Best Car Covers Review (2024 Ratings)

The right car cover will protect your vehicle’s paint from sap, scratches, and animal mishaps.

Written and Tested By:

Aidan Pounder


Written and Tested By:

Aidan Pounder


Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Aidan Pounder is a Motor1 product tester who has written reviews spanning from tonneau covers to rooftop cargo boxes. If he’s not burning through the clutch on his 2003 Ford Focus Zx3, you’ll find him keeping up with the latest happenings in the world of European football.

Last Updated 01/03/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

  • Our favorite car covers are the CarCovers.com Platinum Shield, Seal Skin Supreme, Budge RSC-3, Motor Trend SafeKeeper, and the Tour Performance based on material, fit, and ease of use.
  • The typical outdoor car cover will cost around $100 but is useful for preserving your vehicle’s paint job. Indoor covers are a little less expensive and suitable for garaged vehicles. Some car covers cost as low as $60, but lack the durability of pricier alternatives.
  • A high-quality car cover is constructed with breathable materials that don’t trap moisture, fits snugly, and can be secured with tie-down straps in high winds.

Windproof, water-repellent, and UV-resistant car covers can keep your paint job protected. This helps preserve the appearance and resale value of your vehicle. But the best car cover for your needs will vary depending on the size of your car, local weather, and whether you keep your car indoors or outside.

We’ll explain the ins and outs of car covers below and recommend some of our favorite options for auto enthusiasts.


Table of Contents

Car Cover Reviews

Car Cover motortrendCar Cover motortrend

To make purchasing a car cover as easy as possible, our team dedicated hours to researching and then physically testing a variety of options. We’ve narrowed the list down to our favorites and provided recommendations for covers with different uses and price points.

Based on a high volume of positive consumer feedback and our own personal experience using these car covers, we assessed each cover in rating categories including ease of use, material, and fit. If you’re looking for more specific types of covers for your vehicle, we’ve also tested the best truck covers and SUV covers.

What Is The Best Car Cover?

We named the CarCovers.com Platinum Shield, Seal Skin Supreme, Budge RSC-3, Motor Trend Safekeeper, Tour Performance, Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock, Budge Lite, OxGord Executive Storm-Proof, and FH Group C502-L as the best-rated car covers on the market in 2024.

Brand/Model Cost Overall Rating Award

CarCovers.com Platinum Shield

$200

5.0

Best Car Cover

Seal Skin Supreme

$170

4.8

Best Outdoor Car Cover

Budge RSC-3

$110

4.8

Best Indoor Car Cover

Motor Trend Safekeeper

$80

4.8

Best Water-Repelling Car Cover

Tour Performance

$100

4.3

Easy-to-Use Car Cover

Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock

$190

4.0

Best Storm Protection

Budge Lite

$25

4.0

Best Value Car Cover

OxGord Executive Storm-Proof

$60

4.0

Best Budget All-Weather Car Cover

FH Group C502-L

$40

3.8

Best Car Cover for UV Protection

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Car Covers Ratings: Our Testing Process

To select the car covers featured in this buyers guide, we consulted our network of experts for their thoughts on vehicle covers. These experts have over 100 years of combined experience in aftermarket auto fields ranging from detailing to accessories to tires, and everything in between. They helped us identify the qualities that would be most important to someone looking for a car cover. One important feature we looked for in particular was car covers that would not retain moisture.

We next ordered many car covers for testing aiming to try out car covers at a variety of price points. We also ordered the most popular products from retailers like Amazon, RealTruck, and Advance Auto Parts. When ordering these covers, we look at factors such as material, build quality, customer ratings, and prices. Even after our initial testing, we continue to keep an eye out for new quality car covers and may update this page if we come across more worthy recommendations.

Learn more about how we tested car covers here.

1. CarCovers.com Platinum Shield: Best Car Cover

CarCovers.com Platinum shield car cover on Ford FocusCarCovers.com Platinum shield car cover on Ford Focus
  • Cost: $200
  • Indoor/outdoor: Outdoor
  • Fit: Custom
  • Warranty: Lifetime
  • Exterior material: Polyester
  • Interior lining material: Fleece
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, and acid rain

CarCovers.com Platinum Shield Review

The CarCovers.com Platinum Shield is one of the best-fitting car covers we tested. All their covers are model-specific and constructed of high-quality, UV-resistant material.

