7 Best Car Covers for 2024
Have a car you want to protect from the elements, but don't have a garage? A good car cover can help. Here are some of the best available.
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What to Consider When Buying a Car Cover
One important part of vehicle maintenance that’s often overlooked is protection from the elements.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why do I need a car cover?” just look closely at any vehicle stored exclusively outdoors for more than a couple of years. Dirt, gravel, UV rays, rain, snow and hail all wear down the paint over time.
“Car covers help maintain your car’s value,” says Andy Medearis, travel expert, bargain hunter, and founder of Deals Points. “Keeping that factory-fresh look means you can potentially command a higher selling price down the road versus a car with wear and fade issues. Also, with a quality, easy-on cover, you’re protected with minimal effort. Much better than having to scrub your car weekly.”
The first layer to fail is the clear coat, which gives new cars that shiny, pristine look. Once that’s worn through, the paint itself starts breaking down. That’s when your car starts looking duller and shabbier. Even vehicles stored indoors are susceptible to dust, dirt and possibly rodent droppings (yuck!).
Thankfully, there’s a simple solution.
Vehicle covers come in all shapes, sizes and quality levels. There are several important considerations to make while choosing one:
- Indoors or out: Indoor covers offer dust and dirt protection only, but no waterproofing or hail protection. Outdoor covers are waterproof and multi-layered.
- Vehicle dimensions: Unless you’re buying a custom cover made for your car (more on that later), you’ll need to know the exact length, width and height so you can tell if a cover is available in the right size. The quickest and easiest way to do this is by simply Googling your vehicle year, make and model name, followed by the word “measurements.” The results will tell you what you need to know.
- Material: “For outdoor storage, look for breathable, waterproof options like polyester or polypropylene,” says Medearis. “They’ll stand up to rain and sun without trapping moisture inside. For indoor use, soft cotton works well. Just be sure it doesn’t scratch the paint.”
- Hail: If hail is an issue where you live and you keep your vehicle outside, you need a cover with built-in air cushioning that specifically protects against it.
- Wind: If you don’t get strong winds, an outdoor car cover secured with elastic at the bottom is likely sufficient. For windier locations, choose a cover with tightening straps and buckles.
- Ease of use: The idea of a car cover sounds great, but if you aren’t willing to take it on and off your vehicle every day, it will be a waste of money. Make sure to get a cover that’s easy to take on and off. If it’s a hassle, you won’t end up using it. “Covers with ties or elastic hems make things much simpler in the long run versus wrestling with a tight fit,” says Medearis. “Storage is another consideration if space is tight.”
We’ll give you a head start by rounding up seven of the best car covers you can buy.
The Best Car Covers
- Best Overall Car Cover: Car Covers Platinum Shield SUV Cover
- Best Value Sedan Car Cover: iCarCover 30-Layer Car Cover
- Best Value Pickup Truck Cover: KouKou Truck Cover All Weather
- Best Car Cover for Hail Protection: Hail Protector Inflatable Car Cover
- Best Disposable Car Cover: Pamase Plastic Car Cover
- Best SUV Car Cover: Autsop SUV Car Cover
- Best Indoor Car Cover: Budge Indoor Stretch Car Cover
Best Overall Car Cover
Car Covers Platinum Shield SUV Cover
When I bought a car cover, I didn’t want to mess around with anything but the best. So after some research, I bought a Platinum Shield cover from carcovers.com.
Once on the website, input your vehicle year, make and model to access the different car cover options. With just a few clicks, I viewed and chose from several covers tailored specifically for my vehicle.
I chose the Platinum Shield because it was the highest-rated for outdoor use and came with a full lifetime warranty. Five years later, I’m no closer to collecting on that warranty than when the cover was new.
Best Value Sedan Car Cover
iCarCover 30-Layer Car Cover
Fully weatherproof, it features a strap and buckle to securely hold it in place. Best of all, this high-quality cover is reasonably priced at around $100 for the largest version, and considerably less for smaller versions.
Best Value Pickup Truck Cover
KouKou Truck Cover All Weather
At just $77, it’s hard to beat the value of this pickup-specific car cover. It offers six layers of material, from waterproof polymers to aluminum-infused fabric for UV protection, plus a soft cotton undercoat.
Unlike many standard car covers, this one comes with straps and built-in elastic to ensure the best possible fit and prevent flyaways. To top it off, it comes with a one-year warranty.
Best Car Cover for Hail Protection
Hail Protector Inflatable Car Cover
I’ve seen and tried other covers that claim to protect from hail, but always wondered if they’d work against the hail larger than a pea. This cover, with constant electrically generated airflow creating a dense cushion of protection, specifically protects against hailstorms.
Best Disposable Car Cover
Pamase Plastic Car Cover
Looking for some short-term protection without breaking the bank? This disposable plastic car cover has you (and your vehicle) covered.
At only $25, it’s only meant to last a short time. But for that time, it provides fast and convenient protection. I used one of these for a few days while staying at a friend’s camp, with my vehicle parked under some spruce trees. Neither the weekend’s rain nor the clumps of falling spruce needles ever touched my car.
Best SUV Car Cover
Autsop SUV Car Cover
As an SUV owner, I’ve noticed it’s difficult to find covers to fit vehicles shaped like mine. Even many covers claiming to be for SUVs often fit poorly, leading to frustration and poor cover performance.
This wide selection of SUV-shaped covers from Autsop changes all that. Thanks to their graduated sizing system, these covers fit most SUVs well; they even come with side mirror pockets. It also ships with wind straps and an 18-month warranty.
Best Indoor Car Cover
Budge Indoor Stretch Car Cover
If you store your car indoors and simply want to keep dust and bugs off it, consider this breathable indoor cover. It’s made of soft, breathable fleece, so your paint won’t get scratched and your car can breathe.
It’s lightweight and stretchable, too, so putting it on and taking it off is easy — as it should be. The variety of sizes means most car owners will find something to fit, and the elasticized hem holds the cover on just firmly enough to avoid trouble.