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Car Storage

Storage Units for Cars

If you’re looking for a place to park your car for a short period of time, then a self storage unit might be right for you. A self storage unit is perfect for those times when you need to leave your car for a day or two.

Storage units for vehicles come in many sizes and prices. Some are located outdoors, some are indoors and others are combination units.

Things change in our lives and sometimes we need to store a car or an RV for a month or longer. If you need somewhere to store your vehicle temporarily, self-storage centers are an excellent choice.

Whatever your reasons for storing a car may be, whether they’re short term or long term, your needs will determine which type of unit you eventually select.

There are three main types of car parking spaces available for vehicles: indoor, outdoor and outdoor covered.

Depending on personal preferences and/or budget constraints, each of these options has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Read on to learn about different types of vehicle storages and to find one near you.

 

Many Reasons for Storing a Car

There can be many reasons for why we need to store our cars and trucks. For example, seasonal or specialty cars may not be used for months at a time. Military deployments and college leave can cause vehicles to sit unused for long periods of time.

Your homeowner’s association may limit the number of vehicles allowed in your driveway. There isn’t enough space in the garage for everything we want to store.

Those who serve in the military, hotshot firefighters, travel nurses, or anyone else who works long hours away from their homes — each good examples of people who might be interested in renting vehicle garage instead of driving around looking for a spot.

If you own a classic car or sports car, you may also want to store them in self-service storage. Don’t let your vast automotive knowledge stop under the hood. Store your pride and joy properly so that it looks new for years. If you don’t have a large enough garage space at home, your next best option is to store it.

You can choose between indoor, outdoor, and outdoor covered vehicle parking spaces. There are pros and cons for each option depending on convenience, protection and costs.

Omaha storage pickup

Inside Vehicle Storage

First of all, will a car fit into a storage unit?Yes it will.

Drive-up self-service carports offer an indoor, garage-style parking space for vehicles. These spaces can vary in size to holding small cars, to large pickups trucks and even commercial vans.

They’re usually well insulated from outside weather conditions. They’re usually used for storing vehicles or other large items.

Some indoor car storage units can be climate-controlled, if you have a treasured car that needs that level of protection.

Drive-up access units provide excellent protection against theft and vandalism, making them ideal for long-term car storages, parking classic or sport cars, or parking vehicles considering the harsh weather conditions we have here.

 

Outside Vehicle Storage

Typically, this would be an open area on a storage unit property that isn’t covered or surrounded by anything. It would look just like an outdoor parking space located inside the storage center’s property, except that you can place a vehicle, boat, trailer or RV there.

Since your car is completely vulnerable to the elements, think about buying a car cover and only keeping a car that can withstand outdoor exposure

Uncovered parking is the most flexible option for storing cars. It’s also the cheapest. Uncovered parking spots are just regular parking spots inside the storage center. They don’t require any upfront costs, so they can be booked at relatively low prices. As the size gets bigger, the cost goes up.

These spaces can be quite large — so they’re often an excellent choice for RV owners or vehicle collectors who might need a larger space (or multiple) so nearby vehicles don’t touch each other.

 

Outside Covered Vehicle Storage

These are similar to outdoor carports, but they’re located outdoors and have covered canopies. This storage option provides partial protection from the elements, mainly the sun and snow.

However, your car might still be vulnerable to heavy wind gusts, torrential downpours, and extreme weather conditions. It’s a popular choice for protecting RVs because they’re so tall and long.

Covering your car is a step up from not covering your car in terms of protection for your vehicle. These parking spots have an overhead roof to shade the cars, much like carports for private homes.

These roofs provide good protection for days when there’s rain, snow or lots of sunlight. Make sure the height of the covered ceiling is tall enough for your car to fit under. Otherwise, you could find out too late that you’re not able to squeeze under — or worse yet, if your vehicle hits their ceiling there could be some major damage.

 

How Much Space do You Need to Store a Vehicle?

If you’re looking to store your car inside a storage space, you’ll want to choose a space that fits your vehicle. Remember to include your mirrors in the width — as those often stick out the most.

Here’s the typical length needed for the different vehicle sizes:

10 x 20 – This is long and wide enough for most coupes, shorter sedans, motorcycles and some recreational vehicles

10 x 25 – This storage unit works for longer sedans, small SUV’s, pickup trucks, boats on a trailer and short Class C RV’s.

