America's growing obsession with younger looking faces evidenced by the Botox craze, is inspiring car owners to prolong the appearance of their automobiles as well. Four billion dollars were spent last year in the United States on enhancements to keep the interior and exterior of vehicles looking like new, according to the Car Care Council.
"As consumers spend more time in their vehicles and drive more miles each year, they are placing more importance on comfort, luxury and appearance," said Rich White, spokesperson for the council.
Many consumers don't realize that just as they can buy new carpet for their home or refinish and repair furniture, they can also rejuvenate their second largest investment, the automobile. Automotive upholstery and interior repair shops, known as trim shops, can fix a drooping headliner, replace worn carpeting, repair torn upholstery and replace a weathered convertible top.
"Home owners don't sell their house because someone put a hole in the wall. But too often vehicle owners will trade in a vehicle that is paid off just to get a new 'look'. Repair and restoration is a very cost-effective alternative to buying a new car and taking on a new car payment," White said.
While leather is still the most popular upscale option for a vehicle's interior, where age shows first, innovative fabrics offer many more customization, repair and restoration options for the average car owner. Today's modern trim shop can replace original materials like seat or door panels to an imperceptible condition.
The council advises that, if you want to preserve the new look and feel of your faithful car, truck, SUV or minivan, search for trim and upholstery shops in the phone book or on the Internet, which specialize in repairing and enhancing interior as well as exterior features of automobiles.