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Aside from your home, a car is probably the most expensive thing you'll own. So if your vehicle is going to be off the road for an extended period and you can't keep it at home, chances are you'll need to look for a car storage facility.
Car storage facilities offer a safe, secure and enclosed space where you can park your car to protect it from thieves, the elements and other potential hazards. But there's a lot you need to consider when choosing car storage — keep reading for tips and advice on finding the right spot to store your wheels.
What's in this guide?
- How does car storage work?
- Compare storage unit providers
- When to use car storage
- How to find car storage
- What to consider when choosing a car storage facility
- How much does car storage cost?
- Insuring your vehicle
- How to prepare your car for storage
- Pros and cons of car storage
- Frequently asked questions
How does car storage work?
Car storage works in much the same way as regular self-storage units. You rent a space in a secure facility where you can store your car for a month or more.
While your options differ between facilities, generally speaking there are four main types of car storage:
- Uncovered parking. An outdoor parking space, usually on a shared storage facility lot, that can be rented for a set period of time. This is the cheapest way to store a car.
- Covered parking. This will protect your car from the elements and exposure. It's usually a shared lot that doesn't offer as much security and privacy as other car storage options.
- Shared warehouse. These large, enclosed spaces house multiple cars and protect your vehicle from the elements, but without the same level of security or ease of access as a personal unit.
- Personal garage. This is the most expensive but the most effective car storage option. It allows you to lock your car away from prying eyes and the elements in your own private garage.
Compare storage unit providers
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When to use car storage
Who needs car storage? There are lots of reasons you might want to keep your car under lock and key for a while, such as:
- If you're travelling overseas for an extended period
- If you need somewhere safe to store a classic car you only take out every now and then
- If you only need the car for a few months a year, for example if you're a seasonal worker
- If you need to store your car out of the way while your home is being renovated
- If you need to free up space on your property.
In other words, if you're looking for somewhere to keep your car so that it's safe from theft, damage and the elements, a car storage unit is the answer.
How to find car storage
Do a quick Google search for "car storage" near you and you might be surprised just how many results you get. Some are run by dedicated car storage companies while others are operated by major self-storage chains that offer specific vehicle storage spaces.
Some of your options include:
- National Storage. National Storage offers car storage options Australia-wide. You can choose from outdoor spaces and secure undercover units.
- Kennards Self Storage. Many Kennards Self Storage locations offer vehicle storage. You can choose from uncovered and covered storage, or an enclosed lock-up space.
- Storage King. Storage King offers indoor and outdoor storage solutions for cars, vans and more.
- Spacer. This peer-to-peer platform allows users to hire out car spaces and storage units to others.
If you're looking for a company that specialises in vehicle storage, research your options to find out what's available near you.
What to consider when choosing a car storage facility
There are lots of important factors to consider when comparing car storage. Before deciding whether any facility is the right place to park your vehicle, it's worth taking a tour to check out its amenities in person. Factors to take into account include:
- Location. Location can affect both the convenience and cost of car storage. For example, storage in the heart of the city will be easy to access, so it'll be handy if you need regular access to your car, but you can also expect to pay more for the privilege. Or if you're flying back into the country and want quick access to your car, you may want to look for a unit near the airport.
- Accessibility. Check how easy it will be to store the car in your unit — will you be able to drive straight in? Also check whether you will be able to access your car 24 hours a day or only during certain time periods.
- Unit size. Next, consider the unit sizes the facility has available. Is there something large enough for your car storage needs?
- Security. What security features are in place to protect your car against theft and damage? Is there gated access to the facility? What about CCTV and alarm systems? Is the site constantly monitored by a security team? What do you need to do (i.e. enter a PIN code) to access your unit?
- Additional services. Specialist car storage providers offer a range of additional services, such as car washing, basic vehicle maintenance and performance tuning. Some will even deliver your car to your door when you're ready to take it out of storage.
- Cost. Compare quotes from multiple storage providers to find the best value for money.
- Customer reviews. It's also a good idea to read some reviews from previous customers who have stored their vehicle with the same company. Would they recommend the facility to others?
How much does car storage cost?
As a general guide, you can expect to pay somewhere between $250 and $550 a month for car storage. However, costs vary widely depending on your circumstances, so be sure to obtain quotes from multiple facilities.
There are several factors that influence the cost of car storage. These include:
- Unit size. The larger the space you rent, the more you can expect to pay.
- Type of space. Secure, undercover units cost more than storing your car in an outdoor lot.
- Type of car. Some facilities charge more for storing SUVs than for storing sedans.
- Location. Storage facilities conveniently located in the city centre will generally cost more than those out in the suburbs.
- Length of booking. Long-term storage obviously costs more, but you may be able to access a discounted rate when you make an extended booking.
- Other features and services. Booking extra services, such as car maintenance, can drive up the cost.
Insuring your vehicle
Storage facilities typically don't provide insurance cover for your vehicle as standard, so it's your responsibility to make sure you have protection in place. Some storage providers offer insurance for an added cost, but otherwise you'll need to check your existing car insurance policy.
Make sure that you notify your car insurer that your vehicle will be in storage to find out whether they'll still provide cover. Some insurers will also offer cheaper premiums while your car is in secure storage, while you may also want to consider your unused vehicle insurance options.
How to prepare your car for storage
Putting your car in storage isn't as simple as just driving it into a storage garage and locking the door. Instead there are several important steps you can take to help ensure that your car is in the best possible condition when it comes out of storage. These include:
- Cleaning. Your car should be cleaned before it goes into storage. Remove any rubbish, especially food, to avoid bad odours, and give the interior a wipe-down and vacuum. Find a cleaning service online.
- Washing. Wash your car before putting it into storage, taking care to remove all mud, dirt, debris and suds. Make sure it's completely dry.
- Storing. Store your car with the handbrake off and the wheels chocked up.
- Leaving windows open. If your car is in a secure, enclosed garage, leaving the windows slightly ajar can prevent a musty smell from developing.
- Adjusting tyre pressures. For short-term storage, inflate the tyres to above their normal level to allow for loss of pressure. If you're storing your car for the long-term, it's safer to keep it off the ground on stands.
- Mechanical considerations. Tasks like replacing the oil and coolant, lubricating door seals, disconnecting the battery and adding fuel stabiliser can all help keep your car in good shape.
Pros and cons of car storage
- Protect your car from the elements. Undercover storage ensures that your car isn't exposed to wind, rain, hail and the harsh Australian sun.
- Keep your car safe from thieves. Secure car storage reduces the risk of theft or damage to your vehicle while it's not in use.
- Cheaper car insurance premiums. Some insurers offer cheaper premiums while your car is being kept in secure storage.
- Cost. The total cost of storing your vehicle for an extended period can stretch to thousands of dollars.
- Extra precautions. You'll need to take extra steps to prepare your car for storage to ensure that it stays in the best possible condition.
- Depreciation. Depreciation means that your car will lose value while in storage. Combined with the rental cost, this may mean that long-term storage is simply not worth it for some vehicles.
Frequently asked questions
What type of vehicles can I store in a car storage?
This varies depending on the facility you choose and the units available. For example, in addition to hatches, sedans and SUVs, some providers also provide storage for campervans, motorhomes, caravans, trailers, trucks, horse floats and more.
Can I work on my car when it's in storage?
Unfortunately, working on a car in a storage unit is prohibited by many facilities. Check with the storage provider to find out what is and isn't allowed.
Is there a minimum or maximum amount of time I can store my car?
Many storage facilities have a minimum car storage booking of one month. There's typically no maximum limit, but check with the storage provider to be sure.Back to top
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