Car parked outside under a tree with a car cover on to protect it

If you’re a vehicle owner, then you may have shopped around for car covers—especially if you’re leaving your vehicle parked for long periods of time. One of the main reasons car covers are worth using is that they act as an additional level of protection for your vehicle. After all, too many things outside of our control can damage the paint jobs on our cars, trucks, and SUVs, including rain, snow, sun, and wind.

We’ve taken a hard look at the universal car covers now on the market, taking care to factor in product quality, performance, and customer feedback in our search for the best products out there. After careful evaluation, we found that the Kayme 6 Layer Car Cover stood out above the rest. Why? Among other things, its great weatherproofing, premium materials and construction, and extra features like a door zipper for easy access. Given how it fulfilled the expectations vehicle owners typically look for in a car cover, it easily rose to the top of the list.

Best Overall
Kayme 6 Layer Car Cover
For the best all-around protection, indoors and out.

In addition to a car cover, putting high-quality car seat covers on your seats will help keep your car in pristine condition.

Our Automobile Expert’s Top 5 Car Covers

Here are the top picks from our automobile expert. Compare the ratings and features of different models.

The Best Car Covers

Expert's PicksBrandRatingColorMaterialWaterproofUV Light Protection
Best OverallKayme 6 Layer Car Cover4.3SilverAluminum, Cotton
Best Budget BuyDuck Covers Car Cover for Sedans4.4Gray/Light BluePolypropylene
Best for Extreme WeatheriCarCover 18 Layer All Weather Car Cover4.4SilverPolyester
Best for TrucksAutsop 6 Layer Outdoor Truck Cover4.3SilverPolyester, Cotton
Best Premium OptionCoverSeal Version 2.05.0SilverPolyester

*Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 5 and based on reviews, feedback, and opinions of actual customers

Who Should Buy a Car Cover

  • Anyone who leaves their vehicle parked outside for days at a time – If your car, truck, or SUV sits outside unused for days at a time, covering it will help ensure that it’s protected from the elements.
  • Car collectors and those who own seasonal drivers – Do you own a priceless antique or vintage vehicle?1 What about a car you only take in the summer when the weather is nice? If so, it may be wise to keep it covered when stored in order to protect it during its hibernation. This is good practice whether you park it inside or out, but is especially crucial if the car is stored outside.
  • Those who reside in an area with harsh weather – Sun and heat can be devastating on a vehicle’s exterior and interior.2 Inclement weather, such as rain, hail, wind, and snow, can be just as bad — if not worse. A layer—or multiple layers—of protection will help to preserve your paint job, especially if you park your vehicle near trees that shed leaves, sap, or bird droppings.

Who Should Not Buy a Car Cover

  • Apartment residents who drive daily – If you live in an apartment building and drive your vehicle every day, it may not be practical for you to have a car cover that you need to remove and put back on every day.
  • Those with indoor or underground parking You might dispute this if you have a weekend cruiser or seasonal driver. But for those who drive their car regularly and have indoor storage, a car cover isn’t necessary.
  • Those that own other types of vehicles – While a cover may still be needed for your ATV, motorcycle, or dune buggy, don’t purchase a car cover. Get something specifically designed for your vehicle type.

Research Tips (from an Expert)

Determining the best car cover is never a simple answer because there are so many variables to consider when choosing one. Here are some tips and best practices you’ll want to keep in mind when purchasing yours. Be sure to do your own research before purchasing a car cover, and if possible, consult other car cover owners you know to see if they have any recommendations.

  1. Determine your storage situation – If you’re storing your vehicle exclusively indoors, you may not need all of the added benefits of outdoor models. Opting for an indoor model may even help save you money. But if your vehicle will be parked outside for any length of time, an outdoor option is an absolute must.
  2. Factor in what climate you’re dealing with – Certain car covers will stand up to different kinds of weather better. Are you looking for protection against torrential downpours or endless days of direct sun and high heat? How about tough winters with punishing blizzards?3 Be mindful of the type of climate your car will be exposed to when considering different options.
  3. Consider who will be removing and installing it – Some car covers are easier to put on and/or remove than others. Heavier or larger options, for instance, may not be make for an easy one-person job. Checking the size and weight ensures you’ll have the right help in place when it comes time to first install or remove the cover.
  4. Consider special features – Some car covers can be basic, no-frill models, but many have a variety of special features such as anti-theft add-ons, reflective strips, and door zippers for easy access. These elements can greatly enhance your experience with using a car cover, so think about how important they are for you.

