Best Car Covers

Updated July 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

22 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
253 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best car covers

Last Updated July 2019

Whether you want to keep the sun and rain off of your daily driver or you’re protecting a classic car from jealous passersby, having a quality car cover is important. For most people, their vehicle is one of the most expensive items they own. A car cover can help protect that investment from the elements and all sorts of contaminants. Before you choose the right car cover for yourself, however, you need to make sure you know what to look for. Different car covers serve different needs, and choosing the wrong one could be costly and frustrating.

You wouldn’t be careless about shopping for your car, so why be careless about shopping for the item tasked with protecting it? If you want to make sure you get the best possible information on purchasing a car cover, then you’ve come to the right place. We researched the top brands and created this guide that covers the ins and outs of your shopping experience. Read below to learn more about car covers and how to find the best one for you.

If you fail to properly install your car cover, items such as straps and buckles could flap around and damage the surface of your car.

Key considerations

Although people have different reasons for wanting a car cover, the basic function of each is the same: to protect your vehicle from unwanted dirt, scratches, or attention. If you are looking for a car cover, think about the following factors.

Material

While some car covers are often made of lightweight nylon, others consist of multiple thick layers of cotton, canvas, velour, and other fabrics. The type of material you choose will have a lot to do with what your primary need is. Lightweight nylon covers are commonly used for basic protection from sun and wind. These covers are more often used as daily “off and on” options. Heavy-duty cotton covers, on the other hand, are more long-term options which protect your vehicle against all sorts of environmental threats, including human vandalism and damage from animals.

Size

The size of a car cover matters because different vehicles have different measurements. You’ll want to measure your vehicle before shopping for a new car cover. All covers specify the cover’s measurements on the packaging or product description. This means you can match your vehicle to the appropriate car cover size before you take it out of the packaging.

Heat protection

Vehicles that are stored in extremely high temperatures can benefit from an insulated heavy-duty car cover. If heat protection is one of the most important aspects of a car cover for you, then you will need to examine the heat protection specifications of each car cover that you are considering. Lightweight nylon car covers offer little heat protection in comparison to their heavier counterparts.

Ease of use

If you plan to cover and uncover your vehicle daily, or even regularly, then you will need to consider the ease of use of your car cover. Heavy-duty cotton car covers can be onerous to maneuver on a daily basis. If you want a car cover that is easy to manipulate, consider a more lightweight material.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

If you plan to install your car cover while parked on the street, stay keenly aware of your surroundings. Safety should be your number-one concern.

Features

Car covers are far more advanced than they were years ago. Once upon a time, a car cover was a large piece of fabric with an elastic band around the bottom. Today, car covers come with a number of features and options that were never available to consumers in the past. If you want to get a car cover that explicitly meets all of your needs, then consider getting one that incorporates the following features.

Soft fleece lining

To protect your vehicle’s paint at the highest level, consider getting a car cover with a soft fleece lining. Fleece is one of the safest materials for keeping your vehicle’s paint looking clean and new. Fleece lining on a car cover is perfect for those who want to only have the most delicate of fabrics touching the surface of their car during storage.

Wind straps

One of the biggest frustrations that those who use car covers deal with is wind. If you get a car cover that includes wind straps in addition to an expanding elastic bottom, you can protect your cover against the risk of blowing away in a strong wind. When strong winds are present, your vehicle is at greater risk of damage from the elements, so having wind straps to make sure your car stays protected is one of the best things you can do.

Custom fit

While many people will opt for a standard size option for their car cover, others are looking for something more specific. It is possible to order car covers that are designed specifically to fit your exact make and model of vehicle. These car covers are more expensive than standard ones, but they look nice, and they fit like a glove.

Storage bag

Many modern car covers come with a storage bag for the cover when it’s not being used. Many people who cover and uncover their vehicle on a regular basis like to stow their car cover in the trunk when not in use. A car cover bag makes this a much easier task than just throwing a messy cover into the trunk.

Multi-layer design

As mentioned, many high-quality car covers are designed with multiple layers of fabric between the exterior and interior layers of the cover. The strongest models may contain between three and five layers of fabric. This makes for a sturdier design that offers maximum protection to the surface of your car. Keep in mind that this added fabric also adds weight to the cover. Make sure the added weight is something that you are able to handle during the course of regular use.

CAUTION

Do not sit in your vehicle when it is covered. Doing so in a hot environment is extremely dangerous.

Car cover prices

Inexpensive: The least-expensive range of car covers is between $20 and $100. These covers tend to be between thin and medium thickness. They are good options for regular daily use and are easy to use.

Mid-range: Models between $100 and $500 are more likely to have up to five layers of protection, including a high-quality lining like fleece. This price range is also more likely to have custom-fit designs for specific vehicles.

Expensive: The majority of car covers priced between $500 and $850 are made with the best materials (wool, cotton, etc.) and will be custom fit, mostly for luxury-brand vehicles.

EXPERT TIP

Never cut holes in your car cover to improve the fit to your vehicle. Doing so would likely lead to further tears in the fabric.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Put your antenna down or feed it through a pre-installed grommet in your cover before covering your vehicle. Failure to do so could cause severe damage to your antenna.
  • Make sure your vehicle is clean and clear of dust and dirt before covering it for an extended period of time. This will protect your car’s paint job.
  • Secure your car cover using small clamps or wind straps, especially in high-wind conditions. If you don’t, you just might lose your cover.
  • Make sure there are no liquids or other contaminants on the inside of your car cover before placing it over your vehicle.

Other products we considered

There are many good car covers available on the market, which is why we want to give you a few more options from which to choose. The BLIIFUU Sedan Car Cover is an excellent option in the inexpensive category. It is made of umbrella-thin nylon that protects the integrity of your car’s paint job.

As a mid-range option, you may want to consider the Budge UA-1 Protector. This cover is designed for medium-size SUVs and has a solid four-layer design that keeps your vehicle safe from the elements.

If you’re looking for something more luxurious, consider this expensive option: the Form Fit Custom Car Cover from Covercraft. It’s available for almost any vehicle on the road today.

Never attempt to drive your vehicle when the car is covered.

FAQ

Q. Am I able to wash my car cover when it gets dirty?
A.
Yes. Depending on the material of the cover, you can either machine wash it, hand wash it in a separate container, or wash with water and detergent right on the vehicle. Consult product instructions for the best way to clean it.

Q. Will a car cover prevent my vehicle from getting wet?
A.
Probably not. Most car covers are not fully waterproof, so a heavy rain would likely result in your car’s surface becoming wet. Covers made of breathable materials are usually left on the car to dry. Other materials need to be removed and dried separately. As with washing your cover, make sure to consult your individual cover’s instructions for the best way to handle this.

Q. Is it possible for only one person to install a car cover?
A.
Yes. Most car covers are designed so that a single person can install them on a vehicle with little difficulty.

Q. Will a custom-fit car cover offer a level of protection beyond that of a universal car cover?
A.
No. The main advantage of a custom fit car cover is aesthetic. The make and material of the cover is what provides the protection, not the custom fit.

The team that worked on this review
  • Adam
    Adam
    Writer
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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