It’s an unfortunate part of owning a vehicle, but there’s always the possibility your bumper will get scratched or even hit. If you live in tight urban areas, like New York City, for example, you’ve likely seen bumper guards on vehicles. Designed to protect the bumper from substantial damage, a bumper guard may not be the best-looking part you can add to a car, but it looks a lot better than a bumper maimed by scratches and dents.
Maybe you don’t have faith in the parking abilities of other drivers, or you’re not that confident in your own parking skills. Whatever the case, having a bumper guard is much more affordable than having to replace your bumper a few times a year.
There’s a wide range of bumper guards available depending on which area of the vehicle you want to protect. There are even some that are less cumbersome, such as license plate frames, that will protect your vehicle without having to install something too unpleasant on the eyes.
If you’re looking for a cost-efficient way to protect your car’s bumpers, check out our list of the top 10 best bumper guards.
Table of contents
1. Editor's Pick: Bumper Bully
Bumper Bully is one of the most popular brands in the market, and like BumperBadger, offers three different models depending on the coverage you need. The Black Edition is the cheapest of the three, while the Gold Edition slots in the middle. At the top of the range is the Platinum Edition. All three products measure 46 inches by 12 inches, making them identical in size to the BumperBadger HD Edition. They’re also all manufactured from premium grade rubber material that is PVC free.
The Black Edition is the entry-level model and comes standard with patented black stabilizer bars. Unlike the other products, however, the Black Edition does not feature steel reinforced straps or safety reflectors.
The mid-level Gold Edition is the company’s most popular product and comes standard with steel reinforced trunk straps and integrated red safety reflectors for safer nighttime parking. Its patented stabilizer bars are finished in gold.
To justify the additional cost of the Platinum Edition, Bumper Bully adds impact pads on the backside of the guard, resulting in an additional 10mm of impact absorbing protection. It also comes standard with steel reinforced trunk straps and red safety reflectors, but its patented stabilizer bars are in a platinum color.
Like the BumperBadger products, you simply open your trunk and flip the Bumper Bully out to protect your rear bumper when parked. The bumper guard is not designed to be used while driving.
2. Best Front Bumper Protection: Luv-Tap
A more expensive option for rear bumper protection comes from Luv-Tap, who also sells the Bumper Thumper for front end protection. The universal fit rear bumper guard offers full coverage on the rear bumper, including the corners and sides, measuring 105-inches long, 11-inches tall, and 0.2-inches thick. It securely attaches to the rear bumper using bungee cords or suction cups and is actually safe to use while driving. So unlike the other rear bumper guards, Luv-Tap’s product is something you can install once and not have to remember to flip it out when you park.
The product can also be easily resized without any tools if it’s too wide for your car. This also allows you to use it for future cars. Another difference Luv-Tap’s rear protection offers is that it is flexible, so it contours and bends to the shape of the rear bumper, making it a little easier on the eyes. The entire product is machine washable, so there’s no hassle to keep it clean.
If you’re looking for front-end protection, the Bumper Thumper is available as just a license plate frame, corner coverage only, or a full kit that includes all the products to protect your front bumper. Designed to be a universal fit product, you are able to customize the length and fitment for your particular vehicle. It has adjustable length with straps, and the full kit includes eight impact absorbing foam rubber protection pads. No tools are required to install the Bumper Thumper corner coverage guards.
The front bumper guard license plate frame is an all-foam rubber frame that elevates your license plate 1.25 inches off the bumper, ensuring the plate itself doesn’t cause damage to your vehicle. So it’s not only protecting other vehicles, but yours as well. It measures over 2-inches thick, 15-inches wide, and 7-inches tall.
3. Best on a Budget: FH Group Bumper Butler
The Bumper Butler from FH Group is a rear bumper guard that isn’t as bulky as the other rear bumper guards we’ve covered on the list. It measures 43-inches wide and 11-inches tall, comparable to other products. It’s designed to be a universal fit product, but just make sure at 43-inches wide it provides enough coverage for your car’s rear bumper.
It’s easy to install with adjustable straps and hooks to the inside of your trunk. The product is manufactured from a patented, durable, and long-lasting rubber. It also includes safety reflectors for increased visibility for vehicles parking behind you.
It’s a bit more affordable than products from BumperBadger, Bumper Bully, and CityBumper, but it may not offer as much impact protection. Again, this product is intended only for use while the vehicle is parked.
4. Best for Ease of Use: BumpShox XL
If you want something less intrusive, the BumpShox XL offers great protection for your front bumper. Measuring 14-inches wide and 8.5-inches tall, the license plate frame is 2.25-inches thick and is manufactured from V-Tech All Weather Foam. And even though the front license plate is thicker than a traditional frame, it has a recessed screw design so there are no protruding metal parts that can damage another vehicle’s rear bumper.
To keep it somewhat sleek, the BumpShox XL has a pyramid design with steep angles, which also helps increase the product’s flexibility while maximizing shock absorption. Since it’s a front license plate frame, it’s a product that you can install once for protection, but keep in mind it will only help in low impact parking bumps. Included with the BumpShox XL are four screws, but most standard license plate screws will work. It does use the standard distance in the U.S. of 7 inches between the license mounting holes, so you will want to check to make sure your vehicle has the same distance before ordering.