The lightweight material is not only durable but safe on your car’s paint. The inner fleece layer is soft and breathable to protect paint and prevent mildew and moisture buildup. The outer layer is a light, reflective color, which helps with UV resistance and keeps your vehicle cooler.

You can see how the CarCovers.com Platinum Shield performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Material

5.0

Fit

5.0

Ease of Use

5.0

Overall Rating

5.0

We think this cover is unmatched when it comes to overall protection and ease of use. Below are the pros and cons of the CarCovers.com Platinum Shield:

CarCovers.Com Platinum Shield: Our Experience

We think this form-fit cover excels in every important category: it’s made from a durable material, is easy to install, and fits like a glove (due in part to model-specific sizing).

Material

The Platinum Shield’s material is both stretchy and durable. It is not prone to tearing, and the thick elastic band is well-stitched around the ends of this cover. The inner layer is soft. The silver reflective outer layer is UV-resistant. CarCovers.com products also have a layer of micro-porous film that is both weatherproof and breathable, allowing trapped moisture to evaporate.

Fit

This cover fit our test car very well. The elastic hem is strong enough to keep the cover secure without the need for additional straps, ensuring a perfect fit. However, CarCovers.com does have a strap to keep this cover secured in high winds.

Ease of Use

We had no problems fitting this cover over our test vehicle. With any car cover, using two people makes the job easier, but this is still not too hard to install with only one person.

2. Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover: Best Outdoor Car Cover

Blue Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover on Ford FocusBlue Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover on Ford Focus
  • Cost: $170
  • Indoor/outdoor: Outdoor
  • Fit: Custom
  • Warranty: 10 years 
  • Exterior material: SEAL-TEC fabric
  • Interior lining material: Fleece
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, snow, and hail

Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover Review

The Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover is an optimal outdoor cover because it offers excellent weather protection. The high-quality material is both water-repellant and breathable. This is accomplished by utilizing as few openings as possible (no antenna hole or mirror sleeves) and using taped seams. The SEAL-TEC fabric design is specifically engineered to offer the best resistance to water incursion.

You can see how the Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover performed in each of our review categories below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 5.0
Fit 5.0
Ease of Use 4.5
Overall Rating 4.8

This cover also comes with an impressive 10-year warranty against rips, tears, and breathability issues. Below are the pros and cons of the Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover:

Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover: Our Experience

Like the Platinum Shield, we were impressed by the material quality of the Seal Skin Supreme cover. While this cover is better designed to repel water, it is less reflective and is not quite as easy to install because it requires using straps underneath.

Material

This material is extremely durable and tear-resistant. It’s hard to imagine this fabric ripping unless you took a knife to it. The inner lining is soft, and the taped seams are completely waterproof.

Fit

The Seal Skin cover fits somewhat loosely but is secured by an understrap. Once tightened, this cover cannot blow away.

Ease of Use

The Seal Skin cover isn’t too difficult to install, but the understrap does mean you’ll have to get on your hands and knees to secure this cover. This makes it a little harder to install than the Platinum Shield, but overall, installation doesn’t present much of a challenge.

3. Budge RSC-3: Best Indoor Car Cover

The Budge RSC-3 Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.The Budge RSC-3 Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $110
  • Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5.0 (approx. 500 reviews)
  • Indoor/outdoor: Indoor
  • Fit: Universal
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Exterior material: Nylon-polyester blend
  • Interior lining material: Fleece
  • Weather resistance: N/A

Budge RSC-3 Review

The Budge RSC-3 is our product testing team’s pick for the best indoor car cover available on the market. This car cover is extremely breathable, meaning the car cover will dry quickly to prevent the formation of mold or mildew.

This indoor car cover consists of a soft inner liner, soft stretch outer layer, and full elastic hem. As the car cover isn’t designed for outdoor use, it is not especially water-resistant, but it will hide any dings and dents from view. The cover is made from nylon and polyester material, meaning it is lightweight and can easily be stowed away even if you have limited storage space.

