Next to our homes, our cars and other vehicles are our most prized possessions. And generally also our most expensive ones. Protecting them and making sure they retain their value (as well as their shine and polish) is therefore a priority for most people. Unfortunately, the elements are not always kind to vehicles, and dirt, dust and grime can prematurely age them or damage them. That is where car covers, motorcycle covers, and other kinds of waterproof covers for vehicles come into play. It is really not a matter of whether you need a vehicle cover, but when you need one.
Why are vehicle covers so important? They are important because almost everyone will encounter a situation where a vehicle remains parked for an extended period of time, or in a location where it is likely to need protection. And that even applies if a vehicle is kept in a garage. If you ever parked a car in a garage and let it sit for a few weeks you know that grimy dust will settle on the paint even in immaculately clean garages. And that sticky dust can dull the paint or do other kinds of damage. Or that small dents and scratches happen. That’s just not an issue if the vehicle is protected by a cover.
What should you look out for when considering the purchase of a vehicle cover? Price obviously is an issue, and only you know how much you’re willing to spend for a cover. Almost all brands have different lines of covers, all the way from basic economy covers up to top-of-the-line covers for maximum protection. Leading brands, like Budge, also offer special covers for different kinds of protection. If protection against rain is an issue, get a cover specially designed to ward off rain. Long-term exposure to sunshine can be a problem, as UV rays tend to age certain cover materials. So if you plan on using a cover outdoors, make sure it has good UV protection. If portability is a concern, there are car covers that weigh very little and are easy to stow away. If you plan on storing a vehicle for an extended period of time, get a truck or SUV cover that seals well and offers maximum protection.
What about size and fit? Here you have the choice between “one-size-fits-all” covers, covers that fit a certain size of car or truck, semi-custom covers, and covers that are designed specially for a certain year and model of vehicle. The former generally cost the least, and the custom-fit ones the most. Personally, I love the tight fit and clean look of a custom-fit vehicle cover, but generically sized covers can fit quite well also, and there is not much difference in protection.
What other things should you look out for? Since truck covers, SUV covers, and other vehicle covers are exposed to the elements and can encounter pretty rough conditions, you want to make sure that they are backed by a decent warranty. Some manufacturers offer warranties as long as ten years for their premium lines whereas more basic covers will come with limited warranties of shorter duration. Personally, I also like covers that stow away neatly when I don’t use them, so I like to have a quality bag for my cover. Weight, finally, can be an issue if you frequently put the cover on and off your vehicle. Older car cover materials were quite heavy, but there are now high-tech materials that last at least as long, offer better protection, and still weigh very little.
If you don’t currently have a car cover, motorcycle cover or waterproof cover for your vehicle, consider getting one. Sooner or later you’ll need it, and the extra protection against dust, grime, water, scratches and dings is more than worth it.