Looking for places to store a car? You’re not alone. Long term overseas travel and work is becoming more normal. More people are moving to city areas where they may only need a vehicle a few times a year. And military service has always been a reason to look for storage. So where do you store a car?
Many would tell you that if you’re going to store a car long term, you’re better off selling it. However, while the money sounds nice at first, the process of selling a car and then buying a new one six months to a year down the line is discouraging. Car’s are sentimental. Saying goodbye to a good vehicle sometimes isn’t worth it.
Luckily, there are a few places to store a car. We’ll analyze the positives and negatives for each option.
One of the most popular places to store a car is a storage unit. Storage units are the time tested option for vehicle storage. However, it’s not always cheap.
A small car can squeeze into a 10×15 unit although most need a 10×20 unit. In fact, 10×20 units are much more common than 10×15. Prices vary greatly. At the low end, you’re looking at least $100 a month. More commonly, you’ll be closer to $150. In bigger cities, you’ll pay around $300 a month. That’s a lot of cash.
Now granted, if you get a bigger unit, you may be able to store other possessions. If your reason for storage is moving overseas, downsizing to a city apartment, or leaving on military deployment, you can fit some furniture and boxes around your vehicle.
Aside from the price, another potential downside to storing at a facility is the location. Storage facilities are typically in the middle of industrial zones. Security is rarely an issue, though you miss out on extra foot traffic or even car traffic going past your storage unit.
Neighbor, the Airbnb of Storage
If a storage facility doesn’t sound like one of your preferred places to store a car, maybe Neighbor will. Through Neighbor’s platform, people in your neighborhood rent out their extra space.
One of the best parts about Neighbor is the price. Typically, Neighbor prices are 50% cheaper than a storage unit. Right now, most of the garage spaces on Neighbor go for $40-$60/month.
Besides garages, Neighbor hosts can also list other spaces like warehouses, or outdoor spaces like RV pads and lots.
As you can imagine, when you’re storing with someone in your Neighborhood, you have a lot of security thanks to the foot traffic. Plus, you’re in someone’s garage. Your Neighbor host will come and go every day and will always have an eye on things.
Finally, to ease your mind, Neighbor also offers a renter guarantee. If something happens to your car when you’re storing with Neighbor, we’ll take care of you. This makes Neighbor much more secure than storing with a friend. You get all the convenience, plus the extra security of a guarantee.
Long Term Storage
Another option for car storage is specifically designated and designed long term storage. Unlike a storage facility, these spaces offer car amenities like climate control, easy drive up spaces, and other potential perks.
These types of spaces are most popular for vintage or luxury cars. As you can imagine, the service at one of these facilities is quite remarkable. Storing your vehicle here is like joining a club. You’re signaling your love of your car and treating it as best you can.
If this is the service you’re looking for, just know that prices can hike up quickly.
With a Friend or Family
Ah, the old freebie storage option. There’s no doubt that storing your car with a friend or family can be remarkably convenient. Still, what are the pros and cons?
Pro: it’s free. Who can beat that? It may also be a good option because these are the people you’ll be in contact with the most during your travels, move, or overseas work experience.
Con: free is free for a reason. Storing with a friend or family member means you accept that any dings and bumps your car experiences are par for the course. You may want to choose someone without teenagers. You’ll also want to make sure the person you’re storing with is fairly settled. If they up and move while you’re storing your vehicle, it’s an inconvenience for them and you.
A garage is one of several places to store a car with your friends. Check to see if anyone you know owns an enclosed trailer they don’t use. You could park your car inside, out of sight.
Long Term Parking
Another option, though one you may not want to use for an extended time, is long term parking. Almost every airport offers long term parking and typically the parking lots are secure and monitored.
There are obviously a few downsides. First, your car is always outdoors. The chances of it getting dinged by another car, or facing inclement weather are much higher than other vehicle storage options. Second, the prices can be a bit high. You’ll be looking at prices at above $200 a month.
Airports aren’t the only places to store a car in long term parking. Many parking garages and outdoor lots also have long term options and may even be cheaper.
Preparing Your Car for Long Term Storage
Be sure to check out our guide on preparing your car for long term storage.
Here’s a sneak peek at the 10 steps:
- Fill up the tank
- Change the oil
- Put the car on jacks
- Wash and wax
- Plug the tailpipe
- Don’t use the parking brake
- Park your car on a plastic sheet
- Clean and dust the interior
- Cover your car
- Park your vehicle in the right spot
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