What is interior fabric protection?

Don't let sticky sweets and spills spoil your road trip: interior fabric protection can help

BuyaCar team
Apr 9, 2018

Car manufacturers spend a great deal of time and money developing hard-wearing fabrics, leathers and plastics, and put them through extensive durability tests before they appear in production vehicles.

But then there’s real life. Dogs, small children, and on-the-go snacks, which test car interior materials to the limit. Help is at hand, however, in the form of fabric protection. The benefits claimed by manufacturers include:

  • Repel spillages so that they don’t sink into fabrics
  • Make it easier to clean liquids and dirt
  • Carpets can be protected as well as seats

The increased stain resistance can help to prevent spillages from marking your car’s interior and reducing its value. This can maximise the amount that you get when selling it or trading it in at the end of a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) agreement.

It can also reduce the risk of damage charges if you return the car at the end of a lease or PCP deal.


How does fabric protection work?

Fabric protectors are compounds that coat the fibres of the upholstery with a resin-based material (which isn’t visible to the naked eye).

This treatment ensures that the fabric will repel the usual, everyday substances that can spill on to a seat and stain it. So, for example, the manufacturers of these products claim that they have been tested with the likes of tea, coffee, hot chocolate, alcohol, milk, fruit juices, cola, fizzy drinks, chocolate and sweets, and grease from foodstuffs – pretty much everything that families will throw at a car interior.

They say that the treated fabrics mean that these substances are either passed straight through the weave or beaded up, allowing them to be wiped away easily.

It's a similar story with carpet protector products, which are designed to cope where vacuuming comes up short, sealing the base and surface fibres to enable dirt and grime – including dog hairs – to be more easily removed.

There are also leather treatments, which have been formulated to maintain the leather, while at the same time aiming to keep it supple by moisturising it.

Is interior fabric protection worth it?

Anecdotal evidence from satisfied customers suggests that these products, on the whole, work pretty well.

Although they are more expensive than retail products that you can buy off the shelf, they tend to last much longer. In fact, many have lengthy (or even lifetime) guarantees, but the amount of time that a fabric protector will last does depend on use. Cars that experience a lot of wear and tear may need an additional treatment and any spillages have to cleaned up religiously.

The protection can ensure that your car is kept in excellent condition, maximising its value. This should mean that you get an improved deal when you sell it. Alternatively, if you trade your car in at the end of a PCP deal, then there's a better chance of getting more money to put towards your next vehicle.

The majority of new cars, and many used models, are bought with finance packages where where charges apply if the car is returned damaged, and fabric protection can help to prevent serious staining that could incur these fees.


How much does interior fabric protection cost?

The cost is usually included as part of a protection package, which includes paintwork protection. it will depend on the car being treated and the particular brand used by the supplying dealership.

It’s possible to add fabric protection to a finance package, increasing your monthly repayments by a small amount.


How do I get fabric protection?

Interior fabric protection is usually applied professionally at a dealership, so it will be applied before your car is delivered, ensuring that it is protected at the start.

You can request a quote for any specific car to find out exactly how much it will cost.


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