Best Bumper Guards: Prevent Scrapes and Dents
These top bumper guards will protect your vehicle from parking lot damage
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.Read more.
PUBLISHED ON September 18, 2019
A bumper guard is a layer of protection that helps prevent your vehicle from being scratched or dented when it's lightly bumped into in a parking lot. They’re easy to install and don’t cost a lot of money, so if you want to keep your car’s bumper in tip-top condition, check out our bumper guard reviews to find the best one for your ride.
- Best OverallBlack Edition Bumper Bully - Bumper ProtectorSummarySummaryThe Bumper Bully rear bumper protector measures 46 by 12 inches. It's made of premium grade, PVC-free rubber and includes waterproof trunk straps with patented stabilizer bars.ProsProsIt takes just seconds to set up and is tough and durable. It can be used on both sedans and SUVs, and it looks fine on the back of a car.ConsConsIt may cover your license plate, so you might have to cut it. The guard is also somewhat easy for thieves to steal off your vehicle.
- Best ValueBumpShox XL - Front Car Bumper ProtectionSummarySummaryThe BumpShox XL is 14 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 2.25 inches thick. It's made of all-weather foam and will not crack or rust like metal or plastic license plate frames.ProsProsIt feels sturdy, is good quality, and easily withstands low-speed bumps. It features a flex-fin extender that protects the bumper, even if a taller vehicle backs into it.ConsConsYou may have to drill holes into your bumper or bend your license plate to get it to fit. Also, you may need longer plate screws to affix it to your vehicle.
- Honorable MentionRhino Guard by BumpTekSummarySummaryThe Rhino Guard includes four medium-sized pieces that are 20 inches long, two inches tall, and 3/4 inch thick. The pieces have a matte black finish and will not peel or chip.ProsProsThe guards are made of durable, high-quality, and flexible material. The bumper guard's air pocket design protects against scrapes and scratches, and the guards can be used on the front and rear corners.ConsConsThe pieces are not designed to be painted, so you're stuck with the color. Also, you may need dental floss or a hairdryer for removal, depending on the temperature.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Bumper Guards
- Prevent scrapes and dents. The best bumper guard will protect your vehicle from getting dented, scraped, or scratched by another vehicle when you or someone else is parking. They also have impact absorption qualities.
- Park worry-free. If you are parking challenged or are afraid someone else will inadvertently hit your vehicle in a parking lot or on the street, a front or back bumper guard will give you peace of mind.
- Save money. Repairing a beat-up bumper can be costly. Avoid expensive repairs by investing in a full bumper protector.
- Maintain your vehicle’s resale value. If you eventually decide to sell your car, it will be worth more if the bumper is in good shape than if it’s marked up with dings and dents.
Types of Bumper Guards
This type of bumper guard is affixed to your bumper with adhesive. You can remove the guard when you no longer want to use it even though the adhesive is very strong. These bumper guards can be used on the complete bumper or just the bumper corners. One downside is that they tend to be ugly and are very visible.
Truck-mounted bumper guards stay out of sight until you park. You simply remove them from your vehicle and flip them down over the bumper. Then you remove the guard when you drive away, so they aren't unsightly. The problem is that they don't protect your car when you're in the midst of parking.
A license plate bumper guard is typically very thick and is installed directly on your vehicle's license plate. It is easy to install on the license plate's frame mount. While plate bumper guards provide a lot of bump protection to the center of the vehicle, they offer absolutely no protection to the corners of your bumpers.
The best bumper guard for SUVs is one that is hitch-mounted. It mounts on a truck or SUV's trailer hitch to protect the rear bumper. This type of bumper guard is easy to install and remove. However, you need to have a receiver hitch in order to use them, and they're not particularly attractive.
If you want to preserve the look of your bumper without compromising style, you may want to consider paint protection film. It's intended to prevent paint scratches but is not intended to prevent dents. The film is usually invisible and can be precut for your vehicle or be universal in size.
BumpTek is based in Brooklyn, New York, and its front and rear bumper guards provide impact resistance and all-weather durability. BumpTek products are designed to look like an OEM part to compliment the style of most vehicles. One popular product is the Rhino Guard by BumpTek.
Created and patented in New York in 2010, the creators of BumpShox designed bumper protection that provides a sleek, classy, and presentable look for any vehicle. One top product is the BumpShox XL - Front Car Bumper Protection.
The BumperX bumper guard and protector is for those who don’t want scratches on their vehicles. Based in San Francisco, California, the company’s product is made of UV-resistant, 60 durometer rubber with high-stick 3M adhesive. It withstands rain, snow, and heat and serves as a second skin to your bumper.
Bumper Guard Pricing
- Less than $15: Bumper guards in this price range tend to be stick-on strips that affix to the corners of your vehicle. They may provide minimal protection but won’t be as durable or thick as more expensive brands.
- $25-$40: You will find most bumper guards at this price point. They vary in design and may provide either front or rear bumper protection, depending on what type they are. It’s worth spending a little more money to find a product that is durable, tough, and able to withstand low-impact shocks.
One of the first things you need to think about when shopping for the best bumper protection for cars or trucks is how much of the bumper you need to protect. It's important to measure your bumper to get the right size. Be sure to select a guard that's a few inches longer so it can also protect the corners of your bumper. Also, keep in mind that some bumper guards are designed to fit certain makes and models while others are a universal fit.
