Answering the question How much does auto upholstery cost? is rather like answering the question How much is a car? the variations in price are almost limitless, depending on the cars make, the auto upholstery fabric or material (leather, vinyl, synthetic) and the extent of reupholstering that needs to be done.
Auto upholstery repair is now so specialized, in fact, that entire businesses and service stations, which previously did such multiple jobs as detailing, in-car stereos and numerous other accessories for automobiles, now reupholster almost exclusively. And the money is certainly there, as the charge for reupholstering a cars interior can run well into the thousands.
If now one considers the question How much does auto upholstery cost, the answer is that, at the very least, reupholstering a single automobiles interior with the most inexpensive materials available will run around $1000, based on the standard national average; this is pretty much the bottom line for most businesses that resurface and reupholster automobile interiors.
This will provide the customer with an auto upholstery fabric of synthetic cloth; this is fairly comfortable all-season material, and should provide ample air and breathing space for the body. The cost of this all-purpose inexpensive fabric runs around $10 a yard; at least 30 to 35 yards are necessary, unless one owns a genuinely compact automobile, for a decent reupholstering job, and one should figure in labor to account for much of the cost as well.
Why is it over a thousand dollars for reupholstering, when the cheapest fabric is only $350 at most? Does labor take up that much expense? Not exactlyauto upholstery repair is more extensive than just reapplying fabric to a seat. Included in that figure is the additional unseen material that is under the fabric, such as seat foam and arm rest foam, as well as heat and sound insulation. If one is redoing the dashboard or door panels, the boards for those are included in the price as well.
If one wants genuine wool cloth, this will raise the price, as will each fabric gradation, and a more comfortable vinyl synthetic will raise it even more. The cost of genuine wool runs between $20-25 a yard, with an average price of reupholstering for fabric and labor of $2500 to $3000. More expensive still is the synthetic vinyl upholstery that approximates a leather finish, and is found in most classic cars and Street Rods. Reupholstering one of these automobiles will run around $4000-$5000.
If one wants a brand new leather interior, this will cost at least $8000 to $10,000, as leather (especially the fine Corinthian leather that the commercials have popularized over the years) runs an average of $75 to $90 a yard; it has numerous gradations, cuts and grains, and the feel of the right kind of leather, as any owner of a luxury vehicle can say, is indescribably better than any fabric, no matter how comfortable. Leather, of course, is famous for breathing qualities which keep it comfortable in both summer and winter driving, and many car owners say the price of reupholstering in that medium is worth the money.
Finally, there are custom interiors of specific colors, cuts and padding; it is nearly impossible to answer the question of cost for these, so the customer is best advised to come into the upholstery shop and discuss his/her needs with the professionals working there. They will offer portfolios of work already done, show (and let the customer feel) samples of their work and give an accurate estimate of the bottom line price.
Several visits to several stores should answer the question, How much does auto upholstery cost? and will give the customer a good idea of what he should be paying for it. But he should not be surprised if the bottom line is in the thousands.