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Don't break the bank

How to Build a Project Car on a Tight Budget

Shores NZ Class 1 Off-Road race car


As most of you know, we built our Class 1 Off-Road race car, so we understand firsthand the expenses of building a race car. You're in the right place if you are a car enthusiast eager to build a project car on a tight budget. While building a project car can be both exhilarating and fulfilling, the costs can often seem prohibitive. However, through meticulous planning and strategic decision-making, it is entirely feasible to construct a project car without draining your finances. In the subsequent discussion, we will delve into valuable tips and strategies that will guide you in creating your dream project car while keeping costs within a reasonable budget.

Shores NZ Class 1 Off-Road race car

Set a Realistic Budget

The first step in building a project car on a tight budget is to set a realistic budget. Determine how much you will spend on the project and stick to it. List all your expenses, including parts, tools, and labour costs. It is essential to be realistic about your budget and avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Man writing list

Research and Plan

Before starting your project car build, it is crucial to research and plan accordingly. Research the make and model of the car you want to build, as well as the parts and accessories needed. Compare prices from different suppliers and look for deals and discounts to save money. Planning will help you stay organised and avoid any last-minute expenses.

Man working on VW Bettle

Consider DIY Repairs

One of the best ways to save money on a project car build is to do as much work yourself as possible. Consider learning basic car repairs and maintenance tasks, such as changing oil, replacing spark plugs, and changing brakes. DIY repairs can save you significant money on labour costs, allowing you to invest more in high-quality parts for your project car.

Buy Used Parts

Another great way to save money on a project car build is to buy used parts instead of new ones. Many online marketplaces and salvage yards offer used car parts at a fraction of the cost of new ones. However, inspect the parts carefully before purchasing to ensure they are in good condition. Buying used parts can help you save money without compromising on quality.

Air Filter for car

Shop Smart

When purchasing parts and accessories for your project car, it is essential to shop smart. Look for deals, discounts, and promotions to save money on high-quality parts. Consider buying in bulk or waiting for sales to get the best deals. Additionally, consider purchasing generic or aftermarket parts instead of OEM parts, as they are often more affordable and offer similar performance.

Headers for Shores NZ Project Build VW Drag Car

Prioritise Essential Upgrades

When building a project car on a tight budget, it is crucial to prioritise essential upgrades. Focus on upgrading parts that will improve the performance and reliability of your car, such as brakes, suspension, and tyres. Avoid unnecessary cosmetic upgrades that will not add value to your project car. You can build a reliable and high-performing project car by prioritising essential upgrades without overspending.

Shores NZ Mazda RX8 2B Rotary car


The right planning and strategy can build a project car on a tight budget. You can build your dream project car without breaking the bank by setting a realistic budget, researching and planning, considering DIY repairs, buying used parts, shopping smart, and prioritising essential upgrades. Follow these tips and tricks, and enjoy the process of building your project car on a tight budget.


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