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How to Customize a Truck on a Budget

People say that Americans love their cars, but the saying should be they love their trucks. With 2.8 million pickup trucks in the US, it can be a challenge to make yours stand out.

Well, that’s why modifications have become so popular across the country, but who has the money to spend on all of that fancy equipment? Luckily, you don’t need a whole lot to make a big difference.

Let’s talk about how to customize a truck for every driver’s needs and budget!

Customize a Truck for Performance

If you’re looking to take your truck off the road, improve your sound, or just generally improve the performance and longevity of your truck, then there are plenty of modifications to choose from. Here are a few great examples for your budget!


Getting a nice set of new truck tires makes a bold statement and also turns your truck into, well, whatever you want it to be! With a nice set of tires, off-roading, plowing, towing, and so much more becomes more easily available to you.

With the right tires, you’ll see a difference in your braking abilities, engine performance, towing capacity, traction control, and so much more. All of that comes with a pretty awesome new look to your wheels!

For a large set of tires, you won’t be spending much more than you would on an SUV. On average, you can expect to spend $140 to $170 per tire for larger trucks. The next time you need new tires, spend a little extra and show off your new abilities!


Don’t skimp on the brakes for your vehicle. Not only will truck lovers be able to spot a nice set of brakes from a mile away, but they’ll also envy your stopping abilities on the road.

With the rise of massive trucks on the road in recent years, the brakes used for trucks in the 90s just don’t cut it anymore. If you’re driving a 7,000-pound Ram 1500 down a hill, you need to be able to stop on a dime without destroying your brake pads too quickly.

If you drive on the highway a lot, you know how scary a quick stop becomes at 70 mph, so a quality set of brakes can both save your life and look great on your truck!

Roof Rack

If you use your truck for work, having a roll bar or roof rack is really helpful for carrying long pieces of lumber, PVC, piping, or anything else. Sometimes, an 8-foot truck bed just doesn’t cut it, so it’s better to have it and not need it!

A high-quality truck roof rack might only cost you $250 for a new one, maybe up to $600, but it will really help with performance if you use the truck for hauling.


Of course, every truck comes with a decent pair of shock absorbers, but they aren’t all tuned for off-roading or harsh conditions. If you plan to drive in the country, on dirt roads, or through the woods, then you’ll need a good set of shocks.

Fortunately, you can find aftermarket shocks for off-roading for as little as $100 each. For some heavier trucks, it may be a little more expensive, but shop around for good deals!

Customize a Truck for Aesthetics

If you’re looking to make a statement with your truck, then there are plenty of modifications available for you that aren’t too harsh on your wallet. Here are some of the best ones for boosting your truck’s aesthetics!


Nothing says aesthetic modification quite like pinstriping. Whatever type of design fits your interests, you can add a lot of value and visual appeal to your truck with quality pinstriping.

If you know someone in town who pinstripe, you may be able to get your hood done for under $200, but the prices will vary widely.

Of course, if you’re really confident in your skills, you can try DIY pinstriping at home and save some money. However, if you don’t consider yourself an artist, we’d recommend calling the pros!

Bed Liners

If you’re planning to resell this truck at any point, you’ll get a lot more money back with a clean truck bed. If you use your bed regularly, then we recommend using a bed liner.

Small scratches may not seem like much at first, but they add up quickly. You’ll find far more willing, high-paying buyers who will pay for a quality truck bed.

If you’re using your truck to make a statement in any way, a worn-out bed will take away from that statement.

Grille Guards

To show off the face of your truck, get a nice grille guard for some personality. These guards can be simple 2-inch bars or look like you’re preparing for the zombie apocalypse. It’s up to you!

Also, the right guard may protect your vehicle from any damage in the event of an accident. It could even prevent the need for an insurance claim, which could save you hundreds of dollars on a deductable and on your premium throughout the year!

Generally speaking, a quality grill guard could cost between $250 and $800, but this depends widely on your needs.

Wheels & Rims

Getting a nice set of new wheels and rims will run you about $1,200, but they certainly make a statement. A nice set of wheels and rims can range from blacked-out matte to polished chrome. If you want them to be aggressively milled, have smooth curves, or anything else, there’s a wheel for you!

Rims could cost as little as $120 each and go up to $450, all depending on what you want.


One of the most popular and affordable truck modifications on the market is undoubtedly a suspension lift. Suspension lift kits and body lift kits are inexpensive, easy to use, and they’ll last forever.

If you want to increase your ride height, how high it is off that ground, whether for towing, plowing, off-roading, or just for aesthetics, then a lift kit will come in handy. For more information, go to: https://tcsupfitting.com/heavy-duty-truck-upgrades/.

Customize a Truck for Under $100

If you’re willing to shop secondhand, you can probably find most items mentioned above for under $100. However, if you’re buying new, here are a few things you can add even on a tight budget.


If you’re off-roading, these could prevent you from cracking someone’s windshield, destroying your paint, and more. If you live in the city, they can still be a quite stylistic modification.

For most truck models, you should be able to find the right mudflaps for anywhere between $30 and $80.

Off-Roading Air Intake Filter

Some quality aftermarket air filter intakes are specifically designed for off-roading. If you spend a lot of time driving in less-than-ideal conditions, you’re probably sucking up a lot more dirt than your air intake filter is prepared to handle.

Buying a quality air intake filter for these smaller particles can save your engine from critical damage for as little as $20 to $50.


Sanding down and polishing your door handles, bars, or anything that’s supposed to be chrome can really make your truck’s appearance pop. Remember, only do this if you know what you’re doing, since you don’t want to damage your truck.

However, for a DIY polishing project, you won’t spend more than $60 on supplies and you can really make a difference!

Light Bar

Now, this is only an aesthetic improvement if you live in a city. If you live in a rural area or do a lot of off-roading, then the right lightbar can save your life.

These have become more popular in recent years, and for good reason. If you’re off-roading, or even driving on country roads at night, you need all the extra light you can get.

Your factory headlights alone aren’t enough to see every potential crack or crevice that comes your way, but with the right set of rally lights, you can light up the darkest of areas.

A good set of rally lights will run you anywhere from $30 to $1,200, so there are certainly budget-friendly options available. Just make sure you have the right light bar mount to go along with it.

Also, check your local laws and regulations on lightbars before installing them. Some cities won’t allow them without a permit.

Customize Your Truck Today

Now that you know how to customize a truck without spending thousands, you can turn your truck into the envy of the town! If you’re willing to put in a little work, you can save even more money on these modifications!

Start your transformation today and stay up to date with our blog for our latest tips!

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