Headed away on an extended vacation? Leaving for college or military deployment? Retiring and won’t be driving anymore? Moving south for the winter?
All of these situations necessitate long-term storage of your vehicle. If you don’t plan on driving for several months or longer, however, it’s best to properly store your vehicles opposed to just parking it on the street or in your garage.
In this article, we take a look at essential vehicle storage tips as well as how to handle your insurance for the duration of time that your vehicle is being stored.
Essential Vehicle Storage Tips
#1: Ensure you have comprehensive insurance coverage.
All vehicles that are being stored long-term need to have comprehensive insurance coverage.
Let’s say that you stored your convertible for the winter while you were in Florida. You had it in your garage in Wisconsin, but there was a big winter storm while you were away that caused your garage roof to collapse. There was a tremendous amount of damage done to your vehicle. Without comprehensive insurance coverage, none of this damage would be covered, and you would, unfortunately, need to pay out of pocket.
Nearly all types of damage that could occur to your car while it is being stored will be covered under comprehensive coverage.
IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT COLLISION COVERAGE: Even though it may be tempting to remove collision and liability coverage from your auto insurance policy, remember that this may not be possible, especially if you still have a loan on your vehicle. That is, loan lenders will not allow you to remove collision coverage, generally speaking. Furthermore, if you consider how long your car will actually be in storage and what you’d really save per month by removing this type of insurance, it may turn out that the savings isn’t worth the trouble and time.
#2: Find the right location for your vehicle.
Naturally, it’s best to be able to store your vehicle in your closed garage while you don’t need it, but this isn’t always possible if it’s a second vehicle, a collectors car, an RV, etc. Therefore, in these situations, you’ll need to either rent out a storage space for your vehicle or ask a friend or relative if they have an indoor building where you can store it. It’s best to find a place that is safe from the elements and rodents and pests.
#3: Prep your vehicle.
In order that your vehicle is in perfect working condition when you return to it in the future, take the following steps:
- Change the oil and the air filter.
- Fill up all fluids in your vehicle, including antifreeze, steering wheel fluid, coolant, window shield wiper fluid, etc.
- Fill up the air in the tires. It’s okay to fill them up to their maximum capacity. Tires naturally deflate while a car is parked, but you’ll want to minimize this to avoid “flat spots.”
- Fill up the gas tank completely.
- Add something like STA-BIL (a fuel stabilizer) to the gas tank.
- Wash the outside of the vehicle.
- Wax the outside of the vehicle.
- Vacuum and clean the inside of the vehicle.
- Prevent infestation from mice and other rodents by dropping mothballs, cotton swabs soaked in peppermint oil, or fabric softener sheets in and around the car.
- If it’s possible, remove the vehicle’s battery and connect it to a battery tender (place the battery on a block of wood). If you can’t remove the battery, while it’s in the engine bay, you can still connect it to a battery tender.
For any questions you may have concerning long-term vehicle storage and your insurance, the experienced agents at Couri Insurance Agency are here to assist you. Give us a call today, or stop into our office to learn more.