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Welcome to the wonderful world of car covers. Not the most glamorous subject I would admit but never the less a good quality car cover could save you thousands of pounds in damage caused by the weather, pets, people be it family or unwanted admirers or yourself!

top tips when buying a car cover
So you are looking for the best car cover for your car. Ok I will break this down into why you should even think about buying a car cover first.

You own a nice car, you want it to look its best at all times and you’re worried about doing the wrong thing.

  • First rule, don't buy too cheap, you only get what you pay for.
  • Purchase from a reputable dealer, someone who answers the phone and is willing to help you.
  • Ask questions like what happens if I have a problem , can you help? how long have you been selling car covers? Can you send material samples if needed? Are you a UK based company? Do you hold stock? This will help you get a feel for the company you are dealing with. If it's just an internet purchase you want then see if you can find the answers on the website.  Is it clear what is being sold, maybe contact them with an email or phone call to see if they are who they say they are!
  • Don't expect to buy a full car cover (a cover that covers all the car) and use it every day when you get home from work without cleaning the car. The question I get most asked apart from the price is ‘do your car covers scratch the paint’? Of course not, otherwise we would be out of business. What causes the scratches is customer’s putting a clean cover on a dirty car.  Any dirt will act like grinding paste between the car’s paint and the cover, as the cover moves around (as it will from time to time) it will mark the car.

Ok you have what you think is a good company to buy from. The next question is what cover do you buy?

You need to ask yourself ‘do I want a car cover for outdoor or indoor or both? As there are types of car covers to suit all the different requirements.
Is it long term storage or short? Is it just for winter or summer or both? ‘

Normally with this small amount of information we can determine what cover material you require.

Next question to ask.  What type of fit can I expect? This is the area that makes all the difference, if you have the correct material but a poor fit, this is not going to work for you. In the world of car covers I would split the types of fit into 3 categories. Generic Fit, Tailored Fit and Custom Fit.

Lets take the Generic Fit, this is a car cover without much chance of fitting the car very well. All cars come in different shapes as we like to say profiles.  How can you have a Size 1, 2, 3, 4 or A,B,C,D when you have at the very least a Saloon, Hatch, 4x4 and Estate.  Which one of theses size's would fit if the size is only talking about the length, width and height of the car not the profile? So you get what you pay for here, a generic fitting cover has more chance of NOT fitting than fitting and normally the cheaper generic  covers use poor materials, all this to get the price down.  You only get what you pay for....most of the time!

Would you buy generic fit clothes to wear?
Generic fitted car cover

 

Tailored Fit, in my opinion this is the best level for most people. I will explain, a tailored fit cover works on the profile so if you have a few cars with the same profile and also the same dimensions the cover will fit all the cars for example. If you have a BMW Z3 and a Honda S2000 then the cover will fit both cars.  But let's say you have a Porsche Boxster dimensionally they are similar but the Z3 has a longer front end and a shorter rear so the Z3 cover won't fit the Boxster cover.  In this case we make a new pattern profile for the Boxster. Some cars have just one cover for one car i.e the classic mini but in most cases we can fit more than one car out of each profile and in doing so keeps the price to a more reasonable level.  The other nice touch with a tailored fit is we can produce covers with mirror pockets. Mostly on cars from 1975 onwards when car manufacturers decided to put wing mirrors in the same place, unlike the early days when it was up to the garage you purchased the car from to add wing mirrors. They could be anywhere and difficult to make a car cover if we don't know where everything to going to be!!

Tailored Car Cover
Photographs show a tailored car cover fitted to a Jaguar F Type.  This is a WeatherPRO cover, a very nice fit with the mirror pockets.

fitted car cover with mirror pockets

Custom Fit, the most expensive way to produce a car cover. The expense comes from the labour involved in producing a one off product for the car exact make and model. As a rule of thumb you are going to pay twice the price for a car cover in the same/similar fabric but custom made. In my opinion once you know what type of cover you require try the tailored fit first. If unsatisfied you can in most cases upgrade to a custom cover but be careful if you try this the other way around (custom fit first and then want a tailored fit).  You are unlikely to get an exchange on a custom cover as  custom made items don't fall under the distance selling regulation in the same way simply because they are custom made just for you.  You could be stuck with it if you don't like it!

Lets recap

Know what you want the cover for
Know the company you are buying from
Start with a tailored fit first
Make sure the car is clean before fitting

Don’t forget if you still need help deciding the best car cover for you, then get in contact with us.  We are always on hand to offer guidance and help.

 

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How to use a Car Cover

 

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