When people get into your car, they could be prone to bringing with them mud encrusted on their shoes - and that's before we get onto the subject of crumbs and spills that, like the mud, could accumulate on your vehicle's carpet, with the resulting eyesore affecting the car's resale value.

While your car might have already come with mats for placing over that carpet, you'd be lucky to get more than two years' use out of these slivers of material. You could wash your mats regularly, but buying replacement auto floor mats regularly can especially help you to maintain their effectiveness.

If you are worried that this situation would require significant financial outlay on your part, don't be; with Black Friday coming up, you could stack up on cut-price floor mats now, ready for you to place in your vehicle as and when necessary. Here's how to approach the task of shopping for new mats.

Do you want basic mats or more advanced liners?

In the automotive field, "mats" and "liners" can often seem like interchangeable terms, but there remains an important if subtle difference between them. If you are especially cost-conscious, you could be drawn, at least initially, to floor mats, which are more basic in form than liners.

Usually comprising rubber, carpet or a mix of the two, traditional mats are flat pieces designed to fit into various vehicles. A set of four mats can cost you roughly $10 to $40, though probably towards the lower end of that scale on Black Friday.

If just some protection for your carpet would suffice, perhaps because it is well-worn or your budget is a little tight, you might be content with universal mats like these - even if you end up needing to trim them with scissors to achieve a better fit in your vehicle.

However, if your car's carpet seems to magnetically attract debris and spilt food and drink, perhaps because you have messy kids or often visit muddy or sandy areas, you might prefer liners, which tend to be much pricier but can fit your specific vehicle relatively seamlessly.

Factors to consider when choosing mats or liners

When on the hunt for new floor mats, you are unlikely to be short of choice, but this presents you with the problem of having to carefully sort through what's available to find what's right for you.

For an especially varied lifestyle, with snow, mud and sand all regularly punishing your carpet, "all-season" floor mats are hard to beat. Mats of this type include Armor All mats, while Husky floor mats are available for an even wider range of vehicles.

Meanwhile, if you have SUV floor mats in your sights, a good idea could be to set aside enough money - around $180, we would suggest - to fund both front and rear seat liners.

However, if you are in the market for liners but struggling to find some suited to your particular vehicle, consider perusing the range of WeatherTech floor liners. The expense of these undoubtedly high-quality liners can make them seem like the iPhones of the auto floor liner world - another reason why the onus would be on you to hunt diligently for a Black Friday bargain.