If you just got a fresh coat of paint on your car, or you've simply washed it, the chances are that you want it to stay in condition for as long as possible. Exposure to the elements, from blizzards to indiscriminate bird droppings, will certainly take its toll on your car's paint. The best car covers are an ideal defensive shield against damaging forces that can ruin your machine's exterior and interior.
There are several options for every vehicle and budget. As such, it can be a tad difficult to determine which product best meets your specific needs and preferences. We have compiled our recommendations across various categories to help you narrow down the right choice for your ride.
1. Best Outdoor: OxGord Executive Storm-Proof
- Refer to Amazon's Parts Finder Tool to Insure Fitment - Select...
- Water Resistant 7 Layers - 5 Layers of Spunbond Polypropylene + 1...
- Reinforced Seams - Superior Breathability - Front and Rear...
- Includes Storage Bag and Antenna Patch - Tie Down Security...
- Fits up to 168 Inches - M / Medium Cover Size 14.11" L x 4.59" W...
The OxGord Executive Storm-Proof is built to withstand the demands of the harsh outdoors, particularly weather conditions such as rain and water. It's made of a stunning seven layers of material- five comprising polypropylene, one cotton and one micro-porous film. Despite such a thick profile, this car cover is still exceptionally breathable to ensure moisture never gets trapped underneath it.
There are no custom-fit variants for specific car makes and models. However, this car cover comes in various sizes so that the user can get a tight fit for their car. More so, it comes with a storage bag for portability, plus an antennae hole in case you still have one on your fender. The Executive Storm-Proof Cover is a solid outdoor shield for your car, made even more appealing by the affordable price point.
2. Best Indoor: Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPro
- Fits mid-size sedans 176" to 190" long
- Soft fabric won't scratch paint
- Antenna reinforcement patch
- Non scratch tie down grommets
- Corners have an elasticized hem for a fast, custom fit
The right indoor car cover should be protective, breathable and just as important, soft on the inside. The Classic Accessories OverDrive PolyPro ticks all these boxes, making it our favorite pick for indoor use.
It's made of soft fabric, plus non-scratch tie-down grommets, to ensure that it doesn't scuff your car's paint. The fabric is also water repellant and breathable to ensure that moisture and mold don't accumulate underneath it. The cover itself offers protection against scratches, dirt, weather and damage from the sun.
The OverDrive PolyPro comes with a storage bag and an antenna patch. It's a universal fit cover with elastic hem corners for a fast custom fit. This affordable car cover is available in various sizes for both cars and SUVs, plus a buyer gets a 2-year limited warranty.
3. Best for Summer: Audew 6-Layers Car Cover
- 【Protect Your Car All Seasons】This is a car cover that you...
- 【Premium Material】Audew car cover is made of 6 layers...
- 【Upgraded Windproof Design】After optimizing and upgrading, we...
- 【Reflective Strips】Reflective warning tapes are attached to...
- 【Reliable After-sale Services】 Audew car cover will fit...
On hot days, the sun raises the temperatures in your car, which can lead to moisture building up underneath. This also includes emitting harmful UV rays that can also damage your car's paint.
The Audew 6 Layers is meant for this job. Its made of 6 protective layers; a soft cotton lining, one layer of EVA material and another layer of PE material to protect the car from water and dust, as well as an aluminum film layer that blocks out UV rays. It also has a top protective coating to repel water.
This car cover comes with five straps for a tight fit, four of which can be clasped on the wheels while the fifth one passes through the middle of the car. It includes an elastic hem that makes the cover windproof. It also has reflective strips for better visibility in the dark on oncoming traffic.
The only significant drawback is the Audew 6-Layers Car Cover is available in two sizes, one for 175 - 190 inches and the other for bigger crossovers and SUVs.
4. Best for Winter: Leader Accessories Platinum Guard
- SOFT MATERIAL- There is 1 layer of cotton ,which protect car...
- PROTECTION- Perfect for indoor and outdoor use. Protects for your...
- WINDPROOF- straps and buckle at the bottom to protect your car...
- FITMENT- Elastic hem around the bottoms for snug fit. The below...
- PACKAGE- Antenna patches, Storage bag, Buckle
Winter can be a very demanding season, especially with snow falling and piling up on your car over days or weeks. The Leader Accessories Platinum Guard is designed to overcome these unique challenges both indoors and outdoors.
It's made of 7 different layers of material -four polypropylene, two UV coatings and one cotton- to provide maximum protection against snow and freezing rain. The cover is breathable to repel moisture and keep your vehicle dry. It features heavy-duty buckle straps to ensure it remains fastened even in strong winds.
This car cover is not only dustproof and UV resistant. The materials used are also biodegradable, making it an impressively enviro-friendly choice. There are several fitments available, from cars and trucks, plus it comes with a storage bag.
5. Best Value: Budge Lite Car Cover
- ENTRY LEVEL CAR COVER: The Budge Lite Car Cover Size 3 has...
- PREVENT MOLD AND MILDEW: Our breathable material improves airflow...
- SECURE YOUR VEHICLE COVER AND DETER THEFT: Our elasticized hem...
- DESIGNED TO FIT: This car cover fits cars 200" L x 60" W x 51" H....
- INCLUDES: Storage bag and antenna patch
This is an "entry-level" car cover that mostly suits indoor use and occasional outdoor usage. It's a great option for a car owner looking for decent protection at an affordable price.
