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Cost To Restore The Interior Of A Car

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  • Admin
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  • Retrimming, Restore, Interior, Car
  • Posted date:
  • 21-09-2021
Cost To Restore The Interior Of A Car

Retrimming your classic car

Retrimming the upholstery of your classic car is possibly one of the most difficult parts of a restoration project. 

The complexity of restoration work contributes to this, given that many intricate pieces need to be expertly put together. 

Depending on the quality of material you choose, there is also the fact that fragile elements that also contribute to the difficulty of upholstery restoration.

Seat repairs

However, while retrimming is tricky work, it is often said that retrimming an older car is potentially easier than retrimming a new one.

While a professional classic car upholsterer could easily repair a split in the leather car seats of your 1960s Jaguar, retrimming the cloth of your 1980s Renault is far more difficult.

In the last case, when looking for a fresh cloth to trim your later classic cars, finding an alternative set of seats is often the best choice, but even this has its challenges.


Thanks to years of exposure to direct sunlight, the plastic dashboards of many classic cars have been known to split and crack through the years.

Depending on the extent of the damage, there are various ways that a restorer will repair this. As a broad example, they will usually follow these steps:

Clean the area of damage before sanding it down and applying a robust plastic filler. 

Once the filler is dry, they will add more filler on top of this and sand it down again. 

Once the splits and cracks are filled in properly, the restorer will apply the correct colour of paint and add texture.

While it is easy to simplify the process into bullet points, restoring a classic car to its original state takes a great level of skill and experience to pull off seamlessly.

Replace your headlining

Headlining in classic cars is often found in two different types. The first is that the headlining material is attached to the car's roof through hoops and rods. 

This is mostly found in cars that have had a long life and require a lot of patience and sewing skill to repair.

The second type involves the headlining material being glued to a board, often found in later or more modern classic models.

This glueing can lead to the material drooping where the fixative has dried and worn out. This type of headlining is often repaired more brutally - with a staple gun.

However, if you want your classic car's headlining to look its best, it is better to take it to a professional.

They will remove the headlining board from the car to properly repair or replace the material.

This is a little brutish in its own way, given that the headlining board can sometimes break, or the plastic trim will snap.

Clocks and dials

Repairing the clocks and dials of your classic car is definitely a job you do not want to undertake yourself - unless you know what you are doing. 

Specialist restorers have the expertise necessary to open, clean and repair your clocks and dials while keeping them accurate. 

If any adjustments need to be made, the restorer will also have the know-how to do this.

Making adjustments and keeping clocks and dials accurate is especially important if you have had a new differential or gearbox installed in your classic car, meaning it is better to rely on the expertise of specialists.

However, you can always post the clock or dial to be cleaned and repaired. If the clock or dial is broken beyond repair, searching for a second-hand replacement is your best option.

Repair or replace your bonnet

When you own an older model or classic car, the chances are that you will need to pay some attention to your bonnet at some point. 

This attention could include a simple clean and polish, the addition of protective coats, or more extensive repairs or complete replacements. 

A wide range of products help you clean and protect your bonnets, but repair and replacement will require a more expert hand. 

Car Interior Reupholstery Cost Summary

There is a variety of factors that affects the cost of reupholstering your classic car, including:

The extent of the damage already done to the existing upholstery. 

The quality and amount of material needed to repair or replace the upholstery. For example, real leather seats will be more expensive than fabric or cloth ones. 

 The amount of time it will take to complete the work and the level of labour required to do it.

Price Guide for Leather Car Interiors

Given that leather car seats are often the most expensive, it will be helpful to have a rough price guide of what different amounts of leather seating and products will cost:

Door card - £50+

Complete bolster panels - £90+

Bolster and base - £95+

Steering wheel - £100+

Full seat - £120+

Rear seat - £150+

Of course, depending on the restorer or leather supplier you use, you may be able to get yourself a discount by purchasing multiple leather products together.

Cost Factors of Car Reupholstery

Each reupholstery job is a bespoke service unique to each vehicle, meaning that prices vary widely depending on the requirements of each one. The pricing of restoration work can depend on:

The material used in the upholstery.

The number of seats that need covering. 

The type, model and size of your classic car. 

Whether the seats that need upholstering are from the front or rear of the car. 

If any additional work needs doing, such as seat frame repairs or batting and foam replacements. 

You could incur other costs if you choose to have your classic car serviced simultaneously as any repairs are carried out. 

It is often best to shop around and request quotes and advice from different classic car restorers or maintainers to give yourself a better idea of what your restorations will cost you.

Car Seat Reupholster Price

It may be best to go through some of the average prices for upholstery services so you can have a rough guide of how much money you will need to part with. 

On average, car upholstery repair in the UK for those on a budget will cost between £80 to £90.

These prices can shoot up if you want to reupholster an entire seat, reaching the average price of £150 for basic fabric coverings of one seat, such as the driver's seat. 

Of course, if you want to go for premium, real leather seats, these prices can reach as high as £500, depending on the various factors previously mentioned.

Classic Car Upholstery provide classic car interior restoration for Leicester, Leicestershire and the surrounding areas. If you would like to follow up on any of our services, or if you would like to contact us, then please, follow one of the links below: