The short answer is that both have their place and their merits, deciding which is better is a personal decision that will depend on your individual circumstances.
However, it is a good idea to consider the merits of both before you decide. In many cases the carport will suit your needs adequately, potentially making it the better choice.
Carports are generally open-sided. They consist of 4 corner posts and a roof to provide you with protection from the elements. It’s possible they’ll need extra posts to support the structure, it depends on the size. Carports can also be attached to the side of your home, giving you one solid wall and extra protection from the elements.
This design structure means they are significantly cheaper than a traditional garage.
You’ll also find that a carport can be easily created or modified to accommodate more than one car. In fact, the double carport is a good option even if you only have one car. It gives you room to maneuver around your vehicle without getting affected by the adverse weather elements. There is generally very little room to move around a traditional garage.
Carports are also much quicker to build than a traditional garage and you’ll usually find it’s very easy to get approval for them in advance of building. This is because the building regs surrounding carports are much less stringent than for garages.
It also should be noted that carports are convenient. You can simply drive into the space and get out of your car. If you have a garage you’ll have to get out and open the door before driving in. Of course, you can have an electronic door fitted which will cost more. You’ll still need to wait while it opens.
The downside is that you can’t include storage in your carport, there are no walls to mount storage against and anything left in there can get wet or even be stolen.
A garage obviously offers all-round protection. This means you can have storage shelves if you have enough room for them. You can also work on your car in all weathers. Perhaps most importantly, the garage offers security.
With four walls and a lockable door you can keep your car safe, that’s particularly important if you live in an area prone to car theft, have an expensive car, or simply worry about security.
The garage is generally seen as more attractive looking and is more likely to add value to your property. That’s a useful benefit if you’re thinking about selling or refinancing.
Unfortunately, garages are more expensive to build and you’ll need to get full planning permission. Depending on where you’re building the garage this can be complicated and time-consuming to obtain.
Equally a garage will take longer to build.
The Bottom Line
In most cases, the carport is a more attractive option due to ease of building and the cost. Unless security is a serious issue or you’re worried about increasing the value of your home, the carport I likely to be your best bet.