Features

Old car, new kit: the best aftermarket tech to update your car

How easy is it to bring an ageing model bang up to date with the kind of tech fitted in showroom-fresh cars?

While automotive technology has moved on a lot in recent years, the most determined drivers will be able to keep up with the times thanks to a thriving market of retrofit options.

The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas demonstrated how the cars of tomorrow will be autonomous, connected and data driven. So, to see how easy and costly it is to modernise an old model, Auto Express investigated some of the most popular extras found in new cars as aftermarket alternatives on used ones.

What you’ll expect to shell out...

So how much would these add-ons cost to kit your car out to modern standards? Our calculations show that it can be achieved for around £500 – if you’re prepared to do all the work yourself. Seeking professional help will hike the price, although that’s still much cheaper than buying a new car loaded with equipment.

Apple CarPlay: everything you need to know

Just beware that you might also have to consider the number of 12V sockets you have available and whether your car’s battery is up to the task for the extra electrical drain. It’s also worth considering the insurance implications of modifications. 

...And what the insurers say

Graeme Trudgill, executive director of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, told us: “You must let your insurance provider know of any modifications you’ve done. This is because any change to your car ultimately affects its value or performance – and it may make it more susceptible to things like theft.

“Depending on the modification, the insurance provider might ask for a change in policy, and you may have to pay more or less in monthly instalments,” he added. “If your insurer, for some reason, no longer wishes to provide you with cover, it’s best to contact a specialist broker which will find insurance providers that specialise in modified vehicles.”

Click to the left or below to find out how to fit the latest technology to your car...

Most Popular

“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”
Opinion - electric car prices
Opinion

“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”

Mike Rutherford thinks the industry needs to face the fact that a lot of people can’t afford a brand new factory-fresh car
16 May 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
28 Apr 2022
Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car
Tipo 184 kit car front
Features

Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car

Inspired by classic Grand Prix racing cars, Darren Collins has created a model that faithfully recreates the originals, but with a twist - it’s actual…
11 May 2022