The Best Way to Securely Store Your Car

black car slowly driving into a storage unit

Although most people don’t store their cars except in their garages, the need to securely store cars long-term arises occasionally. If that’s you, it might be you’re moving overseas but want to keep your car. It’s also possible you inherited a vehicle, have a classic car, have gone through a divorce, etc.  

Whatever the reason, if you need to securely store your car, doing it correctly is essential. The last thing you want is to find your car in bad shape because you didn’t store it correctly. To help, below are storage tips, hacks, and recommendations on the best way to store a car. Read on to discover them all and protect your car during long-term storage!

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

What is the Best Way to Store a Car?

The best way to securely store your car long-term is in an indoor, drive-up self storage unit. Inside a self storage unit, your car will be protected from the weather, falling debris, theft, breakage, etc. Most importantly, a storage unit will protect it from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Your car will be under 24/7 video security, behind large, electronically controlled gates and out of sight. 

These reasons are why many people with classic cars store them in storage units.  Storing your car in a storage unit is even safer than in your garage. Nothing will fall on it, it won’t be dinged or dented, and it won’t take up valuable garage space.

How Long Can you Store a Car Without Driving It?

Here’s the thing about storing a car; you can store it as long as you like. If that means a few weeks, months, or even years, no problem. Will some parts be damaged when you go to use your car again? Yes, probably. Some car parts will wear out quickly; others will last much longer.

To ensure your car runs perfectly after storage, starting and driving it every 2 to 3 weeks is recommended. That way, parts that need oil will get oil, and rubber parts won’t dry out. Tires won’t get flat spots, and the gas in the car’s tank won’t go bad. 

Still, driving a stored car every few weeks won’t be possible or practical for some folks. That’s especially true if you’re overseas, traveling, or have a busy life. If you can’t drive it regularly, know that when you need it again, your car may need some repairs first.

How to Store your Car

Below are valuable storage tips and steps for storing your car to stay in good shape until you need it again.

1. Clean Your Car Thoroughly

The first thing to do before you store your car long-term is to clean it thoroughly. That way, acids from bird poop, for example, won’t cause a permanent mark on the paint. Also, any stains on your interior won’t become permanent. Taking your car to a professional car wash and having the interior steam cleaned is also recommended. Lastly, waxing your car is suggested to protect its paint during storage.

2. Have your Car Professionally Maintained before Storing It

Experts suggest taking your car to a mechanic to maintain it professionally before storing it. They will change the oil and oil filter and top off essential fluids like antifreeze. Also, they can put a fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank to prevent your fuel from going bad.

3. Disconnect the Car Battery

Even if you have a new battery, it will discharge its power over time if your car isn’t driven regularly. Experts recommend disconnecting the positive and negative cables when you store a car long-term. 

4. Put your Car on Jack Stands

Putting your car on jack stands is a good way to prevent your tires from getting flat spots. That’s especially true for classic cars and SUVs.

5. Put a Box of Baking Soda Inside your Car

A box of Arm & Hammer baking soda will prevent your car’s interior from getting mold or mildew. That, in turn, will prevent any odd or awful odors while it’s in storage.

6. Stuff the Exhaust to Deter Pests

Mice, rats, and other critters like to enter the exhaust pipes of cars and make their nest. To prevent that, stuff your exhaust pipe with old rags or newspapers. Of course, remember to remove the stuffing when taking your car out of storage.

7. Don’t Engage your Parking Brake

During long-term storage, if your parking brake is engaged, the brake pads can fuse with the rotor. Rather than engaging the parking brake, place wheel chocks behind the wheels.

8. Get a Car Cover

Although a car cover isn’t necessary if you store your car in a storage unit, it can be helpful.  A car cover will keep dust, grime, or debris off your car’s exterior, which is helpful for a classic car. However, a car cover is essential if you store your car in an outdoor parking space.

multiple cars lined up with one having a car cover on

How Much Does It Cost to Store a Car?

Typically, the cost to store a car runs from $100 to $250 per month. The cost, however, depends on the storage facility, where you store it, and other factors. For example, your cost will be less if you store your car in an outdoor storage area. Some self-storage locations also offer outdoor parking spaces. If you store your car inside a storage unit, your cost will be slightly more. Car storage costs also vary from state to state. 

Take Care of your Storage Needs with Hide-Away

Whether you need vehicle storage, business storage, or regular self storage, Hide-Away can help. Hideaway Self Storage has self storage facilities located all over the Sunshine State. Our locations have 24/7 video security, electronically-controlled front gates, and on-site managers. 

As for vehicle storage, you can rent a storage unit, covered car storage, or outdoor storage at most locations. If you need help, use our convenient storage size guide or moving guide.  Whatever you need to store, from cars to an entire home full of stuff, contact Hide-Away Self Storage today!