You can see how the Budge RSC-3 performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 4.5
Fit 5.0
Ease of Use 5.0
Overall Rating 4.8

This high-quality car cover is designed for indoor use, but it can protect against airborne pollutants and also offers UV protection. Below are the pros and cons of the Budge RSC-3:

Budge RSC-3: Our Experience

The Budge RSC-3 has everything you could ask for from an indoor car cover. The material is high-quality and durable, the cover fits well, and it’s easy to install and remove.

Material

While some other car covers we have tested seemed like they had a high propensity to rip or tear, the material of this car cover was great to work with. The stretchy material meant we didn’t have to worry about tearing holes in the cover. The silky material is gentle on car surfaces.

Fit

Many car covers we tested featured an elastic hem for the front and rear of the vehicle, but not the sides. As this cover had an elastic hem around the entirety, it meant that the car cover snugly fit onto our test vehicle. Fitting this cover to the car was so easy that it drew comparisons from our testing team to putting a fitted bed sheet on a mattress.

Ease of Use

Sometimes less is more. While many car covers come with straps or buckles to tie down your cover to the vehicle, this cover didn’t. We found that the elasticized hem meant this car cover fit our test vehicle well but it didn’t require us to be on our hands and knees connecting buckles underneath the car. It did include a cord to tie underneath the car—however, we didn’t find it made much of a difference, as the cover was already secured properly.

4. Motor Trend SafeKeeper: Best Water-Repelling Car Cover

The Motor Trend SafeKeeper Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.The Motor Trend SafeKeeper Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $80
  • Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5.0 (approx. 2,800 reviews)
  • Indoor/outdoor: Indoor
  • Fit: Universal
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Exterior material: Polyester
  • Interior lining material: Fleece
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, and snow

Motor Trend SafeKeeper Review

Built to handle any weather conditions, the Motor Trend SafeKeeper is our product testing team’s choice for the Best Water-Repelling Car Cover in 2024. This six-layer car cover consists of an outer breathable film, outer ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), waterproof sealant layer, particle filter film layer, enhanced polyethylene (PE) compound foam comfort layer, and an inner scratch-proof fleece lining.

Providing heat and cold resistance, the breathable woven polyester also prevents moisture build-up. The exterior layer of this car cover is well-made and durable, it even includes reflective safety strips.

You can see how the Motor Trend SafeKeeper performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 5.0
Fit 4.5
Ease of Use 5.0
Overall Rating 4.8

This universal fit car cover greatly reduces water incursion, and it offers protection from UV rays. Additionally, it includes wind-resistant safety straps to ensure a snug fit over your vehicle. Below are the pros and cons of the Motor Trend SafeKeeper:

Motor Trend SafeKeeper: Our Experience

Although the number of layers that make up a car cover wasn’t part of our testing criteria, it should be noted that the Motor Trend SafeKeeper is one of only two multi-layer covers that we tested. The multi-layer design certainly gives this car cover a leg up on the competition.

Material

In terms of the layers that you can visibly see, the interior and exterior layers, we had no qualms. The interior layer was soft and ensured no damage would come to the car’s paint, while the exterior layer was thick, heavy-duty, and seemed to be built to withstand anything Mother Nature might throw its way.

Fit

This car cover fit snugly over our test vehicle, and the wind-resistant safety straps ensured the car cover wouldn’t blow off when we left the car unattended. The front hood of the car fit especially well, but we would’ve liked to see mirror pockets included in the design for the cover to receive a perfect score in this testing category.

Ease of Installation

This car cover was arguably the easiest to use of the covers that our team tested. The wind-resistant safety straps were already buckled, meaning our team members didn’t need to crawl under the underside of the car to secure the cover. We simply tightened the straps, and the car cover was good to go.

5. Tour Performance Car Cover: Easy-To-Use Car Cover

Tour Performance Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.Tour Performance Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $100
  • Indoor/outdoor: Outdoor
  • Fit: Semi-custom
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Exterior material: Polypropylene
  • Interior lining material: Polypropylene
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, snow, and hail

Tour Performance Review

The Tour Performance is a semi-custom fit car cover manufactured by Eevelle. This all-weather car cover is made with three-layer spun-bond polypropylene designed to resist water incursion. It is also made with convenience in mind, so includes a large carrying sack and integrated straps for a secure fit.

