Not everyone is equipped with the garage space to store a vehicle for periods of time, which is why finding a place for vehicle storage becomes a common concern. You might think that storing a car is as straightforward as parking it in the nearest spot and remembering where you put the keys. However, if you do this, you might have an unpleasant time trying to get it started when you return. 

If you want your vehicle running when you return, you will need to do a few things prior to placing it in storage for any period of time. Let’s start by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of where to store a car for both short and long periods of time.

Get it Off the Road

Regardless of whether you are planning on leaving your car for a short period of time or a long period of time, you won’t want to find the nearest parking space and leave it. Even if it sounds like a great option, this is a bad idea for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not as enclosed as other alternatives like parking it at a vehicle storage facility. A car left alone for a long period of time may tempt would-be criminals. And leaving it out in the open doesn’t protect it from freezing temperatures or other potential damage like proper vehicle storage can.

Second, it may not actually be legal to simply park your car in random parking spaces and leave it for weeks or months. You may return to find your car has been towed and is waiting for you at the tow yard along with some hefty fines.

If you are wondering, “Where can I store my car?”, a much better idea is to store it at a storage facility. At Price Self Storage, our storage facilities offer a number of benefits, such as:

  • Keypad controlled access limited to authorized individuals;
  • Security cameras;
  • Uncovered, covered, and indoor parking options. Parking options vary by location.

Covered, Uncovered or Indoor?

Now that you’ve decided to store your vehicle off of the road, the next big decision is whether to store it indoor, outdoor, or outdoors in a covered spot.

  • Indoor – You can store your car indoors at a facility that has a warehouse for vehicle storage or you can use a storage unit to store your vehicle. Storing your vehicle indoors, either at an indoor storage facility or in a drive-up storage unit, is the single best way to safely protect your vehicle from the elements. The combination of limited access, shelter, and a relatively stable, dry temperature makes indoor storage the best method for long-term storage.
  • Covered Parking – Covered parking may be appropriate for the storage of a vehicle for any length of time. With covered parking, your car will be more exposed to the elements than it would with an indoor storage unit but will have better protection than an uncovered spot. This makes it a good middle ground if you don’t live in an area with harsh seasons with lots of snow, rain, or ice.
  • Uncovered Parking – An uncovered spot in a storage facility is an excellent choice for short-term vehicle storage. If you plan on storing your vehicle for a long time, you’ll probably want to consider a covered spot, indoor facility, or storage unit. Don’t store your car in an uncovered spot if you live somewhere with harsh weather and freezing temperatures. Also, be sure to get a car cover of some sort to protect your car from the elements.

Tips for Storing Your Vehicle

If you’ve settled on a storage option that’s right for you, you’ll still want to take care of some things before you leave your vehicle. These preventative actions can help ensure that your vehicle will be ready to go whenever you return:

  • Top off your engine coolant.
  • Change your oil and oil filter.
  • Give your vehicle a deep cleaning, both inside and out, and apply multiple layers of wax.
  • Fill up your fuel tank and use a fuel stabilizer.
  • For long-term car storage, use wheel chocks for the tires without the parking brake engaged.
  • Protect your car from moisture and dust with a sturdy car cover.
  • Plug your exhaust with a rag to keep debris or pests out.
  • Drive your car for a short period of time after changing your oil and adding fuel stabilizer to ensure everything circulates and mixes well.
  • Use a trickle charger to keep your battery topped up, or disconnect the battery and store it in a temperature-controlled area away from the vehicle.

Closing Thoughts

Regardless of how long you are storing your vehicle, you’ll want to take certain steps beforehand to ensure that your vehicle remains in top shape during your absence. 

Most times, you can get away with outside storage under a covered spot. However, if you live in an area with snow, rain or ice, you should strongly consider storing your vehicle indoors or in car storage units. If you are going to store your vehicle in a temperate location, then any of these options would be a good fit.

Whether you choose a covered, uncovered, or indoor parking location, you’ll want to store it at a storage facility. This will provide you with increased peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is in a designated spot, and ensure you won’t be greeted with tickets or towing fees when you return. 

Take note of our preventative tips to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly when you return. You’ll want to take some time to get your oil changed, top off your fuel tank and add a fuel stabilizer, get your vehicle thoroughly cleaned, and disconnect your battery before you leave your vehicle. These simple steps can go a long way towards avoiding costly maintenance down the road.

If you’re ready for a long or short-term vehicle storage solution, reach out to us at Price Self Storage! We aim to make the storage process both easy, and affordable. Our professional staff is ready to help you with your vehicle and self-storage needs today.

Sources

  1. https://www.carfax.com/blog/store-your-vehicle
  2. https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a115/1272486/
  3. https://www.edmunds.com/car-maintenance/how-to-prep-your-car-for-long-term-storage.html