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You might not think you need a car cover, but you would be sorely mistaken as this is an essential car owner accessory.
Keep reading to learn why you need one, how to choose it, and which ones are the best ones available in the market.
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A car cover is almost like a protective “case” for cars. It is used to protect a vehicle from the elements, especially when the car in question won’t be used for a prolonged period of time.
Car covers come in all types of materials and sizes and should be an essential item for most owners. Even those who don’t think they need them can probably benefit from owning one.
It is especially important to have a car cover if you live in a place where there are harsh seasons. This is because both extremely cold and extremely hot weather conditions can damage your vehicle more than you think.
It should be a no-brainer to use one to protect your car against deterioration caused by hail, snow, humidity, and sunlight. Nonetheless, it can also protect your vehicle’s paint from the acid in birds’ droppings, heavy fruits falling from nearby trees, and dust accumulation from extended lack of use.
And yes, even dust can ruin your car’s paint if you allow enough of it to collect on the surface. Better safe than sorry, right?
You probably want to conserve as much of your car’s value as possible, and one part of that equation is keeping your vehicle looking new. For this, you need a quality car cover.
If you are a collector who has a vintage vehicle or if you have a luxury ride, this is even more important as you certainly made a serious investment, and your car or truck is a true financial asset.
Getting a vehicle’s paint repaired or re-done can be very expensive (when done correctly by specialists). Car covers, on the other hand, can be very affordable, so they are a safe alternative to use as a preventative measure.
Most vehicle owners usually assume that their truck, car or SUV is completely safe inside a garage, but the truth is that this isn’t always the case, and there are many factors at play:
You might have multiple cars. If so, this puts paint at risk of scrapes, dents, and chips when you park too close. If you have kids with bikes, or you happen to have a motorbike, accidents are also very likely when moving these in and out of a confined space.
There’s also the possibility that your garage is a multi-purpose space that serves to park your car but is also used as household storage for out-of-season decor and clothes, or even as a crafting space.
Any of these situations means you need to be careful not to have accidents that could scratch your paint. Whatever the circumstances, a car cover best serves you psychologically: by giving you some extra peace of mind.
Car covers protect your truck, SUV, or car against more than just scratches on the paint.
Dust is not as innocuous as most people think. If you allow enough of it to collect on your car, it could ruin your paint in a way similar to sandpaper.
Even if dust doesn’t worry you, there are other types of damage your car could endure from the elements and bad weather.
A good example is a car cover’s protection from UV rays (from sunlight). While your paint doesn’t need that much help in this department, the same can’t be said for the inside and other parts of your car. Uneven exposure to sunlight can fade the fabric of your seats and other car details, irreparably damaging your car even worse than a simple scratch. Rubber bits can also crack or melt from drastic temperature and humidity changes. Electronic parts can overheat and start malfunctioning. Even good quality paint might suffer if exposed enough to drastic weather changes.
Car covers also provide a defense against rust (from accumulated humidity and condensation) as well as stains caused by acid rain or bird droppings.
While most car covers can be used both inside and outside, if you plan on leaving your car outside for extended periods of time, you should research a bit more. It would probably be worth it to invest a little more money and get something that is designed to be more heavy-duty and provides some extra protection for these specific circumstances.
As with most products, you’ll find different brands, features, and materials. Most of them are good, but before we can explore that further, you need to decide what type of car cover you’ll be shopping for.
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to quality car covers. Keep in mind, though, that the main decision you need to make is whether you’re going to go for a contour or a custom fit cover.
Most of the car covers you’ll find ready-made in the market will be contour, which is a looser fit and can be adapted to more car models. However, just because these are readily available should not make you think they’re necessarily inferior in quality. There are plenty of great ones.
While custom car covers will usually be more expensive and, as the name suggests, you’ll have to wait until they’re custom-made for you, more often than not, a contoured cover will be the smarter choice.
Because contour car covers are looser in fit, and a bit less detailed, this makes them easier and faster to take off your car and put back on. This might seem like a small detail, but nothing could be further from the truth. Hopefully, you’ll be taking these on and off your car on a daily basis, which makes ease-of-use one of the most essential features to consider when making a purchase.
This is not to say getting a custom cover is never recommended. But it is typically reserved for special circumstances, such as when you have a very expensive vintage car—and you don’t mind the extra time required to remove the cover whenever you go out, and replace it when you return. It can also work well for a special car that isn’t your main vehicle for everyday use.
In addition to having a tighter fit, custom covers will have special pockets and spaces to accommodate things like antennas and mirrors. It’s these details that make them the luxe option, but they’re also what makes putting them on and off a tiny bit more complicated than it would be with a standard one.
Custom car covers can be the right choice in some cases, but they just won’t be the most convenient and efficient choice for most people.
If you’re still set on getting a custom cover made, please also take into consideration the time it will take to get it produced. It can usually range from one week to a month, and you’ll have to protect your car in another way while you wait.
A standard contour car cover can perform just as well as a custom cover if you choose the right one. We’ll help you do just that, so keep reading.
