You may need to put your vehicle into storage for any number of reasons. For example, your vehicle may not be drivable during harsh Indiana winters, or you may plan on being away for an extended period of time. Many Hoosiers travel south for the winter and don’t bring their cars.
Regardless of why, it’s important always to make certain considerations when putting your vehicle into storage. Below, we’ll give you some tips on how to safely store your car, and we’ll also discuss what you should do with your auto insurance while your vehicle is not in use.
Safely Storing Your Vehicle Long-Term
The first thing to consider when storing your vehicle is location. You want to choose a storage property that isn’t too expensive, but that is completely secure. Because winters can get nasty and snow can accumulate in Indiana (if you’re storing your car in the winter), it’s a good idea to keep your vehicle indoors if possible.
If you don’t have room in an outbuilding or garage of your own and if you can’t find a friend or relative who can offer up some of their space, you might consider a rented storage facility. Always consider the cost, safety, and security of the location you choose.
Your next consideration should concern insurance. It’s a good idea to think about removing certain parts of your insurance coverage while your car is in storage and won’t be driven, but there are several key things to keep in mind:
- First, collision coverage is usually the coverage car owners don’t want when a car isn’t being driven. But remember that if you have a loan on your vehicle, collision coverage may be required by your lender (whether it’s being driven or not).
- Next, you should also remember that the duration of time your vehicle will be in storage will impact how much you will actually save by removing collision coverage. Removing a portion of your insurance can be a somewhat lengthy process, and you may only end up saving a few dollars. You have to consider whether you’d rather save a few dollars or save your time.
- Finally, remember that comprehensive insurance should never be removed. Fire, vandalism, theft, and all other losses that are covered by comprehensive coverage could happen at any time, whether your car is consistently being driven or in storage.
Preparing Your Vehicle Before & After Storage
Here are several steps you should take before putting your vehicle in storage:
- Fill up the gas tank and all other fluids, including antifreeze.
- Change the oil and put in a clean air filter.
- Remove the battery if possible and connect to a battery tender.
- Put fabrics sheets and mothballs in and around your vehicle to protect it from pests like mice.
- Thoroughly clean your vehicle inside and out (small stains and debris can worsen over time). Dry and wax your vehicle properly.
- Fill up the tires to avoid “flat spots.”
- Put your vehicle in park and turn the wheels, but do not use the parking brake.
- Fill up the gas tank and add a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL.
Once you are ready to return to your vehicle and take it out of storage to be driven again, remember these tips:
- Always give your vehicle a visual inspection inside and out.
- Fill up the air in the tires if necessary
- Reinstall the battery.
- Always let the vehicle idle to warm up before going anywhere.
- Check fluids and top off or change any that need it.
If you have questions about obtaining the correct auto insurance while your vehicle is in storage, please speak to one of our friendly and experienced agents at Luxor Insurance.