Everything you need to know about secure car storage to keep your vehicle safe
Many people require long-term vehicle storage. You might own a classic car or truck that is only driven a few times per year or you are storing a car for the winter while you drive the SUV. Perhaps you are being deployed or you are going away for a long holiday for several months. The bottom line is that you have a car that you don't want to sell and you need to figure out where to park the car for the long term, safely and securely.
There are a few options when it comes to storage for cars. Naturally, the ideal storage place for your car would be your own garage at home while you're gone. Parking it outside would leave it vulnerable to the elements, but some open-air parking lots offer partial covering for your car. A better option would be to rent secure parking and storage at a dedicated facility where you can even rent a 2-car storage unit. Here are some of the benefits and disadvantages of each option.
It might sound precarious, but if done right, storing a car outside need not be a bad idea. Maybe you have a secure spot under cover next to your house that is protected from the wind and rain, or a covered, fenced-in long-term car park. If done right, it can work well. Outdoor parking is obviously less of a problem in Texas than in Oregon, for example, due to less extreme weather conditions. Thus, it will vary according to where you live in the USA.
A garage would obviously be ideal, especially if it's at your house. Hopefully, someone is staying at your house and can keep an eye on the car and check it periodically. Rented, secure car storage in a garage, warehouse, or storage facility is also a great option if you don't have any other space for it.
Here are some tips about preparations for how to store a car:
Besides the obvious ones above, there are several more things you can keep in mind when storing your car, depending on your circumstances and where you live in the US. Cover the car with a soft, breathable cover that does not trap moisture. Remember that the buffeting of a cover in the wind outside will also damage the paintwork. Don't engage the parking brake, because it can seize and refuse to disengage when left for months. Park on a sheet of plastic to catch any dripping fluids and cover all obvious holes, like the exhaust and vent inlets, to keep out bugs and rodents. Disable your car alarm, because it will drain your battery and won't work after a while anyway.
If you need to store your car for a long time, do it right and you'll be coming back to a car in great condition that is ready to go immediately. Keep all these tips in mind and you can avoid nasty surprises when you get back home. If you are storing your car at home, make sure someone is there to keep an eye on the car and perhaps take it for a drive every few weeks.
Planning ahead is imperative, so follow the tips in this article. Keep in mind that some components will deteriorate when the car just sits, such as rubber seals getting brittle and starting to leak. If you can arrange it, get someone to check in periodically, do a little preventative maintenance or take it for a drive once in a while.
It depends on the facility and the services/features offered. Secure, climate-controlled monthly car storage can cost $350, but cheaper storage is available, too. Do an online search for car-storage service providers in your region.
Place mothballs that have been dipped in peppermint oil all around the car and set mouse traps. This should repel the pests, but be sure to block all the openings on your car, such as the exhaust, just to be safe.