Best car mats: reviews & group test

Testing car mats
28 Oct, 2014 2:45pm Henry Willis

We test 10 cut-to-fit carpet and rubber car mats that will help keep your car clean

An essential accessory for protecting the carpet inside your car from wear and damage is a set of car mats. For a relatively small price, they can absorb any muck and road grime trodden in, protecting your car’s value.

But replacement, manufacturer-made mats can be expensive – as can tailored aftermarket options – so we’ve tested cut-to-fit universal mats made of a mix of carpet and rubber. We tried 10 market-leading options to find the best for your car.

How we tested them

Fitting the mats in our car’s footwell was crucial, as we cut them down and checked for movement. We replicated daily abuse by rubbing a shoe heel on the padded part of a driver’s mat, and worked in (then removed) fizzy drinks, biscuits and gravel to see how they stood up to common spillages. Our final consideration was price, which was taken from a range of sources as we went to press.

Verdict

Ring’s excellent DuraShield 3000 won our last mats test two years ago, and triumphs again. It’s easy to cut down and captures muck well. The new mats from Halfords pip Michelin’s Premium Carpet and Rubber Set 928 to second place.

1. Ring DuraShield 3000
2. Halfords Rubber Car Mats – Full Set 594533
3. Michelin Premium Carpet and Rubber Set 928

What about a tailored set?

Our test focused on sets of universal mats, but tailor-made mats are also available for most cars. We got these Sakura Car Mats for our Volkswagen Golf Mk7 and found them to be an accurate fit.

Tailored mats are generally more expensive than universal versions, but offer a luxurious, deep-lined carpet finish and even come with securing points for fixing to the floor. Our set cost £22.96.

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