Your car is a big investment and you want to protect it from the ravages of time and exposure to the elements. Parking it in the garage is a good first step, but even here you’ll want to take additional steps, particularly if you’ll be storing it for some time. Whether you’re parking it outside or inside, a universal car cover can help.
When comparing universal car covers, you’ll want to consider several different factors. First, it has to be sized for your vehicle – “universal”, in this case, doesn’t mean one size fits all. It means that one size fits many. Second, you’ll want to consider factors like UV and weather resistance, ease of installation and how it secures.
The following are some more key points to consider when look for an universal car cover:
Size: As mentioned, universal car covers aren’t one size fits all. These manufacturers create a range of different car covers, each of which can fit many different vehicles. So, the first step is to make sure your make and model is listed for fit.
Breathability: If you’re using the car cover to protect a car parked indoors, make sure it’s breathable. This will help prevent moisture developing, which can lead to mold, mildew and rust in a worst-case scenario.
Weatherproof: If you’re using the cover to protect your car while it’s parked outside, make sure it’s weatherproof. It should be secure against wind, and waterproof. It should also be breathable (air can exit, but moisture doesn’t penetrate).
UV resistance: Look for fabrics that offer better UV resistance for outside use. Over time, UV light will degrade the fabric. UV resistant covers will last longer.
Inner liner: For both inside and outside use, make sure that the cover has an inner liner designed not to scratch the finish of the car’s paint.
Ease of installation: How easy is it to install the cover? Can it be done on your own? Does it require two people?
The right car cover will protect your car whether you park in the garage or outside.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Universal Car Cover and was authored by Valerie Johnston.