When it comes to storing a car in the UK, finding a suitable place can be an absolute nightmare. There are so many different companies to choose from, all offering a solution to suit a wide range of budgets. But apart from the cost what else should you be considering before putting your car into storage?
The most important aspect of car storage is security. There’s no point going to the time and trouble of storing your car if it’s not going to be somewhere secure. Not only do you need to insure that your pride and joy or investment is going to be safe from theft, you also need to make sure that it is safe from accidental damage. Door dings, damage form nearby building work and damage to soft tops from a leaking roof have all been reported from owners who have put their cars into storage.
The majority of car storage facilities advertise, however it’s the ones that keep their location private or out of the public domain which are the best ones to choose. Basically, the less people who know it’s there, the better.
The levels of security will of course depend on your budget. If you’ve just imported a rare or classic supercar, then you will no doubt need top notch security. However if you’re just looking to keep your summer whip out of the worst of the winter weather, then a padlock will probably be enough.
Ideally, look for somewhere that has guarded access, either through a keycode or a card system. This will usually be in the form of an outer compound before reaching your actual storage location which will probably be secure enough with just a padlock. Ideally looks for a place that has it’s own security or at least other business on the premises, as this means that there will be plenty of people around to spot suspicious-looking people and therefore deter thieves.
If you’re on a shoestring, then a neighbour’s garage may prove to be equally as secure. It will no doubt be local, and there is less chance of your car being stolen form a residential area due to the fact that there is less opportunity for a long break-in, or a theft going unnoticed for any significant period of time.
Of course, the cost of your storage facility is one of the most important factors to consider. The average rice in the UK can vary from £40 per month all the way up to £300. The best thing to do is weigh up your options and decide what’s best for you, as well as the potential extra costs you could incur by picking what looks like the cheaper option.
An empty farmer’s barn may sound like a cheap and heerful place to store your car, but what if mice are able to access it? Or what if your car gets damaged by a falling bike or ladder in a friend’s garage? In any such scenario, th cost of the repairs would negate any saving that you made in monthly storage fees. When it comes to storing acar, it’s best to pay what you can afford not what you’d like to.
It’s always best to find somewhere as local as possible to store your car, as it simply isn’t cost or time effective to be driving for many miles every time you need to pick up or drop off your car. Although some car storage companies will offer a collection and return service, you can expect that this will come at a cost. As you will likely be using public transport to get too and from your car storage location, it’s always useful to find one that has excellent transport links, such as busses and trains.
Whenever there’s a car involved, insurance is always an issue. If you intend to put your car into a storage location, then you will need to let your insurance company know that you no longer keep it at home. It’s also important to make sure that the place where you ae keeping your car also has their own insurance against total loss just in case one of the above unlikely scenarios were ever to occur.
Although it is absolutely fine to leave a car to be stored for months on end, it’s no good at all for the battery. The obvious thing to do when storing your car is to disconnect the battery, but even a disconnected battery will over time lose all of it’s power if unused for long periods of time.
Keeping a battery connected will cause it to drain considerable quicker, as electricity is always being drawn from the battery for ancillaries such as ignitions and alarms.
Most reputable car storage places offer trickle charging so that your var’s battery will always be connected and conditioned keeping it topped up and in full working order, ready to go as soon as you need it.
Again, trickle charging is a cost to the storage company, which will therefore be passed on to you perhaps with a profit added on top. So it’s definitely something to bear in mind.
Keeping a car stored for long periods of time won’t be great for its overall health. Cars are machines which are designed to be used often. Oil needs to circulate various parts within the engine bay, and tyres will develop flat spots if a car is left in the same place for too long a time. Many car storage companies offer active maintenance, whereby they will run your car and move it in order to prevent such things from happening. Again, this will no doubt be at additional cost so make sure you budget for this if this is something that you will require.
As you can see when it comes to storing a car there are a few things to consider. It’s not always about finding the cheapest place possible. You may be able to save a few pounds of month by skipping one of the above aspects, but if things don’t go to plan then it could end up costing you a lot more in the long run.