Do Truck Bed Covers Improve MPG? 

You might be wondering, “Do truck bed covers improve MPG?” The answer is a resounding “yes.” Tonneau covers, the versatile bed covers for pickup trucks, have the remarkable ability to boost your truck’s fuel efficiency.

On average, they can reduce drag by 5.7%, which translates to a notable 1.8% increase in fuel efficiency. While 1.8% might not sound earth-shattering, it can make a substantial difference in your annual fuel expenses.

This article delves into the fascinating world of how tonneau covers change the game for pickup truck owners, enhancing not only the aerodynamics of their vehicles but also their overall cost-effectiveness.

We’ll explore the science behind this phenomenon and provide you with insights into the different types of tonneau covers and how they can help you maximize your miles per gallon.

So, if you’re keen on uncovering the secrets to improved fuel economy and more cost-effective truck ownership, read on to discover the remarkable impact of truck bed covers on MPG.

How Tonneau Covers Enhance Fuel Efficiency

Tonneau covers hold the key to a more fuel-efficient ride, making them a must-have accessory for truck owners looking to maximize their MPG. The science behind tonneau covers’ impact on fuel efficiency revolves around reducing drag. When your truck is in motion, air resistance creates a force known as drag, which hinders your vehicle’s forward momentum. Tonneau covers change the game by minimizing this resistance. These covers, whether soft or hard, alter the way air flows over your truck, effectively reducing drag and enhancing aerodynamics. The result is improved fuel efficiency, with real-world tests showing a notable 1.8% increase in MPG on average. While this may not seem like a massive change at first glance, it adds up significantly over time, making tonneau covers a smart investment for the eco-conscious truck owner.

Types of Tonneau Covers and Their Impact

Tonneau covers come in a variety of styles and materials, each with its own set of advantages and considerations. Soft tonneau covers, typically crafted from vinyl or canvas, are known for their lightweight build and ease of installation. They provide excellent fuel efficiency benefits while offering the flexibility to fold or roll up for quick bed access. On the other hand, hard tonneau covers, including those made of fiberglass, excel in durability and security. However, it’s essential to bear in mind that the fuel-saving benefits of heavier hard covers may be slightly offset. Furthermore, the market offers folding, retractable, and roll-up tonneau covers, each catering to specific preferences and needs. By understanding the differences between these styles and materials, truck owners can choose the tonneau cover that aligns best with their priorities for both fuel efficiency and other truck usage requirements.

Calculating the Fuel Savings

To appreciate the full impact of tonneau covers on fuel efficiency, it’s crucial to understand how to calculate the potential savings accurately. One commonly used method involves measuring your truck’s fuel efficiency with and without a tonneau cover under similar driving conditions. Maintaining detailed records of fuel consumption and expenses allows you to quantify the difference effectively. Over time, these savings can accumulate significantly, helping truck owners recover the initial investment in their tonneau covers. It’s important to recognize that the actual impact of tonneau covers on MPG can vary based on factors such as truck model, size, and driving habits. Smaller trucks may experience more substantial gains in fuel efficiency compared to larger models, so it’s advisable to take these variables into account when estimating your potential savings.

Other Advantages of Tonneau Covers

While the primary focus of tonneau covers is on fuel savings, they offer a range of additional benefits that shouldn’t be overlooked. These covers provide a secure enclosure for your truck bed, safeguarding your cargo from theft and protecting it from adverse weather conditions. Beyond security and weather protection, tonneau covers enhance your ability to organize and manage your truck bed contents, ensuring everything stays in its designated place during transportation. Moreover, tonneau covers offer customization options that enable you to add a personal touch to your truck’s appearance. These advantages, combined with improved fuel efficiency, make tonneau covers a versatile accessory that enhances both the practicality and aesthetics of your vehicle.

Considerations for Truck Owners

Before investing in a tonneau cover, there are essential considerations for truck owners to keep in mind. While tonneau covers provide tangible fuel efficiency gains, it’s crucial to balance these benefits with the initial cost of purchase and installation. The ease of installation and maintenance should also align with your preferences and capabilities. Some tonneau covers may require professional installation, while others are designed for straightforward DIY setup. Potential drawbacks, such as reduced bed access when the cover is in place, should be taken into account when making a decision. By finding the right balance between fuel savings, security, and convenience that matches your unique needs and priorities, you can make an informed choice regarding tonneau covers for your truck.

Expert Insights and Testimonials

To offer readers a well-rounded perspective on tonneau covers and their impact on fuel efficiency, we’ve interviewed truck owners who have experienced MPG improvements firsthand. These testimonials provide valuable insights into the real-world benefits of using tonneau covers, offering prospective buyers a deeper understanding of their advantages. We’ve also consulted with experts in the automotive and truck accessory industry, who emphasize the role of tonneau covers in enhancing fuel efficiency. These experts provide guidance on selecting the right tonneau cover that aligns with specific truck models and preferences, ensuring that truck owners can make informed decisions regarding their vehicle accessories.

Additional Strategies for Fuel Efficiency

While tonneau covers are a potent tool for improving fuel efficiency, there are complementary strategies that truck owners can employ to maximize their MPG. Regular tire maintenance, including proper inflation and rotation, plays a crucial role in ensuring optimal fuel efficiency. Additionally, eco-friendly driving habits, such as gradual acceleration, reduced idling, and maintaining a steady speed, can further boost MPG. We’ll also explore tips for combining tonneau covers with other truck modifications, such as bed liners and grille covers, to create a comprehensive fuel-saving package. By adopting a holistic approach to eco-conscious driving practices, truck owners can achieve significant improvements in their vehicle’s efficiency.


In conclusion, the question of whether truck bed covers improve MPG has a definitive and affirmative answer. Tonneau covers are a valuable accessory that significantly enhances fuel efficiency by reducing drag and improving the aerodynamics of your truck. This article has explored the various types of tonneau covers, the methodology for calculating fuel savings, and the multitude of advantages they offer to truck owners.