Best Carports Buyers Guide

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Best Carports Buyers Guide

If you are looking for a space to keep your car protected from the elements, but you don’t have space for a garage – then have you ever considered a carport? A car port is going to allow you to shelter your car/bike from rain, snow and wind without you having to pay the price of a garage or go through the same issues with planning permission! Did you know that many car ports can actually be erected without any planning permission at all? Although we would definitely recommend you still check this – there is no doubt that it is going to save you time and money! A carport doesn’t just have to be used to protect your car either – it is also going to be well equipped to protect you. So if you are wanting to work on your car, you don’t need to wait for suitable weather to be able to do this! We have also found car ports to be used as a mini workshop/DIY space if you have projects that you are working on but also don’t want to work completely outside when you are doing this!

This buyers guide includes some of the best carports for you to consider so that you can find one that is going to be best for you! We have also looked at the different types of carports and features that you need to consider too!

Best Pick – Palram Arcadia Carport

Palram Canopia Arcadia 5000 Carport Grey-Robust Structure for Year-Round Use
  • Protecting your car and patio furniture from sun, rain, hail and snow
  • Sturdy and durable - powder coated aluminium structure, supporting galvanised steel arches and joints, galvanised steel 80x80 mm poles
  • Virtually unbreakable twin wall polycarbonate covering
  • Includes 2 rain gutters and anchoring kit
  • Easy assembly and maintenance free- no rust, rot, moss or fungus to peel

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In a Hurry?

The sooner you can be enjoying your carport the better, and we’re sure you’ll agree. No one wants to be working on their car, or on anything for that matter, in the pouring rain. Equally, if you have a nice car sitting outside getting covered in leaves and sap from the trees then you need to get buying – and quick – as tree sap can actually permanently damage the paintwork of your car. This part of the article is full of essential information that you need to make it easier to purchase your carport. 

Types of Carport

There are two main types of carport available to you depending on what exactly you are looking for, these are; freestanding and lean-to. Both have pros and cons which we will discuss below.

  • Freestanding carports – A free-standing carport can be erected on pretty much any hard standing. It needs no support and will be sturdy and strong enough to hold itself in pretty much all weather conditions. This is perfect for if you want your carport to be built a bit of a distance away from your home, as you do not need to build a structure to help secure your carport. However, this does tend to mean they have to be made out of more sturdy materials (more on this below) and have a stronger frame, which does then make them more expensive.
  • Lean-to carports – Lean-to carports will do just that….they lean against your house (or another outbuilding) using the structure and stability of that building to stay upright. This tends to make them much cheaper to purchase and can also make them easier to erect. Another benefit of lean-to carports is that the wall of house will offer you and your car added protection against the elements. However, it is important to remember that lean-to carports are likely going to need securing to the side of your house, which could cause some damage to the building, particularly if you decide to remove the carport at any point!


As all cars are different shapes and sizes, it makes sense that carports are different shapes and sizes too. We found models ranging from around all the way up to.

Obviously the size of your carport is not only going to be impacted by the size of your car, but also the space that you have available! We would recommend opting for a larger carport where possible so that you have space for more than just your car if necessary, and it will give you maneuverability when getting your car in and out!

TOP TIP: If your carport is a lean-to then it can also act as a fantastic wood store if you have a wood burning stove! Wood can be built up against the side of the house so it is protected, whilst still leaving enough space for your car if you buy a big enough model.

Carport Construction Materials

There are various different materials that are used for building carports. Choosing the right one depends on not only your budget, but also the look that you are aiming for and the area that you are building your car port!


One of the cheaper options for a carport is wood. Wood can be durable and long lasting, but does require maintenance and upkeep to stay this way, which is why it isn’t always a popular choice. You are going to need to be prepared to treat your carport every couple of years to avoid rot developing – as this is going to be your car port’s nemesis! Slow grown timber such as conifer timber is going to be your best option if possible as this will be more resistant to rot and wear.

However, as much as wooden carports are going to require more work, the best wooden carports will usually have a much more traditional and aesthetically pleasing look than metal models. So if you know that your carport is going to be on show, or maybe have an older property, then a wooden car port could quite simply just look better! Not only this, but a wooden carport is going to be more environmentally friendly than metal.

TOP TIP: There are many wooden carports that actually come with untreated wood, so you either need to look specifically for one that has already been treated, or be prepared with wood stain/paint so that you can do this as soon as the carport is protected. The less time that the timber is open to the elements unprotected the better!


Metal carports are popular for many as they will usually be lighter and easier to erect, plus they need less maintenance as they will be better resistant to the weather conditions they are facing! You do have to watch out for rust, as once a metal carport starts to rust you will struggle to stop it completely, but you should have a number of years of use out of your carport before you need to worry about that!

We found that most carports are made out of aluminum or galvanised steel – or sometimes a bit of both, which are both strong and durable metals that will be able to withstand both the wind and the rain. Galvanised steel is going to have additional anti-rust features so is the best option for bases and legs. It is important to remember that although a metal carport won’t need treating and staining like a wooden one would, it is still going to need regular cleaning (particularly if you opt for a flat roof) if you want it to last and avoid rusting.


The three main options that you will have for your carport roof is a gable roof, a flat roof or an apex roof. A flat roof will be cheaper initially as there is less materials needed and generally easier in terms of construction. However, flat roofs are notoriously bad for raining in! A flat roof’s design is…well flat…which means that rain water finds it much harder to drain off. This means that in bad weather you could find a lot of water beginning to collect on your roof. This is fine for the first few times but over time this is going to severely damage the life of your roof. There are ways to protect your roof though, so if you feel that a flat roof is the best option for you to make your carport more discreet or if you are limited on space then don’t be too put off!

