Your car might be one of your more expensive possessions. Even if you purchased it used, it’s still something that you work hard to protect. Without a garage to shield your car from the elements and theft, you leave your vehicle out in the open to receive damage. That’s why considering using car covers is a vital decision if you want your investment to be worth as much as possible.
Vehicle Damage by the Numbers
According to the RMIIA, hail and wind storms account for nearly 40% of all injured losses to insurance companies. That staggering total means that insurance companies pay out about $15 billion each year to cover weather-related incidents to your home and car.
Protection for Your Car
A car cover is designed to offer maximum protection for your vehicle. It’s an excellent alternative for anyone that can’t park in a garage. Here are just a few of the reasons people use them.
As discussed earlier, hail does a number to a vehicle, but it’s not the only weather protection you need. Even when the wind blows, you face twigs, dirt and pebbles hitting your car. While you might not see this at first, the damage is done. The debris leaves behind small abrasions which wear down the paint job over time. What you are left with is a dull and worn out looking car.
Light wind is likely the least of your worries. You also have to think about what kind of wind hits when the big storm comes. Then, you face large branches of trees instead. You also have the chance of facing damaging hail, heavy rain and sometimes a tornado.
The direct sunlight causes your car’s interior to degrade. It also makes the car extremely hot and uncomfortable. No one wants to touch the steering wheel after it’s been baking in the sun. The UV rays of the sun cause irreversible damage to the interior, plus the exterior paint will begin to fade. Worst yet, the plastic dashboard might get weak and crack from the heat.
Theft and Vandalism
Think about this – if a vandal comes across two cars: one is covered and one isn’t. Which one do you think he is going to mess with first? That’s right; the criminal isn’t going to choose your car over something easier. First of all, they don’t know what’s underneath, so it might not be worth the risk to them.
It’s also less likely that they will take the time to vandalize your vehicle simply because of the extra time it would take. By the time they get the cover off, people might notice and call the cops. That’s a chance they aren’t willing to take. A car cover also makes it difficult for them to smash a car window and grab something quickly.
The weather and criminals aren’t all you should think about – what about animals. The car cover protects against creatures – big and small. From the smallest insects that like to reproduce in the nooks and crannies of your vehicle to the birds who want to make a nest, the car cover offers optimal protection.
Aside from that, some animals attempt to get into or on top of your car. The car cover protects your paint from these scratches. Furthermore, if you park under a tree, what normally happens? You face a barrage of bird poop all over your car when you come back to it. Not with a car cover!
Even if you have a garage, there are reasons to use a car cover inside. First, it protects your car’s paint from dust and pollen. It also keeps your vehicle safer from the items sitting around it. This is especially important if you work inside your garage.
Grinding, painting and sanding other objects around your car is dangerous to the paint job without protection. Moisture is also a concern which is why many people use breathable indoor covers for their vehicle. Finally, you want to think about your pets and the damage they can do to your car.
Materials of a Car Cover
Depending if you choose an indoor or outdoor car cover, the construction will be different. The majority of indoor use car covers come with a cotton-based material. That’s because water and UV protection aren’t a must-have feature. These covers come in light laminated cotton or the thicker flannel and woven designs.
For an outdoor cover, you are probably going to choose a type of synthetic fabric. Products made of acrylic and polyester microfibers are soft and provide UV protection plus water repellency. This option is heavier and does require that the cover have breathable properties to it.
Colors of Car Covers
Why do car covers come in different colors? Is this merely for style or is there a purpose? Surprisingly, there are significant advantages to choosing certain colors over another.
For example, if you live somewhere with a lot of sun, you might want a light colored fabric to keep the car cool. On the other hand, if you live somewhere cool, you might prefer the darker material to encourage some extra warmth.
Aspects to Consider With a Car Cover
There are several considerations you need to think about when choosing a car cover.
You need to decide if you plan to use the cover indoors or outdoors. This significantly changes its purpose and helps you pick the right model.
You won’t want anything too heavy unless you don’t plan to take it off much. The lightweight design is easier to remove and fold plus storage is less cumbersome.
You want the cover to dispel condensation from the heat that gets trapped between the fabric and your car. Many modern car covers offer free-flowing air designs that keep your vehicle protected.
Your vehicle’s paint job can’t withstand any amount of dust. Once it settles on the paint, you end up with the possibility of abrasions and scratches.
In an effort to keep scratches off the paint surface, you also want to consider a fabric with a soft inner liner. Premium car covers even come with silky linings that glide over your car’s exterior for maximum protection.
Any time moisture is allowed to collect on the interior of the car cover, you face mildew. Many car covers are now treated with inhibitors that prevent mold from forming in the first place.
If you want the maximum protection for your car, it makes sense to have a cover. Just be sure you get one that’s designed to fit the purposes you have in mind. With a little extra work, you can keep your vehicle safe from harm.