People use car covers for a whole number of different reasons – some want to protect their pride & joy, others need a little weatherproofing, and some use them as a security aid. But understanding the benefits of choosing the best car cover for your need can get complex … there must be hundreds of different styles and choices.
So what sort of thing should you consider? Surely, so long as it fits your car, that’s all you really need? Right?
Table of Contents
The first question you need to ask yourself is simple … is the car cover intended for indoor or outdoor use? Will the car be kept inside your garage or workshop, or left in the yard, perhaps even on the road?
While an outdoor car cover will work indoors, it still wouldn’t necessarily be the best choice – bulky, expensive, more awkward to fit … And flipping that around, an indoor cover used outside would be ok as a temporary measure, but certainly wouldn’t last that well, nor give the same level of protection.
Next up, you need to think about whether this is going to be fitted and removed on a daily (or least regular) basis. If you start having to release straps and fixings each time you want to use the car, you’ll reach that point where it becomes a hassle, you may even be tempted to leave the cover off, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of it.
Is this going to be a dust cover? Or does it need to add a layer of protection? Do you need something that could help prevent dings and scratches?
Car covers come in an array of different construction materials – from a light nylon through to heavy plastic, and everything in-between.
Some materials offer greater protection from the elements, but they may not offer such great protection for the paintwork – if the cover is unlined, there’s a chance that it could chafe the paintwork, leading to minor scratches or swirl marks.
Read my guide here if you’re suffering from swirl marks.
The material used will also affect the price of the cover, so if it’s just a cheap, almost disposable cover that you need for a temporary use.
The Best Car Cover
OxGord Executive Waterproof Car Cover
The OxGord Executive is marketed as a ‘semi-glove’ fit cover because it can be tightened up at the bottom, which to me is a regular feature of any car covers. It’s a well-made cover featuring reinforced seams, front and rear elastic hems, draw strings and tie-down security grommets.
The material is 5 layers thick – 3 layers of spunbond polypropylene, 1 layer of micro-porous film and a further layer of soft fleece. Although I don’t believe it really is a ‘fleece’ as people would recognize – more of a softer, open weave fabric.
OxGard's outdoor car cover offers 100% fully waterproof, and has exceptional breathability, or you’d be trapping all manner of moisture underneath it, which would wreak havoc with your car’s paintwork.
The package arrives in its own storage bag, when it’s not on the vehicle, it needs to be kept clean and dust-free.
Leader Accessories Car Cover
The Leader Accessories car cover has just three layers of protection, but those three layers are more than enough to keep all. The harshest of weather out – it’s pretty waterproof and dustproof, and comes with a built-in strap and buckle that fastens underneath the car – this thing won’t be blown off the car.
Along with the strap, the hems are elasticated, so it really is a snug-fit, providing you choose the right size for your vehicle. It also features tie-down grommets, just in case.
I guess my only concern would be that they say the material is environmentally friendly, and biodegradable, which is great and all that, but surely the last thing you want with an outdoor car cover is that it’s biodegradable?
The cover’s UV resistant and up to 200-inches in length make for an ideal car cover for indoor and outdoor use. Everything also comes in a quality storage bag.
Kayme All Weather Car Cover
The Kayme is one of the few car covers that features a zippered door access panel. It’s actually a pretty neat idea (providing you can get your head around a zip being that close to the paintwork).
A comprehensive range of sizes should mean that finding the right fit won’t be an issue, and it has a number of neat features that all help to make this car cover a truly great buy. I really like the reflective striping on the cover – it’s great if the car is left in a really dark place – it helps to identify it from far away.
It also features mirror pockets, and there’s no need to worry about folding the mirrors in each time you cover it over, it’s a small detail, but one that I like. Finally, this Kayme cover is equipped with security straps at the front and rear, and elasticated hems front and back – providing you get the size right, then this will fit your car extremely well.
Of course it’s water/dust/snow-proof, and the four layers of material should help to keep everything out – 2 layers of PE for guaranteed waterproofing, a layer of aluminumized fabric to reflect the sun and some regular cotton to make it scratch free.
Like the rest of the covers here, it has a heavy duty carry bag.
Titan Lightweight Car Cover
After spending my life having never seen a car cover with a driver’s door zippered panel, this is the second one that’s come up. It’s really handy when you’re storing your car and need to access to the inside for starting the car for example – a clever idea.
The material itself is 100% waterproof, however, you do tend to find that the cover sticks to the car after a rain storm, so there must be some moisture getting underneath. With that said, being completely breathable and such lightweight, it dry’s out pretty quickly.
Adjustable straps at the front and rear help to keep the cover attached in strong winds, as do the elasticated hems, and included in the kit is a 7 foot long cable and padlock which can be used to loop through the security loops for that extra bit of security – either in really high winds, or as a slight deterrent to thieves.
This is a great lightweight cover, if you’re looking for extreme weather-proofing, I’d look at something heavier duty.
Budge Lite Car Cover
Budge say that this cover is for indoor use, with short term outdoor use only, in reality, unless short term is a day or two, then you’ll need another cover.
The Budge Lite cover comes in 9 different sizes. However, if you’re going to order one of these covers, then choose the next size up from what you need. This is because the sizing is a little … snug. Technically, the Budge Lite car cover has some great features like double stitched seams for added durability, a full elasticated hem and security grommets. But you need to remember that it’s a single layer of polypropylene, and as such, it’s more suited acting as a dust cover inside your garage than protecting your car from the elements.
XCAR Breathable Dust Prevention Car Cover
Made from 3 layers of polypropylene, the XCAR cover isn’t sold as waterproof, but it is water-resistant and breathable. So if you are storing your car outside, it will protect it to a degree, and if it does get wet, it should dry pretty quickly.
Double stitched seams help to strengthen the cover, along with the neat touch of a hook and loop strap at each corner to just to really make the cover secure. There’s also a windproof strap and buckle in the middle of the cover, and it comes with a free cable and lock to pass through the security grommets.
This is a middle of the road car cover – nothing fancy, but it gets the job done, providing you aren’t after the ultimate in weather protection. The XCAR does even offer a one year warranty.
Typically speaking, there are two different fits for a car cover – custom or generic, although there are some manufacturers that offer something that sits between the two.
Of course, a custom fit or bespoke car cover is always going to be better … it will mirror the exact contours of your car, have the added ‘pockets’ for things like mirrors or antennas, and they’re easier to fit. You should also remember that as it’s a custom fit, there will be less chance of it being blown around or flapping against your paintwork.
A generic fit cover will be much cheaper to buy, and to a degree, could be better for the more security conscious due to the fact that it will be more difficult to identify exactly what’s under the cover (aside from ‘a car’), but exactly as the custom cover is better because it won’t flap around, the generic cover could have that problem.
Although being generic, you may still find that a particular cover is available in different sizes – sub-compact, sedan, large sedan or SUV kind of thing.
As we’ve seen, the range of car covers available is vast, and it really does depend on exactly what you want as to what car cover you should buy.
Yes, there are some cheap car covers in the list, and they won’t give you 100% protection, so choose wisely and a car cover will last for years and years, make the wrong choice and it may not last a week.