Should You Use a Tarp as a Car Cover?
Covering up your car to protect it from hazardous elements is a natural thing to do, whether it’s parked indoors or outdoors. A car cover plays a crucial role in protecting your vehicle from harmful UV rays. It can keep your car clean for longer periods of time by preventing animal and bird droppings, leaves, grime, dirt and dust, and so on from settling on your beloved car. Along with your precious time and hard-earned money, a car cover can also help in saving water by not having to clean your car so often.
A few other benefits of covering up your vehicle include:
- Metals tend to get oxidized when they are exposed to cracks or chips in the paint. Covering up your vehicle can slow down the oxidation process.
- When you cover up your vehicle, it drastically limits the risk of mold contamination in the fabrics and vents by reducing humidity.
Can you just use the tarp you have in your garage to cover your car, or should you invest in a top-quality cover? Car owners are unsure about this and these two options often keep dangling in their mind. A car tarp cover can deflect water and protect against things like leaves, sunshine, and bird droppings, but do they offer a vehicle an adequate amount of protection, especially when it’s parked outdoors?
“Can I use a tarp to cover my car?” If you are seeking an answer to this question, read on.
Advantages of Using a Tarp for Your Vehicle
There are a few advantages of using a tarp car cover. Here are some of them:
- The availability factor is a huge advantage, as standard tarps that are used for covering cars can be found at almost every hardware store. You can purchase them right away or get them delivered immediately, unlike specialty car covers, which usually take a few days to get delivered.
- Plastic tarps have a much lower pricing point, making them affordable for every car owner.
- If your vehicle is parked in a garage or underneath a carport, a tarp of the right size will be sufficient enough to protect it from the elements.
Disadvantages of Using a Tarp Car Cover
There are several problems that can arise if you throw a cheap tarp over your vehicle and park it outside. Let’s look at its drawbacks:
- Tarps are not properly fit. Tarps are simply a piece of plastic that has no shape and are not designed to fit a car. If a tarp is overly large, it may drag on the ground, and if you try to pull it away from the ground and the body of the car, it may damage your vehicle’s finish. It can also get blown away during strong winds, leaving your car exposed to nature’s elements. A small tarp does not provide complete protection to your vehicle. Even if you try your best to adjust the tarp, you may still not get it to fit in a secure way.
- Cheap tarps are usually made of substandard materials. Cheaper plastic may not have the durability to stand up to the rain, snow, harmful UV rays, hail storms, and so on that your car may encounter when it’s parked outdoors.
- Tarps are usually not breathable. Tarps may not allow moisture to escape as they are made with cheap materials, resulting in moisture formation. This could result in mold and mildew build-up over a certain period of time.
- Tarp material causes problems for your car. Unlike purpose-made car covers, tarps are not made with an extra layer of soft fleece material, so they end up scratching the paintwork often as they are made of rough-grade plastic. Another important point to note is that tarps have a lower tear strength and a lower resistance to UV light, so you may have to replace them in a year or two.
- Tarps can be difficult to put on and take off. Since tarps tend to be overly large, they should be handled carefully, especially in windy conditions. Using an elasticated rope may become a necessity to secure them effectively. As you put on and take off the tarp, you should be very careful, otherwise, it could end up scratching the paintwork.
Proper Car Covers – A Better Option
Here are some advantages of using custom-fit or semi-custom-fit car covers that will convince you to invest in one.
- A proper car cover will be designed to fit on a car just like yours. These covers provide a snug fit and the inner layer is usually made of a soft fleece material that prevents scratches.
- Proper car covers use a breathable fabric that leaves sizable gaps for moisture to escape, thereby preventing mold and mildew build-up and also rust formation.
- Proper car covers are often supplied with a lock. The lock, along with built-in straps and reinforced grommets, ensures that the covers stand the test of strong winds. They are also relatively easier to put on and take off the vehicle and can deter thieves from stealing your vehicle.
- Proper car covers are durable and tend to last longer when compared to cheaper tarps. A custom cover can easily resist the sun’s UV rays and give UV protection to your vehicle.
Seal Skin’s Semi-Custom-Fit Covers – An Affordable and Reliable Option
A proper car cover vs. tarp cover – there is no doubt that purpose-made car covers are a much better option when compared to tarps. Custom covers are specially made for a given make and model of car; however, they tend to be expensive, and this is one of the main reasons why many car owners prefer purchasing cheaper tarps. Should I cover my car with a tarp then? The cry gets louder, but wait! We have an affordable option.
At Seal Skin, we offer top-quality semi-custom-fit covers that provide the same level of protection as custom covers, but at a cheaper price. You heard it right! Our covers are affordable, durable, and reliable.
You can call us at 800-915-0038 during our office hours (Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST) and we will help you find the right car cover that fits your needs and budget. We will also help you if you have any questions about our products, shipping policies, and exchange/refund policies.