The best bumper protection for your vehicle will be constructed of strong, durable, and quality material. Rubber car bumper guards offer maximum protection when it comes to bumper protection, although compact foam, used in license plate-mounted guards, is a good alternative. In addition to rubber material, another feature to look for when it comes to durability is if the product is weather-resistant.
- Thickness: The best car bumper protection will cushion your vehicle from impact when it's parked. When determining how to protect your car bumper, it's important to consider a product's thickness. The thicker it is, the more cushioning it will provide. Thinner materials may prevent dings and scrapes, but thicker material can block stronger impacts.
- Style: The best rear and front bumper guards come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs. Larger ones tend to offer more protection but aren't very good-looking. Smaller bumper guards may look a little less obvious, but they won't be as effective in preventing damage to your vehicle.
- Ease Of Use: Stick-on bumper guards are the easiest to install because you simply peel off the adhesive and smooth the guard onto the vehicle. License plate and hitch-mounted guards take a little more effort to install. As for trunk-mounted bumper guards, you have to put them in place every time you park and then put them back in the trunk when you drive away.
Best Bumper Guard Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Black Edition Bumper Bully - Bumper Protector
The Bumper Bully rear bumper protector provides super-wide bumper protection and measures 46 by 12 inches. It's made of premium grade, PVC-free rubber and includes waterproof trunk straps with patented stabilizer bars. The product weighs four pounds.
The heavy-duty Bumper Bully takes just seconds to set up and the material is heavy and thick, making it tough and durable. The Velcro adjustable straps allow you to attach it to your trunk in the perfect position so that it is easy to put on and remove. It can be used on both a sedan and SUV with no issues. Overall, it's simple to clean, looks fine on the back of your car, and is a good value for the price.
One issue is the Bumper Bully may cover your license plate, so you might have to cut out the section provided on the product to accommodate it in order to avoid a ticket. Also, there have been some complaints that the guard is easy for thieves to steal off your vehicle. In addition, if it rains you will be stuck with a wet bumper guard in your trunk when you're not using it.
Best Value: BumpShox XL - Front Car Bumper Protection
The BumpShox XL is a license plate-mounted guard that provides front bumper protection. It is 14 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 2.25 inches thick. Made of V-Tech all-weather foam, the guard will not crack or rust like metal or plastic license plate frames. It features a pyramid design with steep angles that promotes flexibility and maximizes shock absorption.
This foam core guard feels sturdy, is good quality, and it easily withstands low-speed bumps. It stops those annoying nicks and dented plates that occur when people back into your car while parking. The BumpShox also has a flex-fin extender that protects the bumper from dents and scratches in the event that a taller vehicle backs into your vehicle.
One problem is you may have to drill holes into your new bumper to get it to fit. Also, if you have a front bumper that is somewhat pointed in the center, you may have to bend your license plate to get it to fit properly. In addition, you may need longer license plate screws to affix it to your vehicle.
Honorable Mention: Rhino Guard by BumpTek
The Rhino Guard includes four medium-sized pieces that are 20 inches long, 2 inches tall, and 3/4 inch thick. The pieces are designed to replicate an OEM look in a matte black finish and will not peel or chip. The product comes with 3M surface cleaner and 3M adhesive tape for application.
The bumper guard's air pocket design protects your vehicle from parking-related scrapes and scratches, and the pieces can be used on both the front as well as the rear corners, depending on the shape of your bumper. The product is made of durable, high-quality flexible material, and the pieces are easy to install. Removal is also relatively quick and simple as long as you follow the company's step-by-step instructions.
One problem with this product is it's not designed to be painted, so you're stuck with the color. Also, you may have to use a piece of dental floss to remove the guard if it's hard to pull off your bumper. In addition, in certain weather conditions, you may need to use a hairdryer to uninstall the guards because they can get very stiff when they’re cold.
- The biggest bumper guard you can find is not necessarily the best for your vehicle. Although they protect more surface area, it's more important to find a product that is placed over the correct spots of your bumper, including the corners, than one that is extra large.
- When using a trunk-mounted bumper guard, make sure it doesn't block your exhaust pipes. Hang the guard above them to ensure that the hot exhaust doesn't damage the guard.
- A trunk-mounted bumper guard is only meant to be used when your car is parked. Do not drive with it on.
- A trunk-mounted bumper guard can cover up your license plate. Check your state laws to determine if this is legal, otherwise, you may be fined.
Q: Can I use a license plate bumper guard on the rear of my vehicle?
A: This type of bumper guard is intended for the front of your vehicle. In certain circumstances, it may be installed on the back of your vehicle if the rear bumper is flat. However, make sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations.
Q: Will stick-on bumper guards damage my car when I remove them?
A: To avoid damaging your bumper, carefully remove stick-on bumper guards without tools that may harm the surface. Manufacturers are aware that stick-on bumper guards are temporary, so the glue they incorporate in their products isn't damaging.
Q: Do bumper guards prevent damage in a collision?
A: No. Even the best bumper guards are not designed to provide protection during a collision. They are made to protect your bumpers in parking lots.
Our pick for the best car bumper protector is the Black Edition Bumper Bully - Bumper Protector. It's easy to install and remove, can fit sedans as well as SUVs, and it's very durable.
For a more budget-friendly option, consider the BumpShox XL - Front Car Bumper Protection.