The 5 Best Car Covers

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Whether you keep your vehicle outdoors or in the garage, a car cover can help you protect it from everyday damage and wear. The best car covers have anywhere from two to 18 layers, with soft linings that prevent scratching to your vehicle’s finish. They offer different protective qualities to shield your car from UV rays, rain, dust, and — in some cases — even hail.

If you keep your car in a garage, you already have some protection, however dirt and dust can still be an issue. Over time, these elements may erode your car’s paint, with the potential to damage the metal underneath. To keep that from happening, the best indoor car cover will be lightweight, budget-friendly, dust-proof, and constructed with a soft inner lining to prevent scratching — i.e., a great balance of protection but without going overboard.

Naturally, the best outdoor car covers will be able to withstand more extreme conditions, including moisture, bird droppings, and UV rays. A thick, multi-layer cover offers the best protection, and it should have a lining made of a nonabrasive material. If heavy precipitation is common where you live, look for a water-resistant cover with a soft, breathable lining like cotton that allows moisture to evaporate, which will help prevent damage to your car’s finish. Likewise, the best car covers for sun protection will have reflective properties that offset UV rays to help maintain the vibrancy of your car’s exterior, while also keeping the inside cool and fade-free. And if hail is a possibility, inflatable car covers — although pricey — offer the highest level of protection from damage and dents.

Most manufacturers offer a range of covers for a variety of vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, hatchbacks, and sports cars, but for the perfect fit, check your car’s dimensions first.

After sifting through car cover reviews and specs, I’ve rounded up the best car covers on Amazon, and they come at a variety of prices to offer varying levels of protection for your vehicle.

1. The Overall Best

  • Pros: 6 layers, driver’s door access, UV-protective, water-resistant
  • Cons: 2-strap design may not be as secure as other options, must remove antenna before installing

Boasting over 7,500 five-star Amazon ratings, this car cover has six durable layers, including a soft cotton lining that’s breathable and won’t scratch paint, and a highly reflective and water-resistant aluminum outer layer. The reflective exterior protects from UV damage and helps keep the interior cool, making this one of the best car covers for heat. The cover comes in a wide range of sizes to fit a variety of car makes and models, and it features a zipper on the driver’s side for easy access to your car’s cabin. It also has two notches for side mirrors, as well as straps and elastic on both ends to secure the cover in windy conditions. However, there’s no accommodation for an antenna, so you may have to unscrew it or cut a small hole in the cover.

A reviewer wrote: “I have a Dodge Avenger that I use for a second vehicle and I just had it repainted. I don’t have a garage to keep it out of the elements so I thought I would get a car cover. This is a really well made cover. I like that it has the mirror notches. The side zipper for the driver door comes in real handy for when I go out and start my car to run for a bit when I’m not driving it. The inside is nice and soft and I have found nothing on the seams that would scratch your paint by accident.”

2. The Best Heavy-Duty Car Cover

  • Pros: 18 layers, UV-protective, water-resistant
  • Cons: no driver’s door access

With a total of 18 layers, this water-resistant car cover from iCarCover has a lightly padded design that makes it a great option for snow, rain, and — according to some reviewers — even light hail. The UV-resistant and reflective exterior helps keep interiors cool in high heat while preventing paint fading and damage. Inside, the cover’s thick cotton lining allows moisture to escape and won’t scratch your car’s paint job. The elasticized ends, double-stitched hem, and three buckling straps (one more than the previous pick) provide a durable, secure fit that will stay in place during high winds. The cover has grommets that install around your car’s antenna, but there are no notches for side mirrors and no zipper for accessing the driver’s door. Like other options on the list, this pick comes in a number of sizes.

A reviewer wrote: “Rain, dirt, and particularly sun were my biggest worries. [...] In the about 6 weeks I have now used it, it has protected against torrential rain, hail, 50mph winds, and the local unending constant high desert UV laden sunshine. It has been absolutely waterproof, windproof, and sunproof! The cover fits my car snugly to the point that during the 50mph wind storm we had the day after I first put the cover on, it stayed securely on the car without any additional strapping underneath to further secure it.”

3. The Best Car Cover For Hail

  • Pros: inflatable design helps prevent dents, connected weather-warning app, UV-protective, water-resistant
  • Cons: high price point, not practical for temperate weather, number of straps not listed

Hail can cause expensive damage to your car, including dents and scratches, but this inflatable car cover from Hail Protector provides emergency coverage for vehicles in extreme situations, and it has an integrated air blower that transforms it into a protective enclosure to guard your vehicle against flying debris. The UV-protective cover comes in a range of sizes and has a snug inner layer that rests against your car (however, the material is not listed) and a looser outer layer that fills with air. Although under-carriage straps and elastic aren’t detailed, the large car cover boasts a secure fit that can withstand windy conditions up to 60 miles per hour.

Access to the Hail Protector weather warning app comes with purchase, and you can use the included remote control to deploy the air blower to full size in as little as five to eight minutes. In addition to the cover’s inflatable feature, it is water-resistant, UV-protective, and reflective, making it a great option for anyone who wants the next best thing to indoor storage when it comes to protecting your vehicle. Rather than everyday storage, the cover is intended for emergency situations, and therefore doesn’t have a side door zipper for access.

A reviewer wrote: “I got this for my SUV and it stormed really bad for some weeks in Texas and this thing is the absolute truth. It is worth every dime. It will block any hail size! My car is outside in the elements and this is the only protection it has when a storm comes through.”

4. The Best Basic Car Cover

  • Pros: 3 layers, breathable design, budget-friendly, UV-protective
  • Cons: not water-resistant, no driver’s door access, not reflective

If you live in an arid climate or keep your car stored indoors, this affordable car cover has three thin layers that offer basic protection against animal droppings, leaves, dust, and debris. While the cover doesn’t have reflective properties to keep your vehicle cool, its outer layer will protect against UV rays, and the fabric is breathable to prevent moisture buildup in the event of light rain (though it isn’t water-resistant). Instead of simple cotton, the inner lining has a mesh weave that further promotes breathability, but you’ll want to take extra care putting it on and taking it off to prevent any potential minor scratches. The cover does not have a side zipper for accessing your car’s cabin, but it does feature an elastic hem and three straps to secure it for everyday use or during high winds. And while it comes with a patch to accommodate an antenna, there are no notches for side mirrors. Choose from 13 different sizes to find the best fit for your car.

A reviewer wrote: “The absolute best, does the job. We live in a warm but not too rainy area, though that would not be the problem. I park the car where there are birds and tree sap and lots of horse arena dirt blowing about.”

5. The Best Locking Car Cover

  • Pros: security loop and lock, driver’s door access, UV-protective, water-resistant
  • Cons: number of layers not listed, security cable is not impenetrable to thieves

Along with two straps, the Titan Performance car cover comes with a 7-foot security cable and combination lock to serve as a theft deterrent and provide additional security in windy weather. Available in a range of sizes, the lightweight water-resistant cover has a reflective, UV-protective outer layer to help preserve your paint’s finish and an anti-scratch cotton lining. There are two buckling straps that keep the cover in place in windy weather, and a driver’s side zipper allows for easy access to the car’s cabin. There are notches to accommodate side mirrors as well as grommets to accommodate an antenna, and while the cover consists of multiple layers, the brand doesn’t specify the exact number.

A reviewer wrote: “Because it is lightweight this car cover is easily removed and replaced. For momentary access the zipper is really convenient. It also stays put even when the wind is blowing. I can recommend this cover without any reservation.”