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Car Storage: The Ultimate Car Storage and Parking Guide

Contents of Car Storage Guide

Car Storage and Parking

You car is one of your most valuable possessions. Personal transportation is so valuable, in fact, that the United States has the second largest automobile market in the world. While you likely put your vehicle to use daily, you may need to keep your motorized companion somewhere secure for extended periods of time in your absence. Or just find a place to park in the city where you work!

Keeping your car safe from thieves, weather, dust, and pests is very important, but not everybody has that kind of storage space available. That’s where Neighbor comes in. All you have to do is enter your zip code and you’ll be able to browse a list of car storage spaces available near you. Give it a try if you’re looking for car storage or parking in your area, or read on for tips and advice about storing your car.

Car Storage

 

What is Car Storage?

Car storage is a safe designated location to keep your car while you aren’t using it. Types of car storage can range from a simple parking space to a fully equipped indoor storage garage. Depending on your situation and how much money you are willing to spend, there are several storage types and amenities to consider. The way you choose to store your car can have a major impact on the vehicle’s lifespan and resale value, so it’s important to make an informed decision when selecting a storage space.

 

How can I Find Car Storage with Neighbor?

Neighbor makes it easy to find and book car storage near you. Unlike traditional self storage facilities, Neighbor connects people in need of storage space with other people who have extra room. Just type your location into the search bar and you’ll see a list of storage spaces in your area.

You can compare price, size, amenities, and location to find your ideal space. After you’ve selected your storage space, you can make a reservation request and get in touch with the host. Neighbor handles all the payments and provides a secure messaging platform for you to use.

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Why Should You Use Car Storage?

From long vacations to small driveways, there are several reasons people opt to use car storage. Below is a list of common circumstances in which you should consider car storage and what to look for in a storage space in each situation.

Moving/Relocation

The process of moving and settling into a new home can take months to complete. While you go through the process of switching homes, your vehicle might need a temporary place to stay. Car storage is a great option to relieve stress and make one less thing to worry about while relocating. If you decide to store your vehicle during your move, look for a flexible contract and outdoor/open lot storage to save money.

Remodeling/Building a Home

While building a home, or renovating your current home, you may need to get your car out of the way. Car storage will keep your vehicle safe and prevent any inconvenience at the job site. If you still plan to use your car during construction on your home, the most important thing to look for in a storage space is accessibility. Look for a space located close to your home with 24/7 access.

Frequent Traveling

More time spent traveling abroad means less time using your vehicle and being able to keep an eye on it. Instead of making your car a prime target for thieves and leaving it exposed to the elements, keep it safely tucked away in a secure storage space. Look for a space with 24/7 access, so you can retrieve your car at your leisure, and updated security features.

Minimalist Lifestyles

Living a minimalist life means living in a smaller space with fewer possessions. While downsizing can save you money and lead to a happier life, it may leave you struggling to find space for your vehicle. Car storage is the perfect minimalist solution to meeting transportation needs with limited vehicle storage space. Convenience and simplicity are key when storing your car to keep clutter out of your life. Look for a storage space near your home, preferably within walking or biking distance, with 24/7 access.

Business Trips

Going away for weeks or months on business trips means your car will be neglected while you are away. The best solution to this is to find short-term storage near the airport to keep your car safe while you are away and easy to pick up when you return. Look for airport storage lots or nearby off-airport lots to keep your car in while you are out on business.

Winter Car Storage

Winter months bring a slew of potential dangers to your vehicle. Precipitation and extreme cold can damage your car, and road salt can cause rust and corrosion. You can protect your car from the elements and prolong its lifespan by using winter car storage. You should look for a climate controlled indoor space to keep your vehicle safe during the winter and purring once again when spring comes.

Car Parking For Work

You might live in a city where car parking is literally non existent. Like any big city the parking is probably $20-$50 a day which adds up to be more expensive than car storage lots. You might as well rent out a storage space and save a couple hundred every month when you commute to work.

Long Term Car Storage

Here you will find Neighbor has the cheapest car storage around with spots starting at just $35/month. If you just let your vehicle sit on the street then you may return to a damaged engine, flat tires, dead battery, or a bird's nest in your exhaust pipe.

Indoor Car Storage

What Vehicle Storage Amenities should I look for?

Depending on your car and your situation, there are a number of features you should look for in a storage space. Here is a brief guide to common vehicle storage amenities you can choose from.


24/7 Access Vehicle Storage

Most vehicle storage spaces allow 24/7 access, meaning you can come and go as you please. Several storage spaces also have an onsite manager or host for added security and convenience.


