It’s Getting Hotter: How Can You Keep Your Car Cool

In England, the temperature is rising. As summer approaches, the days will get hotter. And it seems that each year is hotter than the previous.

In fact, climate scientists insist the UK is a cold country no more. While sunny days seem like ideal moments to drive to the coast or for a picnic, the summer brings misery for motorists.

Every year, traffic jams occur on what seems like the hottest days. Passengers and drivers alike bake in their cars on motorways across England. But, there are ways to have cooler journeys.

Whether your car is parked or in motion, there are ways to reduce the heat.

What are the best ways to keep a car cool in the summer?

Many modern cars come with AC as standard, although not as much in Europe as say the States or Australia. And not everyone likes using AC constantly. It increases fuel consumption and isn’t great for the environment in general.

But, with temperatures rising each year, and the summer fast approaching, something needs to be done to make car journeys more comfortable. What you may not realise is that the sun isn’t just making your car interior unbearable, it is also damaging parts of the vehicle.

For the rest of this article you can see 14 different ways that you might use to keep your car cooler, your passengers more comfortable, and perhaps avoid sun damage to your vehicle.

1 Use car window shades

Not only do car shades keep vehicles cool, but they avert sun damage too. Car window shades help to keep temperatures down in parked vehicles, and some can be used while on the move too.

Windscreen shades stop sunlight from reaching the car interior and help to make driving more comfortable for motorists. While windscreen shades must be removed before driving, they help to stop the steering wheel and driver’s seat from getting too hot.

Port and side window shades can stay attached permanently. This brings extra protection to passengers during journeys. UV rays will be blocked by car shades, and the car will remain cooler during the drive.

2 Use cooling car seat covers

Car seat covers designed to cool come in different forms. Some are made of materials to allow air to move between you and your seat. Others, though, feature electronics that cool the occupants quickly.

All types of cooling car seat covers are designed to protect the original seat covering and to make driving more enjoyable on hot days.

3 Affix a small fan

A simple hand-held fan or similar could be affixed to the dashboard to provide a light breeze when driving. Some people go further and use portable AC units in cars to really lower the temperature.

4 Run AC before heading off

If your car has AC installed, running it for a few minutes before you start your journey will lower the interior temperature. However, parking in the shade or using car window shades can be just as effective, and better for the environment.

5 Use a steering wheel cover

Certain steering wheel covers are designed for hot climates. These covers not only protect the steering wheel but stay comfortable to touch even under direct sunlight.

The heat from the sun coupled with UV radiation will damage a steering wheel over time, so a cover is always a good idea.

6 Use reflective car covers

Car covers are useful for protecting vehicles from the elements. Car covers are easy to use, but help to keep bodywork from being scratched, and protect paintwork from the sun.

There are ways to keep your car looking new. A car cover will stop UV rays from making the paint fade on your vehicle. And reflective car covers keep the interior from heating up.

7 Avoid metal gear sticks

Direct sunlight on a car will heat up several components. Leather seats are particularly uncomfortable on hot sunny days. And steering wheels can be difficult to grip. Gear sticks are no different.

Those aluminium gear sticks look pretty cool, but they can potentially get very hot in direct sunlight. They’re also pretty cold in winter so they may be best avoided altogether.

8 Leave windows open just a smidge

Of course, security is important with cars. Sadly, car theft is increasing in the UK, and cars need to be locked and secured.

However, there may be little to worry about with leaving windows just ever so slightly open. Especially if the car is parked in your driveway or somewhere visible. Just a slight opening will allow air to circulate which will help to lower the temperature inside the car.

9 Use window tinting

A more drastic measure than using car window shades, but with much the same result. If you have the budget to pay for window tinting, then blocking out the sun will keep your car cool.

Good window tinting will have UV protection too. The operative word here is ‘good’. Cheap window tinting might not last, or provide the protection you want.

10 Use breathable materials for seat covers

When choosing seat covers it is essential to think about the materials. Some seat covers might offer any cooling properties and be primarily concerned with protection instead.

The breathability of materials refers to how well they wick away moisture and provide comfort on hot days. Cotton, nylon, and polyester are all highly breathable materials. Vinyl isn’t breathable, so some car seats get hot and sticky in the summer.

11 Avoid leaving the car in open spaces

Ideally, avoid leaving your car in direct sunlight at all. Attempt to park in the shade where possible. However, open spaces can’t always be avoided, especially if visiting a retail park or supermarket.

If you truly can’t avoid parking in the sun, then take your reflective cover with you, or use car window shades. At least the worst of the glare will then be blocked.

12 Bring cold drinks on board

If you want your passengers comfortable on a hot day take breaks for drinks and ice lollies. Staying hydrated in the summer is essential, and cars can be uncomfortable on long journeys sometimes.

13 Position a sunshade on your driveway

There are some things that every car owner needs. A secure parking place is definitely one of them. But, not everyone has a garage for shelter.

If you do possess a driveway but no garage then a sun shade will at least protect your car from the sun if not from theft.

14 Drive with windows down

Obvious really. The only issue is that putting the windows down exposes passengers to potential sunburn. The benefits of driving with the windows down include fresh air, lower temperatures, and avoiding the need for AC.

If you choose the right car window shades it should be possible to have the windows open and be protected from UV rays at the same time.


Keeping your car cool during the coming months will result in far more enjoyable times on the road. Using some form of UV protection will stop paintwork fading and care for the passengers in your car too.

Car covers, window shades, and tints, all help to block UV. And almost as importantly, they keep cars cool so it doesn’t feel like you’re stepping into an oven.


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