How Much Does It Cost to Widebody a Car?
There are many ways to go about widening the body of your vehicle — and they all come at very different price points. For the sake of this article, we’re going to assume that you’ve already made modifications to the wheelbase — such as suspension adjustments, wider tires, and/or wheel spacers — and you’re now looking to improve the bodywork. Here are the three best options:
Note: Keep in mind, it’s difficult and expensive to un-widebody a car. If you have a relatively new car and decide to widebody it, your car may become worth less on the open market than an unmodified version when you decide to sell it. Almost all car modifications decrease a car’s value, no matter how much the modifications cost, so keep this in mind before you decide to commit to an expensive mod that may make your car unsellable or worth far less. Also, if you decide to cut panels, use an undercoating protector to prohibit rust. We talk more about what to use in this article. And because everyone who widebody’s a car also lowers it, this article tells How Much It Costs to Lower a Car and the Various Methods You Can Choose. You’ll also likely not be driving the car for some time if you do this process yourself. If that’s the case you may want to read our article listing tips for storing a car so you can do things like treat the fuel so it doesn’t go bad etc. We all know projects like these usually take longer than we first envision. When the widebody is complete, you don’t want to then have to figure out why it won’t run well.
1. DIY Kit: Inexpensive but Time-Consuming
This is certainly not a beginner’s do-it-yourself project. But, if you have some experience, you might consider rolling out your own bodywork from scratch. It’s a pretty straightforward — yet time-consuming — process: Using a set of handmade foam blocks, you slowly shape them into the body of the car in the style you want. You then fiberglass over them and paint them to match. Getting everything to match is the tricky part. If you have the skills, it will only cost you a couple hundred dollars for foam, fiberglass, and other materials — not including paint. The following video (and the other videos in the series) will give you an idea of the process:
If you’re looking for a simpler DIY project, rolling fenders is an easier way to fit larger wheels or suspension modifications. It’s not a true widebody modification, but you can do it with a fender roller tool for about $50. Rolling fenders essentially bends your car’s existing bodywork out, mechanically reforming the sheet metal around the fenders. You would typically perform this modification if you were planning to put wider tires on your car, as rolling the fenders helps “match” the bodywork to the new tires so they don’t appear to stick out. Rolling fenders is also popular for getting the bodywork out of the way when lowering a car’s suspension. See the video below for more on rolling fenders.
2. Pre-Made Widebody Kits: Fairly Straightforward but Pricey
If you have a fairly common car or truck, there are widebody kits available. These kits are relatively easy to install. Installation involves removing the factory fenders and bolting on the new body kit. Keep in mind, there is usually some drilling involved on the fenders and quarter panels, so undoing this modification would be difficult because you’d need to find a way to fill in those holes. If you still want to move forward with a widebody kit, here is one option: This popular kit for a Subaru BRZ, Scion FR-S, or Toyota 86 is $215 for just the front fenders and the rear fender kit will set you back another $215. Many after-market parts manufacturers also have widebody kits, including APR Performance, Clinched, AIT Racing, and Pandem. These widebody kits will be vehicle specific, so make sure you get the right kit for your car; prices will vary. Widebody kits can range in price from a few hundred dollars to well over $1,000.
Part of the appeal of picking up a kit to widebody your car is the guarantee that it will fit your vehicle, the fact that it will come with instructions, and — more than likely — other people will have performed the modification using the same kit, meaning there may be chatrooms, forums, and YouTube videos available online.
3. Body Shops: Quality Work but Extremely Expensive
If you really want to widebody your car, a body shop will be able to build you exactly what you want. Not to mention, a body shop will get the job done right and the finished product will be of much higher quality than most people can get on their own. But, you can expect to pay at least $2,000 for the modification — and possibly quite a bit more. To find a body shop, search for nearby body shops.
Going widebody is a marriage. It’s not something you can easily undo. You can buy a kit for between $500 and $2,000, most often. Or you can make one yourself for ~$100 in supplies. If you choose to take it to a shop, expect to pay $2,000+.
If this is all a little too intense for you, consider our article about how to fall in love with your car again by doing less major modifications than going widebody.