There are plenty of reasons to store a car, truck, RV, or another motorized vehicle. Dealers often store extra inventory off-site, while drivers may need to put their motorhomes in storage during the off-season to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. There are plenty of storage options available, so read on to find seven tips that will help drivers choose the right one.
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Ask About Storage Capacity
Many vehicle storage facilities cater only to private drivers, which means they don’t usually have a lot of space for storing multiple vehicles. That’s fine for a consumer who wants to store a track car for the winter when it won’t be used, but it’s not very convenient for dealers, mechanics, and others who need to store dozens of cars. ACERTUS is a great option for those who want to store multiple vehicles since they have over 50 lots across North America capable of accommodating dozens to hundreds of cars.
Determine Whether Indoor Storage Is Necessary
Some self-storage companies, parking garages, and other facilities offer indoor storage for cars, trucks, and even RVs. It costs a lot more to store a vehicle indoors than it does to use an outdoor lot, though, so think carefully about whether it’s really necessary. Consider the average climate where the vehicle will be stored, its value, and its size.
Some compact cars and sports cars can fit in a 10 x 15 storage unit. Small vans, trucks, and SUVs may fit in a 10 x 20 storage unit. The prices for renting these units are usually reasonable. If a driver wants to store a full-size class A RV indoors, on the other hand, he or she will have to find a specialized facility and will likely have to pay substantially more for the privilege of protecting the vehicle from the elements.
As a general rule, indoor storage is only worth the money if drivers want to store antique vehicles, high-end sports cars, or other exceptionally valuable vehicles. Most cars, trucks, vans, and RVs will be perfectly fine in an outdoor lot, even in the winter.
Find Out About Security
Never store a vehicle in an unsecured lot. It’s just asking for trouble. Instead, call the storage facility and ask about security. At a minimum, it should be adequately fenced and have a gate that features a digital entry pad. Drivers should be able to access their stored vehicles without having to worry about who else could do so while they are away.
Car dealers and others whose livelihoods rely on the ability to keep their vehicles safe shouldn’t stop there. Look for a storage company that keeps a security guard on-site. This will dissuade potential car thieves and ensure that a trained professional is available to deal with any break-ins.
Determine a Budget
Drivers should figure out what they can afford to spend on storage before looking into options. Those who want to find budget options should rule out indoor storage, which tends to be much more expensive. Some facilities offer covered car storage, which may be a better choice for those who don’t have much money to spend. Covered car storage protects vehicles from snow, rain, hail, and sun damage, but it doesn’t cost as much as indoor storage. This is a good, budget-friendly option for drivers who live in areas known for their harsh winters.
Ask About Additional Services
Vehicle storage companies that cater to car dealers sometimes offer maintenance services. Choosing a company that will perform oil changes and repairs while the vehicles are being stored saves dealers time and money by ensuring that used cars will be roadworthy upon delivery.
Those who prefer one-stop shopping may also be able to get help with title and registration corrections, inspections, inter-state transfers, title searches, replacement credentials, and more from the same reliable professionals who provide short-term or long-term car storage. These comprehensive service providers often offer vehicle transport as well, which makes dealing with the logistics of getting multiple cars, trucks, vans, or SUVs from storage to the lot less of a headache.
Inquire About Insurance
When car dealers and drivers choose a professional storage company that offers on-site security and guarantees of protection against the elements, they should have nothing to worry about when it comes to theft or damages. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ask for proof of insurance, though. In the unlikely event that something goes wrong, vehicle owners need to ensure that their assets will be protected.
If the facility manager refuses to provide proof of insurance, that should be considered a serious red flag. Find a company that is happy to provide a certificate of insurance with the agent’s contact information, then follow up on it. Potential customers can also request the declarations page of the insurance policy they are trying to verify.
Don’t Store Vehicles with Friends
Have a friend with plenty of space in his or her driveway? It may be tempting to pay a few dollars a month or just ask for a favor to park an unused car, truck, or RV on a friend’s property, but it’s never a good idea. No matter how well-intentioned the property owner is, he or she won’t be able to provide assurances of security and vehicle safety.
If something goes wrong, it can quickly create a rift in an otherwise amicable relationship. Saving a little money isn’t worth losing a good friend, nor is it worth experiencing expensive damage to a vehicle.
The Bottom Line
Drivers and car dealers alike have plenty of options when it comes to storing vehicles off-site. Choosing the right one requires careful consideration of everything from the vehicle’s value to the driver’s budget, how many cars he or she needs to securely store, and what the local climate is like. The top priority for both drivers and storage facility managers should always be the safety of the vehicle, so it’s worth spending a little extra money for a secure storage site and, if the vehicle is exceptionally valuable, some form of protection from the elements.