For anyone who is considering customizing their car, the choices and costs might seem confusing.
First, you need to decide how much customizing you want to add and how much your budget is.
Briefly, the choices are full front & rear bumpers or lip spoilers / splitters, rear skirts and diffusers.
You can also add side skirts and rear roof spoilers.
These are the most common types of materials for body styling products, with a short description of their good and bad qualities.
Usually supplied in unpainted matt black, ABS is the same material the original manufacturers normally use for bumpers and other body parts. ABS is not always the cheapest option and should be painted or lacquered, but for products like bumpers, spoilers, skirts & diffusers it works very well, because it is flexible by nature. ABS has a high tolerance to chemicals and heat.
Carbon Finished ABS Plastic:
Growing in popularity Carbon Fibre aftermarket body styling parts are often used for lip spoilers side skirts, bumpers, grills, bonnets, roof spoilers and more. Carbon Fibre products are lightweight and hard wearing, so used in racing regularly. Unfortunately, Carbon Fibre is also very expensive, so the car styling industry has come up with an alternative. A Carbon film is applied to an ABS Plastic base, during manufacture, becoming an integral part of moulding. The finished product combines all the properties of the ABS Plastic base material, but with the great look of Carbon Fibre. Apart from being as lot cheaper than real Carbon Fibre, Carbon Film finished parts are ready to fit, they do not need to be painted or prepared, saving on painting costs.
GRP / Fibre Glass:
Supplied in a gel coat finish, GRP should also be painted or lacquered. Fibre Glass is a commonly used base material for many Body Styling products, such as bumpers, spoilers, side skirts and rear diffusers. Often unfairly given bad press Fibre Glass parts are usually cheaper than other materials and have some good and some bad properties. Well made Fibre Glass products offer strength and flexibility. Like anything, Fibre Glass can be damaged, but is fairly easy to repair. But, cheaply made Fibre Glass products are just not worth buying no matter how attractive the price might be.
Also called Polyurethane, it is a popular material, particularly suited to roof and tailgate spoilers as well as in body kits. Although more expensive than fiberglass, it is usually superior in terms of fit and performance. Polyurethane is more flexible than fiberglass and is more resistant to cracking.
Finally, remember to choose the body shop that has experience in the materials and parts that you want on your vehicle. Just because a body shop has been around a while does not mean they are the right choice if they lack qualifications. So be sure to shop around first before making the commitment.