Car Storage Guide

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Which Type of Car Storage Do You Need?

There are three common types of car storage offered at self-storage facilities: outdoor uncovered storage which are typically parking spaces, outdoor covered car storage, and fully-enclosed indoor car storage. Each type of car storage offers different perks and comes at different price points. Select an amenity, enter your zip code, and find a unit in your area that has what you need:

  • Outdoor Uncovered

    An outdoor uncovered unit is a parking space similar to a traditional parking lot. It is the cheapest option but offers the least amount of protection, so it wouldn’t be good for long-term storage or locations that have unpredictable weather conditions.

  • Outdoor Covered

    Outdoor covered storage is a versatile solution that offers more protection from weather elements than uncovered, and can be more cost-effective than indoor storage. However, outdoor covered storage still wouldn’t be recommended for long-term storage.

  • Indoor Storage

    Even though indoor storage is typically the most expensive option, it’s the ideal solution for a safe, secure temporary home for your car. Indoor storage is fully enclosed, like a garage, so it offers the most protection, and is your best bet for long-term car storage.

How to Choose the Right Size Storage Option For Your Car

If you have a car that takes up too much space in your driveway, give it a temporary home with a storage unit. With car storage options ranging from an uncovered parking space to a fully enclosed 50-feet long unit, there’s a solution to fit almost every vehicle size. Not sure how to choose the right size storage option? The car storage size guide below can help.

Car Storage Size Guide


10’ Wide x 15’ Long



  • Most compact and two-door cars, like hatchbacks, crossovers, and small SUVs, come in at just around 15 feet in length.
  • Always make sure to measure your car before renting out a storage unit, it must be under 15 feet in length to fit in a 10’x15’ unit.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 20’ Long



  • Most cars are less than 20 feet long and will fit comfortable inside a 10x20 car storage unit.
  • This includes SUVs, crossovers, sedans, minivans, pickup trucks, and most full-sized vans.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 25’ Long



  • Perfect for larger vehicles or a boat.
  • Small Class B campers, small Class C campers, travel trailers, toy trailers and pop-ups may also fit in spaces designed for RV storage.

10’ Wide x 30’ Long



  • Very few vehicle models require a 10’x30’ storage unit, except for the largest trucks and vans.
  • Storage units typically have a 8’ to 10’ tall ceiling, so if your truck is on larger wheels or on a lift kit, it may be too tall for some units. Always be sure to measure the height of larger cars.
  • Because most cars fit into a 10’ wide unit, most car storage facilities will not note the width on their facility page.

10’ Wide x 35’ Long



  • Store one or multiple vehicles with plenty of other possessions, including furniture and large appliances.
  • This size can typically contain large Class B and Class C campers, mid-to-large sized travel trailers, small-to-mid sized fifth-wheel campers, large toy trailers, and small Class A campers.

10’ Wide x 40’ Long



  • All but the largest of RVs will fit into a 40’ storage space. This includes most Class A campers, large travel trailers and fifth-wheel trailers.
  • Remember that with the added length often comes additional width and height, meaning that many of these extra-large vehicles will require ceilings with a minimum height of 15 feet.

10’ Wide x 50’ Long



  • 50’ RV storage space will handle the largest of RVs, like large Class A campers, travel trailers and destination trailers.
  • Remember that with the added length often comes additional width and height, meaning that many of these extra-large vehicles will require ceilings with a minimum height of 15 feet.

Car Storage Unit Prices

Self-storage rental rates are typically charged on a monthly basis. In general, the price of storage will depend on a number of factors, including the unit size and the location of the facility. Self-storage tends to cost more in big cities and less in rural areas. Prices will also depend on whether or not the facility is located near the city center or on the edge of town. With car storage, the type of amenities you choose may also affect the price. For example, a fully enclosed unit might cost more than an outdoor unit. Below you’ll find average monthly prices for standard storage unit sizes.

Storage Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
10’ x 15’$80.65
10’ x 20’$77.19
10’ x 30’$84.99
Vehicle Storage Unit SizeAverage Monthly Price
15’ Long$79.56
20’ Long$77.17
25’ Long$80.04
30’ Long$85.01
35’ Long$94.44
40’ Long$106.98

How to Prepare Your Car for Storage

Putting your car in storage without any preparation is a bad idea no matter what type of storage you`re renting. Doing so will almost certainly cause issues with the vehicle that will be expensive to repair down the line. Following these steps will help ensure your car comes out of storage in the same condition it was when you left it.

  1. 1

    Change the oil, filter, brake fluid and coolant:

    Engine oil contains contaminants that, if not changed frequently enough, can damage the engine. The rest of these chemicals can cause the parts that use them to corrode or oxidize.

  2. 2

    Fill your gas tank:

    Gasoline will absorb the moisture in your tank that would otherwise accumulate and cause the tank to rust. It will also prevent the tank’s seals from drying out. If you´re storing your car for several months or longer, use a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers prevent gas from deteriorating and are effective for about one year.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the battery:

    Cars drain their battery even when the engine is off, and you don´t want to have to replace the battery once you retrieve your car from storage. If possible, try to drive the car for 15 minutes every two weeks, which will help maintain the battery and keep your car´s components lubricated. If you´re unable to do so, disconnect the battery. You won´t need to entirely remove the battery from the vehicle, just disconnect the negative battery cable. If you do want to keep the car battery charged in your absence for a long period of time and you´ve rented a storage unit with electrical access, use a trickle charger. This will connect your car battery to an electrical outlet and send a trickle of energy through to the battery, which is just enough to keep it charged.