You can see how the Tour Performance Car Cover performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 4.0
Fit 4.0
Ease of Use 5.0
Overall Rating 4.3

The Tour Performance really shines when it comes to ease of use. Despite being a semi-custom fit, this car cover easily enveloped our test vehicle almost perfectly, even before using the tie-down straps. Below are the pros and cons of the Tour Performance Car Cover:

Tour Performance: Our Experience

The Tour Performance is an all-weather car cover that offers a semi-custom fit. It’s built with sturdy materials and is easy to store.

Material

The polypropylene used with the Tour Performance is tough and tear-resistant but doesn’t allow for much stretch. This may not hold up as well as multi-layer car covers but is nonetheless suitable for all weather conditions.

Fit

This cover fits as well as any custom-fit car cover that we tested, and we noticed no excess material. If the fit is a little baggy, the Tour Performance cover has integrated tie-down straps.

Ease of Use

The car cover is one of the easiest to use among those we tested. While it is simple to put on the car, what really helps it in this category are the integrated tie-down straps and the included carry bag. The tie-down straps run underneath the car, but would not be necessary except on especially windy days.

When not in use, they easily store in velcro-closed side compartments. Most car covers we tested include small carrying bags that are near-impossible to use without perfectly folding the cover away. This carry bag is larger, stretchy, and forgiving, making the Tour Performance easy to store in the trunk.

6. Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock™: Best Storm Protection

the empire covers American Armor StormBlock cover on a car in a parking lotthe empire covers American Armor StormBlock cover on a car in a parking lot
  • Cost: $190
  • Weight: Size-dependent
  • Warranty: 12 years
  • Sizing: Semi-custom fit
  • Exterior material: Polyester
  • Interior lining material: Fleece
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, and snow

Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock Review

A moderately-expensive option, the Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock stands out for its durability and water-repelling properties. We found it to be virtually tear-proof, and Empire guarantees its indestructibility with a 12-year warranty.

Sizing is semi-custom, and this cover includes tie-down straps in case it is slightly too big. We found that it fit our test vehicle (a 2015 Ford Fusion) near perfectly. See how we score the StormBlock car cover below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)

Material

4.0

Fit

4.0

Ease of Use

4.0

Overall Rating

4.0

Below are the pros and cons of the Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock:

Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock: Our Experience

The StormBlock car cover is an especially thick option that we think is best used to protect your vehicle from inclement weather. Aside from large hail, this car cover will help protect your vehicle during a storm, and is easy to wash afterward thanks to its hydrophobic coating.

Material

This multi-layer car cover is rugged on the outside while soft on the inside. The interior fleece-like lining is gentle on paint while the outer polyester layer is thick and strong. The outer layer of the StormBlock cover is treated with a patented hydrophobic process that causes water to bead on the surface, rather than absorb into the cover.

Our only concern with this car cover is with its breathability. Empire advertises that this cover is highly breathable, but it can be difficult for a car cover to not let water in while also allowing water to evaporate out. This may not be the best car cover for indoor storage, but is undoubtedly a good pick to protect your car when a storm is brewing.

Fit

American Armor car covers are sold in several sizes:

  • Car Cover Size 1: Fits cars up to 157.0 inches L x 60.0 W x 48.0 H
  • Car Cover Size 2: Fits cars up to 170.0 in. L x 60.0 W x 48.0 H
  • Car Cover Size 3: Fits cars up to 200.0 in. L x 60.0 W x 51.0 H
  • Car Cover Size 3W: Fits cars up to 198.0 in. L x 72.0 W x 55.0 H
  • Car Cover Size 4: Fits cars up to 228.0 in. L x 60.0 W x 51.0 H
  • Car Cover Size 5: Fits cars up to 264.0 in. L x 70.0 W x 53.0 H

If you order a cover from Empire Covers, the correct size is chosen for you when you input your vehicle information, so you won’t need to worry about taking these measurements yourself (though you can if you want to be certain). The cover we were sent fit our test vehicle snugly and securely.

Ease of Use

There is nothing particularly difficult about using this car cover. It is somewhat heavy and easier to put on with two people, though it is possible to attach this cover solo. The tie-down straps are easy to use, consisting of a set of plastic buckles and nylon straps.

