When you think about taking care of your car, you likely prioritize things like regular oil changes, tire rotations, and keeping the paint from getting scratched (as you should!). But, that’s not all you should consider. In fact, upkeep of the interior of your car, such as ensuring your floor mats and carpets are kept clean, can play an essential role in trade-in and resale value, too!
Water, mud, and road salt can all damage your car’s carpets — which may decrease the car’s value and even cause expensive problems like mould. Fortunately, there is a huge variety of floor mats and carpet coverings you can use to keep your carpets clean and save you big headaches down the road.
While some floor mats and coverings are expensive, there are less expensive options at every level of protection.
Below is a look at different types of floor mats, what they can do to protect your car, and which one will best fit your lifestyle!
Regular Carpet Floor Mats
If you live in a dryer climate or one that doesn’t get snow in winter, carpet floor mats might be the best option for you. As long as these mats stay dry most of the time, their synthetic fibres will trap dirt and grime before they reach your carpets.
Have a favourite sports team or want to give your car a little extra flair? These mats are also the most customizable and come in hundreds of different colours and designs. Just remember, some brands will skimp on the protection, so make sure the mats have a liner on the bottom to capture water and dirt.
3D Floor Mats
The “3D” in 3D floor mats refers to the fitted design of these mats. Usually, you will need to get a perfect fit for your car’s interior, but these mats can curve up and cover the carpets by your console or under the backseat. These mats come with plenty of textures and styles, but they also will likely be the most expensive.
3D floor mats are perfect for parents and anyone who gets the dropsies while driving. The more you can cover between seats and behind the pedals, the easier cleaning will be.
Curly Floor Mats
Curly—or Nomad—mats are much more common for weatherized floor mats outside front doors, but you can use them in your car, too. These mats are terrific at capturing the worst mud and grime and keeping it on the mat. They’re also extremely durable. On the downside, you will need to regularly clean them as grime can be ground deep down into the fabric and may become harder to remove over time.
Rubber Floor Mats
If you live in very wet environments, whether it be rain or snow, rubber mats can literally save the interior of your car. These mats will not only keep mud and dirt from reaching your carpet but are completely waterproof.
This is especially important for snowy environments. When you track in snow and leave it behind, the snow can take hours to melt and may leave behind puddles of water that take even longer to dry. Rubber mats will ensure water won’t seep down into your carpet, where it can cause mould and mildew issues.
Hard Plastic / Cargo Liners
For the most daring outdoor activities or vehicles that are used for work, hard plastic mats leave no doubt. Not only are they waterproof, but they offer protection from pretty much everything—water to heavy chemicals. These mats will be on the more expensive side and will likely need to be an exact fit, but they will also make sure your carpet stays clean and dry no matter what you throw at them.
All floor mats will provide some protection for your car, so buying some now is better than putting it off. Plus, purchasing the right kind for your lifestyle will pay off down the road by avoiding big issues and by maximizing your car’s resale value.