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Fender Flare Buying Guide: How To Find The Best Set Of Fender Flares

Adding Protection And Style

When you leave the pavement to head off-road, you likely think about the potential damage that rocks and other trail debris can do to your 4×4’s paint. Wider off-road tires can kick up a considerable amount of gravel, rocks, mud, and other debris. If you want to safeguard your machine’s paint and sheet metal from the ravages of off-road debris, installing fender flares is an excellent option. Not only do they protect your 4×4’s paint, but the right fender flares also give it a rugged appearance. You can also color match fender flares so that they blend in or leave them unpainted to make them stand out.

You should know a few things about fender flares before you decide which set is right for your 4×4. This buying guide sheds some light on the matter. Continue reading for information on what fender flares are best for both your vehicle and driving style.

Types of Fender Flares Available for Off-Road Vehicles

Fender flares come in a few different styles. Before deciding which one you want to install on your machine, you should understand the functionality and aesthetic of each type of fender flare. When shopping for aftermarket flares for your rig’s fenders, you can choose from the following types:

• Rivet-style fender flares
• Extra-wide fender flares
• Cut-out fender flares
• Street-style fender flares

Because each fender flare style looks and performs a bit differently, you should understand what fender flares are best for you before deciding on which ones you want. You should also know how installing fender flares may change your 4×4.

Rivet-Style Fender Flares

One of the more popular types of flares, rivet-style fender flares, also called pocket-style fender flares, give your 4×4 a beefy off-road look. These flares extend the wheel-coverage area of your rig’s fenders. This, of course, adds additional protection for your vehicle’s paint. They also have exterior rivets that give your vehicle a more rugged look.

Because rivet-style fender flares usually install inside existing holes, you don’t have to worry about messing up your vehicle’s body panels. You also don’t have to spend countless hours to achieve professional-grade results, as these fender flares are usually a breeze to attach to your rig.

If you are looking for rivet-style fender flares, there are some excellent options on the market today. Bushwacker, WARN, Smittybilt and others have innovative rivet-style fender flares that are sure to enhance your rig’s overall look and add extra protection needed to keep its paint in excellent shape.

Even better, rivet-style flares from leading manufacturers allow you to color match your flares by inputting factory paint codes into your order. If you prefer the look of contrasting finish colors, you can also opt for an accenting color that gives you the finished look you want.

Extra-Wide Fender Flares

If you regularly take your 4×4 off the beaten path, you probably have already installed wider and taller tires. Extra-wide fender flares are popular among off-road enthusiasts because they help to deflect rocks, mud, and gravel away from paint that is prone to chips and cracks.

These flares extend far from your rig’s fenders, allowing you to go on off-road trails without worrying about paint damage due to tire kick-up. If you have customized your vehicle to include a lift kit, beefier tires or other modifications, installing extra-wide fender flares makes good sense.

Like with rivet-style flares, extra-wide fender flares can either match your existing paint scheme or contrast it. Smittybilt, Bushwacker, WARN and MCE Fenders have some impressive extra-wide fender flares that fit many models of trucks, Jeeps, SUVs, and UTVs.

Cut-out Fender Flares

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous or want to run larger tires, cut-out fender flares may be right for your off-road vehicle. Installing these flares, though, requires a bit of grit and some confidence, as you must cut into your 4×4’s existing fenders. If you do not have the equipment or skill to make a precise cut, you may want to leave your cut-out installation to the pros.

Still, despite their comparatively difficult installation, cut-out fender flares look great. They also allow you to install larger tires than your vehicle otherwise accommodates. Either way, you are sure to turn heads if you go this route. Check out Bushwacker Cut-Out Fender Flares to see if these are right for you and your vehicle’s larger tires.

Naturally, if you are looking to remove rust or other damage around your existing fenders, choosing a cut-out option may be a good idea. When installing your rig’s new flares, you may be able to remove parts of your 4×4’s fenders where you have existing damage or rust. If you have rust beyond the normal cut-out area, though, fender flares won’t take care of the problem.

Street-Style Fender Flares

Achieving a rugged look for your favorite off-road vehicle may not be high on your priority list. If you are looking for a flare that matches your 4×4’s existing lines, street-style fender flares are a good option. These flares provide some extra protection for your vehicle’s paint without being too flashy.

Additionally, street-style flares generally install quickly and easily without requiring specialized tools. If you regularly drive on paved roads, you can likely get the additional protection you want without overly modifying your machine. For street flares that get the job done, Bushwacker’s OE Style fender flares are an excellent investment.

Customizing Your Off-Road Vehicle

Regardless of the type of 4×4 you regularly drive, installing fender flares is a fast and effective way to customize your favorite off-road vehicle. When you are ready to add some flare or additional protection for your rig’s paint, choosing the best truck, SUV, or Jeep fender flares is essential.

Put simply, when you invest in top-grade fender flares from manufacturers you know and trust, you get the ultimate protection for your vehicle’s paint. Further, when you know how to color match fender flares, you turn your 4×4 into a great-looking rig.

Products we used in this article