7. Budge Lite: Best Value Car Cover

The Budge Lite Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.The Budge Lite Car Cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $25
  • Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5.0 (approx. 12,000 reviews)
  • Indoor/outdoor: Indoor
  • Fit: Universal
  • Warranty: Two years
  • Exterior material: Polypropylene
  • Interior lining material: Polypropylene
  • Weather resistance: UV rays

Budge Lite Review

The Budge Lite is an affordable option for those looking to protect their vehicle without spending hundreds of dollars. This car cover is lightweight and is made from a single layer of spun-bond polypropylene.

The elasticized hem guarantees the car cover won’t fly off in the wind and ensures a snug fit. The sewn-in grommets act as additional reinforcement against the wind, and using a cable to secure the cover with the grommets can act as a theft deterrent. The seams are double-stitched for increased durability, and non-abrasive materials ensure that no damage will be caused to the car’s paintwork.

You can see how the Budge Lite performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 3.5
Fit 4.0
Ease of Use 4.5
Overall Rating 4.0

This indoor car cover is fully breathable and features an elasticized hem as well as built-in grommets. Below are the pros and cons of the Budge Lite:

Budge Lite: Our Experience

Price wasn’t one of our testing criteria, but it would be unwise to overlook the cost of a product. This car cover offers quality indoor protection at an affordable price. It should also be noted that the manufacturer mentions that the cover is somewhat UV-resistant.

Material

The cover received the lowest material score out of all of the covers that we tested. The material is more delicate than other covers, which isn’t ideal even for indoor protection. Our team members felt that they had to coax the material around the edges of our testing vehicle.

Fit

The fit was about what we expected. It fit overtop the vehicle, but it didn’t cover much of the wheels. Sewn-in grommets and an included cable ensured the cover wouldn’t blow off in the wind.

Ease of Use

Engulfing our test vehicle with this car cover was easy. However, due to the delicate nature of the material, we felt we had to exercise caution while installing or removing this car cover. The thin material does make this car cover easier to fold away when not in use.

8. OxGord Executive Storm-Proof: Best Budget All-Weather Car Cover

The OxGord Executive Storm-Proof car cover installed on a testing vehicle.The OxGord Executive Storm-Proof car cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $60
  • Amazon rating: 4.2 out of 5.0 (approx. 4,700 reviews)
  • Indoor/outdoor: Outdoor
  • Fit: Universal
  • Warranty: One year
  • Exterior material: Polypropylene
  • Interior lining material: Cotton
  • Weather resistance: UV rays and rain

OxGord Executive Review

The OxGord Executive Storm-Proof is an outdoor car cover that’s adept at handling a variety of weather conditions. This semi-custom car cover not only offers UV light protection but is also water-resistant. Featuring reinforced seams for added durability, the OxGord is also highly breathable to ensure mold and mildew don’t form.

This multi-layer car cover features seven layers, five of which are layers of spunbond polypropylene. The remaining two layers consist of one layer of micro-porous film and a soft layer of cotton.

You can see how the OxGord Executive Storm-Proof performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 4.5
Fit 3.5
Ease of Use 4.0
Overall Rating 4.0

Additionally, elastic hems are included on the front and rear of the vehicle, making the fit notably better than it would’ve been without the inclusion of elastic hems. Below are the pros and cons of the OxGord Executive Storm-Proof:

OxGord Executive: Our Experience

The OxGord Executive Storm-Proof is a great option for those looking to purchase a car cover to protect their vehicle against the elements. Most car covers only feature a single layer, but this seven-layer car cover shows why multi-layer car covers are so sought after.

Material

Our product testing team was quite impressed with this car cover. While some car covers are lightweight and leave you wondering how they could protect against adverse weather conditions, this cover leaves nothing to the imagination. The cover is thick, durable, and has an interior layer that is extremely soft for outdoor protection.

Fit

Comparisons to a tarp being thrown over a car came to mind for our testing team when taking a step back to scrutinize the fit of this car cover. While this car cover did cover most of the wheels’ surface area, it felt oversized on the whole. Several of our team members had concerns about this cover flying off in the wind because of its bagginess.

Ease of Use

Covering our testing vehicle with this car cover was relatively easy compared to the other car covers that we tested. You may still need an extra set of hands, as the cover is heavier than most of the others that we tested.

