Self-storage units may in some cases feel like a glamourised garage space, and here we are looking at the best ways to store a car in self storage for a long period of time. Yes, a car in self storage, it happens sometimes. Perhaps you have landed a new job contract which means you don’t need a car to commute or you are able to catch a lift every morning. You may be going away for a long time, or you might have simply bought a second car and have no space for it, especially if it’s winter and the road condition aren’t looking too good to zoom around in it.
First of all, paperwork. Before you can even consider putting your car away for a few months, the important matter of insurance needs to be addressed. You are not going to leave your car somewhere to be forgotten about for a few months without adequate cover in place, and the storage company are going to need proof that it is insured. Similarly, they are going to want to see all the evidence that documents this car as being yours otherwise they are not going to want to go anywhere near the idea of keeping it for you.
We could list the various things that need doing to optimise the car for storage, but the one process that will cover it all is simply putting the car in for a service. That will ensure everything is in tip-top condition. The last thing you want when taking it out of storage is to find leaks and things not functioning as they should be. Ensure that not just the internal fluids are seen to, but the car gets a very thorough clean and wax too as this will assist in keeping the exterior in good condition throughout the storage period. When it comes to storing you ought to remove the battery (very old batteries need to be kept off the floor as cement drains them) and if you are able to jack the car and put the wheels on stands that will do a good job helping maintain the suspension and tyres whilst not being used.
An important distinction with storing a vehicle compared with regular climate controlled self-storage, is that most likely the unit will be completely outdoors and at the mercy of the elements. As such as you need to ensure that your car will be able to withstand any changes of climate, but most importantly remove the influence of any pests that may be able to enter the unit from outside. You ought to cover a car with a heavy fabric, taking care not cause any scratches whilst taking it on and off, plus it is recommended to block the exhaust pipe with a plastic bag tied around it. Any other entrance points you can find also ought to shielded off, but don’t forget to remove these when it come to take the car out of storage again. You can also purchase materials and fabrics that emit an anti-pest scent which will also deter any critters. And make sure you have nothing left in your car when you leave it, especially anything that might decompose or attract pests.
Your storage company or local mechanic may have more advice to offer, and as always you are very welcome to share any further hints and tips in the comment section below.