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REG­U­LAR driv­ers spend am­ple time with their hands wrapped around a steer­ing wheel and plenty of time look­ing at it. So it makes sense to have one that is com­fort­able and looks great.

Car Toys sales ex­ec­u­tive Mar­i­lyn Mon­teleone says a new steer­ing wheel is a rel­a­tively cheap way to per­son­alise your ride.

‘‘Your main point of con­tact with a ve­hi­cle is a steer­ing wheel,’’ she says. ‘‘If some­one buys a sec­ond­hand car, peo­ple look to put a new steer­ing wheel on there to give it that new car feel.’’

Mrs Mon­teleone says steer­ing wheels can range in price from about $100 to more than $500.

Car Toys spe­cialises in renowned Ital­ian brand Momo, whose steer­ing wheels are on the more ex­pen­sive side. ‘‘As soon as you hold a cheap steer­ing wheel next to a Momo steer­ing wheel, you will see why they (Mo­mos) are more ex­pen­sive,’’ Mrs Mon­teleone says. ‘‘They are the most pop­u­lar and high­est qual­ity brand.’’

Simon Moyle from Sprint Auto Parts at Kilkenny says steer­ing wheels come in styles to suit all driv­ers.

‘‘You can get some with a flat bot­tom and dif­fer­ent colours,’’ he says. ‘‘We find a lot of peo­ple like to match it to the colour of their car.

‘‘You can get a lit­tle bit more steer­ing re­sponse but a lot of peo­ple do it for the vis­ual as­pect.

‘‘Blacks and the reds are the most com­mon and some peo­ple tend to like multi-colour steer­ing wheels.’’

Buy­ers should be mind­ful that steer­ing wheel re­place­ments must obey strict safety re­quire­ments and not all cars can have new steer­ing wheels fit­ted.

When buy­ing a new steer­ing wheel, a boss kit must also be fit­ted to en­sure the horn and in­di­ca­tors work. Sprint Auto Parts stock boss kits from $80. Car Toys fit steer­ing wheels in their work­shop and of­fer a per­son­alised steer­ing wheel re-trim ser­vice where the wheel can­not be re­placed. Car Toys, 8346 2555. Sprint Auto Parts Kilkenny,

8244 3210.

6. Enzo car­bon fi­bre

$1 10. LL J81 41 5 2. Enzo red and black

$11 5. PPP4 4950

1. Sparco He­lios

$299. CRY53727

5. Momo Nero

$429. ESD46040

4. Momo Race 3000

$399. TGN59292

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