Having driven for 17 years, and this being my 4th car, it is a strange sensation to have to buy all the car stuff from scratch. The first morning, in preparing to drive Chris to the train station, I realized I didn’t have so much as an ice scraper yet. It’s a most bizarre feeling – I have a trunk full of car stuff … in my car in the US. Of course, it needs to stay there, because of our two cars, that one’s much more likey to break down and need those things.
However, I gradually acclimated to this notion. I realized that starting with a clean slate gave me the chance to deliberately choose things, instead of just having things that once sounded like a good idea but I had never managed to use in 10 years or some such and would look at every 6 months and think, “I really must get rid of that,” not do, and still have it and think the same thing 6 months later. Not that I know this from experience!
So, I have to get a whole new set of car fluids, ice scraper, and all those odds and ends I think of as essential for peace of mind while driving. I finally managed to get to grips with that.
What’s really discombobulated me, however, was getting our car home and realizing that it had no car mats! This is just so bizarre to me. One friend of mine had advised me to refuse the car mats and all the other extras the dealer would try to sell me. If I’d bought a new car and refused the car mats, then it’d make sense that my car had no car mats. But I wasn’t even given the option. Used cars should already have car mats!
I don’t know how well the bare carpet will hold up, so I quickly set about sourcing some mats. I phoned up the company I ended up ordering from, and had a conversation about the different types of mats they make – the cheapest ones might be expected to wear out and get holes in them within a few years. Holes in carmats? My 21 year old car has the original mats it came out of the showroom with, and it certainly hasn’t suffered wear like that! (There are one or two stains, and possibly a bit of fading from the sun, is all.) I’d never have even thought of holes in carmats. I shouldn’t have to think about this – cars should come with carmats!!!
What I’d really like to know is what happened to the ones that were in the car. The carpet condition is too good for there to have been none. I wonder if they were just ratty, so either the last owner or the dealer took them out to make the car look better. Others have suggested that the last owners removed them to put in their next car, which sounds ridiculous to me because they most likely wouldn’t fit.
At one point during the buying of the car, I found the salesman digging in a closet. He said it was full of car mats – new ones. I guess those would be the ones the new cars came with that the buyers declined to pay the extra fee to keep. This is all so strange, and wasteful. The carmats should just be included with the car; what good is a closet full of extra car mats that don’t fit other cars now? The automaker should be doing everything in its power to have its branding all over – it’s usually on the carmat, too – having unbranded car mats all over is not good for them, either. Very peculiar that the maker lets the dealer separate it out as a line item charge.
The car mat company is going to send me a sample to be sure I’m happy with the quality before they proceed with making the set. Hopefully I’ll find a set that’ll just last and I won’t have to think about carmats again for many years – until we buy our next car!
I don’t know if I’m just abnormally easy on carmats, or if there are just some really flimsy ones out there. Please, tell me your experiences of car mats! Have you ever worn holes through them, or had other major wear and tear? What sorts have you had?