great parts about owning a pick-up is making it your own.

Sure, you can settle for the standard, from the factory, features, but what fun is that?

No one is going to be pointing at your factory truck, as you roll past, admiring its basic features.

If you want to really turn heads with your pick-up, you need to customize it. And customizing is expensive, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Customizing your truck doesn’t have to mean dropping a ton of cash.

There are some really easy, and budget-friendly modifications you can make to your factory truck, that will turn heads, and give it some details that reflect your sense of style.

Of course, if you aren’t working on a budget, the sky’s the limit with the options for customizing your pick-up.

However, if you’re like us, the eight ideas in this article are easy first steps to getting the custom truck of your dreams.

How To Customize Your Truck With A Small Budget


Ditch the factory headlights, and upgrade your headlights.

Headlight kits are an easy, do-it-yourself way to switch up the look of your truck. If your truck is older, consider switching your headlights to new, brighter LED lights.

These not only look sleek but will provide better vision for night-time driving. Maybe you don’t want to be so obvious, headlight covers are a great option.

Smoked or blacked out headlight covers will allow you to see at night, but give your truck a stealthy and sleek look.

Many aftermarket headlight kits can be purchased for around $100, which means that your truck can get quick updates, and you don’t have to worry about how your wallet is going to feel.

There is one thing to remember about headlights and that is safety. Make sure that your headlights won’t impact your ability to drive safely.

And make sure that any modifications that you make to your headlights are in compliance with any applicable state and local laws.

Sound System

Factory sound systems can be lame.

They usually leave a lot to be desired when it comes to sound quality and options. This is, even more, the case if your truck is older than a few years old.

Factory sound systems in newer trucks come with things like navigation, phone connect, and hands-free options.

If you don’t have these in your truck now, you might want to take the leap and upgrade.

For just a couple of hundred dollars, you can add a sound system with a touch screen display and navigation that will sync with your phone and your favorite music apps.

If you aren’t comfortable installing on your own, look for deals that include free installation.

Window Tint

Window Tint

Most vehicles today come with some light window tinting that is simply to protect the car’s interior from too much sun and to make it a little more comfortable for the occupants.

However, you don’t have to settle for the normal, even if you’re on a budget. Darker windows can give you a bit of privacy, create a cool ambiance, and provide added protection from the sun.

Window tinting is a great idea if you are looking to add interior lighting or if you do a lot of traveling with your truck and want to reduce the stress on your air conditioner and your fuel efficiency.

Custom window tinting can be done on most trucks for around $250.

Oh, and do keep in mind that most states have laws about how dark your tint can be, so before you drop your hard-earned cash, make sure you know what is allowed, where you live.

Otherwise, you’ll be handing over more hard-earned cash, to pay a traffic ticket.



A custom exhaust is a modification you can make to your truck that has benefits beyond just looks.

Upgrading your exhaust can improve your truck performance, engine sound, and fuel economy. It is also a good way to do something good for the environment.

Today’s aftermarket exhaust kits can significantly reduce the emissions from your truck, so you can look great and do your part to help our planet.

Of course, exhaust kits can run the gamut from really simple and inexpensive modifications to your tailpipe, or they can be extensive upgrades that completely overhaul the exhaust system.

For the most budget-friendly option, consider a muffler kit that will add a little bling to your truck, without putting a big dent in your wallet, or time in your weekend.

Lift Kit

A bit more on the pricey side, but still not unreasonable if you’re on a budget is a lift kit.

Nothing makes your truck stand out like a lift kit. Let’s be real about what a lift kit means, especially when you’re working on a budget…

You’re not likely to get a “budget-friendly” lift kit that raises your truck many inches.

Big lifts require not only a lift kit but will also require modifications to your truck’s suspension. These together, probably aren’t an option if you are on a tight budget.

However, you can do a small lift, of a few inches without needing to make other modifications to your truck or spend a ton of cash.

Budget-friendly lift kits will maintain your truck’s existing suspension, but give you added ground clearance, or allow you to invest in larger tires or rims.

Interior Lighting

This is truly a great do-it-yourself, budget-friendly option for customizing your truck. Interior lighting kits will allow you to add LED lighting strips through the interior of your truck.

Combine this with tinted windows and a great sound system, and your truck goes from being just a way to get around town, to a party on wheels.

Interior lighting kits range from simple, under-dash lighting, to kits that will allow you to add lighting to doors, under seats, and through the dash.

Rims and Tires

Yes, rims and tires are generally a hefty expense when it comes to upgrading your truck.

If you’ve just added a substantial lift kit and suspension modifications to your truck, don’t skimp on the wheels and tires, it will make them look like an afterthought.

However, if you simply want to step away from the factory options, you can get great wheels and tires and still meet your budget.

Wheels are one of those features that are easy to find for reasonable prices if you do your research on the internet.

Many manufacturers will significantly reduce the price of aftermarket wheels when they come out with new versions, look for clearance sales and closeouts.

To keep the price down on your tires, make sure you buy wheels that take a standard-sized tire.

Unique sized tires will cost you more, so plan before you buy, so you save money over the long run.

For the best deals, look for private individuals that are selling wheels and tires that they’re switching from. This is a great way to get new wheels and tires for minimal cost.

Badges and Insignias

Your truck has badges and insignias on the front, back, and sides. Most people don’t really notice them, but they are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to make your truck stand out.

Insignia kits come in a variety of options like chrome, black-out, gold, sparkles, and camo.

You name it, you can find insignia and badge kits to match your style. Or, go incognito, and remove all of the factory-installed badges and insignias.

This is a quick and simple way to start your truck customization, even on a tiny budget. Customizing your truck doesn’t have to mean spending a ton of cash.

Even with the smallest budget, you can make modifications that will take your truck from plain and unremarkable, to a show-stopper.

Did we cover all the options? Have another way to customize your truck on a budget?

Let us know your ideas!

Louis Gilliland

Louis Gilliland

He began his career as a mechanic, working on cars, trucks, and trailers in Michigan for over 20 years. He quickly developed a passion for towing and hitches and began specializing in that field. Louis started his own business installing hitches and providing towing services, quickly building a reputation as one of the best in the state. He also began teaching and training other mechanics on proper hitch installation and towing safety.