Those were the top criteria we used for selecting our best car cover.
If you want to get your car quickly under wraps, OxGord Executive Storm Proof Car Cover scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick.
Car Cover Comparison
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Car Cover Buying Guide
What is a Car Cover?
Buying a car is an investment, especially if it is a classic car or a high dollar model. If you want to keep your vehicle’s exterior safe and free from scratches, dust and other debris, a car cover is a great way to accomplish that. Car covers work the same way for cars that furniture covers work to protect antique and expensive furniture from dust and harm.
A good quality car cover will protect your vehicle, including trucks, from these potentially harmful damages, which depending on the type of damage can amount to a savings of thousands of dollars. Not all car covers are made the same way. Depending on the manufacturer, material it is made of, and the durability of the seams, you will find some car covers to be much better at protecting and holding up under use in the elements than others.
Ideally you want to find a car cover that provides the proper fit and protection from the elements and also allow any moisture that gathers under the cover to evaporate so mold and mildew do not become a problem.
Culprits that Can Be a Danger to Your Vehicle
Car covers are much like a jacket or blanket for your car that does more than just hide it from sight. It can protect against many different things that can regularly have contact with an unprotected vehicle.
- Bird Droppings – Bird droppings are a mix or uric acid that can wreck havoc on the paint job of a vehicle. If it is left on the car and dries it attaches to the metal and melds against it. Trying to remove this dried substance can sometimes cause just as much damage as the droppings are. A car cover prevents any droppings from reaching the paint job.
- Trees – There are several things that trees can do to a car that is parked underneath it. Especially during inclement weather or the summer time. You could have a problem with sap dripping onto the car and drying, nuts that can drop onto the paint job itself, causing scratches or mini dents, birds or cats can use it as a resting place If you’ve ever tried to get sap off a vehicle without damaging the paint, you will already know how important it is to prevent this from happening rather than just dealing with it after the fact.
- Dents – While a soft car cover is not going to be able to prevent a dent from happening if a branch falls directly onto the car, but it can certainly minimize the scratching damage as well as prevent dirt and dust, runaway shopping carts, careless strangers that open their car doors too fast, etc. The car cover does provide a layer of protection between the vehicle’s paint and the offenders that can dent, ding and scratch it.
- Hail – While cars are not damaged by regular rain, they cannot go through hail storms without some potential damage and if that hail is large, damage is almost guaranteed. Hail can be anywhere from small pieces the size of a pea to large ones the size of a baseball. Car covers can’t protect your vehicle against large pieces of hail but the smaller ones, a car cover will be able to deflect and your vehicle won’t have small pock like dents on the roof, hood and trunk areas.
- Dust – Cars that are kept outside will not typically have dust problems unless the area us particularly dusty or on a dirt road. In a garage however, dust can be a problem. When dust is left on a vehicle for an extended period of time, it will start to damage the paint job. One of the first effects noticed is that it will rob the paint of its vibrancy and also can scratch the surface with anything that is mixed into the dust. Car covers definitely prevent dust from getting on and lingering on a vehicle’s exterior.
- Sunlight – Sunlight can be very damaging to a car’s paint job. It contains UV radiation which can cause the paint to dull and fade. It can even damage the bumpers and interior dashboard vibrancy, causing everything to have a dull, bleached look to it. A car cover keeps the sun’s rays from fading out interior and exterior colors.
- Deters Thieves – You may be wondering how a thin piece of fabric can protect your car from car thieves. While it is not failsafe, the one thing it CAN do is encourage the car thieves to look for cars that are easier to get into. A covered car is not going to be a quick steal. If you add a lock to your cover, it makes it even less attractive to potential thieves.
- Snow – Winter weather can be a difficult and wearing time for cars. Heavy snowfalls put pressure on the exterior, salt can wreck havoc with the metal and the paint job and when ice freezes on your car it can cause scratches and other problems as well.
- Cats – Another animal that can be responsible for damage to your vehicle’s exterior is a cat. Cats will literally climb on anything they want to and that includes your car no matter how valuable it is. A car cover may keep them off the car entirely due to the unnatural feel of the material and the fact that it will slide some when they jump on it, but even if it doesn’t, the cover WILL protect the paint job from the cat’ claws.
There are three basic kinds of car covers:
- Waterproof – waterproof car covers do keep the water off your vehicle but they are bad for keeping the moisture underneath them, acting like a sealer and preventing that moisture from being able to evaporate properly. Moisture naturally gathers on the exterior of a vehicle overnight and during the course of the morning warming up, will evaporate away. A waterproof car cover prevents this evaporation, so the water remains on the surface of the vehicle. This can cause serious rust problems to develop which can be very costly to repair. If you want to use a waterproof car cover, cover the vehicle with an indoor, cotton car cover first to act as a moisture barrier. The indoor cover will wick it away and the waterproof cover will keep it the vehicle dry even in serious downpours.
- Water resistant – Water resistant car covers have the breathability that waterproof covers do not offer. You can find water resistant car covers in many different materials. A heavier material will keep more water out and is also better for protecting against scratches and small dings. If you are using your vehicle every day and will be covering and uncovering it, most will find a heavier weight cover much more cumbersome to handle and may prefer the ease of use of a lighter weight water resistant cover.
- Cotton – You will find that most indoor only car covers are made of cotton, polyester or a blend of cotton and another material. They do not protect against water at all and have no real use outdoors unless you are using it underneath a waterproof car cover. The major use for an indoor car cover is to protect the vehicle from dust, dings and small dents that can occur even in a garage.
There are two types of car covers that a vehicle owner can choose from:
Fitted – Fitted car covers are usually make specific such as being designed for Ford designs or Chevy makes. You can even find them more detailed and specific than make and can find model specific covers as well if you choose. Fitted car covers are more expensive than unfitted but most car owners find the extra cost worth it due to the added protection it provides.
Unfitted – unfitted car covers are the lesser expensive of the two styles. The level of protection is not the same as you would get from a fitted car cover. Because it just essentially drapes over the vehicle, air can get underneath the cover and blow around in windy or stormy weather. The cover does have the capability of potentially scratching the surface if it is not properly tired down. Some car enthusiasts even feel that it is better to not use a car cover at all, rather than use an unfitted one.
When it comes to buying the right car cover for your needs, be sure to take into consideration the weather in your area, if you want to cover it for a specific period of time such as traveling or being in a different location for a few months, or whether you are looking for something to use for daily protection. All of these factors will make a difference in the car cover that will work best for you.
Protecting your vehicle can save you tons of money in body repair costs and prevents a huge drop in the value of your car should you want to sell it or trade it in. A car that has been taken care of will bring a higher dollar amount than one that has faded or that has numerous scratches and dings on it.
While it is impossible to prevent any and all dings and scratches if you drive your car on regular roads and park it in a parking lot, you can minimize the damage your car’s exterior is exposed to by using a good quality car cover.
Unprotected paint jobs can cost you thousands in repair costs and diminish your car’s resale value – protect your vehicle and your wallet from damage with a car cover. To learn more about the variety of universal and custom car covers we have on our website, check out our car cover reviews or dial 800-663-1570 to speak with a member of our trained customer service team.