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When your car is already being exposed to the elements for hours on the road, you want to give it as much protection as possible when it’s off the clock. Finding the best car cover for your vehicle will keep it looking brand new for a long time.
No driver wants to spend money on costly touch-ups. Luckily, damage to your car’s paint job is entirely preventable, whether your vehicle is parked on your driveway or in a garage. With a car cover suited to your area’s weather conditions and your car model, you’ll be saving money with a car that’s guaranteed to impress your riders.
In this article, we’ll explain why a cover will benefit your car, and provide some of our top picks for indoor and outdoor covers.
- Why Do I Need a Car Cover?
- 3 Best Car Covers for Outdoor Use
- 3 Best Car Covers for Indoor Use
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Do I Need a Car Cover?
Even if your vehicle won’t be collecting dust from lack of use, it will nevertheless be impacted by exposure to the elements each day. Some common elements that can cause damage to a stationary car include:
- UV rays, which can lead to fading and even cracks on your paint job under the harshest light
- Dirt and debris, which can be very abrasive and decrease your car’s shine
- Water, which can lead to stubborn water stains
- Salt, which can lead to corrosion and is common when you live near the ocean
Much like how floor mats and seat covers keep your car interior safe from abrasive materials and sun damage, covers will provide the same for your car exterior at a level of protection that matches the intensity of direct contact with the outdoors.
Even if you park your vehicle in a garage, you can still benefit from a cover. This is because garages are often used as a space for storage and DIY projects, which means your car can easily be scratched if left exposed. Indoor covers can also protect from the dust, salt, and moisture that slowly but inevitably seeps in through the cracks and each time you open your garage door.
Car covers are also known to prevent car theft, thanks to the additional step that must be taken to break in, especially if your product is tied down or attached to your vehicle in any way.
3 Best Car Covers for Outdoor Use
When you’re selecting a cover specifically for a vehicle that’s parked outside, you’ll want a product that’s fairly heavy-duty to protect you from anything your local weather conditions may bring. No matter where you live, you should look out for a cover that is UV resistant and can cling on despite strong winds.
The best outdoor car covers will also act as a barrier from everyday messes, like tree sap and bird droppings, and scratches from branches and rocks. Some outdoor covers will even protect your car from hail.
Rideshare and delivery drivers may also want a cover that can be easily removed and stored when it’s time to earn.
Here are our top three recommendations for the best car covers for outdoor use:
1. OxGord Executive Storm-Proof Car Cover
This OxGord product is a quality car cover that’s favored by many drivers who only have outdoor storage space for their vehicle. Thanks to its five layers — made up of durable polypropylene, micro-porous film, and soft fleece — this waterproof cover will effectively act as a barrier against everything from debris to water spots.
The OxGord storm-proof product is available in five different sizes (up to 229 inches). With elastic hems, drawstrings, and security grommets that you can use, this is a buying option that is not only a well-fit cover, but also one that is windproof and anti-theft.
When it’s time to log on to drive, simply use the provided storage bag to neatly tuck away this heavy-duty car cover.
You can purchase the OxGord Executive Storm-Proof Car Cover on Amazon for $69.95.
2. Hail Protector Portable Car Cover System
If you live in an area where hail is common, even the toughest regular outdoor covers may not provide adequate weather protection for your car. This Hail Protector Product is a complete high-tech system that will prevent cracks and scratches on your car when a hail storm comes.
This portable car cover system doesn’t just include a strong, inflatable cover. It also includes a module for remote activation, a hail forecast and early warning app, and more helpful accessories for drivers who experience this potentially dangerous weather condition. When it’s not needed, the cover easily folds into the size of a sleeping bag.
The Hail Protector product is available in six different sizes, up to 270 inches, and includes a one-year warranty.
You can purchase the Hail Protector Portable ar Cover System on Amazon for $379.
3. Kayme Multi-Layer Car Cover
While the Kayme Multi-Layer Car Cover may not be as durable as the products we previously listed, it is one of the best options for drivers who live in sunny states. Made up of six layers, this product is not only snow and water-resistant, but also includes a highly reflective aluminum layer that provides effective UV protection.
Another notable feature is the zipper on the driver’s side of the car, which allows for easy access if you forgot something in your vehicle after a long day of work. It also has straps to ensure your cover doesn’t fly away with high winds. We also love the Kayme car cover’s reflective stripes, which glow at night to deter theft.
This product is available in eight different sizes, up to 208 inches, including options that are universal fits for sedans and Jeeps.
You can purchase the Kayme Multi-Layer Car Cover on Amazon for $50.66.
