Classic Car How to Guide : Choosing the right car cover
All that follows applies to the UK climate, which as we know is somewhat inclement. Rain is common, as is wind and sunshine is intermittent at best! Therefore on the whole we suffer from a great deal of condensation whether stored outside or inside in a non-heated environment.
1. Good Breathability
No matter how waterproof or close fitting a cover is, moisture will still get underneath it. Therefore breathability is the most important thing a cover should offer and this should ideally be offered through the whole cover. BE CAUTIOUS OF VENTED COVERS as they only breathe in the area around the vent – so if the vents are on the roof, the headlights for instance will still be damp!
They should have a soft inner layer or be so light as not to be an issue – Covers MUST however, be placed on CLEAN SURFACES
These are materials that do not naturally absorb moisture from the atmosphere. BE CAUTIOUS OF COTTON and other natural fabrics as although it breathes and is soft it will feel damp unless in a dry atmosphere.
4. Dust/Dirt Proof
Covers should ideally be multilayer to achieve this. Again be cautious of cotton, although it breathes very well, the weave has a tendency to open letting dust through!
5. Be a Good Fit (But not too tight)
A cover should be the correct size for the car, but not fitted unless being stored in a dry, warm garage as this will inhibit airflow and breathability. It should stay off the floor to allow air to go underneath it and also avoid collecting dirt. Mirror pockets are not vital, covers without them will actually aid breathability by allowing more air to circulate inside the cover.
6. Waterproof (But not 100% as breathability is more important!)
Like the dust/dirt proofing, this should ideally be achieved by some kind of multilayer construction.
- BE CAUTIOUS OF ANY COVER THAT IS 100% WATERPROOF !!
7. Ultra-Violet Resistant
This not only helps protect the car beneath but makes the cover last much longer than it would otherwise. Generally outdoor covers are a silver/grey colour as it needs to be reflective. Coloured and dull grey covers absorb ultra-violet and have a habit of breaking down in the sun. The same with the waxy variety and the wax starts to flake after about 12 months as the ultra-violet attacks it. Seams should also be welded, not stitched, to avoid rotting or breaking down prematurely.
8. Be Well Secured
Elasticated hems at the front and rear are a must to ensure a cover is secured neatly at each end of the car. In addition to this they should also have a built in strap fitted under the car so it does not lift or blow off altogether. Ideally two straps should be fitted, one in front of the rear wheels and one behind the front to spread the load evenly.