Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Universal vs Custom-Fit Car Covers

Universal vs. Custom Fit Car Covers

When looking to buy a car cover there are two options: universal or custom fit covers. Universal or ready fit covers are typically less expensive since they are not an exact pattern and are usually constructed with less expensive materials. Being a retailer of custom fit car covers we are always going to suggest purchasing a custom fit cover over a universal fit. We know that ordering a custom fit car cover is not always in the budget, but below are some examples of why we think a custom fit cover is the way to go, especially a California Car Cover.

I ordered a cover online from a retailer of car covers I saw in an automotive magazine. Note, only companies that sell custom fit car covers will say that their covers are custom fit on their websites. If the retailer does not say that the cover is custom fit to your year/make/model then most likely the cover is of the universal or ready fit variety. Whether you purchase a cover from California Car Cover or not, it is better to know what you will be receiving.



Above is the first cover I received from the vendor. I ordered the top of the line cover for the 2008 Audi Q7 SUV shown. The black bag sitting next to the wheel is the cover that I received. I was excited about the compact size of this premium cover until I discovered it would only cover a portion of my windshield. Also, the fabric was a little rough and felt like a canopy material.


After trying on this cover I contacted the retailer about the cover. They said that they would exchange the cover for the correct pattern, but I had to send them measurements of the Audi since they did not have a listed pattern for the vehicle. I was able to keep the smaller cover which I might use to cover some bikes in my garage. One week later I received the replacement cover which is shown below.


This cover is a little baggy, but definitely covers the entire vehicle. The fabric this time around was different. Their premium fabric looks and feels like our Multiweave II material, one of our standard fabrics. The cover shown cost $160 plus shipping. I knew the cover was not going to have mirror pockets, but I was hoping for a better fit considering I supplied them with measurements. These photos show examples of the material and the elastic. The cover does have elastic around the entire bottom edge. It does make the cover more secure, but makes it difficult to take on and off. I prefer having mirror pockets in the cover and elastic around the bumper areas only.

Below are photos of one of our Superweave car covers on the 2008 Audi Q7. This cover is 2 years old, but is still holding up. The cover provides a snug fit with mirror pockets. A custom fit car cover does cost more than a universal fit, but I think it is worth the investment. We have a variety of materials for any budget and a custom fit cover for an Audi Q7 ranges from just over $200 up to $400. Also, we have thousands of vehicle patterns on file, so there is no need to provide measurements.

This cover has had some use in the past two years. The cover has a 4-year warranty from our factory. Notice the seams might be dirty, but are still in great shape. I have not had to bring it in for a repair or replacement. A nice feature on a select number of our outdoor covers is that they are washer and dryer safe. I wash this cover 2-3 times a year, in my home washer in fact! The material folds up small enough to be cared for in my home washing machine.

When looking for a car cover, do some research beforehand so you know what you will be receiving when your cover is delivered. A custom fit cover might not be in the budget or needed if you looking for just a temporary cover. We hope that you found the above information useful and that when you or a friend is looking for a custom cover, you will give California Car Cover a call or visit our website, calcarcover.com.

-Tony