Climate Controlled Vehicle Storage

Climate control is important if you live in an area with extreme temperatures, precipitation, or humidity. This option is only available for indoor vehicle storage spaces.


Cheapest Car Storage

The price of car storage depends on the size of your vehicle, but typically the cheapest way to store a car is to use outdoor storage. Through Neighbor, you can find a variety of car storage options including outdoor and indoor spaces for less than $65 a month.


Car Storage Units with Electricity

Some indoor storage units also include electrical outlets for added convenience. Plan on dishing out more money every month if you choose a space with this extra perk.


Indoor Car Storage

Indoor covered car storage means your vehicle will be safely locked away in a garage-type space. These spaces are usually climate controlled, and provide the best protection from the elements. Storing your car inside a typical unit will protect it from sun, rain, dirt and dust, and other extreme temperatures and edge cases. You can even sometimes rent out a climate-controlled storage unit for your car.

If you need long-term storage for your car then the safest option is to rent out an indoor storage unit. an additional benefit is that you are getting an entire storage unit rather than just a parking space. So you can use it to store all your other belongings alongside your car. You will need a drive-up access vehicle storage unit though to make this work.

These units, although ideal, they are more expensive than renting an outdoor parking space for your car. Typically you can fit your car inside a 10x20 storage unit or within a 10x30 unit. 


Outdoor Car Storage

Outdoor car storage is an inexpensive way to store your vehicle, but your car will be more exposed to the elements than with indoor storage. This type of storage space is usually a driveway or other paved area where you can park your car. Some outdoor storage spaces also have covers or carports for additional protection.

This type of vehicle storage is typically the least expensive and is usually just a parking spot on the facility premises. Or if you are renting with Neighbor then this is an RV pad on the side of someones house or a parking spot within their garage. Storage facilities don't care very much about these spaces so they are just a paved area on the outskirt of the facility grounds so they they aren't under a roof or in a building. 

Although these are the cheapest vehicle storage units around they are also the ones that can cause the most damage to your vehicle because your car is subject to the weather and other elements. See our guide below about how to protect your car while in storage.


Open Lot Car Storage

Open lot car storage is a field or other open area where you can park your car. This type of storage won’t offer your vehicle any more protection from the elements than parking it in your backyard, but you can count on the extra security.


Airport Car Storage Lots

Airports offer various types of storage lots to accommodate travelers. You can choose from daily, short-term, long-term, or valet parking to store your vehicle while you travel. In addition to the airport’s car storage options, private storage lots near the airport called off-airport lots can be used for long-term car storage.


Car Storage Security Features

One of the most important features in a storage space is security. All storage spaces are equipped with basic protection like fences and locks, while some offer access codes, security cameras, and 24/7 surveillance.

Mini Cooper - Car Storage

Vehicle Storage Sizes and Sizing Guide

Car storage comes in a variety of sizes to suit a wide range of vehicles. Consider the size of your car along with any accessories you plan to store with your vehicle before booking your space. Below is a guide to common car storage sizes and the types of vehicles best fit for each space.


10x10 Vehicle Storage

10x10 storage spaces are perfect for motorcycles and very small cars. Most cars will be too large to fit in this small space, and there will be minimal room for accessory storage. Types of cars best suited for this space: Motorcycles, mini electric cars, micro-cars


10x20 Vehicle Storage

A 10x20 storage space is half the size of a regular 2-car garage and will hold most cars. You will only need to upgrade to a larger space if you have an extraordinarily long vehicle or plan to store large items along with your car. Types of cars best suited for this space: Sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks


10x30 Vehicle Storage 

Only extremely large or specialty vehicles will require a 10x30 storage space. This size of storage space is ideal for storing accessories in addition to a large vehicle. Types of cars best suited for this space: Large trucks, large vans


10x30+ Vehicle Storage

If you plan to store furniture and appliances along with your large vehicle, or more than one vehicle, look into getting a 10x30+ storage space. This will leave you plenty of space to park two cars and store other large items. Types of cars best suited for this space: Multiple cars, extra large trucks, specialty vans

Ferrari in Storage

Preparing Your Car for Long Term Storage

Everyone needs to store a vehicle for an extended period of time at some point in their lives. Maybe you have a convertible that you love to drive through the canyon, but you live in rainy Seattle. Or maybe you are leaving for an extended vacation or a sabbatical from work and you plan to travel for months at a time. Or maybe you are going on a service mission abroad and want to downsize your belongings before leaving. Whatever the reason for you time away you will need to put it into storage.

Neighbor has spaces starting at just $35/month! You will want to put it into storage so you don’t return to a damaged and broken car in need of repair. These following tips will preserve the live of the engine and you can rest assured that it will start when you return to it.

