Car Covers: Should I Buy a Universal or a Custom Fit?

BY Emelie S.

Heat, dirt, thieves – all of these have one thing in common: they are a threat to your vehicle. There is, however, one way to deter these from entering or landing on your vehicle – a car cover. Known for great functionality and protection, car covers are found in many stores and shops these days, but few people know the differences that exist in the many styles of car covers. In this article we will evaluate the key differences between a universal car cover and a custom-fit car cover.


The first consideration you should make when purchasing a car cover is whether you’ll be using it primarily for indoor or outdoor use. See our resource on making that determination here. Fortunately, both styles are available in universal and custom fitments.

You can find great universal covers that are made with double-stitching to keep your truck, sedan, SUV or van protected. Universal covers offer various generic sizes to accommodate your vehicle’s length, but may not provide all the nooks and crannies your car needs. If you just need quick and simple coverage, universal covers provide a great solution.

On the other hand, if you have an antenna or a rare or unusually-shaped vehicle, custom car covers provide an opening for your cables and antenna and align to every one of your vehicle’s curves. If you want complete, snug-fitting protection, a custom cover is the way to go.


Universal covers naturally cost less because they don’t have to undergo precise measuring and cutting by the manufacturer. And, just because universal covers are cheaper, doesn’t necessarily mean you are settling for something less. There are many name brand universal covers that can be slipped on for $35-70.

Custom car covers are tailored to your vehicle’s specific lines and therefore can be more of a financial investment. That being said, the price is still dependent on material, indoor or outdoor usage and brand name – so custom coverage can still be had at a bargain (especially when you consider the cost to repair potential dings or dents without a cover).

Shipping Time

When you purchase a universal car cover, it can be shipped off the shelf in a normal shipping time. Since custom car covers require on-demand manufacturing to create your exact fit, it can take a few weeks for your cover to ship. But, we think the wait is worth its weight – pun intended.

No matter if you choose a universal or custom cover, you’re adding a layer of protection to your vehicle. The level and investment of protection depends on your parking situation, budget and preferences.