When you think of self-storage units, you might assume that it is only for boxes of household items and large pieces of furniture. On the contrary, there are a variety of storage units you can use for different purposes, including storing your cars. A lot of people choose to put their vehicles into storage because they are either going traveling for a few months or years and aren’t keen to sell their cars, preferring to have them waiting when they return. Others might enjoy restoring classic cars as a hobby, and a storage unit can provide a secure place to keep their pride and joy until they want to take it for a ride. Or, perhaps you are planning to sell your car and would like a place to store it and meet prospective buyers away from your property to keep your address private. Whatever the reason you want to store your car, leasing a suitable unit designed for this could be the perfect solution. However, it’s important to prepare your car properly before you put it into storage, and here are a few tips to help you do this.
Clean Your Car
When preparing your car for storage, the first thing to do is make sure that it is clean. It’s sensible to make sure that any items you place into storage have been cleaned beforehand, as this can help to reduce a build-up of dirt and grime in your unit. Wash and wax your car, but also clear out any rubbish that is inside, especially any food that might have been left in there as a car snack on a road trip. Vacuum the carpets and upholstery, and perhaps use some car freshener for the perfect finish. If you don’t have time to clean your car yourself, consider using valet service to do this for you.
It’s also worth doing a quick check to make sure that the mechanics are all for your vehicle before you put it into storage. If there are any issues, no matter how small, that need addressing, you should do this before you put your car into storage. This will reduce the risk of problems getting worse while your vehicle is in storage or you forget about them and then deal with them when you eventually use your car again. You should also fill up the fuel tank before you leave it in storage to limit condensation building up in your fuel tank (use a fuel preservative if you’re leaving it in storage for a long time). Check your oil levels and check your tires as well.
Get a Quality Car Cover
To stop dust and grime developing on your clean car over time, invest in a quality car cover to put over your vehicle when in storage. You can use these covers over and over again, even when your car is back in your garage at home when you no longer need your storage unit. They will help to keep your car cleaner for longer and are worth the investment. You might also want to invest in wheel chocks to keep your car from rolling in the storage unit and causing damage rather than relying on the handbrake. If you leave the handbrake on for too long, it can damage the brake pads by fusing them to the discs.
Make Sure Your Paperwork is in Date
Even if you’re not going to be taking your car out on the road, it’s still wise to make sure all of your paperwork is in order. This includes your vehicle inspections, insurance policies, a note of any mechanic work that has been done, etc. You will need to have all of this ready if you are planning to sell your vehicle, as the buyer will need all of the relevant information to put the car in their name. However, this is useful if you are going to leave to go traveling or not use your car for some time for another reason, as at least you will have this information when you return to it.
The storage facility that you’re using should have security measures in place onsite already, such as gated entry and CCTV, for example. However, you should look at going the extra mile to protect your vehicle when it’s in storage, especially if you’re not going to get back to the unit yourself for a while. Start with investing in a quality lock to use on your storage unit door. You should also think about using a steering wheel lock and setting up CCTV in your unit (you can purchase camera sets online relatively easily for this purpose). Dash-cams are also something to consider as an extra precaution or installing a car alarm if your car is not fitted with one already.
Prepare The Unit
When storing a car, you should ideally get a climate-controlled storage unit to help make sure your vehicle stays safe and damage-free. However, if you can’t get climate-controlled storage for whatever reason, consider improving the insulation in your unit – particularly if you’re storing your car over the winter season. You can do this by hanging up wool blankets on the walls or using furniture padding. You may also choose to place your vehicle on a slightly raised platform of some sort to keep it above ground level in case of flooding if this is a risk in the area where you have your storage unit.
You want to make sure that all of your belongings are kept safe when put into storage, but as a car is a more expensive possession that also serves a very practical purpose, you certainly want peace of mind that it will still be in good condition when you need it again. To ensure your car is protected and ready to go into storage, use the tips above to help you prepare for that and feel confident leaving your car in your unit.