Storage Guide: How To Store A Car

Storage Guide: How To Store A Car

Looking for a temporary new home for your vehicle? Whether you’re planning an overseas adventure, need somewhere safe for your prized ’67 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, or just have no plans to drive for a while, taking time to properly prepare your vehicle for storage will ensure it runs smoothly when you get back behind the wheel.

Be a responsible adult and learn the necessary steps for storing your vehicle correctly in this helpful car storage guide – brought to you by your best friends, us.

Choosing the Right Storage Unit for Your Vehicle

Vintage Cars Close-Up

Outdoors or inside?

The best place to store your vehicle long-term is in a dry, secure place out of the weather. You don’t want to risk leaving your car outside to battle the elements. Trust us: tree branches and knee-high paddock grass are the enemy.

A professional, secure, outdoor storage space may be fine for a few months. But if you’re waving goodbye to your wheels for a lengthy period of time, you should go for a protected undercover unit for peace of mind. The last thing you need while you’re admiring an attractive local in Brazil is to be worrying about whether or not your car is being compromised by the crazy Australian weather.

What about space?

Whether you’re rocking a petite Mini Cooper or a monster Land Rover, it’s important to choose the right storage unit size.

Our 6m x 3m and 8m x 3m storage units are the ideal size for most cars and other vehicles (even the family boat). These generously sized units are perfect for keeping your vehicle locked up, and they also leave enough room for your fancy silk scarf, leather gloves, and driving moccasins, if you’re that way inclined.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Storage

Washing Car

Clean it

Future-you will really appreciate driving off in a car that doesn’t smell like takeaway pizza or old socks.

  • Remove all rubbish and food scraps from the interior. All of those McDonald’s chips that didn’t make it to your mouth over the years need to be evicted from under the driver’s seat.
  • Wipe any dust and debris off the dashboard and console with a damp cloth.
  • Banish any fingerprints, dog saliva, or human saliva (we don’t know your life) with window cleaner and a clean, lint-free cloth.
  • Thoroughly vacuum the chairs, floors, and boot.

Wash it

Because washing your car offers more than just an impossibly sexy sight for your neighbours.

  • Wash one panel at a time, starting from top to bottom and rinsing the suds off as you go to avoid streaking.
  • Pay close attention to any mud trapped in the underbody near the tyres as this can cause rusting if left for a long period.
  • Use a chamois cloth to dry your vehicle thoroughly before placing it in storage.
  • Smile and wink at your reflection in your super shiny car. You work hard and you deserve nice things.

Take care of the mechanical stuff

They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Keep your car healthy with these steps.

  • Lube up the bonnet, boot and door seals so they don’t sound like a rusty old screen door when you next open them.
  • Crack the windows slightly for ventilation.
  • Replace the oil and coolant.
  • Add engine oil to the cylinders through the spark plugs.
  • Fill the tank with premium fuel and add some fuel stabiliser to prevent gum from forming.
  • Shove a tea towel or rag into the intake and exhaust pipes to deter critters from entering (do not forget to remove them when you pick up your car).
  • Place rags between the windscreen wipes and the windscreen to avoid sticking or marks.
  • Put it in gear or P, and use a tyre stopper or ‘chock’ to prevent it from moving. Don’t engage the handbrake – having it on for a long period of time can cause it to fuse.
  • Disconnect the battery (negative terminal first!!!), if it’s going to be more than a month.

Maintaining Your Vehicle While It’s in Storage

Woman Driving Car

You can’t just drop off your car, walk away, and expect it to be in top working condition when you return. It’s not a baby. If you’re off wining and dining your way across Europe, get a friend to check in with your vehicle to perform these maintenance must-dos.

  • Start the car every 2 weeks to keep the battery charged. Driving it for 10-15 minutes every 2 weeks is ideal for keeping everything in working order.
  • Run the air-conditioning during your 10-15 minute joyrides to ensure the air quality stays fresh. Let your hair down. Play some Beyoncé. You’re a star.
  • If you or a friend can’t get to your car to start it periodically, remove the battery and keep it in a cool, dry place. Keep it charged with a battery tender or ‘trickle charger’.
  • Don’t forget a car cover to keep it super shiny whilst in storage.

We have plenty of vehicles coming through our storage centres, and we know exactly how to store a car. If you’re not sure about anything, just ask one of our friendly team members on 1300 216 803, or get in contact by email here.

Keen for some more easy reading? Check out some of the stranger things our units have seen in this entertaining post.

Store your car with National Storage. Discover our affordable, flexible options. We offer car storage across Australia, in the following locations:

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