Car storage can be a daunting prospect. Handing the care of your vehicle over to somebody else is a uniquely frightening process, especially if you’re a petrolhead! Nobody knows your car as well as you, so it can feel uncomfortable giving that duty to someone else. Nonetheless, these tips will help you find the best storage solution.
#1 Check your insurance
First and foremost, you should look at both your insurance and that of the storage facility. Even if your car is going to be off the road for months, you’ll still need to have insurance. Insurers will usually negotiate a discount, though, so it’s always worth giving them a call to inform them of your new circumstances. Next, look at what (if any) insurance is being offered by the storage facility. Higher end facilities like Zen Den have “garage keeper’s” insurance, which covers your vehicle should anything go operationally wrong during storage. This certainly isn’t a replacement for your own policy, but it’s a useful safety net to have and worth looking out for.
#2 Can you check your vehicle in and out?
This isn’t a concern if you’re traveling away from home and know that you won’t need access to the car, but not all storage facilities will let you check in and out at will. Some will require you to pay extra for the privilege of dropping your car in/out. Others won’t, but will still require you to make an appointment. How much flexibility you need will depend entirely on your circumstances, but it’s better to know what’s being offered in advance, rather than being disappointed in your hour of need.
#3 Check out the security
The security precautions in storage facilities vary wildly. Some are little more than garages, while others are state of the art complexes. Be sure to visit the facility at least once before you store your car there. A quick walk around the perimeter should give you a good feel for how secure the area is. Surveillance cameras, controlled points of access and even security guards are all reassuring sights, but criminal incursion isn’t the only threat. A facility that’s in any way open to the elements leaves your vehicle exposed to rust. Don’t just trust the website or brochure. Pay a visit and check for yourself.
#4 Do you need climate control?
Climate-controlled facilities are invariably more expensive and not always essential. This isn’t something that will benefit every car, and nor is it necessary if the vehicle will only be in storage for a short time. If, however, you own a classic car or an expensive luxury vehicle, it might be something to consider.
Climate-controlled facilities monitor temperature and, more importantly, the amount of moisture in the air. It might seem extreme, but classic cars especially are vulnerable to inclement weather conditions and shouldn’t be left in a moist atmosphere for months at a time. If you aren’t sure, consult a mechanic before you put the vehicle into storage.