Do Car hail covers really work?

Posted by Hugh Frame on

As the largest seller of hail protection covers in Australia we are often asked, “do Car hail covers really work?”

Do hail protection covers really protect your car in a severe hailstorm?

It is extremely sensible to get your car out of the elements. Perhaps by parking in a secure undercover spot, during a storm if possible? There will be no hailstone damage if they can’t hit your vehicle. However, it isn’t always possible if you’re on the go. A good Hail Protection car cover is an excellent option and if you choose carefully, they really do work!

It depends on the quality - Do Car hail covers really work?

Many car covers described as Hail protectors may not prevent vehicle damage during a hailstorm. This is especially true from large hail. A poor cover may help to reduce the severity of damage. In our opinion, a hail protection cover needs to offer a lot more than ‘reducing the severity’ of damage during a typical Australian Hail storm event. The American company, ‘Australia Car Covers” is the first hail protection covers you will find on Australian Google. While claiming to be “the best out there”, they only give their 7 layer protection covert a 2 Star rating against hail!

Do Car hail covers really work? - Advert for a very poor hail protector from Australia Car Covers

Australia has some of the worst hailstorms in the world. A good hail protector should, at least, be made for Australian conditions. The hail cover should have at least a 4-star hail rating.

Best options - Hail Blankets

The more expensive hail protectors come with a layer of foam or polyester. This is between the outer layer and the non-scratch inner layer. This ‘padding’ is designed to absorb most of the hail stone impact so protecting your vehicle from hail damage.

This type of construction may be slightly more expensive. However, it is the only option for protecting a wide range of vehicles from extensive hail damage.

Other poorer options - Hail Covers

The less expensive car covers that claim to be hail protectors do not have any padding or sometimes not as much absorbent materials. This affects their ability to properly prevent impact damage.

How to maximise the effectiveness of a hail protector

It’s obvious that the best thing to do is buy a hail protector cover made for Australian conditions and make sure it has thick padding.

The Autotecnica range is only available in Australia and made for Australia. The area of your car which will receive the greatest impact from hail is the roof. All Autotecnica hail covers have a 6mm thick polyester padding on the roof, bonnet, and boot areas.  

The Premium Hail Cover has the 6mm padding down the sides to below the side windows as well as on the top.

The Ultimate Hail Cover has the 6mm padding on the top and all of the remaining cover has a 4mm padding all over.

For more than 10 years, this range of covers has been protecting Australian vehicles. They have protected against hail almost as big as tennis balls. Haail stones fall at around 80kph. This is a huge force but it has been much worse where hail storms have been accompanied by winds over 100kph. Even the best hail protection cover will not fully protect your vehicle when large hail is hitting it at around 100kph. We do know from experience, that a good hail cover will protect your car in these extremely severe situations, preventing it from become a complete right off but you may be left with a few small dents.

Hail Armour - Do Car hail covers really work?

The new Hail Armour is a new emergency inflatable hail protection cover that will definitely protect your vehicle from almost any hail storm.

Do Car hail covers really work? Hail Armour cover will protect your vehicle

In around 4 minutes, you can have the Hail Armour on your car and inflated. Made from strong TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane) material its soft enough to ensure little damage to paintwork and strong enough to keep the very worst of hail storms from damaging your car. While this is not strictly a ‘car cover’ that can be used all the time, it is a fantastic guarantee for peace-of-mind should you be caught out in the open in a hail storm.

Get the right fitting Hail Cover.

  • Hail protectors are made to fit, meaning that you should measure the length of your vehicle in order to match it to the product description. You always buy a cover that is the same length or slightly longer than your vehicle. Do not buy a cover that is shorter than your vehicle.
  • All good covers will have straps or clips to secure them as well as elastic hemming to hold them firmly against your vehicle. 

Where to keep your hail protection cover

  • Make sure that you always know where your hail protector is, so that if a storm arises, you can get it on your vehicle as quickly as possible.
  • If you can, it is useful to store it in the boot of your car, however, the disadvantage of a good hail protector is that they can take up quite a lot of space. As they are padded, it’s a bit like storing two large Doona’s sewn together.
  • If you store it at home, make sure it is stored somewhere that is safe from heat, sun or vermin damage.

Be ready for Hail - Practice before hand.

  • Make sure you practice putting the protector on before a storm comes. It’s stressful enough fiddling around with it in stormy conditions so make sure you know how to put it on.
  • All our hail protectors are easier to use with one person. However, life is always easier and quicker with another person to assist. 
  • Practice how to avoid dragging the cover across the car or over the ground as this may pick up dirt or debris that might damage your paintwork.

Park in a safe spot - Do Car hail covers really work?

  • It may not always be possible to park undercover, but it’s always a good idea to try! Park, or move, your vehicle to spot that is covered. Do not park near falling debris or underneath trees.
  • This will minimise the chance of not only hail causing damage to your car, but debris or fallen trees/branches too.

During a storm

  • Seek shelter and follow weather apps or listen to the news.
  • It’s also a good idea to regularly check the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website/app. You will findupdates on upcoming weather warnings, or the radar as it comes across.
  • Think carefully about covering your car during an active hailstorm — it’s sometimes not worth risking your safety.

Do Car hail covers really work? - Summary

There is no question that a good quality, padded hail protector or an inflatable hail protector like the Hail Armour will protect your vehicle from even large hail. The cost of a good hail cover is only around half the sum of a usual insurance excess. It is well-worth the money invested.

A multi-layer car cover is still too thin to protect against anything larger than pea-size hail. They should not be described as hail protection covers. The most popular and best protection covers are available through Car Covers and Shelter.

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  • Can your hail cover be left on for a extended duration

    Bryan on

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