Karl Benz (1844 – 1929) was a German engineer/designer and is generally regarded as the inventor of gasoline-powered cars. In 1886 he was granted a patent for the first car.

Unfortunately, although innovative, attractive and highly appealing, the first automobiles were not as weatherproof as they are today, so it was essential that these precious cars were protected from the elements.

Presumably the first automobiles were kept in barns or ‘lean-to’ structures until 1909 when the first carports began to appear in the US. Originally they were called ‘auto space’ and the appeal of these structures were particularly embraced by the Prairie School in the mid-west. This group used horizontal lines which were reminiscent of the native Prairie landscapes and they began to design and build structures which were specifically designed for protecting cars.

Frank Lloyd Wright is credited to be the first person to use the term ‘carport’ when he built a house in Wisconsin in 1934. Mainly due to the popularity of this modern American architect, by 1938 the term ‘carport’ began to be widely used both in the US and elsewhere.

The demand for car ports grew in popularity and people began to build onto their houses or invest in carport kits and they can commonly be seen today worldwide. Many people in the US have a car port as well as a garage as not only are they useful for giving protection for a second car, an AVT or even a boat, but are also really useful for loading and unloading goods. They can also provide shade in the summer and are popular with kids as an additional play area.

The original carports had just a roof with no sides but today there are so many to choose from depending on the person’s needs. There are kits which have wooden roofs, perspex roofs and soft topped roofs. There are carports with no sides, partial sides or full sides and they range from highly affordable to really expensive custom-made structures.

Whether you see carports on the Greek islands, Scotland or Illinois they seem to be extremely popular and no doubt will be here to stay!