When I told people what I was getting my mom for Christmas – a custom WeatherTech Protection Package – I got some funny looks. What does a woman in her 70’s want with custom-fit floor mats for a Prius C? Trust me, I thought it was odd too, but it’s what she wanted, and who am I to argue with my mother about what she wants for Christmas? Well, you know what they say about mothers knowing best? It’s true. They really do.
The oddest thing about my mom’s initial request is that she is a die-hard bargain hunter. So when she asked for customized floor mats, when her car already had mats from the dealer and new ones from Pep Boys start at about $4.99, I just couldn’t imagine what would make her think she needed custom ones that – I’ll be honest – seemed a little pricey to me at just over $300 (with shipping). After all, my mom doesn’t work construction. She doesn’t haul gasoline or oil, she doesn’t go off-roading, and she doesn’t often stomp around in muddy work boots. But she is a grandmother and a mother, and she works as a housekeeper. A lot of things get spilled.
But I still wasn’t sold, even after I thought a little more closely about all the things that spill and tip and fall and splash inside the car of your average matriarch. Not until I decided to clean it out for her. The first thing I noticed is I didn’t have to get the car to a power outlet. No backing into weird spots at weird angles and then stretching and pulling at the cord because I hadn’t gotten close enough the first time. I just popped the floor mats out, walked them over to the hose and sprayed. And these mats were dirty! She had been hauling rock salt around in the back, and it really got me thinking about how all that dirt would have been ground into the interior of the car – much of it permanently.
Without the WeatherTech cargo mat in the hatch, we would have pulled out the vacuum and some fancy attachments, done some heavy duty scrubbing, and still there would have been dirt – stains that would have lasted the entire life of the vehicle. Instead, I popped the mats out, hosed them down, wiped them off a little bit with a microfiber rag and let them dry in the sun. Done. So easy, so simple, so clean. And underneath? The interior still looked brand new.
Then I started thinking a little more about the resale value of a used car and how much of a difference it makes if the car is clean. Not “cleaned”, but really clean, when it looks like it hasn’t been used to haul around rock salt and cleaning supplies and dirty rags and kids with open drinks and dogs with dirty paws. Instead, once she takes those WeatherTech floor mats out, she has a car that looks like it’s been gently used by a sweet old lady (don’t tell her I called her “old”, though).
So really, what initially seemed like an “expensive” luxury item, which costs an average of around $200-$300 (depending on your make and model and the protection package you choose), is actually a sound investment. These mats will save you time and relieve some anxiety (especially if you transport kids or pets, or have especially messy friends), and when it comes time to trade your car in, these mats will likely seem like the best $200-300 you ever spent!