Choosing The Right Car Cover



Protecting your car from damage is vital if you want to keep it in good condition. A car that’s been damaged not only doesn’t look at great, but it also may develop a number of different mechanical issues. One of the best ways of protecting your car, especially when you don’t have a garage, is to place a car cover over it. But how do you know if you’re using the right car cover? Obviously, one can’t use a BMW cover in place of a Dodge Ram cover. That said, there are a number of different factors you need to take into consideration.

Determining Your Protection Needs

First, what are your protection needs? If your vehicle will be outdoors, you’re going to need to protect it from a number of different things. If it’s indoors, you may think you don’t need a car cover at all, but you still do—there are different threats that can do damage to your car indoors.

Best outdoor car covers, you’re going to want to protect your vehicle from a very large number of things. The first and perhaps the biggest threat is the weather. Hail is the worst—it can cause dents and break your windshield or windows. In 2013, the National Center of Atmospheric Research reported that there were 5,457 hail storms in the U.S. A good car cover will keep your car protected from dents.

In addition to hail, wind can do a good amount of damage to your car by blowing other things into it. That includes common items like your trash bins, lawn decorations, and outdoor children’s toys. However, it can also include things like branches. Strong winds can blow branches off of trees or even take down the entire tree.

Rain can also cause some damage to your car if it gets into the scratches. It can begin corroding your paint job. If it’s acid rain, it can do even more damage. But on the other hand, even sunlight can hurt your car if it’s left outside under harsh light for too long. The heat can do damage to the car and to your interior. A good car cover is very important if your car is going to be in the sun for long periods of time.

You also have animals to worry about. Birds can leave droppings all over your car and bugs can crash into it. While you may think a quick carwash will take care of this issue, if you let it for good long, it can be really hard to get the stains out.

Parking under a tree is risky during a storm, but even when the weather is clear, it can hurt your car. Sap, nuts, and other things can fall on your car, causing tiny scratches that, while you can’t see them, can cause problems.

Finally, you can’t forget dust. The wind will blow a lot of dust onto your car every day. Even though it may not seem that bad, this dust will slowly grind your car’s paint down. You won’t notice it right away, but over time, your shiny paint job will fade.

Indoor Verses Outdoor Covers

But what about indoors? If you park inside, surely you don’t need a car cover, right? If you’re storing your car indoors, you may want to cover it. Dust is a concern indoors, too, even though you may not think it is. Moisture can also affect your car indoors, as can bugs and other animals. If people are going to be walking past your car on a regular basis, there’s always the chance that they will scratch it by accident. That’s especially true if they’re carrying things. If you have a lot of stuff stored in your garage, there’s always a chance it could fall on your car.

Indoor car covers are usually lighter than outdoor covers. You’ll want a lighter cover if you often cover your car. Form fitting car covers are a good idea—if you have one that fits tightly over your vehicle, there’s less of a chance of the cover getting pulled off, plus it will help prevent dings.

Can you use an outdoor car cover indoors? You can, but indoor car covers are generally made out of material that’s more breathable. This will help prevent heat and condensation from getting trapped between the cover and the car. These covers may also be softer to protect your new paint job or layer of wax. That means they’re not quite as durable as outdoor covers. They are also mildew and rot resistant so that the cover will never start to rot and fall apart.

Outdoor car covers, on the other hand, are designed to be waterproof and less absorbent. Just shake it off and it’s practically dry. They’re also more UV-resistant and may have additional hooks to attach it to your vehicle. This helps keep the car cover from being blown off the car during storms.

Selecting Material and Style

There are a number of different fabrics that are used for car covers. The material you need really depends on whether your car will be stored indoors or outdoors and what type of climate it may be subject to. If you live in an area where your car is always going to be under bright light and subject to warm temperatures, you want to find a car cover rated for breathability and UV resistance. You don’t want all of that heat building up between the cover and your car. On the other hand, those who live in areas with frequent storms are definitely going to want a cover that withstands water easily.

If you’re going to cover a car you drive frequently, you probably want a lightweight cover that you can easily pull on and off. If, on the other hand, you’re going to cover a car that you plan on storing for months, you may want a more form-fitting cover that hugs the body tightly.

Measuring your Vehicle and Ordering

Before you order a car cover, decide on what you need the cover to do—will it be indoors or outdoors? Does it need to be more water-proof or UV resistant? Then you need to measure your car from bumper to bumper, side to side (from the outermost edge of your mirrors), and top to bottom (from the bottom of the wheel to the uppermost part of your car). This way, you can make certain to order a car cover that fits perfectly.

Choosing the right car cover