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For most people cars are a big financial obligation and investment. Protecting this investment is important and relatively easy to accomplish. Cars that have been taking care of maintain a much higher resale or trade-in value for the owner. This in turn saves the owner money on the next vehicle.

Car owners can find a variety of accessories in any major big box store, automotive stores, and online. Popular accessories that are cost effective and can change the overall appearance of the car are bonnet guards and light guards. Bonnet guards, as well as light guards, protect the car against stones and other debris. While this is certainly important to protect the paint from chipping, the inside of a car usually endures the greatest wear and tear. Popular accessories for the inside are seat covers and car mats.

Covers are available in a wide variety of colors and materials. Prices of covers depend largely on the car model, the material, manufacturer, and of course where these accessories are purchased. Online stores often offer a better deal than the car dealer around the corner. Big box stores are also a good place to look for this kind of accessory. Seats go through a lot of wear during the life of a car. Unless you are meticulous about cleaning the car after each use, covers are an excellent way to protect the new upholstery. Seat covers are particularly useful if you have small kids who may spill juice or stain the material in a number of other ways.

Mats are often overlooked as an important accessory to protect the inside of a car. This is partially the case because nobody really pays attention to the floor until it is time to clean it. Mats are the best way to ensure that rain water, mud, spills, little rocks and leaves do not stain the carpet in your car. Car mats are usually made of a rubber backed carpet material that matches the rest of the car’s interior. Some offer more protection than others as they are available in different styles as well. Most mats lay flat and move around freely while others resemble inserts that do not move while in use. These insert type mats offer additional protection to the carpet covered areas.

Finding the best mats obviously depends on selecting the right type of floor protection for your usage and car model. Rubber mats are available relatively cheap and should be used in the winter months to protect against mud, rain, and snow. They can also be used in addition to carpeted mats. Carpet floor protectors are more suitable for warmer months. Floor mats will definitely make a big difference in the appearance of the inside of your car. Taking care of the inside, and outside, will add to your car’s value, and added value means more money for the owner when the time come

Simon writes for Autostylinguk, the UK’s largest 4×4 and car accessories store.