Whether you’re leaving on extended travel for your job, you’re embarking on an international adventure during your sabbatical, or you’ve decided to take a few months off to care for an ailing family member, you may be looking to temporarily pack up your possessions and put them in storage. But once you’ve sublet your city apartment and put all your furniture and home goods into monthly storage, you’ll realize that you’ve forgotten about your car. Since you don’t want to leave it parked on the street and your friends and family probably aren’t keen on the idea of keeping it in a garage for you, you’ll have to find a facility in which to store your vehicle. And there are a few things you should do to ensure that your car stays in ship shape until your return.
- Pick a reputable facility. When it comes to storing your car while you’re out of town, you can’t just find the nearest facility and drop off your vehicle. You need to look for a place that is sure to keep your valuable asset safe. You can ask around for referrals, but since not too many people engage in this type of long-term storage, you might want to hop on Yelp or a similar service to read consumer reviews. This will help you to find a few facilities to check out, and from there you’ll definitely want to ask about security measures (locked gates and garages, surveillance cameras, guard staff, etc.) so that you know there’s little chance of theft or break-in.
- Remove valuables. You probably get nervous about leaving valuables in your car when you drop it at the dealership for service or hand off your keys to a valet. So why would you even consider leaving anything of value in your car while it’s in storage for several weeks or months? You should remove everything that could be of value, from electronics like your MP3 player to high-end sunglasses. And don’t forget to pull out any kind of identification, including the registration and insurance cards.
- Detail beforehand. Before you put your car into storage you might want to shell out the dough for a detail. This deep cleaning will ensure that your paint job isn’t at the mercy of dusty, dirty buildup for the foreseeable future, and that the fast food bag that got lost under the seat doesn’t start to mold in your absence. As a bonus, you’ll have a clean and good-smelling car to return to.
- Use a car cover. Even though your vehicle will no doubt reside in an enclosed storage space, it couldn’t hurt to take extra precautions to ensure that nary a scratch occurs while you’re gone. In addition to locking doors and closing windows, you might want to get a custom fitted car cover to protect the exterior from leaks, rodents, or other potential minor hazards. You may also want to have the fluids drained if you’re going to be gone for quite a while.
- Pay up front. Whether you plan to be gone for several weeks or several months, there are a few tasks you’ll need to attend to in the meantime. For starters, you might want to non-op the registration and cancel your coverage with CheapAutoInsurance.org until you return. But you may also want to pay for the storage in advance so you don’t have to worry about remembering monthly payments for the duration of your trip.