In household terms, your car boot is like the end of the garden. It’s the place to dump all of your gear – out of sight, out of mind. But neglect it, and it won’t be long before it’s looking (and smelling) like a teenager’s bedroom. That's why you need a boot liner - they make your car boot easier to clean and help it retain its showroom appeal for longer.
Why do you need a boot liner?
You could stick a tarpaulin or some old cardboard boxes in the boot, and while that’s fine if you’re after the look of a squatter’s bedsit, we’d recommend one of the boot liners we've chosen below. Some are made-to-measure, while others provide a one-size-fits-all solution. Some are even designed as dog boot liners. All styles are effective, robust and presentable.
The advantages are obvious. Boot liners can protect your boot carpet from death-by-dog, a barrage of abuse from a bramble bush on the tip run, or a mugging by muddy boots after a countryside walk.
Which boot liner should I buy?
Few cars come fitted with a boot liner as standard, but a manufacturer will be quick to offer one from an extensive range of options and accessories. But they are predictably pricey. Ford will charge you more than £60 for a Puma rubber boot liner, while Audi asks for £100 if you want one for your A4. Alternatively, you could buy one of the many aftermarket options available, which tend to be cheaper than those offered by the manufacturers. And many are just as good.
Consider what you need a boot liner for. If you need a dog boot liner, then go for one that has been designed as such. Dog boot liners are often fabric and removable for easy cleaning and have a lip that protects the bumper.
Alternatively, a rubber mat is much more discreet. And if you are after a tough, long-lasting but smart looking boot liner for protecting against general debris, that is a great option.
Parkers' picks of the best car boot liners:
The next best option to buying an outrageously expensive boot liner from the manufacturer is to get a tailored one from a third party. The easiest way to do this is via Amazon Garage. Plug your car’s details into the database and the boot liners designed specifically for the model of your vehicle will show up.
Travall CargoMat Liner - Model specific
We recommend the Travall rubber boot liners. They are very well made, tidy, and work well in all circumstances, from transporting dogs and shopping to a trip to the tip. A small lip on the edge of the boot liner prevents spillages, while the tough rubber used is the same grade used for car tyres.
Below are some Travall CargoMat Liners for a few popular car models:
UK Custom Covers Tailored Boot Liner Mat
Sticking with the tailored option, but moving into fabric, UK Custom Covers makes excellent model-specific boot liners. While the others above are for the floor only, this also protects the sides and back seats. It has a bumper protector too. They are made from polyester and are fully waterproof. They are edging up in price, but they are very good.
Below are just a few of the compatible vehicles models:
Generic boot liners
Sakura Black Rubber Boot Mat
Generic rubber boot mat
The Sakura boot mat is a generic alternative to the made-to-measure Travall options above. You don't have to choose a size, you simply trim the boot liner to size, using the grooves to help you. It's durable, smart, and of fantastic value.
MuttStuff & Co Dog Car Boot Liner Protector Cover
Generic fit, best for dogs
As the name suggests, the MuttStuff and Co car boot liner was designed with dogs in mind, but it's suitable for a wide range of uses. Your dog will appreciate the soft padding, while you'll approve of the waterproof finish, the storage pockets, and the protection for the rear seats. The zips, Velcro straps, and buckles make it easy to remove for cleaning.
Buying the right boot liner, and how to use it
You can’t go too far wrong when buying a boot liner, but there are some things you’ll need to consider. If you’re buying a made-to-measure product, make sure it fits the make and model of your car. Be sure to take the car’s age into account, because the size and shape of a boot may vary according to the model year.
It’s worth considering what you want from the boot liner. Options range from a simple mat large enough for the boot floor, to full protection for the rear seats, boot, and rear bumper. A simple mat might be enough if you’re carrying a small dog, but something more substantial will be required if you take a couple of dogs on country walks.
If it’s a simple mat, it’ll be a case of putting it in the boot and letting the non-slip material do its job. Make sure you vacuum the carpet before inserting the mat. Other boot liners will require fastening to the rear headrests and/or hooks and tie-downs in the boot. Make sure your boot has the necessary hooking points before purchasing a boot liner.
What to consider when choosing a boot liner
Although some boot liners can look expensive, it’s worth considering the resale value of your car. Carpet stains, fabric wear and smells can take hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds off a car’s value. With this in mind, a boot liner is a good investment.
Make sure the boot liner is lightweight, removable, and washable. Also check the material is fit for purpose – you’ll utter a few curse words if it rips when you load some rose bush cuttings into the boot. Similarly, make sure the liner is designed to support your dog when on the move. They won’t thank you if every corner results in them sliding into the side of the boot.