The Budge Lite is made from a single layer of lightweight, breathable material that lets air flow through to prevent mold and mildew from building up. This car cover features an elasticized hem for a tight grip, plus security grommets and a cable for anti-theft measures. If you end up not using this nifty feature, the hem at the bottom is still sufficient to hold the cover securely.
This car cover also features an antenna patch and comes with a storage bag included. There are two size variants; one for a standard sedan and the other for small SUVs. Perhaps the biggest draw to this option is the appealingly affordable price point without compromising on performance. For it's value, this might easily be one of the best car covers for the price to value.
Factors to Consider in the Best Car Cover
1. Type of Car Cover
If you're looking to protect your car for short- and long-term storage away from the elements, indoor car covers are the answer. These prevent dust from building up while also providing moderate protection from accidental scratches. Most indoor car covers not water or weatherproof since they are made of lightweight fabric material. However, they can still act as vapor and moisture barriers, preventing condensation and mold from building up.
Outdoor car covers, as the name suggests, are built to withstand the elements. They range from multi-layer weatherproof to single-layer water-resistant to protect your car from the sun, rain, snow and ice. If you're considering an outdoor car cover, it's important also to keep breathability and hold-down straps in mind.
c). Windshield Covers
These are partial covers that fit and cowl over the front windshield and prevent snow and ice from building up when your car is parked. Smaller variants only cover the windshield, while larger ones feature a side window, sunroof and mirror pockets. These affordable car covers are an excellent option for winter.
2. Size & Fit
Car covers come in four main fitments; custom, semi-custom, contoured and universal. Custom-sewn aftermarket car covers can match or go beyond the manufacturer's fit. Semi-custom and contoured covers are arguably the next best choice for your ride. Universal fit covers are built for various vehicle types instead of a particular year, make or model.
Finding the right car cover fit is like threading a needle; too big, and it will flap in the wind while letting debris and water in, whereas too small, and some parts of your car won't be protected. Before buying a car cover, it would be best to ensure you know your vehicle's dimensions.
3. Four Seasons, Four Corners
Outdoor and all-weather car covers must have four corner tie-downs, and the stronger the better. Elastic hems are also important to ensure the cover remains restrained. Center anti-theft eyelet grommets are handy for security, but they don't really prevent the cover from coming loose.
4. Material & Breathability
The car cover material that offers the most protection relies mostly on two things; where you live and store your car. As such, indoor covers are typically made of softer fabrics since they don't need to overcome the elements. Outdoor covers vary from single-layer water-resistant material to multi-layer weatherproof ones.
The three most common materials for making car covers are:
- Aluminum: Mostly protects your car from the sun. It reflects UV rays away, helping to cool the car in warm weather in the process.
- Polyethylene: A flexible and durable plastic, which gives a cover waterproof and water-resistant capabilities.
- Cotton: The fleece lining of a car cover, which protects your car's paint. It's also breathable to prevent moisture from building up.
Breathability is equally important to ensure that heat doesn't accumulate within the cover. This can result in vapor and moisture buildup, which can damage the car's paint or interior components.
Some car covers come with storage bags or boxes for easy portability. You just roll the cover up, fit it into the carrier and take it with you on the move. If storage is important to you, this is a convenient feature that you'll more than likely appreciate.
There are other secondary aspects you can also keep in mind in the best car cover:
- Mirrors Pockets: This is a significant feature that can equally be problematic in practice. First, more stitching and seams translate to more likely failure points. Also, if the pockets don't line up with your mirrors, they'll turn into muddle pockets.
- Coming and Going: You can consider getting a car cover that comes with a front and rear tag. While this isn't particularly necessary, it can be an easy, time-saving addition.
- Antenna Hole: If your vehicle has a steel shaft-type antenna, you'll definitely need a car cover with an antenna hole to avoid either having to remove the antennae or punching a hole in your new cover.
- Before you remove and store your car cover, shake off any dust or debris (potentially abrasive materials), which can contaminate the inner layer.
- Wash and wax your vehicle before covering it. Wax adds an extra layer of protection for the paint, glass and trim.
- Make it a habit to fold up the cover from the same end every time.
- Clean the cover occasionally to prevent dirt, particularly biowaste like bird droppings or tree sap, from leeching through the fabric and damaging your car.
- If a full wash is necessary, most car covers are machine-washable. Ensure that you follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning to maintain efficacy and longevity.
Frequently Asked Questions on Car Covers
1. Does a car cover damage paint?
Only if you neglect it. A dirty, ill-fitting or worn-out car cover can easily scratch the paint. Dirt hemmed in between the cover and the car can also scuff your paint since it acts like sandpaper. Similarly, the cover's tie-down straps and fasteners can whack against your car's paint if they're not fastened properly.
2. Can you use an outdoor car cover indoors?
Yes. Most outdoor covers are just as effective indoors, but you need to ensure that both sides of the cover are totally clean and dry. It's also important that the fabric is breathable to prevent the cover from trapping moisture inside your car when it's indoors.
3. What is the difference between a water-resistant and a waterproof car cover?
A waterproof car cover prevents your car from getting exposed to water and moisture. On the other hand, a water-resistant cover uses breathable holes to evaporate water and moisture on the car's surface.