Restoring classic cars is a serious hobby. If you've spent your time, effort, and money restoring a car—or are fortunate enough to have the funds to buy one—you definitely want to make sure you store it properly. Many classic car insurance policies require that you store the vehicle in private, indoor car storage. Insurance companies tend to have three specific classic car storage options in mind that they consider appropriate. We'll go over those here, plus leave you with some long-term car storage tips to keep your collector's vehicle in top shape.
Classic Car Storage Facilities
Collector car storage units are the ideal place to store your vehicle. Storage units that have been designed for vehicles are described as "drive up," so you can drive your vintage car right up to the unit, park it inside, close the garage-like door, and lock it. Car storage units are very similar to residential garages, as they entirely enclose your automobile to protect it from the wind, rain, snow, and damaging sun rays.
Some indoor car storage units are climate controlled, so exterior temperature fluctuations won't affect the environment inside the unit. That's a valuable feature when you are storing a classic car, as heat, cold, and humidity can all affect various elements of your car, including the paint, upholstery, tires, engine, and more. Being able to control the climate is one of the best car storage tips, helping to ensure that a vintage car in mint condition stays that way.
Another insurer-approved classic car storage option is to use a private building, like an outbuilding on your property, a specially built shelter for your car, or even a barn. Though a barn will work well to keep an antique car under cover from precipitation and wind, it offers little else in the way of protection. Temperatures can fluctuate, and humidity will rise and fall with the weather. You may need to make some renovations and adjustments in order to prevent theft, and to prevent rodents and animals from getting in. While you may think a barn or other outbuilding can save you on classic car storage rates, you could end up paying more to repair and maintain your vehicle.
Alternatively, you could follow Jerry Seinfeld's lead and build your own customized, climate-controlled "home" for your vintage automobiles. He has nearly 50 Porsches, and the $1.5 million price tag for constructing his private car storage is definitely out of the range of most collectors. However, you may be able to create a more affordable design—or you just might find it cheaper to rent a storage unit.
You may have a beautiful garage attached to your home—why not use it to house your classic car? After all, you'll probably have plenty of light and space, and you can check in and work on your vehicle whenever you'd like. The truth is, parking your collector's car in your residential garage is better than leaving it out in the elements, but it isn't ideal. However, insurance companies will accept residential garages for classic car storage, so it is a convenient option.
While vehicle storage rates are lowest (free!) in a residential garage, keep in mind that using your garage will displace other items such as tools and equipment, patio furniture, the kids' bikes, and your everyday automobile. And, while garages typically stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer than a barn or outbuilding, they're not usually climate-controlled. Some newer homes do have climate-controlled garages, having been built with the idea of using them as workshops, so if your garage falls into that category, consider yourself lucky!
How to Properly Store a Classic Car
There are a few maintenance items to check off before putting your classic car in long-term car storage. Once you've found classic car storage near you, have your vehicle tuned up to ensure that it is in good condition, and take care of any required repairs. Check the tires for optimum pressure, and put the car on a stand to take the weight off of them. Then, detail it, inside and out. Hand wash and wax the exterior, vacuum the interior, and wipe down and treat all of the surfaces inside with leather conditioner or vinyl protectant, whichever is appropriate for your car. Finally, remove the battery once it is parked in the storage unit.
Not only can you park your classic car in a storage unit, but it is usually the best choice in order to keep your car in prime condition, especially if the unit is climate-controlled. CubeSmart is happy to help you find the self storage that's right for you.