Increasingly, people are enhancing their vehicles with customised makeovers

A car is much more than just a means of transportation says P. Kumarappan. He is a car accessories dealer. “I am sensitive about my car. I know people who spend more time in their car than in their house. I see my car as an extension of my house. Hence, I expect the same comfort and pleasantness in my car too,” he says.

And there are accessories galore to create that pleasant ambience inside your car. From changing the company-fitted seat covers into artistically designed leather seats to fitting a sophisticated audio system, the world of car accessories has plenty more to offer the discerning car owner.

Take the anti-scratch Paint Protection Film. It prevents scratches and at the same time retains the original colour of the vehicle. “It costs Rs.550 per square feet,” says Kumarappan, who owns a Ford Ecosport.

Leather wrapping on the roof is also popular. “It enhances the look. There are more than 180 colours and the wrapping can be extended to other parts of the vehicle,” he says.

For marine engineer A. Natarajan, his car is a place for wholesome entertainment. “I come home after four to five months of hard work. On sea, life is not that easy. I hardly see people. So, I waste no time when I am home. I travel extensively in my car with my family,” says Natarajan, who owns an Innova.

He has fitted a touch screen audio and video player and has also fitted the rear seats with video monitors and players so that the passengers there can independently operate and view whatever they like. “I first saw this innovation in my cousin’s Audi in the United States. I wanted the same to be fitted in my car,” he says.

K. Venkat Raghavan has scarlet gear knobs and pedal shafts in his Hyundai Elantra. Even the door handle trims are fitted with red leather. Venkat Raghavan’s father too likes his vehicles to look trendy. “Whether he uses it or not, my father makes it a point to fit latest gadgets in his car,” he says. “When you travel long, you definitely need a good entertainment system in your car to kill the boredom,” says J. Sreenivasan, Managing Partner, Kalyanasundaram Lorry Services. He owns a BMW X1 320d Drive. He has fitted DTS and GPS systems in his car. “They are good value additions to a vehicle and will definitely attract public attention when you go out,” he says.

Making a style statement with the car is in vogue. And it could be just about anything, from the colour of the vehicle to its tyres. Even a graphic on the door can be a crowd puller. The alloys do speak a lot about the vehicle character. There are different types of alloy wheels such silver finish, hyper silver, titanium, full machine black with silver combination, coloured (dull finish) and chrome finish alloys to match the paint colour of the car to go with normal or broader tyres. Dentist C.Vasanth Thomas fitted dull finish alloys to his Honda Amaze. A regular reader of auto magazines he keeps upgrading the gadgets in his vehicle. “I am planning to fit the latest navigation system,” he says.

For car owners like N. Ibrahim Badhusha of Badhusha Steels, his Toyota Fortuner reflects his identity.

He has fitted purple projection lamps in his car. “We worked overnight to fix them. At night the headlights of my vehicle look like eyes of a leopard,” he says.

“Your car also speaks about your personality. I have followed a purple theme colour pattern in my car, right from the hangings to the brake discs.”

There is no end to up gradation of cars. Accessories manufacturers have moved one step further to enhance the performance of the engines. .“The engine performance kit does not disturb the originality of the vehicle and in the long run also enhances the mileage up to 20 per cent,” says Kumarappan. This kit is suitable only for common rail direct injection diesel engines and costs around Rs.27, 000 to 33,000.