Car reupholstering includes the full replacement and/or repair of the seats and cushions inside a vehicle. With time, the fabrics, springs and stuffing of these seats can take considerable wear and tear. Though there are sometimes inexpensive ways to cover up smaller amounts of wear, reupholstery is a fine way to restore a car to its original condition, or even improve on its factory state.
When it comes time to reupholster a car, most people will look to professionals. It won't be difficult to find someone, no matter what type of area you live in. There are two excellent places to start when on the hunt for a good car reupholstering business. First is the dealership. It often farms out its car reupholstering to outside agencies, and will know at least one good contractor to recommend. If you don't have any luck there, try a local car audio specialist. These places will often include car reupholstering in their services and will farm out this work to outside businesses. If not, maybe they can refer you to someone who can do the work.
The second option is to do it yourself. With some instructions from the Internet (eHow offers several articles that cover the basics of car reupholstering), replacing the fabric of your car seats can be less difficult and expensive than one might think. Of course, if you choose to go this route, make sure you understand the breadth of the job before you begin. It will make things go much more smoothly to have all of the materials in place ahead of time. This also prevents your car from being out of commission longer than necessary.
The cost of reupholstering a car can run the gamut. If taking the car to a professional, the cost usually will be somewhere in the £650 range if the car is a common model. This price can go higher due to several factors. One is the size of the car. A minivan will obviously cost more to reupholster than a small Hyundai. The rarity of the model is also a price factor. If you are trying to get a 1967 Ferrari reupholstered, you can expect to pay as much as £3,250. If doing it yourself, it will all depend on how much fabric you need and how picky you are about matching the fabric to the original. Fabric can run from £3 a yard to £48 a yard. With a good eye and colour matching, however, a do-it-yourselfer can save a lot of money.
There are a variety of ways in which to reupholster a car, but one of the most popular methods is to switch out fabric upholstery with leather. There are a number of benefits from this. For one thing, leather upholstery can add £650 to the resale price of a car. Leather is soft and supple, and to many people it screams luxury. Also, leather is highly stain resistant and is less apt to soak up smells and moisture that accumulate over the life of the car. If leather is too expensive, many people are happy to go with a vinyl treatment, which looks and acts quite a bit like genuine leather but is far less costly.
Over time, the dashboard of a vehicle can begin to wear through, crack and generally look terrible. But there are a number of ways to restore lustre and life to the dashboard without replacing it from scratch. Many auto shops offer spray cans of vinyl paint, which can be easily colour matched and used to fill in scratches, restore shine and protect dashboard vinyl from further wear. Custom auto shops also offer replacement dials for the speedometer, fuel indicator and various other gauges. Some of these replacement dials can really change the look of a car, so it might be worth a thought if you plan an overhaul.