Wash Your Car

It may seem odd to clean your car before putting it into storage for months at a time. But it only takes 5 minutes and should not be neglected. Clean out the inside as well as washing the outside. Stains, bird droppings, or other messes left on the outside of your car can cause paint damage. Clean the wheels and the underside of the car of all mud, grease, dirt, etc. For added protection, wax the car so it stays nice and shiny throughout storage.

Use a Car Cover

Obviously the ideal place to store your vehicle is within a garage. That will protect it from elements and keep it at a semi constant temperature that isn’t prone to huge fluctuations. If you don’t have garage then you can find storage with Neighbor at 50% the price of traditional public car storage facilities. Regardless where you store your vehicle you need to invest in a car cover. This will keep the car dry, clean, and protected from the elements.

Change the Oil

If you are storing your car for less than three weeks then you may want to skip this step and save some money. However, if you are storing for longer than 30 days then you need to get it serviced so as to not damage the engine while in storage.

Top Off the Gas Tank

This is another essential long-term car storage tip. Fill the tank all the way to the top. This will keep the seals from drying out and if you purchase fuel stabilizer you will protect the engine from gum, varnish, and rust.

Keep The Battery Charged

The battery will lose it’s charge if you don’t have someone start the car every 2-3 weeks and drive it around for 10-15 minutes. This will in essence allow the car to stretch its legs and keep the engine and other components running correctly. If you can’t arrange for someone to care for you car then you can disconnect the negative battery cable. You will lose a few settings like your radio presets, time, or other things. The alternative is to purchase a battery tender or a trickle charger. This device hooks up to your battery and plugs into an wall outlet. This keeps your battery alive and well while you are gone.

Don't Use the Parking Brake

Definitely do not use the parking brake when you leave your car in storage. The brake pads are not made to make contact with the rotors for long periods of time and there is a chance they could fuse together. The solution is to purchase a tire stopper, also called a chock and prevent the car from moving. RV’s tend to use these all the time.

Prevent Misshapen Tires

Inflate your tires to 3-5 PSI’s above the recommended tire pressure for your tires. This will allow them to not sink as the car settles over time. If the vehicle is left for to long a period then it could develop flat spots on the tires from the weight of the vehicle. This process occurs at a faster rate in cold temperatures. An alternative solution to this problem is using a jack stand on all four corners of your car and then storing your tires within the truck of your car.

Keep The Bugs Out

Garages are perfect for this problem. However, the best solution to preventing damage by bugs and rodents is to block and cover your car and any holes that might allow them to hide. Like the headlights, exhaust pipe, air intakes, or other gaps. Steel wool also works well to protect these areas. Mothballs and cotton swabs dipped in peppermint oil will help drive mice away. You can even lay down poison or traps if it is an enclosed space.

Maintain Insurance

You just never know when you what can happen. Keep your car insured because if anything were to happen you will wish you had it covered by insurance. In the long run this is extremely affordable unless rates are raised. Then you may want to reconsider keeping your insurance.


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Preparing Your Car for Indoor Storage

Although your car will be safe from the elements indoors, you still need to take some basic preparation measures to assure your vehicle is ready to go when you retrieve it from storage.

Clean it Out

Remove any trash and vacuum out the interior of your car. Pests are drawn to food and organic materials, so do a thorough cleaning.

Disengage the Parking Brake

Leaving your parking brake on can cause serious damage to your car’s brake system. Take the parking brake off, and use wheel chocks to hold your car in place.

Remove Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers can dry out and crack or leave sticky residue on your windshield if left untouched. Remove the wipers and store them separately to avoid the trouble.

Top Off Fluids

Make sure the brake fluid, wiper fluid, and transmission fluid are all clean and full.

Seal Windows and Doors

Double check to make sure your windows are rolled up and doors closed tightly before storage.

Take Care of the Tires

If you aren’t able to drive your car frequently while it’s in storage, use jacks to support your vehicle and take the weight off your tires. This will prevent flat spots and other tire damage.

Broken Down Rusty Car Parking

Preparing Your Car for Outdoor Storage

Storing your car outdoors can result in serious damage to the tires, paint, and interior systems if you don’t take the necessary steps to protect your vehicle. Prepare your car to withstand the elements with a few simple tasks.

Wash and Wax

Any debris left on the outside of your vehicle will turn to rust and cause exterior corrosion. Thoroughly wash your car to remove dust and then wax it for extra protection against debris and sunlight.

Touch Up Paint

Cover any scratches or scrapes on your car exposing bare metal. Exposure to the elements could make these scratches worse and damage the aluminum body of your car.

