Car Cover Buying Guide

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Car Cover Buying Guide

A car is a significant investment that needs protecting, especially a high end or classic model. Yet not everyone has a garage, and even some who do own garages want to keep their car safe from dust and other harmful materials. That is why purchasing a car cover is necessary for many owners. Much as furniture covers protect the furniture underneath from spills and stains, car covers protect the cars underneath from harmful exposure to the elements.

Car covers prevent minor damage and stop scratches from potentially occurring, and this alone saves a homeowner thousands of dollars. Car covers are often found for sale through automotive websites or online shops like eBay, but keep in mind that not all types of car covers are made equally. Some are beneficial for a car, but others might actually cause problems. The best car covers fit the car and provide adequate protection while still allowing moisture to evaporate.

Car Cover Basics

A car cover is like a piece of clothing for a car. It keeps it safe from being exposed to the elements. Furthermore, the cover keeps the car clean when it is in storage for a long period of time. There are several culprits that car covers protect against.


Damage to cars from birds does not come from the animal itself. Instead, it is their droppings that do the most damage. Bird droppings contain a mix of uric acid that etches into a car's paint job. Left alone to dry against the metallic side of a car under the hot sun, the dropping melds against the car's surface. Trying to remove it using an abrasive pad causes just as much damage as the dropping itself.


Trees seem like a good place for parking a car underneath their branches, especially during the summer. But they too contain hidden dangers to vehicles. Trees tend to drip sap, nuts, and berries onto the ground. A car that is parked under a tree quickly gets covered in a short time. Add birds, who love to eat berries, into the mix and the car's exterior quickly becomes a mess. Sap is extremely difficult to remove from paint without damaging the car's surface.


Nothing short of tank armour is going to stop a car from getting a few dents and scratches in its lifetime. However, using a car cover helps prevent some simple accidents. Runaway shopping carts, for example, cause dents in vehicles when they hit. A next door neighbour who does not pay attention when he opens his door causes a scratch against the car parked beside his own. Even a runaway football causes dings against a car if it hits hard enough.


Cars are built to withstand rain, but they do not hold up well against a barrage of hail. Strong storms bring hail, small pieces of ice that range from the size of a fingernail to the size of a baseball. While there is little a car cover does against huge pieces of hail, it does protect against smaller pieces. Left alone, hail causes many dents and scratches on a car's surface that is costly to replace.


Car owners often do not pay enough attention to dust. This is not a problem for cars stored outdoors, but it is an issue for vehicles kept in a garage. Left alone for a long period of time the dust settles on the car and starts to damage the paint. The vibrant colour underneath starts to fade and the surface is scratched by multiple dust agents.


Sunlight is full of UV radiation. Beneficial because they provide heat but harmful due to the low amount of radiation contained with, it is never a good idea for anyone to be exposed to the sun for too long. The same principle is true of cars as well as people. UV rays damage a car's paint job and dim the colour over time.

Types of Car Covers

Car covers come in three different kinds of materials : waterproof, water resistant, and cotton. The first two types work outdoors but cotton is only suitable for an indoor cover.

Cover Type

Fabric Type

Indoor Use

Outdoor Use


Plastic Based



Water Resistant





Cotton Blend



Some of these types may even hinder a car more than help if not used properly. One might opt for a waterproof car cover to help against some of the elements of nature.

Waterproof Car Covers

When car owners see a waterproof car cover for sale they often assume it must be the best one available. However, this is not the case, and doing the proper research goes a long way. A waterproof cover keeps water out, but it also acts as a sealer to keep the moisture under the tarp inside the car. Condensation builds on the surface of a car if it is left outside overnight, but under the trap of a waterproof cover the moisture cannot go anywhere. Therefore it just sits and starts working away at the paint enamel. Worst of all, it causes the metal to rust and create a very serious problem.

Waterproof covers are only suitable if the car is first covered with an indoor car cover. The indoor cover wicks away all moisture from the surface of the car while the outer waterproof cover keeps the car dry. This is a good combination for a car that is left outside for a long period of time. However, the process of putting on two car covers becomes annoying if the vehicle is used daily.

Water Resistant Car Covers

A water resistant car cover blocks most water from penetrating through, but its breathable fabric also allows air to circulate as well. This alleviates the problem found in waterproof covers that allow too much moisture to build up underneath. Water resistant car covers come in a wide array of fabrics that offer different levels of protection. Heavier covers do a better job of keeping water out while also preventing dings and scratches. However, they are also a pain to remove every day if the vehicle is driven daily. Lightweight covers work best if the owner is using the car every day.

Indoor Covers

Indoor car covers are usually made out of cotton, a cotton blend, or polyester. Since they do not protect against water they are best used for cars that are stored inside a garage. The main aim behind these covers is to protect the car from dust build-up and dents. As mentioned above, they also serve as an initial layer of protection for an exterior waterproof cover.

Fitted vs. Unfitted Covers

Covers come in two styles: fitted or unfitted. An unfitted car cover is typically less expensive than a fitted one, but the owner gets what he or she pays for. An unfitted car cover does not properly envelop a vehicle. This allows air to enter underneath, causing the cover to scratch the side of the car. Sometimes it is better to not use a car cover at all than to use an unfitted one.

Fitted car covers are made for a specific make of a car, such as a Ford car cover or an Audi car cover. Many are also available for specific car models, especially for very popular vehicles. A fitted cover tightly envelops the vehicle so that air cannot cause the cover to toss about violently in the wind.

How to Buy Car Covers on eBay

eBay has a large selection of automotive accessories including but not limited to car covers. You may select either a new or used product based on how much money you want to spend and the features that you need to protect your car. It is possible to find a used, high end car cover on eBay for a fraction of its original value.

You should begin your search by typing 'car cover' into the search engine found on any of eBay's web pages. All results for products matching this description are pulled up so you need to limit the results further in order to locate the exact product that you want. Try searching for a specific cover made for a type of car such as 'BMW car covers'. You might also search by cover type, such as 'waterproof car cover', or 'water resistant car cover'. A very specific search returns a narrow results list so that you pinpoint the listings that appeal most to you.


A car cover is a worthwhile investment for owners who care about the exterior condition of their car. Car collectors would not dream of keeping their car outdoors without one, but many owners who lack a garage use a cover on their daily driver. Purchasing a car cover allows consumers to spend a modest amount of money in order to protect against larger expenses further down the road.

Car covers are able to protect against a variety of dangers, including birds, adverse weather, and UV rays. They also come in three main types, and it is up to the consumer to decide which type best fits their needs. Fitted covers are better than unfitted ones, and the high price associated with fitted covers is offset by the great deals found on eBay. Armed with the knowledge of car cover information, consumers often find the best one that fits their car and their pocketbook on eBay's expansive website.

Car Cover|Vehicle Accessory|Fitted Car Cover|Unfitted Car Cover|Waterproof Car Cover

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