The Best Car Covers For True Protection [2023]

car cover half covering a tesla

Why It’s Important to Have a Good Car Cover

Car covers can sometimes be a pain to pull on and off every day but if you can get into the habit of it a good car cover can protect your vehicle and help it retain its value long term. They can also reduce the frequency of cleanings required and ensure your car is always looking its best! Below are some of the most common statistics on how likely your car is to get damaged if it doesn’t have a car cover.

If you’re more worried about just keeping the sun off of your dash and reducing the heat in your vehicle then you may enjoy our article on the best windshield sun shades.

How a Car Cover Can Protect Your Vehicle

UV Protection

Ultraviolet radiation is extremely to all parts of your vehicle. UV rays will fade your paint, dashboard, and seats. As well as drying out and eventually cracking the plastics and leather inside your vehicle. Keeping your car covered will block these harmful UV rays and keep your car looking its best for longer.

Protection from Debris

When your car is covered you no longer have to worry about debris like stick leaves or pollen covering your car. Even the smallest particles like pollen can cause micro-scratches on your paint. Over time these scratches will become deeper and more noticeable lower the value and appearance of your vehicle. Bird poo is another major problem for car paints. Bird poo is very acidic, containing uric acid, and can begin to damage your paint in as little as 10 minutes in hot weather. If left for an extended period of time this acid will eat through your paint causing permanent damage.

No Hard Water Spots

High-quality car covers will be waterproof. This means you no longer have to worry about removing difficult hard water stains. These minerals are abrasive and can cause permanent damage to the clear coat. Washing your car quickly after hard water gets on it will help but ideally, you want to keep it off your paint completely.

Ice, Snow, and Hail Protection

A car cover will protect your car from snowfall and ice formation on your glass. No more digging your car out from under a pile of snow or scraping your windshield trying to get through a stubborn layer of ice. Just pull off the cover and go.

Lower Temperature

Car covers help with temperature regulation. They can both keep out the heat in the summer and keep in the heat in the winter. No more getting into boiling hot cars and getting burned by the steering wheel and seatbelt. If you keep your car covered you’ll get into a more comfortable ride every time.

Fewer Cleanings

If you don’t like the amount of time it takes you to clean your car or the amount of money it costs for you to get it cleaned then you need a car cover. A proper cover used consistently will reduce the frequently of cleanings needed to keep your car looking good. And when it does need a cleaning it wont take much effort to bring it back to a showroom shine.

Windshield Wiper Protection

Keeping your windshield wipers covered will greatly increase their lifespan. No more UV damage or extreme heat drying out the rubber. No rain, snow, or ice stressing the blade and causing pitting. Just protected windshield wipers that will be there ready to work when you need them.


Car covers are a great theft deterrent. Thieves are not likely to break into a car if they can’t see anything of value inside. Many car covers also offer the ability to lock both sides together underneath the car. This is great because it means that not only are your valuables safe but your car cover is safe from theft as well.

Differences Between Car Covers


Car covers can be made from a spun-bonded, machine-woven or a ripstop design

Spun-bonded fabrics are not woven. Instead they use short and long fibers bonded together using resin or thermally. This process doesn’t require the use of long threads or the need to be woven. This seriously reduces costs but means that the fabric will not be as resistant to tearing as some other methods.

Machine woven is exactly what it sounds like. Large machines use yarn like threads to weave the material together. This gives a better strength to weight ratio than spun-bonded materials but lacks the tear resistance of a ripstop fabric.

Ripstop fabrics are woven using a special reinforcing technique that makes them resistant to tearing and ripping. To get this reinforcement they add in an extra thick piece of yarn every so often in a crosshatch pattern. This gives great strength to weight ration and means that even if you get a small tear it won’t spread.


These car covers usually consist of a polyester layer, or multiple layers interlaid between sheets to protect against dirt, dust, and debris.

A layer of PE (Polyethylene) and EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) which is a chemically cross-linked closed-cell foam that gives the cover its ability to be waterproof while still retaining breathability.

A layer of Aluminum foil can be used to block damaging UV rays and heat from getting through the cover.

A soft inner non-abrasive liner is used to make sure that the surface of the car doesn’t get scratched. This interior liner is usually made of a soft fleece to allow for good breathability.

Number of Layers

Car covers can have a wide range of layers utilizing up to 6 separate layers in one car cover. The number of layers is usually indicative of the durability and price of the cover. The more layers the more durable the cover and the higher the price. But if you can afford it, more layers also means better protection, so you have to find the right balance for you.


All car covers come in three different fitment types. Universal, semi-custom, and fully custom car covers. Each one giving a greater degree of fitment and protection. In order to find the correct fitment for your car, you need to measure bumper to bumper, side to side from the outermost edge of your mirrors, and from the roof to the ground. This will give you the measurements to ensure that your new car cover will fit properly and cover the whole vehicle.


The breathability of the cover will depend on the materials used. Breathability is the cover’s ability to let moisture escape from underneath the car cover. This is important because a car covers ability to breathe helps keep your paint and finish fresh. Also in long term storage situations if water gets under the cover and it cant breathe then it could cause mold and mildew to grow. Breathability does not mean that a cover can’t be waterproof, ideally, you want a cover that can do both.

