When Should You Replace Your Car Mats?

Posted by Jess Peace on

Car mats may seem like a modest part of your car, given their relative cost and size, but they protect your car’s floor and keep the interior looking fresh.

From spilled drinks, to muddy paws, to general wear-and-tear from braking and accelerating - car mats will take a bit of a beating over their lifespan.

While you’ll get lots of mileage from high-quality car mats, cleaning your car mats will only go so far. There will come a time when you need to replace your mats. The question is, when is it the right time to replace your car mats?

Signs you need to change your car mats, right now!

Old Car Mats

On the drivers side, car mats sit close to the pedals, which means that they have a say on the health and safety. There are urgent reasons for changing your car mats, which if not dealt with, can be incredibly dangerous.

Your car mats are worn down

Car mats are likely to wear down as your feet move across them while you drive. As it is an expected side effect of using your car mats, it is not an immediate issue, however, it can grow to pose a risk while you are driving.

If they become worn down to a point where there are holes in your car mats, there is an increased risk of an accident when you are driving, as your foot could become stuck while trying to change pedals.

It is at this point that it is recommended that you replace your car mats as quickly as possible.

In addition to safety concerns, worn down mats do not look good. Replacing your car mats when they’re too worn down will help to refresh the interior of your car.

Your car mats are slipping

Car Mats should stay firmly in position once installed, so if your car mats begin to slip around while you’re driving, you could be at risk.

Slipping or bunching could lead to your foot being caught on them while you are driving, which could cause a serious accident.

If you notice your car mats slipping at all, replace them with new ones immediately to ensure your safety when driving.

The heel pad is lifting

Similarly to car mats slipping, when the heel pad begins to lift on car mats, it is time to remove them, as they will not provide the underfoot stability required to control your car.

Car mats are designed to stay in place when you place them down in your car, the heel pad lifting could cause loss of grip and make it more likely to cause an accident.

Your car mats interfere with driving

Car mats that do not fit properly, especially around your pedals, can impede your ability to drive. If you notice your car mats while you’re driving at all, it means that they are either moving, slipping or causing an issue. You should replace them immediately.

When car mats interfere with driving, it means that you are at higher risk - putting the driver, passenger, other drivers and pedestrians at risk too.

Changing your car mats to prevent future issues

Sometimes the beginning of a long-term issue can show in your car mats, in this case, it’s not urgent that you replace your car mats - but you should consider it sooner rather than later.

There is a rip in your car mat

Rips in your car mats can grow to become more severe over time, so when you initially notice a rip in your car mat, it is best to replace them quickly to prevent the issue from becoming worse.

As well as being a hazard, rips in your car mat do not look pleasant. By replacing your car mats, you will be helping to keep your car looking tidy.

Your car’s carpet isn’t protected by the car mat

The primary purpose of car mats is to protect your car’s interior, particularly the carpet underneath and around it. 

If your car mats do not offer full coverage, or do not fit perfectly, it is likely that this will cause future issues for you. Spillages could leak to the surrounding carpet and debris such as crumbs, mud, could be trailed. 

With the carpet not properly protected, your car’s interior is likely to be stained. To avoid this from happening, you should replace these car mats with tailored to your make and model to ensure that your car’s interior will be completely protected.

There is mould on your car mats

Mould presents a potential health risk, particularly for those who suffer with allergies or respiratory conditions, such as asthma. 

You can clean mould from your car mats, however, mould could continue to grow in the future. If this is a persistent issue, it is recommended that you should act swiftly and introduce fresh mats to your vehicle.

You drive a customer-facing vehicle

For people who use their cars for work, such as taxi or Uber drivers, ensuring cleanliness is important for maintaining good customer relationships. 

One of the best and easiest methods of sprucing up how your car looks, smells and feels is by adding some new car mats to them. You could even get personalised mats, or some that add a pop of colour to your interior. 

Cosmetic reasons to change your car mats

Tailored Car Mats

In these situations, safety is not at risk, so they’re not urgent. However, the look, feel and smell of your car is at stake - perfect for adding to your future list of things to do.

You’re planning to sell your car

If you’re looking to sell your car second-hand, you should be concerned with the appearance of your vehicle. 

Adding a brand new, tailored set of car mats is one great way to add freshness to the car’s interior and to help prospective buyers imagine themselves in their new, clean vehicle. 

The car mats are beginning to smell

While a strange smell is not pleasant for driving conditions, it does not pose an immediate health threat. However, there is only so much that cleaning and air fresheners can do in these situations.

When the smell persists, it is probably time to swap your old mats for new ones.

There are stains you can’t remove from your car mats

If you have carpet car mats, over time it is likely that you will encounter stains. They are there to protect your carpet, however, having stained mats may look unsightly.

If cleaning your carpet car mats or common stain removing techniques do not work, we recommend trading in the stained car mats for some fresh ones.

Top tips for replacing your car mats

To make sure that you get the most bang for buck, there are some steps you can take in purchasing your car mats, and to  

Get tailored car mats

When you buy car mats specifically for the make and model of your car, you reduce the risk of the mats slipping or not protecting the interior carpet well.

CarMats.co.uk allows you to search for car mats that will fit your vehicle perfectly, meaning that they will last for longer.

Choose the right type of car mat

There are a wide range of car mat options available, depending on what you’re looking for.

If you know that there will be dirt brought into your car regularly due to muddy paws or boots, opting for rubber car mats could be a great option to reduce the maintenance that could come with carpet car mats.

Regularly clean your car mats

While car mats are there to protect your car’s interior from debris, spillages and more - they still require TLC.

Schedule in regular maintenance of your car mats, even if it is a quick vacuum clean or wipe down. 

Buy from a trusted car mats manufacturer

You are more likely to buy long-lasting car mats if you shop with a reputable company.

Choosing a top rated company or manufacturer with a great customer service rating will ensure that any mats are products you buy are of excellent quality. 


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