The 8 Best Car Shelters
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If your property lacks the benefit of a dedicated carport or the garage is simply piled high with junk from floor to ceiling, then consider one of these car shelters as an alternative for the vehicular protection and storage you seek. Made with UV-resistant materials and durable frames, these portable canopies can shield most vehicles from harmful sunlight and extreme weather conditions. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best car shelter on Amazon.
The Elements Vs. Your Car
Invisible but insidious ultraviolet light is the main culprit for that damaged, sometimes even peeling auto paint.
The sunshine is one of the greatest enemies your car's exterior faces.
Your vehicle faces a tough world out there, and that's true even without the travails of traffic, the ruts and potholes in city streets, the long miles logged on highways, and the occasional off road jaunt through mud and muck. Even when simply parked in your driveway, your car is continually subjected to the elements, with each change in the season bringing its new share of challenges.
The sunshine is one of the greatest enemies your car's exterior faces. When that ubiquitous summer sun shines down on your vehicle's paint job, it causes oxidation, premature discoloration, and fading. Invisible but insidious ultraviolet light is the main culprit for that damaged, sometimes even peeling auto paint. One way to fight back against the sun is to regularly wash and polish your car, as a clean and waxed car fights that UV light and resists the buildup of grit and grime that further damages paint when left untreated. Furthermore, water left to dry on the car can leave behind mineral deposits, making it look dirty, while simultaneously damaging its exterior.
Simple rainwater can leave your car looking soiled and, over time, can cause real damage to the exterior for precisely the same reason as above: rain leaves mineral deposits on the finish that will not just rinse away with the next downpour. In fact, they will only continue to build up over time.
An even greater danger not just to your car's paint job, but to its windows and body is hail damage. Hail can occur at almost any time of year in most any region of the country. Hail is a type of solid, frozen precipitation that consists of ice formed into irregular clumps. A single hailstone can measure just a millimeter or two across, or can be as large as six inches, which is about as large as these clumps tend to get. However, it should be noted that the current record set for largest hailstone saw a chunk of ice measuring almost eight inches across and weighing in at just under two pounds. Even a much smaller piece of hail than that could easily crack a car's windshield or dent its roof.
Depending on where you live, your car may face many other foes when parked on your property as well, including animal waste, tree sap, falling pine cones, and more. The best place to keep your car safe is inside a garage. The second best place to store your vehicle is underneath a car shelter.
The Temporary Car Shelter
If you require only temporary shelter for your car, truck, trailer, or boat, then a simple canopy style car shelter should suffice to keep your vehicle safe from the elements. Canopy shelters are little more than roofs stretched over solid, sturdy metal frames that offer enough surface area to completely cover your vehicle.
You can use one for a few days, weeks, or months as needed, and then efficiently break it down and stow it away until the next season's woes beckon.
There are a few drawbacks to a simple canopy style of car shelter, and these include its inability to protect the car from sunshine coming in at an angle or from rain or snow blown sideways by high winds. Careful positioning of your canopy shelter can help mitigate the amount of sun that hits the car, and you can always set up the shelter where plenty of shadow already exists thanks to a home, outbuilding, trees, and so forth.
These simple car shelters do provide respite from much of the midday sun, from direct downpours, and usually from hail as well, as heavy hailstones tend to fall more or less straight down unless the wind is blowing with particular force. A simple roof-only car shelter also costs a fraction of the price of shelters complete with walls and even with doors, so the reduced protection they offer me be well worth the extreme reduction in price they afford you. An open shelter that blocks the sun can also keep the interior of your vehicle cooler, allowing the breeze to pass over it while rejecting solar heat.
If you need a place to keep the sun off of yourself while you work on your car, a simple canopy car shelter is an ideal choice. It allows you easy access to the vehicle from all sides, while still offering decent elemental protection. And the ease with which a basic car shelter can be set up and broken down is also a bonus. You can use one for a few days, weeks, or months as needed, and then efficiently break it down and stow it away until the next season's woes beckon.
The Long Term Car Shelter
Whether you live in an environment prone to harsh weather, are looking for a semi permanent place to park your vehicle each day, or you need a place to safely store a vehicle for a long period of time, a car shelter complete with walls and doors is a relatively cost-effective solution.
A good car shelter can be set up on grass, gravel, or concrete, and should feature flexible anchoring systems that work on these and other ground surfaces.
While these car shelters can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to well into the thousands, they are far more affordable than paying for a third party to store your car, not to mention the cost of building a garage or permanent outbuilding on your property.
A good car shelter can be set up on grass, gravel, or concrete, and should feature flexible anchoring systems that work on these and other ground surfaces. It's important you take the time to properly mount any car shelter, especially one that will be left standing for long periods of time. While you might see your car shelter as protection from the elements, a strong gust of wind might see that untethered car shelter as a kite to be picked up and tossed around, potentially causing damage or even injury in the process.
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