Best Hail Protection covers? Its probably one of the most common questions we're asked so lets have a look at what is available and ways you can protect your vehicle from damaging hail.
How Can You Protect Your Car from Hail Damage?
Severe hail storms are becoming more common in Australia. Hail can form at any time but the months of November, December, January and February tend to be the worst for hail storms.
How do we get hail storms?
Hail forms when thunderstorm updrafts carry water droplets above the freezing level. This freezing process forms a hailstone. If the updraft is strong, the small hail will “grow” as additional water freezes onto it. When the hailstone becomes too heavy for the updrafts they fall to the ground.
Consider that 1 litre of water weighs 1kg and very large hail can have 250g (1/4kg) of water then you can understand why hail can do so much damage to a vehicle.
How to avoid hail damage on your vehicle
Park your vehicle in a garage or carport is the obvious solution but this is not always possible. If hail is on its way try and find a temporary shelter under a building. If you are out and about, try under a bridge/overpass, a service station, shopping centre or a covered car park. These are likely to be your best options.
Park under trees is not a good idea as this places you and your vehicle at risk of falling branches or even lightning strike which can do more damage than hail.
In lighter hail, a homemade hail blanket of exercise mats or even thick woolen blankets can help to avoid serious damage but often as hail comes with storm, its difficult to protect the sides of your vehicle from hail coming down at a 45 degree angle or more! These ‘emergency covers’ are also likely to scratch your paintwork.
Best Hail Protection Car Covers
There are two types of hail protection cover to consider here.
The first is an outdoor inflatable protection cover or “Car Bubble”. The car bubble creates an air bubble around your car that no hail, regardless of size, will get through. This type of outdoor cover also protects your vehicle against dust, rain, UV rays and careless dents or scratches.
Outdoor Premium Car Bubbles
The outdoor car bubbles are relatively expensive but the Outdoor Premium Bubbles found at Car Covers and Shelter are close to the same quality as the best on the market but almost half the price. The outdoor Premium Car Bubble gives the only truly 100% effective protection against hail. The indoor bubble is not recommended for hail protection as it is not UV protected and will deteriorate in sunlight over time.
All good car covers have an outer protective fabric and an inner soft-plush fabric to ensure paintwork is protected. These covers are no different but between the inner and outer layers, there is a third layer of 6mm thick compressed polyester. It is this layer that protects your car from hailstones, even relatively large hail.
Autotecnica Hail Protection Covers
You should find an Autotecnica Hail Damage Prevention cover in all sizes for every sedan and SUV/4WD on the Australia's roads.
· THERE ARE 3 RANGES OF HAIL COVER AVAILABLE. THE PREMIUM HAIL PROOF RANGE IS BY FAR THE MOST POPULAR. IT PROTECTS THE TOP AND SIDE WINDOWS OF YOUR CAR FROM HAIL
· THE STANDARD HAIL PROOF CAR COVER PROTECTION WHICH OFFERS PROTECTION TO THE TOP OF YOUR VEHICLE ONLY
· THE ULTIMATE HAIL PROTECTION COVER GIVES PROTECTION TO YOUR WHOLE VEHICLE, NOT JUST THE SIDE WINDOWS.
In a hailstone storm, the very strong winds which often accompany the storm means that the hailstones don't drop vertically from the sky - in the worst of storms they seem to be coming down from the side - horizontally!
The Premium Hail Cover
The Premium Hail cover will protect your side windows as the 6mm compressed polyester comes down the side and over the side windows. This is not a feature of the Standard Hail Cover which only has the top protection.
The Ultimate Hail Cover.
The Ultimate Hail Cover has the 6mm compressed polyester on top but the rest of the cover is fully lined with 4mm compressed polyester offering full vehicle protection in any hailstorm. The side impact of hail will never be as severe as on the top where the hailstones have had hundreds or even thousands of metres to accelerate and fall right on top of your vehicle. The ultimate is a very ‘bulky” cover and for low cars like sports cars and large vehicles like SUV’s, the side protection offered by the Premium will give good all-over protection.
All-weather protection from a hail protection cover
The all-weather protection offered by these covers will protect your vehicle from most of what the Australian climate can throw at you – not just hail protection! Rain-proof, protects from the sun with UV protection, protects against dirt bumps and scratches, trees and bird and bat droppings.
All three Hail Protection Car Covers offer:-
- Special Soft Plush, Non-Abrasive plus, soft-lining backing fabric
- Full protection of car duco and interior from harmful sun rays
- 6mm compressed polyester on top for hail protection
- Double stitched high resistant P.E waterproof fabrics
- All feature security holding straps and elastic hems for a secure fit
- Sizes available for most passenger & 4wd vehicles
- All are fitted with 4 Anti-Condensation air breathers
Standard Stormguard Covers
A good quality weatherproof cover like the Stormguard range of covers with 3-5 layers will offer some protection against light (pea size) hail but are not classed as hail protection covers. Lighter covers, like the Evolution range do not offer any hail protection, only the thickest standard covers will offer a little protection.
Summary - Best Hail Protection Cover
Hail storms are a real risk to most of the Australian population. Hail damage to a vehicle caught in hailstorms can be severe, even causing total ‘write-off” of an expensive vehicle. Cars with hail damage can be difficult and very expensive to repair and are very difficult to re-sell.
The only 100% guarantee you can have against a hail storm is an outdoor Premium car Bubble. The 2 draw-backs to these is you need to park close to a power point and they are, in many cases, slightly more expensive than the money you will lose paying your insurance excess!
Excellent protection is given by a Premium Outdoor Car Bubble. The next best protection is found in the Autotecnica range of Hail Protection covers. The best of these for most vehicles is the Premium Hail cover.
With a little pre-planning and a small investment in the best hail prevention cover, you can substantially lower the risk of vehicle damage in hail storms. The price of even the most expensive cover is likely to be a lot less than the cost of losing a no-claim insurance bonus. A hail protection cover will also stop the hassle of having a vehicle off the road for weeks of repair. It’s easier to stop the damage occurring than going through the process of repair.