Moving to the other side of the country as you change jobs or careers? Maybe you’re being transferred overseas or visiting relatives long-term to help a sick or injured loved one? You could also be one of the thousands of people who inherit a car or truck this year. (Lucky you!) No matter the reason, though, if you have a vehicle you don’t use (but want to keep), you’ll need to store it. That begs the question; what size storage unit do I need for a car?
It’s a good question, no doubt, and not an extremely difficult one to answer. Simply put, you’ll need a storage unit big enough to fit your particular car. Also, enough space to open the door and get out.
Note – this article is about indoor units. If you haven’t decided between a drive-up unit vs. an outdoor parking space check out this information.
1- You Can’t Store a Car in a 5 X 5 Storage Unit
Here’s the thing about most cars; they’re large. Some are very large and take up a lot of space. If you rent a 5 X 5 storage unit, you might have trouble getting them to fit. All joking aside, knowing the length and width of the car you want to store is vital. That way, you can determine what size storage unit will work best. For example, a Honda Civic would fit in a much smaller storage unit than a Lincoln Continental. (The Continental’s at least twice its size!)
Once you know your vehicle’s length and width, you can choose the storage unit that works best. We highly recommend going about 20% higher in terms of what you need, space-wise. That way, you’ll have plenty of room to open the doors. Plus, you can also store other items and clear out some space at home or your office. Also, a larger storage unit has larger doors, making it easy to pull in and out of your unit. (We wouldn’t want you to scratch the paint!)
2- Visit A Local Self-Storage Center To See the Storage Unit In Person
This bit of advice is quite useful, but not always possible. For example, if you’re storing your car in town, it’s easy to visit your local Moove In self-storage center. If it was left to you by your dear, departed Aunt from the across the country, though, not so much.
The reason to visit your local self-storage Center is easy to understand. Seeing the storage unit in person, including its door, will tell you instantly if it’s a good fit. (Quite literally.) That way, if it’s not, you can ask the on-site manager to change your unit to a bigger one. If necessary, you can look at several storage units and their specific location in the facility. That way, you can choose the best one for you, one that makes it easy to get in and out.
3- What Size Storage Unit Fits What Size Car?
If you want to ‘eyeball’ it online and try to figure out what size storage unit you’ll need, no problem. It’s just a matter of determining which of two types your car is; compact or full-size.
- A Compact car will fit in a storage unit that’s 15 feet deep.
- A Full-Size car will need a storage unit that’s at least 20 feet deep. That can include a storage unit that’s 10×20, 20×25, or 20×30. The longer your full-size car, the longer storage unit you should choose, naturally.
No matter the length of your car, you’ll need a storage unit with a door that’s at least 8 feet wide. At these sizes, storage units usually come in several different lengths with a standard width of 10 feet, which is plenty.
4- Prepare your car for Storage
While it doesn’t need a complete tuneup, there are a few maintenance tasks you should do before you put your car into storage. That way, it will be ready to run when you return to get it.
- Fill your gas tank. The gasoline grade doesn’t matter, just that the tank is full. This will prevent moisture from forming in the lines or tank.
- Top off the brake, oil, and antifreeze before storing your car.
- Purchase a bottle of fuel stabilizer and pour it into the gas tank.
- If you’re storing your car or truck for six months or longer, remove the vehicle’s battery.
5- On a Budget? Consider Renting a Self-Storage Parking Space Instead
Self-storage prices typically increase the larger you go with your particular storage unit. A 5 X 5 storage unit, for example, is going to cost far less than a 20 x 30 storage unit. Since cars and trucks are large by nature, it rules out renting a small storage space. That leaves you renting a large, or very large, storage unit and thus spending more. If you’re on a budget, that might not be good news.
There is good news, though, and it’s this, most self-storage centers have rental parking spaces too! Just like a parking space at the mall or grocery store, they’re large and demarcated. That makes them as easy to use as parking your car! Plus, they’re a fair bit less expensive than a large storage unit. Yes, they’re outside, so your vehicle is exposed to the elements. But if you have a new car, or you’re only storing it for a few weeks or months, it’s perfect! It will be safe, secure and off the road, protected by 24/7 security cameras and an on-site manager. It’s an easy way to save a few bucks and give your budget a breather.
Tiny Tip- If your car’s a classic, a storage unit might be a better choice. That way, it’s fully protected from the elements, especially the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Brought To You By Your Friends at Moove-In Self Storage
Did you get some actionable advice today? We sure hope you did, and that it helps you store your car well. At Moove-In, we offer car storage your way in a safe, secure facility. If you have any questions, feel free to chat online anytime with one of our friendly self-storage experts. Until then, best of luck storing your vehicle. We’ll keep it safe for you until you return!