It’s worth mentioning the BumpShox XL only works with the front bumper, not the rear. So keep that in mind, especially if you don’t even have a front license plate on your car.
As far as the company is concerned, the only vehicles the BumpShox XL doesn’t work with are certain Volvo vehicles, since the screws on their license plate brackets are integrated directly into the frame and can’t be removed.
If you often park on the street, the BumperBadger does a great job protecting your car’s rear end. The company offers a few different models with the most expensive being the “HD Edition.” Measuring 46-inches wide and 12-inches tall, the BumperBadger HD Edition features linear raised ribbing that protrudes from the front surface, providing a flexible impact zone to cushion minor parking bumps. The guard also has top stabilizer bars to keep it flat and stable on the bumper for maximum protection. Lastly, the triple-stitched trunk straps are plenty strong to anchor the BumperBadger inside the trunk.
Designed for parked vehicles, you simply have to pop open your trunk and flip the BumperBadger out so that it covers the rear bumper when you park. When it’s time to set off again, you open your trunk, flip the BumperBadger back in, and you’re ready to go.
Like other bumper guards, you will want to make sure its overall dimensions provides adequate coverage for your rear bumper.
A more discreet option is the BumperX car bumper guard and protector. It’s basically a huge band-aid for your rear bumper that you peel and stick on. The product is also designed to work well to cover unsightly blemishes on your rear bumper. It measures 62 inches by 6 inches and can be customized to fit a variety of vehicles, but it’s always recommended to contact the manufacturer to make sure it works with your specific car. The company says it’s modeled to fit 1997-2015 Toyota Prius, a popular car among Lyft and Uber drivers.
The BumperX car bumper guard and protector is manufactured from a specially formulated EPDM rubber that is resistant to UV rays, rain, snow, and car washes. It uses a special 3M adhesive to stick on your car’s paint without damaging it.
Installing it is relatively painless too. You will simply have to wash your rear bumper, center it with painter’s tape, and then peel back one of the corners to start applying it to the bumper.
BumpTek offers a couple products to offer bumper protection, one of which is the Plate Pocket, which is similar to the BumpShox XL. The other are corner bumper guards finished in matte black for an OEM appearance. The corner bumper guards measure 20-inches long, 2-inches tall, and 0.46-inches thick, backed with 3M adhesive tape. They can be applied to either the front or rear bumpers for protection.
As you can imagine, the corner bumper guards don’t offer as much protection as a complete rear bumper guard. But they’re not as unsightly and it’s something you can just install once to provide protection all the time. The guards are manufactured in Europe from a durable and flexible impact absorbing material, that is also lightweight. They’re weatherproof and UV resistant, so they’ll hold up in adverse weather conditions.
The BumpTek Plate Pocket measures 13-inches wide, 7-inches tall, and 1.75-inches thick, making it smaller overall compared to the BumpShox XL. It does however, feature a unique “Kangaroo Pouch” that allows you to simply slide the license plate into the pocket through the opening before bolting the frame onto the vehicle. Again, measure to make sure the spacing between the screw holes is 7 inches from center to center, and take note that it may not fit certain Volvo vehicles.
Similar to BumperBadger and Bumper Bully is the rear guard from CityBumper. It measures 42-inches wide and 12-inches tall however, so it’s not as wide as the other products. It’s crafted from all-weather premium quality material, allowing it to be used in the rain, and features shock absorbing ribs. It uses soft touch trunk strap pads with two-tone yellow and black trunk security strips.
Like the other rear bumper guards, it flips out of your trunk when you’re parked. It’s also easy to install with velcro straps that stick to the trunk’s carpeting. Again, this product should not be used while the vehicle is driving, so its only purpose is to protect your rear bumper when you’re parked.
The CityBumper is priced similarly to comparable products from BumperBadger and Bumper Bully, so it may come down to the design you prefer out of the three.
9. Parking Armor
Sporting a fairly basic design is the Parking Armor rear bumper protector, boasting a 2-inch thick high-density foam core for impact absorption. It’s more expensive than other rear bumper guards, but comes in three sizes: 36-inches wide, 42-inches wide, and 48-inches wide. Regardless of length, the Parking Armor measures 12-inches tall. The face of the guard also features an ultra bright silver safety strip for nighttime use.
It comes with waterproof steel-reinforced straps and soft anti-skid foam pads behind the trunk straps, helping prevent scratches on your paint. Although it’s constructed from hi-density foam, it does have a “flex-body” structure, allowing it to somewhat flex around the contours of your rear bumper.
This is another rear bumper guard that’s designed only to be used when the vehicle is parked. It should never come in contact with a hot exhaust either, since it can damage both the product and the vehicle – just like other rear bumper guards. The company also cautions it’s not recommended for vehicles with narrow bumpers, such as the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, as well as rear-engine vehicles like a Porsche 911.
A more affordable alternative to the Luv-Tap rear bumper guard is the T-Rex rear bumper protector. It’s a similarly designed product made of high density durable and all-weather foam material, which is 0.25-inches thick. It measures 72-inches wide and can curve around corners, offering good coverage on most vehicles. It secures in place using two velcro straps, with the bumper security attaching directly to the carpet of your trunk.
Although it’s possible to drive with this product installed onto your vehicle, you may want to make sure the straps aren’t touching your paint and damaging it. It offers adequate protection from low impact bumps in tight parking spaces, but don’t expect it to have high impact absorption.
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