9. FH Group C502-L: Best Car Cover For UV Protection

The FH Group C502-L car cover installed on a testing vehicle.The FH Group C502-L car cover installed on a testing vehicle.
  • Cost: $40
  • Amazon rating: 3.9 out of 5.0 (approx. 470 reviews)
  • Indoor/outdoor: Outdoor
  • Fit: Universal
  • Warranty: N/A
  • Exterior material: Polyester
  • Interior lining material: Polyester
  • Weather resistance: UV rays, rain, and snow

FH Group C502-L Review

Designed for outdoor use, the FH Group C502-L is a good pick for a low-cost universal cover for UV protection. This outdoor car cover is water-resistant, UV-resistant, and can shield your car from airborne pollutants. The cover is made from breathable polyester material, meaning the car will air out and dry before mold has a chance to form.

The C502-L’s polyester material is treated with a special silver coating for increased durability. The inner lining of this cover is soft and scratch-resistant, which means you won’t need to worry about damaging your car’s exterior with the cover.

You can see how the FH Group C502-L performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Material 4.0
Fit 3.5
Ease of Use 4.0
Overall Rating 3.8

Something that separates the C502-L from the competition is the fact that this car cover is heat-reflective, hence our team naming it the Best Car Cover for UV Protection. Below are the pros and cons of the FH Group C502-L:

FH Group C502-L: Our Experience

The FH Group C502-L is a reliable outdoor cover to protect vehicles from the elements. Our product testing team believes this car cover will perform as advertised.

Material

While there’s only one layer of material, that one layer is extremely durable and able to handle various weather conditions.

Fit

The fit of the car cover on our vehicle type was average. Our product testing team found that no matter how much you tweak, adjust, or reposition this cover, it simply won’t cover the bottom half of your car very well. The front of the vehicle cover does fit well.

Ease of Use

The process of getting this car cover wrapped around the exterior of our test vehicle and then later removed was standard compared to the rest of the car covers we tested.


Car Covers Buying Guide

Car covers are seemingly simple by design, but this isn’t the case for all high-quality covers. A surprising amount of engineering and design goes into these products, making the process of figuring out what works best for you more complicated.

Compare Car Covers

Brand/Model Indoor/Outdoor Fit Warranty

CarCovers.com Platinum Shield

Outdoor

Custom

Lifetime

Seal Skin Supreme

Outdoor

Custom

10 years

Budge RSC-3

Indoor

Universal

Two years

Motor Trend Safekeeper

Outdoor

Universal

Four years

Tour Performance

Outdoor

Semi-Custom

Two years

Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock

Outdoor

Semi-Custom

12 years

Budge Lite

Indoor

Universal

Two years

OxGord Executive Storm-Proof

Outdoor

Universal

One year

FH Group C502-L

Outdoor

Universal

N/A

A car cover placed over a vehicle.A car cover placed over a vehicle.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Car Covers

Indoor covers are drastically different from outdoor covers. The features of each type of cover vary, as does the way the car cover should be used. CarCovers.com has a great guide to choosing the right car cover, with information on indoor and outdoor covers. We’ve summarized a few differences below, but we suggest you check out their page for more information on protection, material, and fit.

Indoor

This type of car cover is meant to protect your vehicle from the hazards of the garage. While you may view your garage as a safe place to store your vehicle, the dust that’s typically found in a garage can ruin your car’s paint. Additionally, this type of cover should protect against any accidental bumps or dings when you pull out gear from your garage.

Outdoor

Outdoor covers are meant to protect your vehicle from a wide variety of weather conditions. Whether rain, sun, or sleet, this type of cover should be equipped to handle almost anything Mother Nature brings its way. Additionally, outdoor covers are typically UV-resistant and meant to withstand bird droppings and tree sap.

Weather-Resistant Car Covers

If you’re looking to purchase an outdoor cover, that cover will need to handle a variety of weather conditions.