Now that you know that for practicality and economy you probably want a contour car cover, it’s time to research a bit. You could go and order one online right now and have it at your doorstep in a day or two, but there are several factors you need to consider before you take the plunge—especially if this is your first time buying one.
Some of the questions that you should ask yourself include:
This can be important in special cases or locations where vehicles can be more exposed to the elements. More often than not, car covers can be used in both situations, but it’s worth considering if a sturdier cover might be needed.
Is this a car you use daily, or it is more of an occasional usage car? Is it a rare and expensive vintage, or a relatively common car? The amount of protection you want to ensure could vary a lot depending on factors like these. Then again, maybe your car is your “baby” regardless of what category it falls into. That’s up to you to decide.
If the cover is for a car that you use daily to commute to and from work, then you need to consider convenience. While you still need to ensure that the cover does an adequate job of protecting the surfaces of the vehicle, the convenience of putting it on and off the car will probably take precedence over other features.
If you’re buying a car cover for a rare or expensive vintage vehicle, you might want to invest in a cover with a softer underside. This is especially true for vehicles that still have many original components (i.e., parts that could be more fragile in everyday use).
So, are you ready to buy? Let us tell you which car covers are the best out there.
If keeping water away from your car is your main concern, check these great options out:
With six layers, this car cover advertises itself as a heavy-duty all-weather option. It has a special design for “faster use” so you can easily and quickly identify the front and back of it. It also features buckles to keep the cover in place during windy situations, and it has a reflective set of strips to make your car visible to other cars even in very dark conditions.
The cover is made of aluminum for UV protection, and soft cotton to protect your paint from scratches during use and installation. It also includes a scratch-resistant layer to-
further protect your car against accidents, animals, and even ill-intentioned vandals.
It comes in various sizes to fit sedans, jeeps, SUVs, and hatchbacks. It’s a truly universal cover that buyers say “fits like a glove.”
This is another excellent choice for heavy-duty weather protection. Its multi-layered material is super durable and appropriate for most, if not all, weather conditions. This Kayme cover boasts 100% waterproof protection.
Some buyers mention how good a value it is. Its main downside, however, is that it’s only available for sedans, so if you have a bigger vehicle, this isn’t the one for you.
Kayme 6 Layers Truck Cover Waterproof All Weather, Heavy Duty Outdoor Pickup Cover.This is the big sister of the previous recommendation: All the same features and glowing reviews from satisfied buyers. This is the one to go with if you have a big truck or SUV.
If you want the absolute best quality, have the budget to get it done, and boast the patience to use it properly, you should probably go custom-made.
When you get custom covers, you can request exactly the specific materials and other specs to make the final product a perfect fit for you and your car.
If you want the best for even the stormiest of conditions, but don’t want to go custom, then get:
This cover goes the extra mile with 7 layers, making it more protective than any of the other recommendations. It promises to be completely waterproof with 5 layers of spun-bond polypropylene, 1 layer of micro-porous film, and 1 layer of soft cotton to avoid scratches to the surface of your car. It also comes with a storage bag for even more convenience.You’re paying a bit more, but the quality reflects it, and most buyers have only great things to say about this one.
If the price is a big concern, here are some excellent options for fewer dollars than those listed above:
At a very affordable price point, this car cover is a windproof and scratch-proof option. The lower price, however, means that the material is not UV resistant; and if your weather conditions are too harsh, it might not last for a long time. Still worth a look if it’s an inside-only cover (for use in your garage) or if you live in a nicer climate.
Leader Accessories Car Cover UV Protection Basic Guard 3 Layer Breathable Dust Proof Universal Fit Full Car Cover.This is very basic, but it’s still a good fit for many people’s needs. It is especially good if you have a smaller budget. It’s a best seller on Amazon and covers the most essential needs for a small price tag.
In the middle ground price-wise, but still offering amazing quality, we recommend you check these out:
Good for both indoor and outdoor use, this cover has 6 layers: 1 Layer Non-woven that works as a protective coating, 1 Layer PE for Waterproofing, 1 Layer EVA for dust and dirt, another layer of PE, 1 Layer of Aluminium Film for sun protection, and finally 1 Layer in Cotton to protect your car from scratches during use. This one is also anti-hail and anti-freeze, so it’s a good solution for most needs, and it comes in pretty much all sizes.
This one is 99% waterproof with great attention to stitching quality and an elastic on the bottom to keep it in place. This cover has an extra perk most don’t: A zipper that allows for easy access to the driver’s door in case you forget something inside, so you don’t have to completely remove it to get in. It also features reflective tape, and even straps to secure it and avoid wind from blowing the cover over.
Depending on your specific situation, you might need the most waterproof cover that you can find in the market. Assuming this is always the case would be a mistake, however.
First of all, it’s almost impossible to find a truly 100% waterproof car cover. Why is this? Because preventing absolutely all moisture from penetrating through a surface is no easy task.