10 x 30 – This includes large pickup trucks, large SUV’s, cargo vans, longer boats on a trailer, medium-sized Class C RV’s, small-sized Class A RV’s and medium-sized RV trailers.

8/10/12 x 40 – This is good for medium-sized Class A RV’s, longer Class C RV’s and long RV trailers

8/10/12 x 45/50 – This works for larger Class A RV’s and your longest RV trailers.

 

Important Vehicle Storage Criteria

Security

You need to know that the facility where you’re storing your vehicle is safe. Have your own criteria that you want electronic gates, video security systems and on-site managers. On site video monitoring can help you sleep at night knowing your vehicle is constantly being watched.

Convenient Access

It may be convenient for you if you’re located near the facility where you store your vehicle. You might want to consider whether they’re available during normal business hours.

Consider the Weather

The climate here plays a big part in deciding which kind of self-storage facility you choose. Since we have some harsh storms in the winter, storing your car inside is highly recommended.

Consider the Value of Your Car

The value of your car can help determine your budget for storage. If you’re looking for a way to keep your car at its best condition, you might be interested in climate control storage. Many people choose regular storage without climate controls and it works out well.

Climate Control

Does the climate control work properly? You’ll want a temperature that stays consistent throughout the year. And make sure the vents are working correctly.

 

New Trends in Vehicle Storage

The emerging private storage marketplace has made a change for many people who need to store a vehicle.

Imagine if you received a letter from the city stating you can no longer park your extra car on the driveway next to your home or you’ll get fined $500 and more – and starting in two weeks. Then out of the blue, you find a neighbor four houses down who needs extra money and is renting out a spot in their garage. Talk about great timing and convenient – I should know, because that’s exactly what happened.

The private storage marketplaces takes my story above and moves it up to the next level. If you want to make some money as a private storage host, you can rent out a spot in your garage, or in a storage shed, even part of a barn. If you want to rent with someone nearby, you just look online for spots on their private marketplace. It’s kind of like AirBNB for storage space

Here’s the most popular places for private storage:

Neighbor.com Neighbor.com is the largest online marketplace for private storage. They have many garage spaces and other creative spots for vehicle storage.

Storables.com Storables is another popular website for searching private storage units based on size, amenities, and proximity to major cities.

Storeatmyhouse.com StoreAtMyHouse offers hosts the opportunity to rent out storage space from their house, garage, and business. The StoreAtMyHouse website states that storage providers can make from $300 to $2,500 per year depending on location and storage size.

Private storage marketplaces can be very convenient and cost effective but you do need to remember that you’re working with storage amateurs. You might not have the access or security as seen with traditional storage centers. By all means, if you use this method be sure you have adequate insurance in place. You can see more about private storage marketplaces at our article here.

Top 3 Omaha Vehicle Storage Centers

1. Public Storage Center

Public Storage is located at 301 S 74th Street in Omaha.
Phone number 402-503-9360

2. Dino’s Storage

Dino’s Storage is located at 14650 W Maple Rd in Omaha.
Phone number 402-916-4441

3. StorageMart

StorageMart is located at 10921 Sapp Brothers Dr in Omaha.
Phone number 888-989-8917.

 

Getting your car ready for storage
Whether you store your car for a few months or a few years, these are the steps for taking care of your car prior to storing.

Preparing Your Car for Storage

Clean Your Car First

To prepare your vehicle for long or short term parking, first clean and wax your vehicle in. Keep an eye out for dust and dirt outside which could damage your car’s paint job over long period of times.

I like to use Meguiar’s wax to protect the paint and Turtle Wax chrome cleaner on any chrome.

To avoid musty smells from forming inside your vehicle during its time in storage, clean the interior thoroughly before storing it away.

To protect vinyl and plastic surfaces from hardening, use a protective cleaner. It’s easy to find really good vinyl wipes and leather conditioning wipes at your favorite auto center.

Regular Maintenance

Perform your regular scheduled maintenance on time — or even slightly ahead of time. Stored cars are usually valuable. Cars that are old or classic often hold sentimental value in addition to monetary value so you want the best care possible.