  • Sun: UV protection and heat-reflective material are a must if your car is sitting in the sun for an extended period.
  • Dust/dirt: For those who live in windy areas with lots of dust, a custom-fit car cover ensures that dust and dirt won’t get to your vehicle.
  • Rain: If you’re worried about rain, a water-resistant cover is the way to go. At the very least you may need a water-repellent material, but it’s also a good idea to research covers that have been treated for mildew.
  • Snow/ice: Similar to rain, you will want a water-resistant cover to protect against snow and ice. There are also car covers available on the market that are specifically designed for ice protection.
  • Hail: Anything past light hail will require a hail storm-specific cover. This type of car cover is typically padded and will sometimes even be inflatable.

Waterproof Car Covers

Our review team recently caught up with Kyle Marker, Parts Manager at Leith Lincoln in Raleigh, NC, to discuss his favorite car products and accessories:

“People don’t realize [car covers] are not supposed to be waterproof,” said Marker, noting that a fully waterproof cover can actually retain moisture and contribute to mold formation. “They’ll keep moisture in, and you want moisture to flow in and out… You want there to be some transfer.”

He added that low-quality car covers tend to be thicker, contributing to the issue described above. A high-quality car cover is more likely to be marketed as water-resistant.

When Should I Use A Car Cover? 

If you do not drive your vehicle daily and store it outdoors, it might be time to invest in a car cover. It just takes a few minutes to cover a vehicle by yourself, but those few minutes can potentially save your vehicle from environmental damage.

When To Buy A Car Cover

Weather conditions are the primary reason to buy a car cover. Sunlight can affect your car’s interior, particularly leather, causing fading and cracking over time. This is especially true if you don’t park indoors or live in hotter climates.

Snowier climates also require a car cover if you park outside. Heavy snow can damage your car’s structure, leaving dents in the hood or roof if your car sits outside during a snowstorm. Many car covers have durable exteriors with padding to prevent denting from heavy weather including hail and snow, making a car cover especially useful if you find yourself in colder environments.

Sand and debris from wind can also cause damage to your car’s paint, leaving scratches and chips if winds are high. If you’re living at the beach or in a flatter, sandy area, we suggest buying a car cover that can protect your exterior from sand and flying debris as a result of windy conditions.

When Not To Buy A Car Cover

Depending on the age and cleanliness of your car’s exterior, a car cover could unintentionally damage your exterior if you don’t properly clean your car. If you place a car cover over a vehicle that has worn paint or dirt and debris, installing and removing it can damage your car’s paint.

Most car covers are generic and not soft or form-fitting to specific vehicles. If you live in a windy area and park your car outdoors, there is a chance your car cover will blow around if not tied down properly, possibly leaving scratches and swirls on your paint.

Lastly, to prevent scratching, you want to clean your car cover frequently to eliminate debris from getting onto your car.

How Much Is A Car Cover?

For the most part, our team has found that you get what you pay for when it comes to car covers. A basic car cover costs roughly $30. However, if you want to invest in one of the best car covers on the market, expect to spend at least $100 to $200.

How To Put On A Car Cover

Putting a car cover on your vehicle is a pretty straightforward process. Most manufacturers designate one side as the “front” of the cover, typically with a marking or label, which fits over the vehicle’s front bumper. From there, you pull the rest of the cover across the vehicle and smooth out any bunched areas.

How To Wash A Car Cover

Many car cover manufacturers make their products machine-washable, although you should always consult the owner’s manual for the best way to clean your purchase. 

It’s also quite common for car covers to be sold with a storage bag. Those storage bags are meant to help keep the cover generally clean, as well as prevent it from collecting dust and debris when not in use.


Best Car Covers: Bottom Line

After making sure the size and fit of the car cover you choose works for your vehicle, the next thing you should consider is where your car typically lives. Will your car be outside or staying in a garage? If it’s the latter, UV protection may not be as important. But if you are storing the vehicle outside and you live in a colder climate, a cover durable enough for harsh winters might be the appropriate choice.

The point is that for preserving a vehicle that is either valuable or you don’t drive daily, car covers can be a critical part of that process. Below are our picks for the best car covers in 2024:

  1. CarCovers.com Platinum Shield Car Cover: Best Car Cover
  2. Seal Skin Supreme Car Cover: Best Outdoor Car Cover
  3. Budge RSC-3: Best Indoor Car Cover
  4. Motor Trend SafeKeeper: Best Water-Repelling Car Cover
  5. Tour Performance: Easy-to-Use Car Cover 
  6. Empire Covers American Armor StormBlock: Best Storm Protection
  7. Budge Lite: Best Value Car Cover
  8. OxGord Executive Storm-Proof: Best Budget All-Weather Car Cover
  9. FH Group C502-L: Best Car Cover for Extreme Sun

Car Covers: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about car covers: 

Which type of car cover is best?

