Solar Carports: Are they Worth IT?

Solar Carport

Let’s cut straight to the chase on this one. Solar carports are more expensive than roof-mounted panels… But, they do have a few distinct advantages that roof-mounted panels don’t!

Oftentimes, rooftop solar has a lot of extras that people don’t anticipate:

  • Does your roof face the right direction?
  • Is there shading on your roof?
  • What does your existing electrical system look like?

Since a solar carport isn’t a fixed structure like your home, it has more flexibility. Plus you get a car cover out of the deal!

This article examines the pros, cons, and prices of solar carports. So you can figure out if a solar carport is worth it to you.

What is a Solar Car Port?

Solar Carport with Cars

A Solar Carport is a dual-purpose piece of equipment. It uses a structure tall enough for your car to fit under to hold solar panels. These solar panels also generate electricity while protecting your car from the elements.

Typically, they come as a kit, but you can also do a DIY solar carport, or install solar panels to the top of an existing carport.

Are Solar Carports Worth It?

That depends on what you are trying to achieve. First off, solar carports are typically more expensive than house-mounted solar panels. That’s because they need extra structures to go over your car.

The only real con to a solar carport is the pricing compared to rooftop solar. But, if you are looking for a carport and solar panels, then this very well might be your most cost-efficient option.

However, there are quite a few pros to solar carports in comparison to rooftop solar.

The Pro's of a Solar Carport

As shown above, the pricing is about 20% more per watt than traditional rooftop solar. But here are some distinct advantages to a solar carport:

  1. You get sun, rain, and snow protection for your vehicle.
  2. Maintenance and cleaning are easier.
  3. The carport is moveable if you sell your house, or you just want to shift things around.
  4. You can optimize the orientation of the carport for maximum energy production.
  5. You can make more efficient use of your space by multi-purposing your parking spot.
  6. If your house doesn’t have good rooftop orientations or has a lot of complex corners, then this may be a better option.
  7. It is relatively DIY-friendly if you are handy.
  8. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may not need permitting for the carport but you may for rooftop solar.

How Much is a Solar Carport?

This will depend on the size of the space you wish to fill. However, with a bigger space, you also get more power!

Here is an approximation of the cost for a solar carport. Prices include hired install, however, you could remove approximately $2,000 from pricing if you are doing a self-install. It is important to note that solar installation involves work with electricity and all associated hazards, including insurance risks.

It’s important to note that costs and energy production will vary depending on where you live. This is because contractor prices, material prices, solar hours, and shading all vary from place to place.


2 kW

3 kW

5 kW

Approx. Cost




Approx. Pad Size (W/L/H)

10ft x 16ft x 11ft

12ft x 20ft x 11ft

20ft x 20ft x 11ft

Additional Resources

Frequently asked questions on solar carports:

Yes. And solar panels are quite durable also. The key is that you get an appropriate sizing for the car, or you can install a cloth cover to the outside of the carport.

You can get custom solar carports of all sizes. However, the largest trustworthy market available size I have seen is 20ft long x 20 ft wide x 11 ft tall. This would fit two cars comfortably.

You can put solar panels on a custom carport or an existing carport if the shape is right.

But, it is also important to ensure that the engineering for the carport will withstand the extra weight, including snow if you receive snow.

One of the only easy to install solar carports with charging station kits that I have found is the Setec Power Home EV Charging Solar Carport System.

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