Your next option is a gable (or slanted) roof. These are obviously much more ergonomically designed in terms of water run off, so you don’t need to worry as much about damage to the roof. They do tend to need more effort when constructing and are obviously going to need more space, so this is something to consider. They are perfect for if you are against a building though as they will use the side of the building to help with moving the water away from your car.

Your final option is an apex roof which is only really suitable for free-standing car ports. This will allow the water to flow onto either side of the carport and away. However, if one of these is placed directly next to your house then you are going to have half of the water running right down the wall of your house – which is never a good idea and could lead to damp problems and damage to the outer brickwork of your home. But if you know that your carport is going to be a freestanding and a distance away from a building then it is definitely the best option.

For the roofing materials you will usually have a choice of shingles, polycarbonate, steel or roofing tiles. Polycarbonate is relatively cheap and light, however not the most attractive (in our opinion). Roof tiles are going to be more expensive but you can possibly get them to match your house so the overall look is neater!

Best Budget – Caravan Canopy

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The Best Carport Extras

Here are some of those features that really stood out to us on the best carports. Living in the UK means that we face changing weather extremes through the year – so if you’re serious about keeping your car protected then look out for these….

  • Bitumen shingles – these are arguably the best for construction as they are easy to install and heat resistant too! They also meet the Harmonised European Standard EN 544 so you can be sure they are of good quality.
  • Wood quality – If you go for a wooden carport then the best will have wood that has been autoclave treated or high-temperature treated. These will be insect resistant and rot-proof making them much more durable and requiring much less maintenance.
  • Guttering – Some of the best carports will come with guttering around the edge of the roof and downpipes to allow the water to drain away. This is fantastic to ensure that no water is going to end up getting near your car. Not just this, but we know that water has a mind of its own – having downpipes will help to ensure that water moves away in the direction YOU choose, instead of towards your house or lawn.
  • Double sided carports – If you are still worried about your car and other belongings getting wet under the carport then you can actually get carports that have two covered sides. So it is still more open than a garage, but there is that added protection from side winds and rain.

Best of the Rest

Outsunny 4m x 4 m Garden Gazebo Portable Carport Shelter with Removable Sidewalls & Double Doors, Heavy Duty Party Tent Car Canopy
  • DURABLE & STABILITY: High quality, rust resistant, heavy duty fully galvanized steel framework. Heavy duty metal corner joints make the party gazebo more durable and add extra stability.
  • CONVENIENT DESIGN: Removable sidewalls with 6 windows for great air circulation; Zippered doors for easy access; You can remove both for cross ventilation and venting on hot days.
  • WEATHER-RESISTANT CANOPY: Made from PE cover, the garden tent is thick and durable, protecting beneath from UV and sun rays.
  • ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: 20 ground stakes and four ropes securing the ground make the event shelter extra stable. Perfect for weddings, parties, meetings, camping, and so on.
  • MARQUEE DIMENSIONS: Overall Dimensions: 4 L x 4 W x 2.8 H m

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

BIRCHTREE Heavy Duty Waterproof 3m x 6m Carport Party Tent Canopy White 180g Polyester Steel Frame
  • 【HIGH-QUALITY MATERIAL】This BIRCHTREE carport is made of 180g Polyethylene, which is waterproof, rot-resistant, and UV protected material. The frame is designed with galvanized high quality heavy-duty steel to ensure the stability and long-term use.
  • 【LARGE SIZE】Sized at 3m x 6m, the car tent has a large roof canopy to protect your vehicle from light rain, dirt, and other elements. Ground coverage area of 18 square meter. This carport can be erected on both hard ground and soft ground, which is Ideal for car, ATV, boat or temporary tool storage.
  • 【ROLL-UP DOORS WITHOUT WINDOWS】The open design of the car canopy means you can quickly drive your car in and out without the need to open or close doors. Even if without windows, the roll-up font door & back door are designed for cross ventilation and venting.
  • 【NICE CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR】This BIRCHTREE carport is nice choice for keeping your car out of the rain and elements can be rough if you don't have a garage or shelter. Using strong galvanized steel, the frame is durable and robust, great for many seasons to come.
  • 【FLAT PACKED】This BIRCHTREE carport is flat packed for delivery. You can assemble it with instruction, even if you are not familiar with the structure, it is clear and easy to finish. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Last update on 2024-04-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fit lights in a carport?
Yes! Obviously they are going to be more exposed to adverse weather than in a garage so it is important to make sure that you opt for light fittings with electrics that are protected from any rain or other damp situations but these are relatively cheap and easy enough to buy now.

Do I need planning permission for a car port in the UK?
No – you do not need planning permission for a detached car port in the UK. However, there are some sticking points that you need to check are met before you go ahead. For example, a carport that is attached to the house and not freestanding will be seen as an extension so you could need planning permission for this. It also must be used for domestic purposes only. It also must be a maximum height of 4 metres and be less than half the size of your home. If you are unsure, it is always worth checking before making your purchase.

Is it easy to install a carport?

It is actually relatively easy to install a carport. You are going to need some power tools and it will definitely take at least two people – but if you have the time and are reasonably knowledgeable with DIY then there is no reason why you cannot erect a carport yourself. Just make sure to consider the ground surface and what you are securing your carport to.

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About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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