How Much Do They Cost?

Between $30 and $350

The price range for car covers varies considerably, with options priced between $30-$350 (many of which fall at the lower end of that spectrum). Paying a lot of money for a car cover doesn’t always mean you’ll be getting a better product. Several factors can impact the cost, including the materials used in the cover’s construction, any special features, and whether it’s a custom or universal fit. Though it isn’t hard to find options that are priced over $300, you don’t need to spend that much to get a quality product that provides proper protection.

Our Methodology: Why Trust Ride Digest

From the serious car collector to the family vehicle owner, most folks interested in a car cover want the same thing: a reliable cover that meets their specific needs. The car covers featured in this review were chosen based on product quality and customer feedback, with features and functionality also top of mind. The quality and reliability of the car covers selected were determined by their ability to protect vehicles from the elements, dust, and scratches. How well each product’s results matched manufacturer claims was also taken into account. Ultimately, all vehicle owners want a car cover that meets their expectations, and the options featured here are all worth considering.

The Best Car Covers: Full Reviews

Best Overall
Kayme 6 Layer Car Cover
For the best all-around protection, indoors and out.

The Kayme 6 Layer Car Cover is a definite favorite among consumers and experts alike. Crafted from premium, heavy-duty material, it’s great for indoor and outdoor use. Waterproof, snowproof, and windproof, this cover is designed to keep the elements away and protect your vehicle outdoors.

It also works well in the garage. With its soft inner lining and thick outer lining, it effectively keeps dust at bay and protects your vehicle from minor accidental scratches that may occur. It’s a bonus that it’s easy to strap on and secure once installed. All in all, this car cover checks many important boxes, including affordability, so it sits confidently as our top pick.

Pros
  • Highly reflective aluminum shell for UV protection
  • Door zipper for easy access to your vehicle
  • Thick cotton lining protects your vehicle’s paint job

Cons

  • Some water-resistance issues in heavy rains
  • Mirror pockets occasionally don’t line up perfectly

Best Budget Buy
Duck Covers Car Cover for Sedans
An affordable option when storing your vehicle indoors.

The Duck Covers Car Cover for Sedans is a great indoor car cover option for those storing vehicles in their garage. It’s a semi-custom fit, meaning it will fit a variety of vehicle models within certain dimensions. Be sure to measure your vehicle carefully before ordering so to choose the right cover size.

This ultra-affordable car cover is made of soft fabric that will not scratch or harm your car. It’s breathable and does an excellent job of keeping dust out. It should also help to reduce accidental scratches that may occur when your vehicle isn’t in use.

Pros
  • Elastic hem for a secure fit
  • Non-scratch, tie-down grommets and rope for secure fastening
  • Storage bag for when the cover is not in use

Cons

  • Works best for indoor use exclusively
  • Single-layer construction means it could tear easily

Best for Extreme Weather
iCarCover 18 Layer All Weather Car Cover
A durable cover that will stand up to wind, rain, snow, and sun.

The iCarCover 18 Layer All Weather Car Cover is a fantastic option for all car lovers looking to protect their vehicles from wind, rain, snow, and the sun. It will perform well regardless of the season thanks to its 18-layer, all-weather design and excellent construction. Available in several sizes, you won’t have trouble finding one that’s ideal for your car.

If you’re looking for a cover to keep your car dry in heavy rainfall and snow, or one that stays put even in heavy winds, this is a great choice. If you’re worried about sun damage, this option also offers strong UV protection. With a starting price of $79.99, it offers premium protection without the premium price point.

Pros
  • Soft inner lining for optimal protection
  • Buckles, reinforced grommets, and elastic hems
  • 7-year warranty and extra parts at no additional charge

Cons

  • No pockets for mirrors may mean a tight fit
  • Straps and buckles may be difficult to use

Best for Trucks
Autsop 6 Layer Outdoor Truck Cover
Full body protection for your pickup truck.

