Countless numbers of car owners purchase their car with every intention of keeping the interior immaculate. However, over time, a muddy footpath here, a quick trip to a fast food establishment there, and the occasional pet or child as passenger may cause a car to become dirty. The solution to at least part of this problem lies with the car mats. These mats are designed to protect a car's carpeted floors from water, mud, and any other substances that might fall on them. Car mats come in a variety of shapes and styles, some designed for specific makes and models of cars, and others generic enough that they can fit anywhere. Car mats are available in auto parts stores as well as online via eBay.
Regardless of where a car mat or set of car mats are purchased, there are several factors to consider in order to make the buying process as simple as possible. First, it is helpful to know what kinds of car mats are available. Then, it is helpful to look at the potential features that may set one type of car mat apart from another. Finally, it is helpful to consider style factors in car mats. With all of this information, anyone can make a careful, considered purchase.
Understanding Different Types of Car Mats
While car mats are all designed to keep car floors free of dirt, grime, and foodstuffs, they vary in appearance and in the materials they are made from. Some types of car mats are better suited to certain environments than others and some are less expensive.
Carpeted Car Mats
Carpeted car mats are designed to mimic the car's actual floor in terms of colour and texture. For this reason, most new cars actually come with a set of carpeted car mats when they are sold. While carpeted car mats offer many benefits in terms of look and style, they are practical as well. Carpeted car mats allow users to scrape mud and snow off of their shoes onto the mat so that a car's interior is preserved. This also has the added bonus of allowing users to enter a garage, or other parking area, with relatively clean shoes. While many carpeted car mats offer a uniform surface appearance, some actually have small channels where water can travel in order to keep it away from sensitive areas.
Rubber Car Mats
There is a difference between car mats that are actually made of real rubber, and car mats that are made of PVC plastic. While PVC can be flexible and similar in appearance to rubber, it is not the same substance at all. Some rubber car mats are also made from synthetic rubber, a chemical attempt to replicate the qualities of real rubber, which is a natural product. Car mats made of rubber are flexible, durable, and can even survive much colder temperatures than PVC car mats. In fact, in temperatures below freezing, PVC car mats have been known to shatter. Some buyers may have reservations about the way that natural rubber smells, but this smell can dissipate over time, and natural rubber is superior to synthetic rubber.
Plastic Car Mats
Plastic car mats, such as those made from PVC, are a popular and affordable option for many car owners. Plastic car mats are generally durable and water resistant. Although plastic car mats lack carpeting that can match a car's existing interior, they can come in a variety of colours to offset this problem. Many plastic car mats are what is known as all-weather car mats. These all-weather car mats are designed to protect a car's interior during harsh, wet weather. To make this possible, they often contain a lip designed to keep water in, even when it is found in fairly large quantities.
All-weather mats are also extremely durable, and contain ridges to help remove water and mud from boots, along with the ability to withstand even caustic substances that may be carried in a car from time to time. Plastic car mats are easy to clean, and can simply be removed and washed quickly with a hose or other source of running water.
Metal Car Mats
Metal car mats are rare, and they are mainly used for vehicles designed for heavy industry. Metal car mats are basically made of polished stainless steel and contain grips to make sure that work boots do not slip. Metal offers superior protection from friction damage, but can still allow water to seep down to a car's interior.
Determine How a Car Mat Can Fit
Not all car mats offer the same features as others and may not fit as well into a car. Some are very basic and consist of a square shape that can be placed in virtually any car as a very simple means of protection. Others have more complex features, allowing them to stay in place better, or to protect for water damage more efficiently. Others are designed to fit the exact contours of a certain make and model of car for ultimate protection. There are also 'universal' car mats that are available and fit reasonably well into most cars.
Type of Car Mat
Dimensions of a 'Universal' Car Mat (cm)
67.31 x 45.72
43.18 x 33.02
'Universal' car mats are generally more affordable than custom car mats. However, they may not cover all areas of a car's floor adequately, eventually leading to stains and lines marking discoloured areas.
It is helpful for a car mat to stay in place once it is on the floor of a car. If they do not, they can shift around, allowing water, mud, and snow to reach the floor in many areas. One of the most basic ways to combat this is for car mats to have small rubber spikes protruding from the bottom of the mat. These spikes can grip the carpet of a car's interior and ensure that the mat stays firmly in place. If a car mat is not going to fit into a car without slipping, it may be worthwhile to find one that does not slip.
Custom Car Mats
While it is possible to have a company make fully customised car mats unique to a certain car, this can be quite expensive. A more affordable option is to find car mats that have been designed with basic car designs in mind. In many cases, these car mats are cut in such a way that they can fill even oddly shaped floor spaces in a car. Some car mats actually allow the user to cut off portions in order to make certain that they can fit properly.
While it is possible for a car mat to generally fit into a car's design, in some cases, they do not fit the design requirements of the driver. In these cases, drivers can select car mats that feature popular characters such as superheroes, or even logos from their favourite sports team. Such car mats are generally made from PVC plastic, and allow drivers a bit more leeway in terms of making their car a unique statement.
Buying Car Mats on eBay
Car mats made from a number of materials, and fitting dozens of different cars, are available on eBay. These car mats come in both new and used varieties, which provide the buyer with many more choices in terms of price and compatibility. In order to find the right car mats for a specific vehicle, the search bar on any eBay page is an invaluable tool. Simply entering the term, 'car mats' allows a potential buyer to explore everything on eBay that fits that category. Buyers who have a better sense of what they want can enter in a more specific, or a carefully worded search term, to reduce the time they spend looking.
Read Product Descriptions
While the pictures that often accompany items for sale on eBay are helpful, they are no substitute for reading the product description. A product description can detail the history of each item, as well as who made it. In many cases, if there are flaws and defects, the product description is where they can be found.
Car mats are an important, and usually necessary way to protect a car's interior from the mud, water, and snow that are usually brought in by the feet of a driver and passengers. Car mats also help protect car interiors from the effect of sunlight, which can cause colours to fade. When buying car mats, it is important to be educated on what types are available. Carpeted car mats offer a surface that is the most pleasing, visually, as it can match the original flooring founding a car.
Carpeted mats also offer a rough surface that the driver and passengers can use to remove mud and snow from their footwear. Rubber car mats are flexible, and can fit very easily into a car for solid protection. Car mats made of natural rubber, however, have a strong odour that some might find unpleasant. Plastic car mats are very common and fairly inexpensive. While plastic car mats may not match a car's stock flooring exactly, some of them are printed with logos and popular characters to allow for customisation. Keeping all of these factors in mind can allow a discerning buyer to buy the highest quality car mat for their vehicle.