After testing a number of car covers in person, our product testing team felt that the CarCovers.com Platinum Shield was the best car cover based on the strength of the material, model-specific sizing, and ease of use. If you only need an indoor cover, you might consider the Budge RSC-3.

Are car covers worth it?

Car covers can be worth it for drivers who want to protect their vehicles from the elements. A car cover can protect your car from inclement weather, bird droppings, harmful UV rays, and more.

Do car covers ruin paint?

Quality car covers should not ruin paint when used properly, but as with most things, improper use means they have the potential to do so. This is mainly because of dirt, debris, and grime that can be caught under your car cover if you’re not diligent about keeping your cover clean.

Why shouldn’t you cover your car?

As long as you purchase a high-quality, properly-sized car cover, there aren’t really any downsides to using a car cover. If you purchase a car cover that does not fit properly or is made with poor materials, it could damage your paint. Car covers that don’t have proper ventilation can also cause mold and mildew buildup in certain climates.

Do car covers get stolen?

Car covers can be stolen, though you can reduce the possibility of theft if you lock your car cover. Some covers include a special grommet and wire to secure the cover not only from wind but also thieves.

What color car cover is best?

Darker colors, such as black or brown, absorb more sunlight whereas lighter colors disperse heat. If you’re concerned about the cover looking dirty, a darker fabric will be better at hiding grime.

What is the best material for using a car cover outdoors?

Fabrics that are breathable and treated for UV protection usually make for the best outdoor car covers.

Are outdoor car covers a good idea?

If you own a car that is not driven daily or you want to better protect it from the environment, a car cover can be a useful tool.


Full Car Cover Testing Methodology

For our in-person testing, a team member tried each car cover on a sedan, taking notes on how well the car covers fit, material quality, and ease of use. Each car cover was given a rating out of 5.0 stars based on these criteria. These car covers were tested using a 2003 Ford Focus ZX3 and a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE.

The sections below detail the assessment process for each testing category:

Material

For this testing category, we first took note of each car cover’s materials. Strong and breathable materials that prevent water accumulation and mold scored better in this category. During testing, we observed how the material stretched across our test vehicle and gauged its durability, noting any rips or tears.

Fit

We gave the highest scores in this category to snug-fitting car covers that managed to envelop the entire vehicle. Loose-fitting car covers that can be well-secured with tie-down straps could still receive a high score in this category. Car covers that are especially baggy or could blow off in a strong wind scored poorly in this category.

Ease of Use

Our ease of use rating is an evaluation of how quickly a car cover can be installed and removed, as well as how easy it is to fold and store. To score well in this category, a car cover should be easily attached and secured by one person in a few minutes. Car covers that fold away well, or fit easily into a carrying case also received high ratings in this category.

How We Score Products

Every car cover we test is given a score between 1.0 and 5.0 stars in each category. Here’s what those star ratings mean in concrete terms:

  • 5.0 Stars: A 5.0-star rating means a car cover is among the best in a category. It includes a tear-proof outer layer as well as a soft inner layer, fits perfectly snug, or can be easily used and removed by a single person.
  • 4.0 Stars: A 4.0-star rating means a car cover performs better than average in a category. It includes several layers and a soft lining, fits snugly when tied down, or can be applied by one person, but with minor difficulty.
  • 3.0 Stars: A 3.0-star rating indicates what is average or typical for a car cover, based on our testing experience. It has a single layer of protection, fits but with some bunching, or is easy to apply, but somewhat difficult to store away.
  • 2.0 Stars: A 2.0-star rating indicates the car cover performs poorer than average. The material is easily torn, it does not fit well and is difficult to use due to poor design or excessive weight.
  • 1.0 Star: A 1.0-star rating indicates that the car cover performs well below expectations in a category. It deteriorates quickly, does not fully cover the vehicle, or is excessively confusing or difficult to use.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.


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