If you’re trying to cover your pickup truck, the Autsop 6 Layer Outdoor Truck Cover delivers the full-body protection you’re looking for – cargo bed included. Made of premium, non-woven material, it’s designed to be both rainproof and snowproof. This option also keeps dust and dirt out. You’ll find that the 6-layer design is thick and durable, outperforming other similar covers in its category.

With straps at the front and rear, this cover is easy to secure, ensuring that strong gusts won’t send it airborne. This means that your vehicle can benefit from its UV light protection without worrying that it will fly away in a windstorm.

Pros
  • Straps at the front and rear help make it windproof
  • Silver coating protects against UV and heat
  • Fluorescent light strips for nighttime visibility

Cons

  • No middle straps mean less-secure fastening
  • Some reported issues with sizing

Best Premium Option
CoverSeal Version 2.0
When your vehicle is a member of the family, treat it accordingly.

The CoverSeal Version 2.0 is a high-end option that will provide all the bells and whistles you expect for $350. Thanks to CoverSeal’s patented Ground Seal technology, this cover forms a shell around your vehicle that drastically improves the fitment and positioning of the cover. CoverSeal also claims that this technology will significantly help keep out pests like insects and rodents.

Despite the high price, this cover isn’t perfect. Some customers have complained of the cover base being jostled around by wind or other weather and eventually forming holes. Our advice? If you cover your car over sand, rock, pebble, or other unpaved surface, this likely isn’t the cover for you. For those storing their car on pavement, however, this is an excellent premium choice that provides an impressive extra level of protection.

Pros
  • CoverSeal’s patented Ground Seal protection
  • Secure cover, rated for winds up to 40 mph
  • Blocks out extreme sunlight
  • Fabric withstands up to 300°F, including fire debris and ash

Cons

  • Extremely heavy and may require two people to put on
  • One of the more expensive options on the market
  • Not great on unpaved surfaces

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a car cover worth it?

Absolutely. Using a car cover, whether for indoor or outdoor protection, will keep your vehicle cleaner and provide long-term paint protection during storage. Using one can help you save time and money, and you won’t have to worry about knicks and scrapes from careless children (and adults), pets, branches, or any other potential threat to a stored car.

What makes a good car cover?

Make sure that your cover is constructed from durable material and is well stitched. If you plan to use it outdoors, it must be multi-layered to provide proper protection. A breathable option is also important, as such a design won’t trap moisture within the cover.

Beyond this, you may want to look for additional features such as reflective strips, a driver-side door zipper, or anti-theft features. Some experts recommend spending a little more to get a car cover that’s lined with a soft material to prevent scratches on a car’s paint.4 It’s also worth considering whether you want a washable car cover.

How do I know my car cover size?

While the average length and width of a midsize vehicle is approximately 6 to 6.5 feet long and 15.5 to 16 feet wide respectively, your vehicle’s measurements may be different.5 In order to work out an ideal car cover size for your vehicle, you will need to measure it. Check with your vehicle’s manufacturer first. If measurements aren’t available that way, you can simply pull out your tape measure and determine the length and width yourself.

Are car covers bad for your car?

An ill-fitting car cover or one constructed from poor quality materials has the potential to do some damage to your car, like mar your car’s paint.

When covers don’t fit properly, dust and debris can get under them, causing a sandpaper-like effect. This is why choosing the right fit for your vehicle is a must.


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Article Sources

Ride Digest uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Popely R. What makes a car luxury? Cars.com. Published September 13, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021.
  2. State Farm. Protect your car from the damaging effects of sun and heat. Statefarm.com. Accessed May 14, 2021.
  3. Ride Time. The top 4 ways to protect your car from the elements this winter. Ridetime.ca. Published
    January 8, 2018. Accessed May 14, 2021.
  4. Consumer Reports. How to Protect Your Car on Halloween. Consumerreports.org. Updated October 27, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021.
  5. Reference.com. What is the width and length of the average car? Reference.com. Updated May 27, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021.

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