The Best Car Covers For 2021
Whether you’ve restored a classic car, just bought a new car, or even if your daily driver holds a special place in your heart, a vehicle is a significant investment that needs protection. A car cover is the easiest and most affordable way to shield your vehicle from harmful UV rays, paint-polluting debris and Mother Nature’s wrath.
Buying a quality car cover will extend your vehicle’s life by preventing damaging UV exposure while also keeping dust, pollen, dirt, tree sap, and bird poo from making their way onto the finish. Even vehicles that are stored indoors are vulnerable to collecting dust and dirt over time. By covering up, you’ll save a lot of time and expense with less frequent washing, detailing and paint corrections. Below we list five top-rated car covers ranging from indoor protection to extreme weather coverage.
Forbes Wheels specifically chose the best universal car covers to fit a wide range of vehicle makes and models. Most covers on this list are available in multiple sizes, so be sure to measure your car before purchase.
Best Outdoor Car Cover: iCarCover 18-Layer
Why We Picked It:
The waterproof 18-layer iCarCover offers all-weather protection from rain, snow, and light hail. Its chemical-free UV-blocking technology prevents paint damage and fading by keeping your vehicle cool while parked in the hot sun. The bottom layer is a non-abrasive, thick, soft cotton lining incorporating a paint-pampering layer strip which leaves the finish looking fresh and glossy. Three heavy-duty nylon straps with buckles may take a little finagling, but once secured, it keeps the vehicle covered even on the windiest of days.
Also suitable for indoor use, iCarCover offers sizes from 155 up to 235 inches long to fit almost any vehicle, whether you’re protecting a coupe, convertible, sedan, SUV, wagon or pickup truck. The purchase includes a zippered storage bag, two antenna patches, and an impressive 7-year warranty.
- 18 protective layers
- 7-year warranty
- Straps take some adjustment
- Not for heavy hail
- A little on the expensive side
Best Indoor Car Cover: Coverking Moda Triguard Car Cover
Why We Picked It:
Coverking’s most popular all-around car cover, the Moda Triguard, consists of three layers of UV treated polypropylene material for maximum breathability. Being waterproof, it repels moisture from the outside while allowing condensation stuck inside the cover to escape, which eliminates the risk of mold and mildew growth, or rust formation in the long term. Choose the best size for your vehicle for an easy snug fit. This cover best fits sedans from 13.1 to 22 feet long, which is everything from a Hyundai Accent to a 1970s Cadillac limo. The elastic bottom hem secures the cover to the car with a loving hug. Non-scratch grommets along the bottom allow for additional tie-downs if necessary.
It’s listed as being suitable for indoor or outdoor use, but is reported to only last up to a year outdoors depending on the conditions of your specific location. However, the purchase does include a one-year warranty that covers product failure or workmanship defects.
- Balanced, breathable fabric
- Snug fit
- 1-year warranty
- May not be that durable outdoors
- Sizing limited to sedans
- Tie down straps and storage bag not included
Best Touch Free Vehicle Protection: CarCapsule CC16F
Why We Picked It:
For the car lover that takes no chances, the CarCapsule is like storing your vehicle in a bubble, in the most literal sense. It keeps rodents out, and the system’s evaporative storage technology performs air changes up to four times an hour. That way, the temperature remains consistent, which eliminates condensation.
The 16-foot long CarCapsule can fully inflate in as little as 6-minutes. However, we should note that it can be a challenge to line up the structure on top of the base mat without the help of a second person. The base mat is impervious to oil, gas and antifreeze and is mildew, abrasion and flame resistant. The surrounding reinforced PVC fabric is strong enough to protect against accidental damage from rolling or falling objects like lawn maintenance tools. This particular example is for indoor use only and works great for those who work on messy projects in the shop, but still use the space to store cars. The company offers different sizes to fit your needs, and you can also opt for their heavy-duty outdoor version, though it comes at a very steep price.
