We all have different reasons for storing our cars long term. Whether it’s because you just don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling your car or if you’re going overseas and need a place to keep your vehicle while you’re gone. If you’re in the process of deciding whether or not to store your car for a long period of time, you may have many questions and concerns. 

In this article, we will cover some things that need to be considered when choosing to store your vehicle for the long term.

Before jumping into that, if you would rather to earn money from any cars that you own, check out our renting service for Car Owners

What is Long Term Car Storage?

Long-term storage can be defined as the practice of keeping a car in storage for an extended period of time. An extended amount of time can be anything from 3 months all the way up to several years. This involves keeping your vehicle in a secure off-site location. Long-term car storage facilities are also referred to as self-storage units and can be rented for short or extended periods. These facilities vary in price, security, accessibility, and amenities. Long-term car storage is generally the most economical option when storing a vehicle for a long time.

Why do People Use Long Term Car Storage?

There are several reasons why folks decide to store their vehicle long term; here are just a few: 

  • Long-term car storage is ideal for people who have bought a new car but want to keep their old car around for an extended period
  • It can be used to store vehicles while you’re overseas
  • You can keep your car safely away while you are on deployment
  • Long-term car storage units can be an excellent option for business owners who have a fleet of vehicles and want to keep them secure and out of harm’s way.
  • If you own a classic car or sports car, you might want to keep it in a storage unit to protect it from inclement weather.

How to Prepare Your Vehicle for Long Term Car Storage

As you’re getting ready to store your vehicle for a long period of time, several things need to be considered. Long-term car storage is a great option because it will prevent your car from being stolen or vandalized, and it will be protected from the elements.

However, to ensure it stays in the best condition, here are some tips to consider before storing your vehicle long-term:

Give Your Car a Wash

A question that arises when people are considering storing their car for an extended period of time is whether or not they should clean it before doing so. The answer is yes; this shouldn’t be neglected. Washing your car before stowing it away can help keep it in good condition. Your car is constantly bombarded with chemicals and minute particles that accumulate on the surfaces inside and outside. For instance, bird droppings or water stains on the car’s paint can cause it to deteriorate. Once the car is cleaned inside out, add a layer of car wax for added protection.

Change The Oil

One thing that many people do before storing their car is changing the oil. It is believed that contaminants in old oil can cause engine harm if left in the engine for too long.

Fill Your Tank with Gas

You also should consider topping off your fuel tank before extended storage. The reasoning behind this is to prevent moisture from accumulating, leading to corrosion and rusting on metal surfaces inside your tank. In addition, you should use a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel from turning into varnish and gumming up the engine.

Disconnect Your Car Battery

Disconnecting your vehicle’s battery while it is being stored is always the best option. This ensures that acid won’t leak from the battery and damage the inside of your car.

Protect Your Car From Rodents

Every year, many cars in storage are damaged or destroyed by rodents. If you’re preparing for the long-term storage of your car at home or elsewhere, take the time to protect it from these pesky critters. They will chew through rubber hoses, insulation, and wiring in your car. They can also cause corrosion by urinating on metal surfaces. To prevent this from happening, block access using steel wool to areas they can enter, such as the air intake or exhaust pipe.

Release the Parking Brake

Though it is advised to apply the parking brake any time you park your car, you should do the reverse when storing your vehicle for an extended time. You risk harming your brake pads and rotors if you use your parking brake during storage. Brake pads and rotors can fuse together if they are in touch for an extended time. Instead, use wheel chocks to keep your car stable.

Use a Car Cover

If you’re storing your vehicle outside, invest in a high-quality car cover to protect it from the elements, such as the sun, snow, rain, and other factors that could result in rust or other damage.

Things to Consider Before Storing Your Car For an Extended Period

Considerations you should think about include – do you want your vehicle stored indoors or outdoors? Is this something that will be a temporary solution, or do you plan on storing your car long-term? And what size unit will you need for your vehicle?

What Type of Storage you Require

Depending on budget, local weather conditions, or the level of protection you need for your car, you can choose between indoor, outdoor, or covered storage. The highest level of protection would be an indoor storage unit, and this will protect your car against the ravages of the weather, much like storing it in a garage would. Outdoor storage space is more cost-effective and is a good option for locations around the USA that have good weather all year round. A covered unit is a happy medium between the two; your car will have a roof over it to protect it from sun and rain.

What Size Storage Unit You Need

If you’re looking to store your vehicle for an extended time, it’s important to know what size storage unit you’ll need. You’ll need to measure the length and the width of your car. 

A few common examples include:

  • A small car such as a Kia Rio is 13.8 feet
  • A mid-size class car such as the Audi A4 is 14.8 feet
  • An SUV such as the Cadillac Escalade is 16.7 feet
  • A large pickup truck such as the Chevrolet Silverado is 18.4 feet

 

Questions To Ask When Choosing a Long Term Storage Company

Choosing a long-term storage company for your car can be a difficult task. To find the best place for your car, you’ll need to answer some important questions. Here are just a few things you should ask when choosing where to keep your car long-term:

Is the Self Storage Company Insured?

When deciding on a long-term storage company, you want to make sure they are adequately insured. If there is any damage to your car while it’s in their care, you want to ensure that the company has insurance for both property and liability. Having this type of insurance will protect both the car owner as well as the storage company from any potential damages or issues that may arise.

Getting your car insured with Period X

To make sure that your car is fully protected whilst in storage, you may wish to see what Period X can offer. They provide coverage to car owners who aren’t driving their cars for rideshare services, or renting them out to other drivers. In other words, if you are just a regular car owner, then their insurance might help put your mind at rest knowing your car is covered for fires, earthquake damage or theft. 

Is There Any Additional Cost for Climate-Controlled Storage? 

You may want to consider a storage unit that is climate-controlled for your car. While it would depend on the storage facility you choose, most long term parking companies do offer this option at an additional cost. Depending on how cold or hot your area gets in the winter or summer, choosing a self-storage unit with climate control is something that may be beneficial to you.

What is the Company’s Security Like?

Something else to consider is what security is like for your car. While most storage units are secure, some don’t have fully enclosed facilities. You may want to ask about this when researching different companies, so you know exactly what type of facilities they will store your vehicle in and what kind of security measures are provided to keep it safe while it’s there for storage.

Does the Facility Offer Discounts For Military Personnel or Seniors?

Many long-term car storage companies offer discounts for their customers.  If you are a senior, military serviceman, or woman, you should ask if you are eligible to receive a discount.   

Is There Any Additional Cost That Needs To Be Paid Before My Vehicle Can Go Into Storage? 

Before storing your vehicle, you should discuss if there is an administrative fee or deposit required to store it. Some companies may require a deposit before you begin the storage process. This will be returned to you after your car has been successfully stored for whatever period of time that you have chosen.

In Conclusion

Long-term car storage is a good option for many people. If you are considering extended storage for your car, take the time to consider all of the different questions and factors listed above. This will help you choose the best company for your needs and prepare your car for its time off the road.

As we mentioned, if you would prefer to make money from your car instead of having to store it, then check out our renting service for Car Owners.