The 10 Best Car Covers
This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in April of 2015. These reliable car covers can be counted on to protect your vehicle from rain, snow, UV rays, tree sap, or even pigeon droppings. They come in sizes to fit any make or model, from sedans to SUVs, and at prices to meet any budget, so they're a smart, affordable way to extend the life of your investment. Many feature reflective tape for visibility, as well as elastic on the bottom for a secure fit. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
February 17, 2020:
Whether you’ve got a car, and SUV, a minivan, or a motorcycle, there’s a sturdy cover to keep your vehicle protected from rain, wind, snow, UV rays, dust, and bird droppings. Our list includes a range of models that will suit any make and model or budget. We added the American-made Covercraft Noah to the list in this update, which offers all-weather protection that utilizes a film-barrier technology from Kimberly-Clark. It resists moisture from the outside, yet it breathes to allow any moisture to evaporate from underneath. It’s also highly resistant to dust and UV rays. It’s lightweight and easy to fold, with a light color that won’t attract heat. It’s more of an investment than many other models, yet it’s been reported by users to last well over a decade, whereas others will likely need replacement much sooner.
We also added the Covercraft Carhartt, which is another model from the same manufacturer. It’s designed to both protect your truck from the elements and to provide much-needed privacy when you’ve got lots of tools and gear. It features patented “Rain Defender” technology, UV protection, dust protection, and triple-needle stitching on the stress seams, and is custom-patterned for your particular truck or SUV. The Carhartt brand has been around since 1889 and is known for its sturdy work clothes like waterproof jackets, overalls, and dungarees. This cover features the brand’s trademark brown color and its logos on the sides and the back.
The Favoto Heavy Duty also comes on board today, and it offers five protective layers and handy pockets that fit nicely over your side mirrors. Among other things, this one can hold up well to high winds, thanks to its straps that attach to each tire to keep it securely in place. Its soft cotton liner keeps your ride free of scratches when it’s outside or in your garage. Another new addition is the AmazonBasics Silver, which is compatible with a wide range of vehicles, since it’s available in a dozen sizes for both sedans and SUVs. Unlike many others, it features a door zipper for easy access to your driver’s seat. This is convenient when you need to get something you left inside your parked vehicle. It’s made from aluminum and PEVA to protect from dust, dirt, and water, and its soft cotton lining prevents scratches.
We removed the Leader Accessories Xtreme Guard and the Yitamotor Outdoor in this update, neither of which is available at this time.
Ultimate HD Diamond Pro Van Cover From a Southern California company that has been making specialty car covers since 1987, this 100% waterproof selection comprises six layers of protective fabric, including a fleece lining and UV additives. It’s great for either indoor or outdoor use, and included is a bonus lock kit. It comes in attractive charcoal gray, with side grommets and a full elastic hem, and carries a 10-year warranty. thecarcover.com
American Max This protective cover is made in the U.S.A. and offers three thick layers, with double-stitched seams for durability. It’s water resistant, yet allows moisture to pass through, thus preventing mildew and rot. Great for either indoor or outdoor use, it features a full elastic hem, built-in grommets, and a generous seven-year warranty. It withstands harsh sun and heavy rain, and can protect against snow, ice, and dust. empirecovers.com
Why You Should Use A Car Cover
Similarly, if you've ever parked your car underneath a tree, you already know how time-consuming it is to scrape off leaves, sap, and berries.
Whether you drive a sedan or an SUV, investing in a car cover is a smart idea if you want to protect your car from the elements. Without a cover, your vehicle is completely vulnerable to whatever mother nature has in store. There's no reason to leave your car exposed when affordable, useful products like the car cover exist.
One of the main reasons to purchase a car cover is so you don't have to constantly worry about the weather. Rain, snow, and wind can cause damage to even the toughest vehicles. With a cover, the threat of rust and scratches is all but eliminated.
You may not have realized it, but the sun poses a major threat to your car's appearance. Ultra-violet rays bleach out paint and can cause it to chip, resulting in a ride that looks aged and dull. If you pride yourself on driving an attractive car, you had better keep it covered when you're not using it.