Features to Consider Before Buying


Considering the weight and bulk of the blanket is important when you are purchasing your car cover. A heavy or bulky car cover may not matter for long term storage but if you are intending to use this cover daily it will be more convenient to use something light and easy to store.

How the Cover is Secured

Some covers are held on by gravity and an elastic hem around the bottom that hugs the car. However, most covers have a strap on the bottom that connects under the car with a buckle. This is the preferred method as it ensures that the cover won’t blow away in the event of a heavy storm.

Ability to Lock

Some people like a car cover not only for protecting your vehicle but also for protecting your valuables inside. A car is much less likely to be broken into if a thief can’t be sure that there is anything valuable inside. In order to make sure that a car cover can’t just be ripped off they often have the ability to lock both sides together underneath the car. if this is something that concerns you make sure that you get a car cover that can be locked into place.


Based on your application you need to assess the type of durability that is going to be required to protect your car. If it is going to sit indoors then a simple cover to keep off the dust will do. But if it is going to sit out in the dessert being pounded by high heat, UV light, and sand or in the Tundra battling freezing temperatures, ice, and snow then you’re going to need something significantly stronger.

Inner Lining

It is important that the inner liner is made of a soft non-abrasive material so that if the wind catches the fabric and moves it around it won’t scratch your car’s paint. Although a mildly abrasive material may not seem like a big deal over time even mild abrasives will cause visible scratches on your car.


The hem is the seam at the bottom of your car cover. Some hems are flat and some are elastic hugging the bottom of the car. Ideally, you want an elastic and waterproof hem for maximum protection and fit for your vehicle.


These car covers are meant to protect your car from the elements but they put up with a lot. Getting a cover with a good warranty will not only show the sellers confidence in their product but give you the peace of mind knowing that you have insurance protecting your investment.


Best Overall

iCarCover semi custom car cover

This is the iCarCover Auto Car Cover is our pick for the best overall outdoor car cover. iCarCover offers a custom fit car cover at an affordable price. It has a waterproof and weatherproof design to keep out rain, snow, and ice. It has built-in UV protection to protect the exterior and interior of your car from fading and cracking. The UV protectant also helps to keep your car cool in the summer. The inside is lined with a soft fleece to protect your paint. The kit comes with everything you need including patches for an antennae hole as well as grommets and a zip storage bag. Plus, the whole thing is backed by a 7-year full warranty.

Custom Waterproof Cover

CarsCover Ultrashield 5 layer custom car cover

This is CarsCover Ultrashield 5 layer Car Cover. It is our premium pick because it is a 5 layer custom fit car cover. It fits your car like a glove so that it won’t blow around in the wind or let in debris trying to fly up from underneath. These 5 layers make it waterproof and weatherproof with a heavy-duty fleece-lined interior to protect your car’s paint. Although waterproof, this car cover is still breathable, so it will protect your cars finish. It latches together with a buckle underneath the car to ensure that it is securely fastened to the vehicle. The outer layer is covered with a patented UV stabilizer remafim to protect the cover and your car from any fading.

Best Indoor Car Cover

WinPower Indoor Car Cover

This is the WinPower Indoor Car Cover. This cover is meant to be used only indoors. It is not waterproof or weatherproof, although it will protect your paint from sand and dust. This car cover works best in garages, parking garages, or car shows. The material is soft like velvet and has an extremely high elasticity. It is able to stretch 15-21% of its size, allowing a perfect custom type fit to any car. This car cover is a great price and would be the perfect amount of protection for any long term indoor storage.

Best on a Budget

Budge B-3 Light Car Cover

This is the Budge B-3 Light Car Cover. This is an entry-level 3 layer polyester car cover. It is not waterproof, but it does give you UV resistance as well as protection against dirt dust and scratch-resistance against debris. The car cover is not form-fitting but does come with straps that buckle underneath the car to ensure that the cover stays in place. The kit also comes with antennae patches, grommets, and a storage bag.

Best Car Cover For Hail

The Hail Protector Car Cover

This is the Hail Protector. It is a product design and built by as part of their extensive line of premium car covers. This cover is designed to be the best protection available for mild or severe hail, potentially saving you thousands in damages.

The cover is draped over the car just like any other traditional car cover, but it is then inflated to provide a large air cushion so that even the biggest chunks of hail can fall and be captured without hitting your vehicle. This cover has many advanced options like wifi-enabled inflation, as well as the ability to plug directly into your cigarette lighter for away from home use.

Fold this up and stick it in your truck to make sure that your car is always protected and save yourself the headache of ever dealing with hail damage again.

Best Tent / Canopy

Abba Extra Large Heavy Duty Car Cover Tent Canopy

The Abba Extra Large Heavy Duty Car Cover Tent Canopy is designed for stability and protection. The 8 steel legs are 1.5 inches in diameter to give more stability, and they utilize heavyweight steel to add mass for wind, snow, and hail protection. They are also powder coated for added durability against chips or fading as well as providing the gold standard in rust prevention.

The fabric is a heavy-duty durable polyethylene that is UV and water-resistant. The walls are removable, and the front and back roll up as needed to provide airflow or privacy.