Find the best wheel arch trim & covers (UK)
Have you got rusty arches? The following wheel arch trim make up our top three favourite picks that are universally compatible for cars and vans including the VW Transporter.
- The Original EZ Flares Wheel Arch Trim Extension 1 Inch
- MASO Wheel Eyebrow Arch Trim Rubber Protector
- 4 Pieces Universal Wheel arch trim
Ranked best value for wheel arch trim
4 Pieces Wheel arch Eyebrow trim
Wheel arch trim – ranked easiest to install
The Original EZ Flares Wheel Arch Trim Extension 1 Inch
VW Transporter T4 and T5 wheel arch trim covers
Unfortunately, older Transporters in the T4 and T5 range suffer over the years with rust developing on the wheel arches.
Rust develops partly due to the fact that the motors are so reliable and people tend to run the Transporters for many years and over many miles in all climates.
However T4’s and early T5’s do suffer from water ingress around the wheel arch covers allowing water to stand and cause rust over time if not maintained.
Whilst a bit of bubbling on the arches is not a significant concern, if left untreated it can become an MOT fail in the UK and result in a fairly expensive job to replace.
Why install wheel arch covers
The following top reasons explain the benefits of arch covers
- Protect wheel arches from accident damage or chipping that can lead to rust
- Cover up unsightly rust bubbling especially on the T4’s
- Helps prolong the life of your wheel arches if installed correctly and water sealed
- Aesthetically they look good
- Cheap cost-effective addition to a campervan conversion to make it look a little more unique
- Avoids immediate need for new arches if rust ingresses and can help obtain an MOT
How much does it cost for Transporter wheel arch trim covers?
Wheel arches can be installed for as little as £30 and range up to £100 depending on design and finish. The covers reviewed here are cost effective solutions if you do not want to spend a lot of money on your covers.
How much do new wheel arches cost for rust repair?
Four new wheel arches for a T4 or T5 to be professionally welded costs in the region of £1200 up to £1600 including painting in the UK.
The actual materials to do the work your self would only come to around £250 however the job does require a high level of skill and time to cut out the old arches and install new to a professional standard. A job that isn’t for the faint hearted.
For this reason wheel arch trim covers make perfect sense to try and extend the life of your existing arches.
What features do you get on an expensive wheel arch covers?
So the things to look out for on the more expensive wheel arch covers for Transporters maybe:
- Wider material that covers more of the arch, providing greater protection.
- A higher quality finish such as chrome or harder plastic as opposed to rubber.
- A better seal around the outer edge of the trim.
- A longer life product that will withstand more varied weathers and climates.
The more you increase your budget then generally the more you will get.
Bespoke wheel arch covers vs universal trims
For a higher price you can get bespoke wheel arch trims that will only fit on specific models of VW T4 or T5. They still take the same amount of time to install but are usually plastic moulded to fit the size and shape of your arch.
Some of the plastic moulded options for specific models are cheap imports (on eBay) and do suffer from poor fitment, making them not great value for the extra money that you will pay.
Using high quality universal trim, you can fit to size and shape with less swearing. You can get a top quality tight fitment with a bit patience.
Are wheel arch trims hard to install?
For a competent DIY Transporter enthusiast, the job isn’t a hard one but does take a bit of time to get it right.
A badly fitted set of wheel trims can escalate water ingress and rust so it is important that you take your time making sure you get a good seal around the arch.
Whilst arch trims are a great way to hide unsightly rust, it is highly advisable to treat the rust before installing the trim.
You can sand back rust to the bare metal, treat with some good quality rust protection (several coats recommended) and then install the covers over the top of the repair if you are not ready to shell out a load of money for new arches immediately.
This can buy you a good bit of time before needing new arches or a more permanent repair.
Drilling holes in the arch
This is probably the most daunting part to most DIY enthusiasts. To get a good quality fitting arch trim you need to be prepared to drill holes into the arches for the mounting holes. Some trims have their own adhesive to avoid this however the better, longer lasting trims will need to be bolt mounted.
Drilling the holes is fairly straight forward but be sure to use rust prevention on the holes before you install the trim to ensure you don’t encourage rust to develop on the bare metal.
The Original EZ Flares Universal Fender Flares Wheel Arch Trim Extension 1 Inch
- Universal fitment that can be done quickly and easily giving up to 1.5 inches are arch cover
- Comes as a peel and stick application meaning no drilling is required.
- Provides a good level of extra paint and bodywork protection as it extends the arches outwards slightly which helps catch more debris from hitting the side of your transporter.
- Very cheap versatile product that works will with either VW T4 or T5 application.
- Can be used with additional sealant to provide an even better seal around the arch and trim (recommended).
- The standard adhesive is good quality providing a long life fitment. Some adhesive trims suffer with lose fitment so something to review carefully.
- Over 200 product reviews on Amazon showing the durability and quality of the product.
- For less than £50 for all 4 arches, you can’t really go wrong with this product.
MASO 2Pcs Universal Car Side Fender Wheel Eyebrow Arch Rubber Protector
- Similar product to the EZ flares and slightly cheaper.
- Sold in sets of two if you only wanted to apply to your front arches this makes it the cheaper product.
- Doesn’t give quite as much cover as the EZ flares however goes up to 2.3cm which is enough to cover for most rust patches on a T4 and T5!
- Easy fitment using cut to size and self adhesive design.
- Can be installed easily by amateurs without the need to drill holes or visit a garage.
- Give a good tight seal but for best results it is always worth applying additional sealant around the trim to prevent water ingress.
- The soft rubber finish protest the arches well from stone chips and minor accident damage.
4 Pieces Wheel arch Eyebrow Universal Universal Fender for Car Eyebrow Protection Fenders Flares Arches
- At under £50 for a set of four, these offer great value for money.
- These offer maximum coverage of arches using a flexible and robust plastic cover
- Require drilling of arches to the most secure fitting but offer a long life solution for arch protection
- Fit both the VW T4 and VW T5 without any significant modifications.
- Nice looking product with aerodynamic design
- Polypropylene plastic for long life hard wear and tear
- Recommend professional installation as there is drilling required however suitable for a reasonably confident DIY enthusiast