A Complete Guide To Storing A Car In A Self-Storage Unit

When we think of self-storage, we usually think of finding a place to keep boxes, furniture, and other standard household belongings that we don’t need right now.

But what if the thing you need to store most of all right now is a car?

Many different circumstances can call for long-term storage of a vehicle. Maybe you want to store your car away during winter until better driving weather returns in the spring.

Or maybe you’re due to go on an extended vacation, a temporary relocation for work, or simply need a space you can work on fixing up your vehicle.

Car and motorcycle storage works the same way as regular storage, with various options available to help ensure that your car stays protected when it’s not in use.

It’s important to understand that storing a vehicle for an extended time takes specific steps to keep it safe and protected while in storage.

But what exactly are these prep-work tasks, and how do you maintain the condition of your vehicle when it’s in storage? Well, keep reading to find out!

In this blog, we’ve shared our ultimate guide to preparing and maintaining your vehicle for self-storage.

How to prepare and maintain your car for storage

Ahead of storing a car, you’ll need to take the proper steps to prevent any damage that might occur. This is the key to sustaining both its performance and physical appearance during the weeks, months, or even years it’s in storage.

To prepare and maintain your car for its time in a storage unit, we recommend the following steps:

Clean inside and outside your car

The first step in preparing your vehicle for self-storage is giving it a thorough clean and wax. Substances such as bird droppings and water stains can damage your car’s paint if left to sit for a long time.

Fill your fuel tank at least halfway

Filling your fuel at least halfway will ensure your car runs as usual when you take it out of storage. With enough fuel, you can drive your car home without any hassle.

Keep the battery charged

Ideally, you should have someone start and drive the car for about fifteen minutes every two weeks. This will keep the battery charged and prevent damage to tires if you can’t elevate them.

Change your oil

Used engine oil can contain contaminants that could damage your engine. If you have plans to store your vehicle for more than a month, change the oil to be safe.

Elevate your tyres with jacks

Remember to protect your tyres. Moving the car’s total weight on the tyres can cause permanent flat spots. Consider removing the tyres and placing the vehicle on blocks or jack stands.

How to prepare and maintain your motorcycle for storage

Similar to a car, motorcycle storage requires preparations and maintenance.

Below, you’ll find some helpful tips and tricks that will help keep your motorcycle safe and protected during the time you’ll spend apart.

Take care of the fuel

Like a car, leaving fuel in the tank of your motorbike can cause corrosion and damage your fuel system. After the fuel empties, turn on your motorcycle and let it run until it begins to stall from lack of fuel.

Top off your oil and coolant

Unlike fuel, keeping oil in your engine is essential. Do not empty your oil before long-term storage. Even though you won’t be using your motorcycle, it’s still necessary to have proper lubrication inside your engine. This means the parts inside will be nicely cushioned and preserved.

Disconnect the battery

How you deal with your motorcycle’s battery will depend on how long you plan to store it. Connecting your battery to a battery tender can be helpful for short-term storage. For longer storage times, it’s a good idea to disconnect the battery entirely.

Elevate the tyres

When a motorcycle is left unused, it can wear down the tyres faster than if it was being used. This is why we recommend elevating both tyres during storage.

Cover it properly

No matter where you store your motorcycle, you must cover it adequately. Before placing a cover over it, take a lint-free cloth and wipe down your vehicle to remove any substances or dirt that could scratch it when the cover runs against it.

How to prepare and maintain your vintage car for storage

Taking care of a classic car in storage differs from looking after a new one. Due to their age and condition, old cars need lots of love and care.

When it comes to classic car storage, we recommend taking the following steps to preserve your car’s vintage appeal and avoid the breakdown of its original parts.

Give your car a clean, polish, and wax

To protect your classic vehicle from corrosion, you’ll need to ensure it’s free from dirt, moisture, and other substances. That means cleaning it thoroughly and waxing the paintwork to protect it.

Open the windows to ensure good circulation

To prevent bad smells from gathering in your car when unopened for weeks, it’s always a good idea to open the windows to let fresh air in. But keep in mind that mice and other small animals can get in through the windows, so ensure you’ve removed any crumbs or dirt in the car that will attract them.

Disconnect the battery

Just like a regular car, the battery of your classic car will slowly drain in power when not in use, so it’s a good idea to disconnect them to preserve its charge.

Check the fluid levels regularly

Turning on the ignition when your classic car is low on fluid could cause serious engine damage, so don’t forget to check the fluids regularly before cranking it up.

Treat rust spots with quality lubricant

Many classic cars have minor rust spots, which can quickly worsen if left unchecked. When your vehicle is stored for the winter, apply lubricant regularly to slow the spread of rust and help prevent further corrosion.

What to consider when looking for a self-storage solution?

When storing your vehicle, you’ll need to choose a suitable unit.

This is why it’s important to consider the following steps when selecting your self-storage space:


Think about how often and when you’re likely to need to access your vehicle. Only some self-storage facilities are open 24 hours a day, so if this is something you want, double-check that your chosen facility provides it.


If you need regular access to your car or motorcycle, you’ll want to choose a location near your home. But if you plan on being away for a long time, you can store at a facility outside your area.


Don’t forget to ensure the storage facility you’re interested in renting is one that fits your budget. Ask for quotes from a few companies and compare prices for the best deal.


Your vehicle is valuable, so it’s vital to store it with a reliable company with positive customer reviews.

Store your car with Self Storage Centre!

If you need a safe and secure location to store your vehicle on a short or long-term basis, then we’re the solution for you.

At Self Storage Centre, we’re proud to offer 24/7 security-monitored self-storage car units in Warrington and Winsford in Cheshire.

Whether you have an entire vintage car collection to store or a single car, we have the high-security storage solution you need.

If you’re interested in storing your vehicle at Self Storage Centre, please reach out today for an instant quote.

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