A good car cover is essential to protect your car in all types of weather. But, the need for car covers goes beyond just saving it from the elements. You need to also protect your car from spring pollen, summer sunshine, bird droppings, stray animal scratch marks and the like. This becomes more important when you don’t park your car indoors. Even if you have a garage, you may require a car cover to protect it against dust and moisture build-up, plus random grazes against a surface.

The key to choose the right cover is to assess your area’s climate, surroundings, and driving habits.

Indoor vs. outdoor car cover
Most outdoor car covers have a multi-layer design which can incorporate up to four layers of woven fabric. This usually includes polyester, polypropylene, and other materials to protect your car against sunlight, dust, and moisture. If you  tend to park your car outdoors make sure that your cover protects your car from:

  • Rain and snow: As it may penetrate into cracks and cause corrosion.
  • UV rays: Which can cause your car to lose its paint job over time.
  • Pollen: Which can cause abrasions and tiny scratches in the paint leading to damage.

In addition, if you park your car indoors you need to protect your car from elements such as:

  • Dust: which can settle on your paint and cause tiny scratches on the paint, over time.
  • Mildew and/or rot: which can grow due to moisture that is expelled from the breathable covers.

For instance, if you are living in the Midwest or Northeast, which has four distinct seasons, opting for all-weather car covers is preferable. And if you live in particularly rainy areas such as the Pacific Northwest region, pick a waterproof car cover with outstanding water resistance. However, keep in mind that these covers are not 100 percent waterproof. This is because the car covers need to remain breathable to prevent condensation forming on your car, harming its finish. The same goes for snowy areas. If you live in a dry area, prefer buying car covers which filters dust from the air and does not let it settle on your car. Also, make sure the same car cover comes with an extra layer of UV protection to protect your car from the harsh sunlight.

Consider the vehicle usage
It plays an important role in the selection of car cover. If you drive your car daily to work, then you might want to use a car cover made of light material. The lightest covers can also provide adequate protection against outdoor and indoor storage needs. Choose a heavier cover for the long-term storage of your vehicle. Thicker covers provide protection against minor dents and scratches that are more likely to occur over a long period of time

One-size vs. custom-fit vehicle covers
Although there are some good universally-fitting covers, it is recommended to go with custom-fit designs. These types of car covers are designed to hug the contours of your car, leaving no avenues for contaminants to reach your car. And while one-size car covers are cheaper, custom-fit car covers offer better protection.