Unless you live in a very stormy region, you will be better off buying a water-resistant, yet breathable car cover.
If you are going to store your car for long periods, such as while you’re away on vacation, this is especially true. This might go against all your instincts and sound like the most counterintuitive thing ever, but it’s not. If you leave a waterproof cover over a car, and there are dramatic weather changes while no one is home—to check on the car—condensation could form on the inside of your cover and ruin your car in multiple ways. Mold and rust, come to mind immediately.
Furthermore, most of the car covers that usually tout being waterproof have cheap plastic and PVC components. While this could oftentimes be a non-issue, it could also easily be a serious problem if this layer is the one in contact with the top of your car. PVC, even while dry, can cause scratches; but if left under humid conditions over an extended period of time, it could glue itself and break apart all over your car’s expensive paint.
In many cases, water-resistant car covers will not only suffice but will be the better choice because they are breathable, and that avoids the issues mentioned above. Water-resistant covers will be enough to keep most water at bay while also allowing condensation to evaporate. This guarantees that mold and rust don’t get a chance to make an appearance.
People often think there’s no science to putting a car cover over their vehicle, and there’s no need to ask or go looking for suggestions and instructions. This confidence usually vanishes the moment they first unfold their car cover and don’t know where to start installing it; or, when they try to install the cover, they only end up with a shoddy result that won’t be very effective at any sort of protection.
To save you time and frustration here is the right way to go about putting your car cover on your SUV or other vehicles:
The first tip is to move from the front to the back of the car or truck you’re protecting.
The second tip is to start with a loose fastening of the securing mechanism to allow for adjustment as needed.
The third and last tip is to remember that once your cover is placed correctly, you should make sure it is secured in a snug way to avoid flapping movements as a result of wind or wet weather conditions. A snug and secure fit will avoid abrasions and other types of damage.
Well, no, and it’s not the end of the world if you forget to use it sometimes here and there.
However, it would be preferable if you managed to do it as often as possible since this is the only way to offer the most protection for your vehicle. After all, even if you buy the best car cover out there, it won’t do much good if you keep it folded in some corner of your garage, and forget about it.
Like everything else you do daily, getting into the habit of covering your car after using it is just a matter of creating a routine around it. Try to always member the headaches it could be saving you from, and it will be easier to adapt to using it frequently.
Even if you’re committed to using your car cover as frequently as possible and install it every time your car will be parked for more than a few minutes, in the hours you’re driving around, you’ll need to store it somewhere so it’s ready when you come back.
It could seem obvious, but proper storage of a car cover is critical for it to continue to provide your car with appropriate protection.
You should either have a storage bag or a special drawer for your car cover while it’s not being used. Make sure both the designated space and the car cover itself are clean before storing it, as you don’t want to track dirt onto your car and scratch it when you put the cover back on.
When removing the cover, make folding easier by folding each side one by one onto the top of the vehicle and then folding that long piece inwards until it is the desired size for the bag or drawer you’ve assigned for it.
Now that you have your perfect car cover, one thing you should always check is that both the car and the inside of the cover are clean whenever you use it.
The only thing worse than not using a cover is using a dirty one or covering a dirty car. If you leave small dirt trapped between your paint and the cover, you are very likely to scratch the surface and ruin the paint you’re trying to protect.
Another common mistake that can make a cover not only ineffective for its purpose but counterproductive is a bad fit. Even with a standard store-bought cover, you must always make sure the fit is snug enough not to make any part of it flap with the wind against the surface of your car. It’s preferable if the cover includes some mechanism to keep it firmly attached to the underside of your car. Either an elastic band or some type of straps will work fine.
Another important reminder is to check your car every time there’s an extreme weather event. Be it rain, hail or snow, even the best car cover isn’t perfect; and if you allow any water to sit between your car and the cover, things will deteriorate horribly, and fast. A humid, covered car is the perfect breeding ground for mold, rust, and even some types of insects.
Always check and, if necessary, clean your vehicle after any extreme weather events.
A Car Cover might inadvertently protect a car against thieves since they’ll have to guess the car model and what’s inside it. In addition to this, it would just take some precious extra time to target your vehicle, which might, in turn, make them choose an easier target.
Using a car cover will also make it less likely for all types of animals and little critters to set up camp on your truck or SUV. This will make claw-scratches and chewed wires unlikely to happen. It will also prevent you (as a driver) from accidentally injuring or killing furry creatures sleeping in the bed of your wheels.
When choosing your car cover you should think about your specific needs to find a product that will fit best with your lifestyle. These usually include:
Regardless of your particular needs, buying a car cover is always a good idea as it is a small investment that can help protect your vehicle. Such a small item can potentially save you thousands of dollars in paintwork and other repairs.
Remember that cars, SUVs, and trucks are not the only vehicles that need covers for protection. Scooters, motorcycles, golf carts, jet skis, bicycles (and everything in between) need to be stored and parked properly to avoid deterioration between uses.
In fact, these might need even more care regarding potential issues since they are probably used less frequently than your main vehicle.