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When you buy a car, there are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration. You might look at the size of the engine, the speed from 0-60mph or the size of the boot, and yet many car negotiations seem to come down to the inclusion of some car mats.
The mats your car comes with are likely to be basic, and the upgrades from a dealership can often seem expensive. There is now also the option to add aftermarket car mats to your car, which can make it even harder to know which one is the right option.
A car mat is there to protect your car’s interior, and yet there can be a lot of variations between them. In this article, we take a closer look at the difference between OEM and custom car mats, as well as explain what they are to help you decide which ones are right the right choice for you and your electric vehicle.
What is an OEM car mat?
An OEM car mat might sound technical, but it just means Original Equipment Manufacturer. That means that they come from the maker of your hybrid or electric car and can sometimes be called ‘genuine’ or ‘factory’ car mats instead. These tend to be popular as they feel as though they belong in the car – after all, they were made for it. The biggest advantage of buying OEM car mats is that you can be confident they will fit your car perfectly and have been tested to meet all relevant safety standards.
The downside of these OEM car mats is that they can be a little boring, and the quality can sometimes leave a bit to be desired. The options for colours and materials are limited, to say the very least, and the quality of these mats can also leave a little to be desired.
What is a custom car mat?
A custom car mat is something you can buy from elsewhere after you have bought the vehicle. Your vehicle manufacturer does not make them, but they must still meet certain safety and performance standards. The biggest difference with these mats is that you have much more control over what they look like, and a far greater choice is available for you.
Custom vs OEM Car Mats – Which Should You Choose?
Car mat fit
Many people stick with the original manufacturer’s mats because they know they will fit perfectly. You want your mat to sit in the right place without riding up or slipping about, so it must be exactly the right size. Most custom car mat manufacturers now have the measurements needed to create mats that will fit your car and are often more willing to produce mats for older models of cars that the manufacturer may no longer want to supply.
Car mat colours
If you buy an OEM car mat, you must make the biggest decision between black and grey. As you might expect from a custom car mat, you can choose from almost any colour under the sun and a range of trims to match. That means it can match your paint colour, your shoes or even Aunt Mabel’s handbag. The choice is yours.
Your OEM car mats will probably match the quality of the carpets in your car. This can make it a good match, but it doesn’t always give you a lot in the way of choice. A custom car mat can give you a number of different carpet grades to choose from, so it can be hard to wear or feel like something that came out of your living room. Depending on how you use your vehicle, you may want to opt for rubber mats instead, as these are much more durable and can be more easily cleaned.
As you might expect, your OEM car mat will look exactly how your manufacturer decides. Sometimes, your mats might include the manufacturer’s logo, but this is as exciting as you can expect them to get. If fitting your car with something unique is important to you, then a custom car mat should tick all your boxes.
Most aftermarket car mat suppliers can give you options such as custom embroidery that allows you to add your name or even photograph printing that will let you include a cool design or a picture of the family dog. There is a huge amount of flexibility available with custom car mats, so you can let your imagination run riot.
Whilst you might expect your custom car mats to be expensive, that is not always the case. Vehicle manufacturers often charge a premium simply because the car mats have come directly from them, whilst custom car mats are more competitively priced. It stands to reason that the more options you choose, the more expensive your custom mats will become, but even the most highly personalised options do not differ in price too greatly from the manufacturer ones.
When you choose an OEM car mat, what you get will largely depend on the manufacturer themselves. It goes without saying that the car mats from Ferrari are likely to be very different to those from Kia, so you won’t necessarily know what to expect until you see them.
With custom car mats, you can see exactly what you are buying and choose every aspect that relates to them. If you don’t like what you see, plenty of other retailers out there are more than happy to give you what you are looking for.
Your car mats serve a practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean you can have ones that look and feel great. Custom car mats might not be the originals intended for your vehicle, but they can offer so much more and go a long way to making your car’s interior much more unique without breaking the bank. If you are buying used cars, custom car mats will be the perfect choice for a new look.