Dealing with animal activity is another annoying aspect of owning a vehicle. As your car languishes on the street or in your driveway, birds inevitably fly by, leaving their little presents behind. Not only is bird excrement disgusting and unsightly, it's also a pain to clean up. The same goes for other evidence of animal activity, such as spider webs and snail trails. Similarly, if you've ever parked your car underneath a tree, you already know how time-consuming it is to scrape off leaves, sap, and berries. A car cover will allow you to park your car pretty much anywhere without having to stress about what will happen to it while you're away.
If you have a vehicle that you don't operate regularly, it's critical that you pick up one of these products. Leaving a car uncovered for an extended period of time isn't the best choice if you plan on ever using it again in public. The accumulation of rust and dust can be easily avoided with a car cover.
Covers discourage break-ins, and it's easy to see why. Criminals looking for a target will naturally want to avoid spending extra energy and time removing a sizable car cover.
What To Look For In A Car Cover
With a car cover, cleaning and maintaining your ride will be much simpler. Here, we've outlined some of the most common car cover features, which should make finding the right product for your needs a breeze.
Those who live in especially windy areas should search for a cover that can be locked into position.
The first thing you will want to consider is the cover's construction. If your goal is to shield your car through storm season, go for a thicker fabric with waterproof coating. On the other hand, residents of particularly dry, sunny areas should be on the lookout for covers that have UV ray-blocking technology. For cars that are stored inside the garage (or any other enclosed area), opt for a breathable cover to combat the growth of mildew. And always make sure to check the packaging to determine whether the product is intended for indoor or outdoor use.
Don't get caught with a cover that doesn't fit. Car covers come in a range of shapes and sizes. Some are designed for vehicles of a specific size, while others are one size fits all. Elasticized hems make putting the cover on a quick and easy experience, and they offer a more tailored fit, too. Things like reinforced seams and locks are handy features that will help keep your car safe and secure. Those who live in especially windy areas should search for a cover that can be locked into position.
Other aspects that might inform your decision include the cover's color and design. Most covers come in neutral hues, though there are some that boast fun patterns like stripes for a more stylish look. If you're a champion of the environment, you'll be happy to know that there are options on the market that are made from biodegradable materials.
How To Keep Your Car Looking Brand New
Besides shielding your vehicle with a car cover, you can halt or reverse noticeable wear and tear by enacting a simple maintenance strategy. Follow these instructions and your car will continue to look fabulous for years to come.
Waxing your vehicle is one of the best things you can do to give it a refreshed appearance. Applying wax also protects against damage that can result from exposure to moisture, harsh chemicals, and grime. Depending on how often you drive your vehicle, waxing once every few months should provide sufficient protection.
Besides shielding your vehicle with a car cover, you can halt or reverse noticeable wear and tear by enacting a simple maintenance strategy.
Get your car washed regularly. The safest way to clean your car's exterior is washing it by hand with a soft sponge and soap formulated specifically for automobiles. Other types of soap are usually too corrosive for the paint finish and should be avoided.
When you're washing your car, always keep a clean bucket of water on hand. After you've been scrubbing for a while and the water begins to get a little bit murky, replace it sooner rather than later. If you don't, the dirty water will leave marks on your car as it dries — and it's not a good look.
Some say that putting your car through an automated car wash is unwise and elevates the risk of damage; however, if you can't find the time to wash your car yourself, it's still better to get it washed at all than to leave it covered in bird droppings and dust, which become more difficult to remove with time.
To preserve the interior, consider adding a darker tint to your windows. Most tints on the market are crafted to provide a barrier between UV rays and the fabrics lining the inside of your vehicle, so you won't see your elegant leather seats fade over time from sun exposure.
There you have it: a few basic, but important rules to abide by if you want to keep your car sparkling like new. With a car cover and these maintenance tips, you'll be driving the sharpest-looking car on the block in no time.