Once you decide to store a vehicle long-term, you’ll need to answer several key questions concerning insurance, proper location for storage, how to prepare your vehicle, and more.
In this article, we aim to address all of these questions and others so that you can feel confident about safely storing your vehicle long-term.
Why Would You Want to Store a Vehicle Long-Term?
There are numerous reasons to store your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, classic car, or other vehicle long-term. This is a common need for students, those in the military, classic car owners and restorers, retirees, and others. Proper long-term storage ensures the safety and longevity of your vehicle.
Should You Cancel Insurance When Storing Your Vehicle Long-Term?
Although it may seem like having insurance is unnecessary while your car is in storage, this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, you should never cancel certain types of insurance, like comprehensive coverage.
Let’s say, for example, that you stored your vehicle in your barn for several months while you and your spouse took a long vacation. While you were away, however, there was a lightening-spurred fire in the barn, and your vehicle was destroyed. Without comprehensive coverage, you would get no return on your vehicle, and replacing it would simply entail buying a whole new vehicle out-of-pocket. For new, quality, and classic vehicles, this means tens of thousands of dollars lost.
In addition to keeping comprehensive insurance, you may also consider keeping your collision coverage as well. In fact, you may be forced to keep it. Those who are stilling paying off their vehicle cannot remove collision coverage as lenders don’t generally allow this. You should also consider that any lapse in your insurance coverage will be a problem for you when you reinstate coverage with your insurance agency. Lapses in coverage are red flags to insurance agencies, and they may charge you a higher premium post-lapse as a result.
How Do You Properly Store a Car?
If you are truly serious about properly storing your vehicle long-term, you need to take several crucial maintenance steps beforehand.
First thing’s first: Give your car an excellent tune-up.
Start by changing the oil, and also switch out the air filter. While you’re at it, fill up all fluids in your car, including the antifreeze. Take your car out for one last spin before storing it, and fill up the gas tank and tires to their maximum capacity. This will reduce the risk of flat spots occurring during storage. You’ll want to add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank at the same time that you fill it up as well. We recommend using one called capital STA-BIL.
When you park your vehicle in its storage location, turn the wheels completely to one side, put the car in park, but never use the parking brake as this can damage the brake pads. Now, give your car a good wash and waxing. Put several fabric softener sheets or mothballs inside the car and on the ground around the tires to prevent infestation from mice and other rodents and pests.
Last but not least, take out the battery. It’s best to hook up the battery to a battery tender while it’s in storage so that it doesn’t become completely depleted.
When you return to drive your car again, reinstall the battery, check all fluids, make sure that no rodents have gotten into the car, and inflate the tires if needed. Before scooting away, don’t forget also to let your vehicle idle for several minutes.
Looking for new storage insurance for your vehicle? Need to re-examine a current policy? Call Brian Van De Hey Insurance today, or stop in at your convenience to learn more.