You old motor is about as efficient as a soapbox car. Rust flakes off it like your 80-year-old nan's dry skin, and it phut-phuts black smoke from its exhaust pipe like a Dickensian chimneystack. Whether it's a boxy old Vauxhall Nova or a previously sleek Nexus, this four-wheeled wonder has become an unsalvageable blunder.

But maybe not. That downtrodden car hasn't had its day just yet – at least in aesthetic terms.

No one would claim that pimping your ride was easy, but a few of these tips could turn your attempts from Wacky Races to Top Gear.

Know your basics

Have you ever watched a have-a-go handyperson try to fix a car? Their lack of knowledge will leave them sweating gasoline and falling into floods of tears when their engine explodes. When you don't have a solid foundation of knowledge, heading under the bonnet is ill-advised.

More than this, a poor craftsperson always buys the worst tools. Make sure you ain't one of them.

Invest in a car trim adhesive that won't damage your vehicle, a toolbox replete with every nut and bolt necessary and consult a professional mechanic whenever you hit a dead end. After all, it's always better to relinquish some of your DIY knowhow when you're truly stuck.

Keep more eyes on the road

Some drivers want no-holds-barred speed. Some want a comfortable ride. And some just want to know that they won't hurt anyone on their travels.

For those longing to feel safe and secure, cameras are here to save the day. A parallel parking camera, available from various suppliers will help you reverse with ease – and can be fitted to almost any car.

Even the oldest banger can be modified with all the latest security features, and cameras are only the tip of the iceberg.

Upgrade your locking systems, airbags and bumpers to help you feel a little more secure. Short of a roll-cage, you couldn't be safer.

Food for motors

Everybody loves to chow down while they drive, or allow passengers to engorge themselves. Well, your pals will be queuing up round the block for a ride when you purchase a fridge for their foods.

In-car fridges are a cheap and fun way to modify your car. A sizeable fridge can cost under £100. You'll be able to stock it full of nutritious goodies for a picnic or simply some snacks for the road.

Not every car modification is an overly expensive mass of add-ons and complex mechanics. When your rusty motor is losing its sheen, just fork out a few quid and you could give it an extra lease of life.