Much cheaper, with nearly the same visual result.
There are many reasons besides mine to opt for car seat covers, and whether you choose custom fit or one-size-fits-all, it all boils down to protection; protecting new and old seats is the name of the game for seat covers.
Your vehicle is under constant attack from the environment, mainly damage from sunlight. Sunlight is the number one hazard for your upholstery, followed by friction caused from passengers sliding in and out, dirty clothes, moisture, spills, pets, kids, and general wear and tear.
Expensive leather interiors are much more vulnerable to cracking, splitting, and drying out if not properly protected. Today’s seat covers are made from durable materials such as waterproof neoprene or stain-resistant polyester and cotton.
Reupholstering car seats is very costly, but with today’s wide range of choices, seat covers are an attractive alternative, both to your eyes and your wallet.
Custom fit seat covers can be found at just about any auto upholstery shop or online. If you opt for these covers, make sure you know your car’s year, make, model, and seat type, because you will need this information to get the best fit for your particular vehicle.
Custom fit seat covers are usually designed specifically with your vehicle’s seat dimensions in mind, and are the most likely to visually compare to the results of reupholstering. Also, many newer vehicles require custom fit covers to accommodate for safety features such as side impact and in seat airbags.
These covers may require special installation tools or procedures; make sure you know whether you need these or not when you purchase the covers. Also, there may be delays when purchasing; as with anything specialized, it takes time to create the right fit.
These car seat covers are more expensive than semi-custom or universal fit covers; expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $110 more than universal fit covers.
Universal fit seat covers can be found at your local auto parts store, supermarket, auto repair shop, or online. These seat covers are designed to fit practically any seat in any make or model; this one-size-fits-all design can cause issues getting the best fit.
They come in many styles, sizes, colors, designs, and materials to fit your personality and vehicle. There is no production time involved when purchasing this type of cover; you just choose your favorite ready made style off the shelf and you are ready to go; this is especially handy if you are in a hurry to cover an unsightly tear or water damage mark.
Universal fit covers slip on over your seats and there are no special tools or installation procedures to follow, cutting down on installation frustration. These covers are more economical; you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $50 per cover for these.
Whether you choose the from-the-factory look of custom covers or the easy usability of universal fit, your vehicle will look better and retain its value longer with the protection provided by seat covers.