Does it seem like Halloween season starts earlier every year? In my neighborhood, kids were barely back to school when skeletons and cobwebs started appearing on lawns and trees.

When I was little, we were lucky to get a paper skeleton taped to the door before the kids started trick-or-treating. Now, if you wait too long, stores will have moved on to Christmas before you can get your jack-o-lantern carved.

And it’s not just houses and yards that are fully decked out. More and more people are also getting their cars into the Halloween spirit.

Maybe it’s due to the popularity of “trunk-or-treating” events, where you park along with other revelers and dole out candy from the back of your car, or our social media-fueled desire to one-up ourselves every year. Today, car costumes are everywhere. And you know what? They’re fun!

Here are some ideas and safety tips to make your car the talk of the neighborhood.

Halloween Car Decorating Ideas

Your car can stand alone or be a part of a larger theme. The only limits are your creativity, time, budget and willingness to draw attention to yourself. Start small with a few car decals or props. That may lead to something more grand next year.

Here are some great ways to incorporate your car into your Halloween celebrations:

Movie costumes

@thepaperfox That time I made the Mutt’s Cutts car out of our leftover carpet scraps. #dumbanddumber #muttscutts #halloweencouple #harrylloyd #mgcar ♬ New Age Girl (From “Dumb & Dumber”) – Movie Sounds Unlimited

The Mystery Machine, with Scooby-Doo and the Gang. Apply temporary paint or make groovy swirls out of cardboard.
Mutt Cutts Shaggin’ Wagon from Dumb and Dumber. Add carpet remnants and dress up as Harry and Lloyd.
Ecto-1, the vehicle from Ghostbusters. Apply decals and hoses from the hardware store, or purchase online.
Joker, from The Dark Knight. used automotive wrap to achieve this creepy look.
Lightning McQueen from Cars. Start with a red car and add decals, wrap or cardboard. Add a smiley face to the grille.
The Batmobile. Add fins and other bat-centric decorations. Best for black cars.

General themes

@_nate_rider My Mustang is hungry for some crowds this Halloween 😂🏎💨 #halloween #halloween2021 #car #cars #decoration #cartok #fyp creds: @Elyse Janes ♬ Monster Mash – Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt-Kickers

Spider web: Attach cobwebs to the hood and trunk or spoiler. Add spiders, jack-o-lanterns or other spooky fakes or decals.
Bubble bath: Fill a convertible with balloons on strings and fasten strings to the floor, seats or handles. Have passengers wear shower caps and towels. (Best for slow driving!)
Hungry shark: Tape bloody teeth to the grille. Add a fin on top.
Pirate ship: Add masts and a Jolly Roger flag. Drape flowing material to look like a ghost ship.
Random creepy babies: Pick up plastic dolls at garage and tag sales.
Body clinging to roof: Or fake blood spatter on front of car. (It may be ghoulish, but it IS Halloween.)

Safety When Decorating Cars for Halloween

Decorating your car for Halloween is fun. But if something falls off your car at 65 mph, you’re liable for any damage it caused. Securely fasten your festive additions so they won’t harm anyone who happens to be behind you. If you must drive highway speeds with your decorated car, stick to decals and a temporary paint job.

For more elaborate decorations, look for events where you can get ideas. If you’re sure you’ve already got a spine-tingling idea, enter a Halloween car event where you can showcase your ride.

Check out Halloween parades, trunk-or-treat events, or incorporate your costumed car into your Halloween yard decorations. If you decide your Halloween masterpiece simply must be showcased while in motion, remember these safety tips:

Don’t obscure windows;
Secure decorations so they can’t fall off;
Allow adequate airflow if attaching something to the front grille;
Don’t prevent mechanical parts, like windshield wipers, from moving;
Use temporary decorations only so you don’t damage your car’s paint or chrome.

Should You Decorate Your Car for Halloween?

It depends. Do you love Halloween? Do you crave, or at least not mind, the attention a costumed car will inevitably bring? Are you looking for a fun activity that you and your kids or friends can enjoy? Then go for it! Halloween only comes once a year, at least for now.

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