Car cover buying guide
Even when you’re not driving, your vehicle is still in danger of potential damage. Everyday threats like bugs, bird droppings, dust, gas and sap can affect your car in numerous ways. A car cover is an easy and effective way to prevent these hazards from damaging or destroying your vehicle, whether it’s parked on the street or in your garage.
Before buying a car cover, consider what level of protection you desire, what size cover you will need or if you plan to use the cover in long-term storage or on your daily commuter vehicle. You may want a cover with a soft fleece lining to protect the paint finish like the OxGord Signature Car Cover, a top pick.
What to know before you buy a car cover
Car covers wrap your vehicle in protective layers of material, which prevent everyday hazards from damaging your car. If you’re thinking about purchasing a car cover, there are a few factors to first consider.
Car covers can be made of a variety of materials and how you intend to utilize the cover can affect which material you should use. Typically, lightweight nylon covers provide basic protection from sun and wind and are used for daily use. Long-term cover options are usually made of heavy-duty cotton and are ideal for cars stored indoors and for long stretches of time.
Not all vehicles have the same dimensions. To accommodate, car covers also have varied sizes and dimensions. Before buying a car cover, measure your vehicle and check that your desired cover will properly fit your vehicle’s dimensions.
Vehicles stored in high temperatures are at risk of external and internal damage, such as leather drying and cracking or electronics becoming compromised. If you plan to store your vehicle in an area with high temperatures, check that the heat protection specifications of the cover you intend to buy will effectively protect your vehicle. Typically, heavy-duty insulated covers provide greater heat protection than their lightweight nylon counterparts.
Ease of use
Heavy-duty car covers can be heavier and more laborious to install and remove. If you plan to use your car cover daily, consider purchasing a lightweight nylon cover to help make install and removal faster and easier.
What to look for in a quality car cover
Though all car covers provide some level of protection from dirt, dust, wind and UV rays, some covers have features and options that make them a better fit for your needs.
Soft fleece lining
Although good for providing protection from sun or wind, rough or stiff materials like nylon are abrasive and may damage the paint finish of a vehicle. However, a car cover with a soft fleece lining provides a non-abrasive layer of protection between your vehicle and the tough exterior layer of the cover, helping to maintain a vehicle’s paint finish.
Strong winds place your vehicle at a greater risk of damage from dust and debris. Also, loose-fitting car covers can be blown off the vehicle or thrash in the wind, possibly damaging your vehicle. Car covers with wind straps help secure the cover to the vehicle, decreasing the chances of the wind removing the cover and ensuring it continues to protect your vehicle.
Though they do not increase vehicle protection, custom-fit car covers provide an aesthetic appeal for a larger price tag.
High-quality car covers have between three to five layers of material to protect your vehicle from damage. The more layers of material, the more protection from the elements and debris the car cover provides. However, additional layers increase the overall weight of the car cover, which can make it more difficult to install and remove.
Many car covers provide a storage bag to place the cover in when not in use, creating a tidier space inside your vehicle or trunk. Also, a storage bag can make it easier to transport the cover if you decide not to store it in your vehicle or if you are taking it somewhere to be washed.
How much you can expect to spend on a car cover
Car cover prices vary greatly depending on the materials used and the number of layers of protection. Car covers between $20 to $100 will usually have a thin or medium thickness, whereas car covers between $500 to $850 will be thicker, made with high-quality materials and are custom fit for luxury vehicles.
Car cover FAQ
Am I able to wash my car cover when it gets dirty?
A. Yes. Depending on the materials and components, you can machine wash, hand wash separately or wash the cover while it is still on the vehicle. Refer to the instructions included with the product for the proper cleaning procedure.
Will a car cover prevent my vehicle from getting wet?
A. No. Most car covers are not fully waterproof and will not prevent water from contacting the surface of your car during a heavy rain. Depending on the materials, you may need to remove the car cover from the vehicle after a rain to properly dry the cover.
Is it possible for only one person to install a car cover?
A. Yes. Typically, car covers are designed to allow one person to properly install the cover.
Will a custom-fit car cover offer a level of protection beyond that of a universal car cover?
A. No. Custom-fit covers are purely aesthetic. The number of layers, construction and materials are what provide protection for a vehicle.
What’s the best car cover to buy?
Top car cover
What you need to know: The five layers of protection ensure your vehicle is protected from various hazards.
What you’ll love: The cover is available in a variety of sizes up to 204 inches in length. A soft fleece lining protects your paint finish, while wind straps keep the cover in place during storms and strong winds.
What you should consider: Some users reported quality issues such as peeling layers and leaks.
Where to buy: Amazon
Top car cover for the money
What you need to know: This is a great car cover for those on a budget who want more than basic protection.
What you’ll love: The cover is made of three protective layers and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use.
What you should consider: The material is somewhat thin compared to other covers.
Where to buy: Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: With an affordable price, this car cover is great for indoor use.
What you’ll love: It is easy to install and remove.
What you should consider: The cover does not have a soft interior lining and the material is thin and easily torn.
Where to buy: Amazon
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Gerrad Frei writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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