Best type of car cover

Any recommendations for two types of use:

Car parked outside (not under a carport)

Car parked under a carport (to keep off dust)


I have a cover for one of my cars. I never use it anymore, indoors or out. I found I was doing more damage putting the cover on and taking it off than if I just left it off. Car covers can damage paint from rubbing against it when the wind blows, and can trap dirt and moisture underneath.

If you need a cover get one that breathes so it doesn’t trap moisture.

How about a wax job.

Really car covers do more damage than good to cars. Wind can move them around causing damage to the paint under it and the cover can trap moisture causing condensation and higher than normal humidity under the cover. In some areas it can even increase the temperature.

I seam to be in the minority here and use one. Having said that, I do not disagree with the reasoning for not using one.
I use one a car that is used very infrequently. I always wash the car after use (can get nasty on the race track). I keep the cover clean as possible and secure it under the car with a strap. I find a custom fitted cover doesn’t blow around that much. The car has spent many winters outside and the paint still looks good.

Some good cover info:

Thanks for the information and advice. My driveway has large trees with many birds. I also live in a rainy, windy area, so I deal with rain, leaves/tree debris, and bird droppings. I use the covers mainly to keep these “elements” off the paint surface. I wish I did not have to do so. If I just use wax, the car would still be covered with trash and poop. The cover at least keeps this off, though when it rains, the cover does allow the dust to go through and dry on the surface. The car is, then, dirty, but at least not covered in debris. I wish I had another option! Thanks

I have a couple trees nearby that in the Spring drop so much crap that gets into the cowl and inner fender wells without the cover on. Covering is better! The cover was pretty nasty and had much bird crap on it. Being the…um… particular guy I am (ask my neighbors) I washed the cover. I used a soft brush and car wash then rinsed it off while it was on the car. This was recommended by the mfg and I was amazed how well this worked.

What about a car tent? Will your neighbors, or wife, let you get away with it? I did a web search for ‘car tent’ and got a lot of hits. Here’s one:

I have covers for 2 of my cars. They were bought at auto supply stores perhaps an AutoZone. The are multilayered and intended for outdoor use. So far I’ve not seen any damage from the covers. I use them primarily in the spring and fall to deal with all the pollen, gunk, and leaves falling off the trees near the driveway. Without the cover the junk gets in all the nooks and crannies around the windshield and trunk. I feel this gunk has more potential for harm than abrasion from wind etc. I do like to have the car clean before covering. I have noticed the “instructions” that came with my covers were pretty worthless. It would be easy for someone to put the cover on wrong side out, so the softer side of the cover was not lying directly on the paint. The markings for front and back are not very easy to figure out either. Better directions might make for better results.

For indoor covers I used old fitted cotton sheets for my motorcycles stored in the garage in the winter. I wanted to keep the dust off. The cotton covers let the bikes “breathe” and I didn’t have any rust or corrosion caused by condensation moisture collecting on the paint and chrome. For indoors covering look for a lightweight material that allows good airflow but protects the paint from dust and dirt.

Plastic tarps are the worst. They trap and hold moisture in the air next to the bike and you can end up with more rust rather than less. I won’t use a plastic tarp on any boat, car, or motorcycle inside or outdoors.