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Custom vs OEM Car Mats: Which Should You Choose?

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Posted by: EmmaH
Posted on: 28/09/2023

When you buy a car, there are a lot of things that you need to take into consideration. You might look at the size of the engine, the speed from 0-60mph or the size of the boot, and yet many car negotiations seem to come down to the inclusion of some car mats.

The mats your car comes with are likely to be basic, and the upgrades from a dealership can often seem expensive. There is now also the option to add aftermarket car mats to your car, which can make it even harder to know which one is the right option.

A car mat is there to protect the interior of your car, and yet there can be a lot of variations between them. In this article, we take a closer look at the difference between OEM and custom car mats, as well as explaining what they are to help you decide which ones are right the right choice for you and your vehicle.

What is an OEM car mat?

An OEM car mat might sound technical, but in reality, it just means Original Equipment Manufacturer. That means that they come from the maker of your car and can sometimes be called ‘genuine’ or ‘factory’ car mats instead. These tend to be popular as they feel as though they belong in the car – after all, they were made for it. The biggest advantage of buying OEM car mats is that you can be confident they will fit your car perfectly and they have been tested to meet all of the relevant safety standards.

The downside of these OEM car mats is that they can be a little boring and the quality can sometimes leave a bit to be desired. The options for colours and materials are limited to say the very least, and the quality of these mats can also leave a little to be desired.

What is a custom car mat?

A custom car mat is something you can buy from elsewhere after you have bought the vehicle. They are not made by your vehicle manufacturer, but they must still meet certain safety and performance standards. The biggest difference with these mats is that you have much more control over what they look like, and there is far greater choice available for you.

Car mat fit

Many people stick with the mats from the original manufacturer because they know that they will fit perfectly. You want your mat to sit in the right place without riding up or slipping about, so it is important that it is exactly the right size. Most custom car mat manufacturers now have the measurements needed to create mats that will fit your car and are often more willing to produce mats for older models of car that the manufacturer may no longer want to supply for.

Car mat colours

If you buy an OEM car mat, then the biggest decision you will need to make is between black or grey. As you might expect from a custom car mat, you can choose from almost any colour under the sun, along with a range of trims to match. That means it can match your paint colour, your shoes or even Aunt Mabel’s handbag. The choice is yours.

Carpet quality

You OEM car mats will probably match the quality of the carpets in your car. This can make it a good match, but it doesn’t always give you a lot in the way of choice. A custom car mat can give you a number of different carpet grades to choose from, so it can be hard wearing or feel like something that came out of your living room. Depending on how you use your vehicle, you may want to opt for rubber mats instead as these are much more durable and can be more easily cleaned.


As you might expect, your OEM car mat will look exactly the way your manufacturer decides. In some cases, your mats might include the manufacturers logo, but this is as exciting as you can expect them to get. If fitting your car with something unique is what is important for you, then a custom car mat should tick all of your boxes.

Most aftermarket car mat suppliers can give you options such as custom embroidery that allows you to add your name, or even photograph printing that will let you include a cool design or a picture of the family dog. There is a huge amount of flexibility available with custom car mats so you can let your imagination run riot.


Whilst you might expect your custom car mats to be an expensive option, that is not always the case. Vehicle manufacturers often charge a premium simply because the car mats have come directly from them, whilst custom car mats are more competitively priced. It stands to reason that the more options you choose, the more expensive your custom mats will become, but even the most highly personalised options do not differ in price too greatly from the manufacturer ones.


When you choose an OEM car mat, what you get will largely depend on the manufacturer themselves. It goes without saying that the car mats from Ferrari are likely to be very different to those from Kia, and so you won’t necessarily know what to expect until you see them.

With custom car mats, you can see exactly what you are buying and choose every aspect that relates to them. If you don’t like what you see, then there are plenty of other retailers out there who are more than happy to give you what you are looking for.

Your car mats are there to serve a practical purpose, but that doesn’t mean that you can have ones that look and feel great. Custom car mats might not be the originals that were intended for your vehicle, but they can offer so much more and go a long way to making the interior of your car much more unique without breaking the bank.

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