To maintain that value, it’s highly recommended that you thoroughly prep your car for storage by performing routine maintenance tasks, such as your oil change, check fluids including transmission, brake and power steering, check tire air pressure, put a gasoline stabilizer in the tank (my favorite is STA-BIL) and be sure to run the engine for at least five minutes right after filling.

Take Care of the Tires

My tire guy warned me about getting flat spots on the tires. When cars are parked in one place for too long (he told over two weeks), the tires can develop flat spots. They’re not a big problem, but they could cause temporary vibration and a rougher ride until the flat spots are worked out.

One way to avoid flat spots is to store your vehicle on jacks or use tire ramps when storing for long periods of time.

Another way is to drive your car once every two weeks and then place it back into storage — if that is an option.

Flat spots are usually temporary. They’re corrected over time with regular driving. If the flat spotting is severe, you might need to change tires. It’s best to avoid this problem if you can.

Consider Disconnecting the Battery

Disconnect the battery if storing for a long time. Remember it’s the black negative cable to disconnect first (and reconnect it last) and do it carefully so you don’t get a spark that could hurt the onboard computer.

Check the internet first just to be sure you’re disconnecting from your battery correctly. The same thing goes for jump starting a car, although I never do that as I prefer a portable car starter battery instead.

Cover Your Car

A fabric car cover protects your car from the elements by providing a shield between your automobile and the outside environment. It’s an inexpensive way to protect your paint from fading and maintain its original look.

Don’t Engage the Parking Brake

It’s common to use the parking brake whenever you have it sit for a while. But you should avoid using the parking brake when storing your vehicle.

If the parking brake is engaged while storing, there’s a risk of damaging the brake pads and rotors. If the brake pads and rotors are in close contact for a while, they could fuse together — especially during times of high humidity.

This could become a major safety issue when you drive the car again. And we all know how much it can cost to fix rotors and brake pads. It’s better to use tire stoppers to keep your car stable in storage.

Remember Where You Put the Car Keys

Keep a key with you and have an additional key in a secure place. If for some reason your car needs to be moved quickly — you’ll know exactly where to find the key. It’s embarrassing to be standing around trying to remember… where did I put that key?

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Should I Store My Car?

You don’t really have to worry too much if you just keep your car parked outside for a few months during a hot summer. If you want to store your car for three months or longer, somewhere indoors and out of the elements is a good idea.

Are there any differences between self storage and vehicle storage?

The answer is… it depends. As mentioned above, vehicle storage comes in three different options: outdoor parking space, covered outdoor parking space or an indoor storage unit. Typical storage units are also indoor and are similar to an indoor storage unit used for a vehicle.

Does climate control matter for storing my vehicle?

Most cars stored indoors aren’t climate controlled. If you have a really expensive classic vehicle to store, consider storing it at a climate-controlled showroom facility for between $500 and $1,400 per month. If that price seems way too expensive, you may want to consider storing your vehicle in a non climate-controlled storage facility.

What is the cost to store my car?

A car storage unit can be reasonably priced especially considering this can help maintain the current value of your car. When doing pricing research, remember that a 10′ x 20′ unit is the most popular unit for storing cars. A typical storage unit of that size can cost about $100-$150 per month depending on the location.

Can I work on my car when it is in storage?

Sadly, no. Working on cars in a storage center creates potential issues including oil and fluid disposal. Storage centers want to create an encouraging customer experience for everyone who visits. Maintenance activities — like changing oil, cleaning out air filters, and fixing squeaky brakes — those can cause noise, smoke and odors that could bother other renters.

Is car insurance needed if my vehicle is being stored?

Yes, your car must be personally insured in order to be stored as required by all storage centers that I know of. It’s always best to check with your insurance agent also.

Some vehicle storage facilities may offer liability insurance. This means that if someone gets hurt while inside your car, the facility will pay for medical bills. The way it works is they won’t pay anything unless there’s been an injury.

Do I Still Need to Register My Car if it’s in Storage and Not Being Driven?

Yes, your car needs to be registered. It’s a great way to protect you, your vehicle and to protect the storage center.

What Identification is Needed to Rent Storage for My Vehicle?

Typically the requirements are name of owner, license plate number, a photo ID, the brand of vehicle and proof of insurance.