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What are the small protective panels on the body of my car above the wheels?

I have put down a deposit on a used Toyota Yaris. There are small panels on the body above the wheels that look rusty or dirty around the edges. The dealer says they are protective add ons that can't be refitted properly if removed to be cleaned. Does this sound right? They spoil the look of the car which is pearlescent white.

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They are to prevent stones from chipping and penetrating the paint in those areas. If Toyota can't replace them with new ones, then you might be able to have them removed and replaced with 'wrap' patches by a car 'wrapping' specialist
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