Five ways driving with your dog could cause nearly £2,000 in damage – here’s how to avoid it

HERE are five ways driving with your dog could cause nearly £2,000 in damage to your car – and how to avoid it.

Motor experts are warning drivers not to rack up unexpected costs to their car by travelling with their furry friends.

These are the damages to look out for when driving with your pooch, according to experts at Bristol Street Motors.

Exterior scratches

Excitable dogs who jump up the side of your car might lightly scratch the paintwork. 

Scratches can reduce a vehicle’s resale value and repairing them will cost on average £80 per scratch. If you have multiple scratches to repair, you might have to spend £400 on respraying the full panel.

To avoid exterior scratches, keep your dog on a short lead until you’ve opened the car door.

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Torn or scratched upholstery

Pups who sit in the car without a carrier often dig their claws into the seats to steady themselves, scratching or even tearing the upholstery.

Repairing these rips costs between £80 and £90 on average, although this varies depending on the material of the seats.

Use a pet seatbelt, carrier, cage, or put your pet in the boot with a dog guard in place, to stop them from slipping and scratching the seats.

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Little accidents

If your dog is a nervous traveller or isn’t fully toilet trained, they might have an accident while you drive. 

When the upholstery is beyond repair, recovering your seats may be the only option. This can cost up to £325 per seat for fabric, but is even more expensive for leather. 

Invest in removable car seat covers, which protect upholstery from stains and make accidents easier to clean.

Nibbles on your car's interior

Chew marks on the steering wheel or nibbles on a seatbelt might go unnoticed while you’re driving, but they can be costly.

Gear knobs cost £55 to replace and it is £80 to repair a steering wheel. For damage worse than a slight tear, fully recovering a steering wheel could put you £130 out of pocket.

Nibbled seat belts or chewed buckles can cost you around £151 to repair.

Ensure your dog is safely restrained in the car so they have less opportunity to chew the things while travelling.

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A build up of dirt and pet hair

Ferrying your furry friends around naturally leads to a build-up of dog hair in your car, which clings to soft furnishings and gets in the difficult-to-clean nooks and crannies. A muddy walk or beach trip will certainly bring unwanted mud and sand into your car.

If dirt is left to build up, it may be easier to replace your car mats rather than attempt to clean them. A basic set of car mats are around £20, but it often costs more for a better quality set. If carpets get past repair, it could set you back hundreds of pounds to replace them. 

Regular cleaning and valets should prevent this build up of dirt and unexpected costs.

Your pet travel shopping list

Spending £116 can keep your pet safe and prevent £2,000 of damage

Front and rear seat covers – £40

Perfect for protecting your car’s upholstery from dirt, hair and accidents.

Pet seat belt – £5

An essential for safely restraining your pet, making skidding across the seats less likely.

Alternatives include a pet carrier (£15), dog cage (£40) or dog guard (£20).

Dog drying coat – £15

Ideal for after rainy walks, a handy dog drying coat will absorb any water before your wet dog can shake all over your upholstery.

Regular valets – £56.50

A full interior valet will help keep your car free of hair and dirt and costs £56.50 on average. An in and out clean, priced at £32.50, is a cheaper option for ongoing maintenance of your vehicle.

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