- Keeps rodents out
- Superior evaporative storage technology
- Makes an attractive display
- Setup is easiest with two people
- Not for outdoor use, power required
Best Sun Protection: Audew 6 Layer Car Cover
Why We Picked It:
Peeling clear coat on older cars is a common sight for vehicles regularly kept outside unprotected, and faded paint isn’t far behind. Thankfully, there’s a car cover to help prevent paint damage caused by UV rays. The Audew 6-layer car cover is made of Nonwoven fabric, aluminum, EVA, breathable film and a soft anti-scratch layer. It’s thicker and softer than polyester car covers and works well in several weather conditions, including rain, snow and pollen season. Its UV protection where this cover really shines, however.
The Audew car cover fits most sedans from 175 to 192 inches long. The company stands by its sizing and offers online assistance with measuring instructions when contacted. “Front” and “Rear” tags make it easy to figure out which way the cover should go over the vehicle, and five straps paired with the elastic hem hold the cover in place. Some consumers have said that the straps are rather thin and might wear quickly in constant, aggressive wind. To keep your car safe from accidental collisions at night, reflective strips are located on the front, middle and rear of the car cover.
- Superior UV protection
- “Front” and “Rear” tags for easy use
- Fits only sedans, and none larger than midsize
- Strap quality complaints
- No warranty
Best Budget Car Cover: OxGord Signature Car Cover
Why We Picked It:
Available for sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and trucks, the OxGord Signature car cover offers all-season protection against UV rays, rain, snow, bird droppings, pollutants, dust and debris. The high-density 210T material is firm and waterproof, yet still lightweight and allows for breathability. The cover’s soft inner lining prevents it from scratching the vehicle’s finish, and eight rim tie straps teamed with a central adjustable strap and an elastic hem keep the cover secure during windy days. Some buyers report, however, that the cover did not hold up to high winds in their area.
It’s easy to find the front vs. the rear of the cover without searching for tags hidden under the lining because of the integrated mirror pockets. Some buyers reported odd fitment caused by the mirror pocket placement, but this complaint varies and likely has to do with measuring your car and choosing the proper fit. The cover’s exterior is equipped with reflective safety lines in case you have to park your car in a precarious spot overnight.
- Easy to use
- Mirror pockets may cause fitment issues
- May not hold up to extreme weather
- Only one layer of protection
We specifically chose the highest-rated most readily available car covers that will protect a wide range of vehicle makes and models. We considered the products that are the most accessible to consumers residing throughout the U.S. Forbes Wheels selected five top-rated car covers by considering a broad range of end-user ratings and professional evaluations. Each product is rated on quality, weatherproof capabilities, durability and overall value
Is it worth covering your car?
Yes. Although it means putting on and taking off your car cover, the protection it provides can really add up in the long term. Car covers protect from UV damage, dust, dirt, tree sap, and all sorts of natural phenomena that can damage your finish. In the long run your car will look better and require fewer washes, details or paint corrections if it’s covered up when not in use, even if you’re storing it indoors.
How can I protect a car without a garage?
Covering your vehicle with a quality car cover made for the outdoors is the next best way to protect it from the elements if you do not have a garage or car port available. Waxing your vehicle before putting it under a car cover will further protect it by adding an extra layer of UV and water-repellent protection and removing debris that may scratch the finish.
Will a car cover scratch or damage paint?
Car covers are meant to protect a vehicle’s finish, however if it’s not the correct fit or if the vehicle isn’t washed beforehand, a cover could scratch the paint. It’s important to make sure your vehicle’s finish is free of debris before draping a car cover over it. Be sure to measure your vehicle for the best fitment before purchasing a cover.
Are car covers good for sun? Do they keep your car cool?
Car covers will help keep vehicles cool if you have no choice but to park it in the sun. Look for an outdoor-specific car cover that features UV protective layers or is treated for UV protection.
Do car covers need to be breathable?
A quality car cover will be made of breathable fabrics so as to allow moisture and the evaporation of the molecular gases escape. Covers that are not breathable may damage a vehicle’s finish. Even though the fabric is breathable, it will still prevent moisture and contaminants from seeping in from the outside.
Are car covers washable?
Most car covers are washable either by hand or in a washing machine. Since different fabrics will vary in their washing requirements and techniques, check the tag or cleaning instruction sheet that came with your cover before washing.