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What's the most cost-effective way to change the cloth seats in my car?

Your motoring problems solved


Car Clinic Leather seats

Q. I’d like to change the cloth seats in my 2003 VW Golf for leather, but the cheapest ones I can find cost £1,000 for a set. Any money-saving ideas?
MB, Emsworth, Hampshire

A. You’d pay about £2,000 to have leather seats in a new VW, so £1,000 for a full set does not sound a bad price. The problem is that on a car of that age it could easily be half the value of the vehicle.


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There are cheaper options. First, try a vehicle dismantler for used seats. You may still have to pay £400-£500, but that’s a big saving on what you’ve been quoted. The next option would be to search websites such as eBay, or place a “wanted” ad on a forum. There are also specialist VW magazines that carry ads for parts and accessories. You might be able to sell your cloth seats online or in a magazine, but their value is not likely to be high, even if they’re in good condition.

If swapping seats still proves too expensive, consider synthetic leather seat covers from a specialist such as autoleathers.co.uk, which charges about £180 plus £7.50 postage, depending on specification.
Sunday Times Driving Car Clinic: Dave Pollard, car accessory advice

INSPECTOR GADGET
Dave Pollard has written several Haynes manuals and has tested just about every car-related accessory – read more from Dave here.

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