3 Best Car Covers for Indoor Use
Outdoor car covers are usually pretty versatile and can be used both indoors and outdoors. However, if you’re sure your vehicle will always be parked in a garage, you may be able to save some money by purchasing less heavy duty and more lightweight covers that still provide protection from any tools, shelving, pets, and kids. On the flip side, if you own a luxury car, you can also benefit from investing a bit more on an ultra-smooth cover designed for designed for your indoor storage of your high-end model.
When shopping for indoor covers, you’ll also likely want a more snug fit. This will ensure the cover fits perfectly in the more confined space. Mildew resistant covers are also preferred, so moisture in your garage doesn’t damage your car.
Here are our suggestions for the best indoor car covers that you can purchase online:
1. Budge Lite Car Cover
This budget-friendly car cover provides excellent protection from dust, paint, falling objects, and other items that can commonly be found in a garage. At only three pounds, this lightweight product is a highly effective indoor cover made up of breathable fabric. This breathability naturally prevents mildew by limiting condensation around your car.
While the Budge car cover is advertised for indoor and outdoor use, we do recommend only purchasing this cheaper option for indoor use. This is because it only carries a single layer, which means it will be less durable under the harshest weather conditions.
Still, this car cover will provide all the protection you need for garage-parked cars, including decent UV protection for sun rays that shine through the windows. It’s available in nine different sizes to suit your car best.
You can purchase the Budge Lite Car Cover on Amazon for $44.99.
2. Budge GSC-3 Car Cover
This is another excellent Budge cover that we’ve included on our list as a great option for Uber Black drivers and anyone with luxury vehicles. To protect the beautiful paint and finish on your high-end vehicle, this product is made of extremely soft fleece that will glide over your car and leave no marks, even after you wax your car.
The Budge GSC-3 Car Cover is also dust-proof, keeping your car looking brand new. Attached to your car with a simple elastic hem, it’s also extremely easy to take off and store, while still acting as a deterrent to criminals who are attracted to luxury cars.
This cover is available in eight different sizes and three different colors. The right size will allow the high-quality fabric blend to stretch over your vehicle and provide a snug fit in your garage.
You can purchase the Car Cover on AmazonBudge GSC-3 for $148.73.
3. XCAR Breathable Dust Prevention Car Cover
If you’re primarily worried about the dust in your garage, or you’re not a frequent driver and want to keep your car always rideshare-ready, this is a perfect option for you. The XCAR cover is our most affordable preferred option, available in five different sizes for less than $25.
This XCAR product will give you basic protection from UV rays and includes straps to ensure a snug fit. You’ll also receive a storage bag for when you need to put the cover in storage and drive away and a cable lock to strap down the cover if desired. This option additionally includes an antenna patch, so you can easily slip it on and off without worrying about your antenna getting in the way or getting damaged.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you can at least invest in this protective cover to keep your car shining without mildew growing.
You can purchase the XCAR Breathable Dust Prevention Car Cover on Amazon for $23.99.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the perfect car cover for you will depend on where you’re parked and your local environment, our suggested products are starting options for drivers anywhere. To help you decide which car protector to purchase, here are some answers to frequently asked questions:
1. Can I purchase a custom car cover for my vehicle?
Yes, custom covers are available from a variety of sellers out there, including Covercraft and WeatherTech. If you’re having trouble finding a cover that works perfectly for your vehicle, or you want a better selection of materials to suit your situation, purchasing a custom fit cover is a great solution. Doing so will also ensure that no part of your vehicle exterior will remain exposed.
2. Can I wash my car cover if it gets dirty?
Your cover is bound to get dirty when it’s taking the brunt of the dirt and bird droppings for your car, so most manufacturers ensure that they can be washed with water and a bit of mild detergent. Make sure to check your product’s care guide before proceeding with the wash, as some important protective layers of your cover may become damaged with improper care.
3. Can I place my car cover on my vehicle immediately after washing my car?
If you’ve just washed your car, it makes sense that you want to immediately keep any dust from accumulating as soon as possible. However, we recommend that you take the time to ensure your car is fully dry before putting on your car cover, as mildew and rust can be big problems if there’s no adequate air flow.
Get Peace of Mind When You’re Off Duty
When it’s time to log off your driver app, it’s important to rest and recharge instead of keeping your mind on your car. Protecting your vehicle with the best car cover will help you feel at ease whenever you’ll be away from your car for a significant amount of time. In addition, it will ensure your vehicle looks brand new for years to come.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired Ridester.com to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.