I share my experience and tips about getting a hail protection car cover. We have had some damaging hailstorms in the last years and I thought this info could be useful, especially if you are planning a road trip.
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🌨️ Why get a hail protection car cover?
Weather situations can change quickly and if you are planning a small or extended road trip, you might want to come prepared to avoid bad situations during your vacation.
I don’t have to tell you that hail can dent your car considerably and that this will reduce the value of your car or take your reparation bills to the next level.
Especially rental cars should be protected, even if they are covered by a hail damage insurance. Insurance will mostly cover the cost, but not always, depending on the size of the damage. Don’t believe all the claims the insurance sales guy made!
Rental car companies are notorious for creating situations for customers, and you really don’t want to give them a reason to charge you an arm and a leg, which ultimately would sour your travel experience.
Besides, not every hotel or vacation rental comes with a covered parking area, and it can be nerve-racking when you watch hail denting your car.
Therefore, I recommend getting a padded hail protective cover. It will save you money and nerves in the long run!
💡 What to look out for?
Here are some of our observations after having used hail covers to protect our car during our trips at Airbnb and VRBOs.
When hail hits your car, you need a good padding to take away the blow. The padding consists of an about 1/2 inch thick layer of foam or sponge, and this ensures that the hail just bounces off the protective cover.
Most hail cover protectors come with a padding at the top, which includes the bonnet, windshield, roof and trunk, but not the sides. If your budget allows it, and if its available, get a hail cover that comes with a good padding at the top and the passenger sides, such as the OxGord Hail Cover. But I have to say, these are hard to come by!
Wind can and will have hail coming from the sides, and you can’t really do anything if your passenger sides are not adequately protected.
Get a 1/2 inch thick foam or sponge padded hail cover for your car. Anything thicker and folding or rolling in your cover will be a struggle as it gets too bulky. Besides, this foam thickness of foam should be more than enough to save you from most hail sizes.
Not all Weather Covers are hail protectors
Advertised all weather covers are not always hail protectors. While they do come handy as universal environmental protectors against rain, frost and sun, they won’t take away the blow of a hail storm because of the thin fabric.
You will recognize a hail cover on its padding in the advertised pictures.
Keep in mind that due to the thickness of hail covers they are not very breathable, which over a longer period of time can be bad for the car paint.
Therefore, a good hail cover should include a way for heat to escape in the form of small vents covered by a flap.
Look out for air ventilation options for heat to escape, which prevents mildew, condensation, mold, and paint damage.
Heavy winds can tear away your hail cover, and it just takes a small gust of wind to do so. Look out for heavy-duty straps, which can be secured so that the hail cover doesn’t fly away or the straps tear.
Elastic hems can make your life easier too and that way the wind won’t get to blow through, which can lift up the cover.
Buckles are usually attached under the car and this can be a bit tedious to set up, so keep this in mind when getting a hail cover protector for your car. Some are easier to set up than others.
Not all Sizes are the same
For every car size, comes a fitting car cover. Look out for supported car brand and model in the description and for the dimensions, before buying a hail protector.
If you get the wrong size, you won’t be able to strap the cover and if it’s loosely hanging, it will most definitely fly away with the weather.
The right size can save you from a lot of damage, and even high wind won’t lift it up!
A good hail cover should come with a storage bag to keep it save. The quality of the bag will tell you whether this product is any good or not.
Putting together a hail cover can be a bit tedious because of the foam or sponge layer in it as it expands if you don’t hold it together to strap and fold.
🛡 Best Protective Hail Covers
The choice for protective hail covers is very limited right now. Be aware that many all-weather car protective covers claim to protect from hail damage in the title, yet non deliver.
Here are two that do protect.
👍 Pros and Cons to getting a Hail Car Cover
|Protects against smaller hailstone and quiet durable. Most quality covers are water-resistant.||You will still get dents in your car with large half or full fist sized hail stones but it will take away some of the blow. Nothing can save you from extreme weather.|
|Peace of mind when you are away.||A bit tedious to set up and fold back again, especially if you are not used to setting up car weather covers.|
|Also protects against rain and environmental stuff such as falling bird shit, tree sap, pollen, small branch pieces and pine cones. They come with reflective stripes which will make your car visible when other moving car head lights hit those parts.||Not suitable for snow, ice or sun protection. For that get a simple car cover. Remains soaked after rain and takes time to dry. Mold grows if the cover doesn’t get to dry.|
|Useful to reduce hail damage and this can help your case for a car insurance claim. If the damage is more than 60% of the value of a car, the insurance won’t pay. This can be a problem with smaller budget cars, not so with larger suv and luxury cars||Hail covers don’t come cheap and a good hail cover can cost $200 upwards. Besides the internet is filled with mediocre choices, claiming to be THE hail cover solution.|
|Easy to store if you have space in your garage.||Bulky if you are on a longer road trip. Due to this point alone, you might reconsider getting a hail cover. Check if hail is common in the area where you are planning to travel to and the time of the year also matters.|
|Great for smaller cars and sedans because most brands have a cover for that.||Large cars might require a custom cover, and those are hard to come by.|
When and where does it hail in the year?
For the Northern Hemisphere (North America, Europe, Northern, and Central Asia) it mostly hails when the temperatures rise in the summer months. That’s July and August, yet in the last years weather patterns have shifted and hail can appear in May, June, September, and October.
If I have a good Hail cover Insurance, do I still need a hail protector cover for my car?
The call is yours. We have a premium hail cover insurance plan on our VW Polo, and we have seen some pretty damaging hail storms, which left our Insurer scrambling. We were pretty lucky that they covered it because the hail damage to the sides and top was substantial and almost 60% of the car’s value. Mind you, it was a new car at the time. Therefore, we chose to get a hail cover to save us from wasting hours and days at the car garage and insurance office. Moreover, car insurances have also stopped giving away affordable hail cover insurance plans because the damages over the years have eaten into their pockets.