Invest in a Car Cover

A cover will protect your car from the elements, sunlight, and dust. Tightly secure the cover over your vehicle before storing it.

Plug Any Openings

Dust and pests can access your car through any openings on the outside. Be sure to plug any uncovered opening starting with the exhaust pipe.

Set the AC to Recirculate

To keep bugs out of your HVAC ducts, set your car’s AC to the recirculate setting. This will help seal your vents from the outside.

Full Grease Service

Grease your car’s steering and suspension systems prior to storage. This will prevent seals and other rubber components from drying out.


Preparing Your Car for Winter Storage

Taking the time to prepare your vehicle for winter is crucial, especially in areas with extreme weather and temperatures. Performing a few simple maintenance duties beforehand can save you a lot of money in repair work later on.

Over-Inflate Your Tires

Your car tires can develop flat spots over a period of time, especially if exposed to cold temperatures. You can avoid this by over-inflating your tires or using blocks to prop your car.

Change the Oil

The contaminants in used oil could corrode your engine during long-term storage. Replace the oil and filter with a fresh set before tucking your vehicle away for the winter.

Fill the Fuel Tank

You can avoid condensation damage in your fuel tank by topping off your fuel and adding a fuel stabilizer before storing your vehicle.

Disconnect the Battery

Preserve the life of your battery by disconnecting it. If you are storing your vehicle outdoors, remove the battery and store it in a climate controlled space.

Empty Wiper Fluid

Drain your windshield wiper fluid tank to prevent freezing and cracking in the hoses.

Refresh Coolant

Top off your coolant system to keep your engine system safe from freezing temperatures. Be sure to dilute antifreeze to the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Lubricate

Thoroughly greasing the joints on your car will prevent freezing and sticking during winter months.

Motorcycle in a Long Term Storage Unit

Taking Your Car Out of Storage

If your car has been in storage for a long period of time, you’ll need to perform a few maintenance tasks before your beloved vehicle is roadworthy again. These basic tasks will ensure your car is in good condition before you take it out for a spin.

Check for Any Sign of Pests

Look under the hood for any chewed wires or hoses left by rodents. After ensuring your car is pest-free, remove the materials you used to plug outside openings.

Check Tires

Be sure your tires haven’t developed flat spots, and inflate them to the proper PSI.

Inspect Your Brakes

Look for rust or any other sign of corrosion in your brake system. Treat and replace as necessary.

Check Fluid Levels

Make sure your vehicle does not have any leaks and has not lost any fluid. Top off any fluids as necessary.

Reconnect the Battery

Be sure your battery terminals are clean, and reinstall the battery in your vehicle.

Give it a Wash

Wash your car to remove any dirt and debris that may have built up during its time in storage.


Average Car Storage Prices Near You

Car Storage Unit Size Average Car Storage Price Neighbor's Lowest Price
10 x 10 $100 $55
10 x 20 $125 $75
10 x 30 $150 $100
10 x 30+ $150+ $120+

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Neighbor Car Storage FAQs

Should I get car storage insurance?

Before selecting a car storage space, check your current insurance policy to see if it will cover theft or damage that occurs while your vehicle is in storage. If your current policy does not cover storage, it’s a good idea to purchase car storage insurance to protect your vehicle.

What happens if I make late payments?

With Neighbor’s automated payment system, you won’t have to worry about making late payments. Your payment will automatically be charged to your credit card every month for the duration of your rental.

Will I ever be evicted?

There are three reasons you would be evicted from your storage space.

  1. If you fail to update your credit card information and your monthly payment does not go through.
  2. If you are storing items that are illegal or against Neighbor’s terms of service.
  3. If you use your storage space inappropriately.

To avoid eviction, keep your credit card information up-to-date and make sure you understand which items are not allowed in your storage space.

What do I need on move-in day?

When moving into your storage space, you’ll need to bring some paperwork along with your car. The important papers you need are your car license and title to prove the vehicle is legal. Keep these papers with you during move in.

What should I expect from a host on Neighbor?

Throughout the searching, booking, and storing process, you can expect the utmost courtesy and respect from a host. A host should be prompt to communicate with you and easy to set up a move-in time with. Throughout the duration of your rental, you can expect 24/7 access or easy-to-schedule appointments to access your stuff. A host will be protective of your items because they are protective of their home.

Is the price guaranteed for the duration of my rental?

Although your contract will be month-to-month, a host won’t be able to increase the price during your rental. You are guaranteed the same price from the first month to the last month (whenever that may be).

Find Car Storage Near You Today!

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