Upgrade for an enhanced and safer four-wheel-driving adventure

So you're a beginner four-wheel driver, ready to embark on an adventurous journey that could be enhanced and made a little safer with a few basic upgrades.

Yes, it's road-ready, but will the vehicle need any simple modifications to venture out of the norm?

However, researching this can reveal a barrage of accessories and upgrades from simple to complex, which can be a little overwhelming.

Don't forget to upgrade the drivers too with specialist off-road courses to keep you all safe on your next adventure. Photo: Shutterstock.

Don't forget to upgrade the drivers too with specialist off-road courses to keep you all safe on your next adventure. Photo: Shutterstock.

Where do you start?

Four-wheel-drive enthusiast Michael Etchell knows a thing or two about modifications with 22 years' driving experience and 15 years working in the 4WD aftermarket industry.

He said primary modifications are for storage, occupant safety, vehicle protection and creature comforts.

"Before modifying your vehicle, take the time to understand what you want to do with it," Michael said.

"Explore the products available for the make and model and your budget.

"Before spending your hard-earned money, list all the modifications you think you will need."

For example, if you are going to use your vehicle for towing, you'd need to consider investing in a towing/suspension upgrade for better safety.

For longer trips, storage options such as roof racks and rear draw/shelving systems are a good option.

And for outback and extended off-roading, a bullbar is great for safety and housing items such as extra lighting and winches.

There are also aftermarket tyres that are more suitable for rugged, rocky terrains and a suspension lift can offer better clearance.

According to Michael, modifications can range from simple additions to major touring upgrades and can allow your vehicle to extend its capacity and capability.

In the end, most of it comes down to personal and individual choice.

"Consider how much use versus how much investment you are willing to make. Realise, however, that additions add weight and each make and model has its own limitations."

Still unsure?

Michael recommended seeking advice from multiple 4WD industry experts so you can make informed decisions.

SHARE