Chances are, your electric vehicle wasn’t exactly cheap. For many, owning an EV is a long-term investment and if you take good care of it, it’ll last you for many long years. Now, unlike a traditional ICE-powered car, you don’t need to worry too much about routine maintenance with your EV. That means your to-do list of keeping your car in good shape are routine car washes, tires, brake pads, and windshield wipers.
If you’re fortunate enough to park your car inside a garage each day, then it’s likely you aren’t shopping for a car cover unless you plan on leaving your car parked for a long period of time. Those who have to park their cars outside however, may want to consider purchasing a car cover to protect their EV. Even if you’re only parked outside for a short period of time, a car cover can protect your paint from all sorts of damage.
Most car covers will run you less than $100, which we consider a small price to pay to protect your exterior and interior from harmful UV rays. Below, you’ll find our list of recommendations for the best covers to keep your EV protected as well as information on what to look for when shopping for the right car cover.
1. Best overall: iCarCover 18-layer premium car cover
Our best overall pick balances protection, quality, and price. It comes from iCarCover and it’s available in a wide variety of sizes, so there is a very good chance there’s an application to fit your EV. Choose from 144 inches to 233 inches for cars, while crossover/SUV fitments range from 152 inches to 221 inches. Offering 18 layers of protection, this car cover is completely waterproof and weatherproof, offers UV heat protection and will protect your car from accidental scratches. It’s made from thick microfiber and use a heavy duty strap and elastic hems to stay secure on the vehicle.
iCarCover includes an antenna patch, grommets, and a plastic zipper bag for storage with each car cover. The company has a few different types of covers available, including a high-end 100-layer cover. Now, unless you’re parking your car outside in a blizzard each day, or experiencing a lot of heavy rain, we suspect this recommendation will suffice. If you don’t mind spending a bit extra for more protection, you can take a look at iCarCover’s 100-layer car cover here.
2. Runner-up: Kayme six-layer car cover
This is another great car cover that has been a popular choice for many years. It comes from Kayme and it’s a six-layer cover available in multiple sizes. As you expect for our runner-up recommendation, it’s 100-percent waterproof and offers solid protection against rain and snow. It’s easy to use too, offering a convenient driver’s side zipper so you can easily access your vehicle while it’s covered. You’ll find windproof straps at the front and the rear, along with reflective strips for better visibility at night. Mirror pockets work to provide a better fit onto your vehicle.
If you’re not sure which size to get, the company provides a convenient table to let you know which model fits which vehicles. If anything is unclear, feel free to reach out to Kayme.
3. Best on a budget: Budge Lite car cover
Need a car cover for sporadic or occasional use and don’t expect a lot of inclement weather? Take a look at this recommendation from Budge, it’s the company’s more affordable car cover. It’s an entry-level car cover that offers a single layer of polypropylene to protect your EV from dust and moderate UV exposure. Since it is comprised of just a single layer, it’s lightweight compared to our other recommendations, which might be a plus for those looking for something that’s easy to put on and take off.
But just because it’s affordable doesn’t mean it’s poor quality. You’ll find elasticized hems to hold the cover in place, as well as sewn-in grommets. There aren’t any straps to be found here however, so you may want to avoid this car cover if you’re expecting heavy wind.
4. Best premium pick: CoverSeal heavy duty outdoor car cover
Want the best of the best and don’t care about how much you have to spend to get it? CoverSeal’s heavy duty outdoor car cover probably fits your bill. It’s a very premium offering, designed to offer sun protection up to 300°F while reflecting 90 percent of sunlight. It’s designed to have a loose fit to easily shed water and prevent snow buildup from occurring. What makes this a premium car cover are weighted bottoms, constructed from durable black fabric and sealed tube technology. These weighted bottoms helps keep the cover on the vehicle without having to use straps. According to CoverSeal, the weighted bottom technology can withstand over 40 mph winds. More importantly, this patented design will prevent rodents and insects from being able to crawl underneath the cover.
Sizing is a bit trickier when choosing this option, so make sure you pay close attention to the product’s description. You can choose from sport size, full size, and mid size and the company does give some vehicle recommendations and height guidelines to follow.
5. Best for indoor use: Leader Accessories Basic Guard three-layer car cover
Planning to park your car in your garage for a long period of time? Perhaps winter storage? You may think you don’t need a car cover since your car is inside a garage, but for long term storage we still recommend one. Why? Because it’ll protect your car from all the dust buildup and accidental scratches that can happen. If you aren’t going to be able to wash your car for a couple of months, at least keep it covered. While our best on a budget recommendation will work just fine indoors, you can also consider this three-layer car cover from Leader Accessories.
It’s fairly basic, but it does offer a bit more protection than our budget recommendation, which means you can also use it outdoors if necessary. It does have a strap with a buckle to secure it against wind, along with an elastic hem.
6. Best for Tesla Model 3: Farasla outdoor car cover
As a bonus recommendation, we know many of our readers own a Tesla Model 3. If you want a car cover specifically made for your Model 3, check out this recommendation from Farasla. It’s sized perfectly to protect your EV from all types of inclement weather with three layers of protection. The outer layer features waterproof woven polyester, followed by a layer of thermoplastic polyurethane. Touching the surface of the car is a soft flannel inner layer. To get that perfect fit are double-stitched seams and a full elastic sewn hem, along with a pair of reinforced grommets.
Best of all, there’s a convenient charge port opening so you can keep your Model 3 charging even with the cover on.
Will a car cover scratch my paint?
Typically a quality car cover will not scratch your paint. But this is largely dependent on how careful you are when putting it on your car and taking it off. If you’re covering your vehicle while it’s full of dirt, dust, and other contaminants on its surface, you’ll increase the chances of accidentally scratching the car. We always recommend washing your car before leaving it underneath a cover for an extended period of time.
Can a car cover protect against hail?
A multilayered, quality car cover can protect your vehicle from light hail, but remember, hail can vary in size. If you live in an area that often experiences hail and you’re parking your car outside, get one of the multilayered recommendations from our list. Just keep in mind that the thickest, best car cover in the world won’t be able to protect your vehicle from really large hail.
Can a car cover cause rust?
A car cover shouldn’t cause your vehicle to rust, unless you’re putting it on while the car is soaking wet, capturing all that water onto your vehicle’s surface. We recommend drying as much as you can before putting on a car cover.
Are car covers illegal?
Generally, car covers are not illegal, but some states in the U.S. do require your license plate to be visible when your vehicle is parked. We recommend checking with your local state and county laws to make sure you won’t run into any issues using a car cover while parked on a street or in a parking lot.
Can I wash my car cover?
Yes, you can wash your car cover and you should. Depending on the material you purchase, you might be able to toss your car cover into a washer and dryer. If not, you can hand wash it, although that can be cumbersome. Refer to the instructions that came with your car cover to know the best way to care for it.
Updated (2:23 p.m. EST, 1/12/2023): Added a new shopping option for some of our recommendations.