  4. 4

    Take care of your tires:

    If your car sits on its tires in the same position over a long period of time, your tires will develop flat spots and require replacement. This is particularly an issue if the storage location experiences cold temperatures.

    The most basic precaution you can take to prevent flat spots from developing is getting your tires rotated and over-inflated. If you´re storing your vehicle long-term, it´s a good idea to raise your car up on jack stands and remove the wheels if possible.

  5. 5

    Remove your windshield wipers:

    The rubber on your windshield wipers can start to stick to your windshield, leaving hard-to-remove residue. One way to prevent this is by placing a plastic cover between the windshield and wipers. But it’s more ideal to remove the wipers entirely.

  6. 6

    Prevent dust, dirt, and unwanted guests from getting inside:

    Dust and dirt can damage your car´s components, while pests like rodents and insects can wreak havoc inside your car. The best way to prevent any damage is to use a car cover. At the very least, you can also plug any openings, particularly your tailpipe. If you´re concerned with keeping your car in top condition, we recommend renting an interior storage unit with electrical access so you can use a car storage bubble. This device uses a small electric fan to inflate a clear plastic capsule that envelopes the car, offering unparalleled protection for your vehicle, and is commonly used for the storage of exotic and collector cars.

  7. 7

    Release your parking brake:

    If you leave your parking brake pads on for too long, they can fuse with the rotors. While it may sound like a good idea to engage your parking brake while storing the vehicle for a long period of time, the threat of fusion outweighs any added safety. Stick chocks under the wheels (if you left the wheels on) instead-these prevent movement better than the parking brake does.

How to Prepare Your Car for Outdoor Storage

Since weather elements can put a great amount of wear and tear on your vehicle, there are a few extra precautions you’ll need to take to protect your car when storing it outside.

  • The two greatest risks of storing your car outside are sunlight and precipitation. Sunlight can cause damage to paint and tires, while precipitation can cause parts of your car to corrode. The best way to protect your car when storing it outside is to buy a high-quality car cover. Make sure the cover protects from moisture, preferably by incorporating ventilation or by using a wicking "dri-fit" material. Covers that trap in moisture can actually cause more damage to your car.

  • If you decide against a car cover, there are a few other measures you can take to protect your car. The sun can damage the car’s paint, causing it to fade over time. Waxing your car will act as a protective coating against the sun, as well as dirt and dust. You can also use paint protection film kits to protect areas that receive a lot of direct sunlight, like the hood. Protective films are also useful for covering your headlights.

  • In addition, direct sunlight over a long period of time will cause your tires to crack and lose their elasticity, making them dangerous to drive on. The best way to prevent sun damage is by keeping your tires covered and out of the sun.

Taking Your Car Out of Storage

Not only is it extremely dangerous to drive your car out of storage without checking it thoroughly, it can also worsen any potential damage that might have occurred. Here are a few things you should look over before taking your car back out on the road:

  1. 1

    Clean your car out.

    Before you take your car out of storage, clean it out, wiping dirt and dust off of important components. Check for evidence of pests because the last thing you want to do is start your car with a mouse in the exhaust pipe.

  2. 2

    Check fluids.

    Make sure your fluids are at an adequate level and appear to be in a good condition. Refill anything that appears low.

  3. 3

    Check for cracks in rubber.

    Look over the rubber parts of your vehicle for any cracks. Tires and windshield wipers are particularly vulnerable.

  4. 4

    Check tire pressure.

    Before you drive off, inspect your tires, check the pressure and look them over for flat spots.

  5. 5

    Reattach your battery.

    If you removed your battery to store the car, reattach it and then try to start your car.

  6. 6

    Allow the car to run for a few minutes.

    To make sure that everything is functioning smoothly, turn your car on and let it run for a few minutes.

  7. 7

    Slowly drive your car around.

    Take your car for a spin around the storage facility and test out the brakes. Your brakes may have accumulated rust, and unless the damage is extreme, that rust should wear away after a bit of use.

  8. 8

    Be cautious in your driving.

    After long-term storage, taking things slow and easy. Be especially attentive to any signs of damage during the few days of driving your car again.

Car Storage FAQs

What information do I need to reserve a car storage unit?

Many car storage facilities require that you bring the following documents with you when you bring your car to move in to the unit:

  • Proof of auto registration
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Vehicle title
  • The car must be drivable

Can I work on a car in a storage unit?

Whether or not you can work on your car in a storage unit depends on the facility policies and the type of work you intend to do on your car. Some storage units may prohibit any kind of vehicle maintenance or repairs on their premises due to liability concerns, fire hazards, or zoning regulations.

If the storage unit allows vehicle maintenance and repairs, you should still be aware of any restrictions they may have. For example, they may limit the types of repairs you can perform or require you to use certain equipment or tools to minimize the risk of damage to the unit or other vehicles nearby. Not abiding by facility policies could result in you being asked to leave the facility, or potentially even incurring fines or legal penalties.

How often should I start my car in storage?

If you plan to store your car for an extended period, it is generally recommended to start your car at least once a month to keep the battery charged and the engine lubricated.

When you start your car, let it run for a few minutes to circulate the oil and lubricate the engine. This helps prevent corrosion and rust in the engine components. It also helps keep the battery charged, which can drain over time if the car is not in use.

However, if you plan to store your car for less than a month, it may not be necessary to start it at all. In this case, you should disconnect the battery to prevent it from draining and potentially damaging the car’s electrical system.