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car storage units

What Any Vehicle Owner Should Know About Car Storage Units

Car storage units are a good option when you need to keep your vehicle safe for the short or long term. Common reasons to rent a car storage unit include:

  • Keeping a convertible or vintage car in mint condition
  • Stowing a seasonal vehicle — such as an RV — until you’re ready to use it again
  • Giving unused or infrequently used cars a safe place to stay
  • Freeing up space in your garage for other vehicles or even a garage workshop

Finding the right car storage unit should be as simple as parking, locking up and calling it a day, but there’s more to it. Here’s everything you need to know about storing your wheels and finding peace of mind.

What Type of Car Storage Unit Makes Sense for Me?

There are several options out there to meet a variety of vehicle storage goals. The most common option is drive-up storage, which is much like using a garage. Your car will be enclosed and protected from the elements. (Plus, you have additional storage space around your car!).

A couple of considerations to narrow down your search:

  • How long will you be gone? If you’re only away for a couple of weeks to a month, then storage is probably unnecessary. One big consideration, however, is security. You don’t want to leave a vehicle exposed to vandalism or theft. Car storage units keep vehicles safe and secure.
  • When will you be gone? Make sure to account for the season — if it’s at the height of summer or if you live somewhere that gets intense storms, a storage unit can protect your car from the elements.
  • Do you need a climate-controlled unit? Many cars will be totally fine in a unit without heating or air conditioning. If you own a precious antique car or high-end sports car, you may want to explore climate-controlled options or designated showrooms.

What Unit Size Do I Need for my Car?

Common drive-up units measure anywhere between 8 x 10 feet to 10 x 25 feet. A compact car, such as a VW Golf, Mini Cooper or Toyota Corolla can fit snugly into a 10 x 15 storage space. A 10 x 20 space is best for mid-sized vehicles, sedans and hatch-backs. Finally, you’ll want to seek out a 10 x 25 space (at least) for bigger cars, including crew cab trucks, cargo vans or SUVs. Check out these additional tips for choosing a storage space.

How Can I Prepare My Car for Storage?

Once you’ve found the perfect storage option for your car, take these steps to ensure a successful experience.

  • Give your car a good wash. This might seem like an unnecessary extra step but washing your car can prevent dust and dirt from becoming caked on your car while in storage and potentially damaging the paint. We recommend cleaning out the interior, too!
  • Keep your vehicle covered. Consider using a high-quality vehicle cover (or, if you’re in a pinch, bedsheets will work!) to keep your car in tip-top condition while not in use. You’ll thank yourself later.
  • Don’t set the parking brake. Although you’ve been told to engage the parking brake any time your car is parked, don’t do this when storing your car for an extended time. This can lead to damaged brake pads and rotors and expensive issues down the road. If you’re worried about your car rolling, you can easily find tire stoppers — an effective option that won’t wear down the brakes.
  • Maintain car records. You won’t be driving your car around town, but it’s still crucial to keep track of your car’s registration and title. Not only are these documents legally required, they’re also an integral aspect to selling your car.
  • Check in on your car occasionally. Sitting inactive is a surefire way to kill your car’s battery. To keep your battery in good shape, stop by your storage facility occasionally to take your car for a short drive or even just start it up. Warning: Do not leave your car idling in a storage unit, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning! Stay safe and roll it outside.

Explore Storage West’s High-Quality Car Storage Units

We provide a variety of car storage units across the Southwest. At our facilities in Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and California, our guests can choose between economical outdoor storage or drive-up storage options. Whatever you end up renting, we can guarantee a worry-free way to keep your vehicle safe and sound for as long as you need.

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