What You Need to Know Before Buying a Car Cover

Want to keep your car, truck, or SUV looking like brand new for years? Whether stored in a garage or outdoors, the right car cover keeps paint jobs in pristine condition and can help prevent damage from rain, snow, humidity, sunlight, and dirt. Knowing what to look for in a vehicle cover can be tough, so we've put together this easy-to-follow guide to car cover shopping.

Indoor or Outdoor

You may think that leaving your car primarily in your garage will protect it from damage. Unfortunately, this is not always true. Dust and dirt can collect on the surface and act like sandpaper, ruining the paint job. Using an indoor car cover will also protect your vehicle against everyday accidents that can cause minor dents and scratches.

If you have a two-car garage, an indoor car cover will protect your vehicle from door dings caused by the other vehicle. Indoor car covers will also protect from bicycles, toys, and anything else you may be storing in your garage. Covering your vehicle will allow you the peace of mind to move freely through your garage without worrying about your bags scratching the paint or tools denting the hood.

Indoor car covers are especially important if you own a luxury or vintage vehicle. Look for a cover with a soft underside for optimal protection.

Most car covers can be used both inside and outside. This works out if your vehicle spends an equal amount of time in the garage or parked out on your driveway. If your car spends most of its time outside, you may want to invest in a heavier duty cover for extra protection against the weather.

Indoor Car Cover Options

Our Covermates brand of vehicle covers are designed for both indoor and outdoor use. We recommend our BlockTite Basic cover for indoor use.

We also carry Covercraft’s Form-Fit and Dustop custom vehicle covers. Ideal for vintage and luxury vehicles, these covers are indoor exclusive and pamper fine paint finishes.

Outdoor Car Cover Options

All of our Covermates vehicle covers are meant for primarily outdoor use.

  • The BlockTite Collection: our BlockTite collection of vehicle covers is available in 3 levels — Basic, Prime, and Max, each has unique features and benefits.
  • The WeatherTite Collection: our WeatherTite collection of vehicle covers is available in 2 levels — Prime and Max. Learn more about the WeatherTite collection and how they offer superior protection.
  • Covercraft custom vehicle covers: we also carry several types of Covercraft covers, each designed to serve a specific set of needs.

For more information on our vehicle covers, view our Car Cover Material Comparison Chart.

How often should I use my car cover?

To keep your car in pristine condition, use your car cover whenever you are not using your car. If you have a collector’s car or keep a second vehicle for fun or sport, keep it covered as much as possible. If you use your car every day, opt for a lightweight cover to make applying and removing quick and easy.

After doing maintenance or driving, dust or wash your car before covering it again. You don’t want grime to rest on your paint or the cover will be little help. If there is a layer of dirt between the cover and your vehicle, it will act like sandpaper when the cover is moved, potentially causing paint scratches. Make sure your car is dry before putting the cover on to avoid trapped moisture and potential rust formation.

Contour Fit or Custom Fit

Contour-fit covers are less expensive than custom-fit covers, and often perform just as well. However, if you have a customized, vintage, or special edition vehicle then you may want to consider investing in a custom cover.

At Coverstore, we have built in the functionality to allow you to find a great fitting cover by searching for your car year, make, model, and submodel. Whether you have a 1970 AMC Gremlin or a 2018 Cadillac Escalade, we have a cover for you.

Difference Between Contour and Custom

The main difference between contour and custom vehicle covers is the features included. Custom car covers typically include mirror and antenna pockets, and provide an overall tighter fit. However, custom covers are more expensive than contour and can take 2-3 weeks to produce and ship to you.

Our contour-fit covers provide an excellent fit no matter what vehicle you have. These covers are available in several materials at affordable prices.

We also distribute car covers by Covercraft, which offers premium custom-fit covers for cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Contour vs. Custom fit vehicle covers

UV Protection

It is not the exterior body paint you need to worry about when it comes to sun exposure. Cars have clear topcoats that protect against UV damage.

Because various materials hold pigment differently, the color of items like dashboards and upholstery will become mismatched as they fade. Also, the inside of your car can become hot, much like a greenhouse or magnifying glass, and the heat can dry and crack vinyl, plastic, and leather.

Dirt Resistance

One of the main functions of indoor and outdoor car covers is protection from dirt, dust, sap, leaves, and animal scat. These substances can scratch or damage your car’s paint job. Even dust can leave tiny scratches on your paint.

A dirty cover will lead to a dirty car, especially if there is grime on the cover’s underside. To keep your vehicle in top condition, be careful when removing or storing your cover and clean it regularly to remove dust and stains. Cleaning your cover will keep it operating how it should. If your cover is left covered with dirt and dust, it will clog the pores and not be as breathable.

A little care goes a long way. Learn how to clean your vehicle cover. Your cover should also be folded and stored in a cover storage bag while not in use for optimal protection.

Breathable or Waterproof

Why choose a breathable or “water-resistant” cover instead of a “waterproof” cover? A completely waterproof cover does not allow any moisture to pass through the cover. That sounds great, but it also traps moisture in. Moisture (like dew) can collect under the cover, unable to get out. Stagnant water causes corrosion, mold, and mildew to form and destroy your car’s paint job.

In reality, completely waterproof fabric doesn't exist. For more information on this, read about waterproof vs. breathable car covers.

In contrast, breathable car covers allow condensation to quickly evaporate. This shortens the amount of time your vehicle is wet so water evaporates before corrosion or mildew begin.

Breathability is especially important in outdoor car covers since cars are exposed to everything from rain to sprinklers. Always check your vehicle after a heavy rain. Even with a cover, water can leak through aging seals or ajar windows and door, so be sure to close and fully seal all openings. Learn more about the importance of breathable car covers.

Vehicle Cover Storage

More likely than not, your car, truck, or SUV isn't going to stay covered 24/7. Whether you just take the cover off for an hour or an entire day, you need to be sure to put your cover somewhere safe while it is not in use. This will help keep your cover clean and prolong its life. We have car cover storage bags that will keep your cover safe while it is not in use, and also makes it easy for you to pack and store it.

Learn how to install and remove your vehicle cover.

Why Coverstore?

Coverstore has a wide selection of vehicle covers for nearly every make, model, and year of cars, trucks, and SUVs. Our years of experience have taught us how to design vehicle covers expertly for unparalleled quality.

We don’t rest on our laurels either. At Coverstore we operate in a mindset of continual innovation, meaning we are constantly testing and improving our materials and products.

Our Vehicle Cover Collections

Shop our BlockTite Basic covers for protection in mild climates. These covers are constructed with an 85 gram 3-ply non-woven material, making them lightweight and durable.

Providing the best value among our on-woven fabrics, our BlockTite Prime covers are made from a 125 gram 3-ply non-woven material. Each layer is designed to provide excellent breathability, water-resistance, and paint protection.

Our BlockTite Max covers are built with a 160 gram 5-layer non-woven material, and provide unmatched water, UV, and wind resistance.

Need something a little stronger? Our WeatherTite Prime covers are made of a piece-dyed woven polyester, providing 2x the strength of non-woven materials.

Designed to hold up through the harshest weather conditions, WeatherTite Max covers are constructed with heavy-duty solution-dyed polyester. A water-repellent coating on the outer surface increases moisture-resistance without sacrificing breathability.

We even have covers for other types of vehicles. Explore our selection of jet ski, golf cart, motorcycle, ATV/UTV, bicycle, and mobility scooter covers.

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