When a vehicle is not going to be used for an extended period of time, you may decide to put it into storage. For example, if you are leaving town and won’t need your car for months, storing it may be your best option. You may also choose to store a seasonal vehicle when it isn’t in use.
Regardless of why you choose to store a vehicle, you should always take steps to make sure the vehicle is protected from all types of loss and damage while it is off the road. Below is some information to help you prepare your vehicle for short-term or long-term storage.
Practical Issues with Vehicle Storage
The first thing you need to consider when preparing to store a vehicle is the storage location. Many people choose to store vehicles on their property or the property of a friend. While this is an affordable option, it may not be the safest choice. Depending on the security of the area, your vehicle may be vulnerable to vandalism or theft. In addition, if the location doesn’t offer adequate protection from the elements, your vehicle may sustain damage in storms. This can be especially problematic in the winter months. For this reason, it may be worth the money to opt for a rented storage unit instead.
Tips for Preparing the Vehicle
Once you have chosen the proper location, you need to prepare the vehicle to be stored. For example, you will need to check all of the vehicle’s fluid levels and make sure they are within normal limits before you put the vehicle away. It is also a good idea to make sure the fuel tank is full and add a stabilizing additive to prevent the fuel from breaking down while the vehicle is out of use.
While your car is in storage, it is important to start it on a regular basis to prevent the battery from losing charge. If starting the vehicle regularly isn’t possible, consider disconnecting the negative battery cable or purchasing a battery tender instead.
Cars left in storage are always vulnerable to damage from small animals, such as mice. Remember to protect your vehicle by checking for and addressing any spaces that could allow these animals to enter it and cause damage. You may also be able to reduce the risk of animal damage by surrounding your vehicle with mothballs.
If a vehicle is in storage, it may not need the same type of insurance coverage it needs when it is in operation. As long as you don’t have an auto loan that requires you to maintain collision coverage, for example, you may be able to suspend your collision policy while your vehicle is in storage. However, you should keep comprehensive coverage on the vehicle to protect against other types of losses, such as losses due to theft or fire.
Once you are ready to take the vehicle out of storage and begin driving it again, remember to tell your agent to reinstate any coverage you suspended. Otherwise, you may not be covered in the event of an accident.
The best way to make sure you have adequate coverage in any situation is to talk to an agent. To discuss your insurance needs or to learn more, please contact Frydach Insurance today.