There are innumerable reasons why you might consider putting your vehicle into long-term storage in Wisconsin:
- Going on an extended vacation
- Joining the military
- Heading off to school in the fall
- Moving south for the winter months
- Injury or illness recovery
- Relocating temporarily
- Using a more season-appropriate vehicle for several months out of the year
And the list goes on.
For the most part, long-term vehicle storage doesn’t seem like a large project — simply park your car somewhere and leave it, right?
That’s where many people would be wrong. In fact, long-term vehicle storage requires much planning and preparation if you want to do it right, and that’s what we’ll be getting into in this article. We’ll also discuss one other important aspect of long-term vehicle storage: Insurance. We’ll talk about what to do with your insurance while your car is in storage and where you can go if you still have questions about coverage.
Maintenance Steps for Car Storage
1. Find a good location for your vehicle.
To save money, try to make space in your garage or an outbuilding for your car, or ask a friend or family member if they have room on their property. If this isn’t possible, you’ll likely need to pay a fee every month to store your car in a professional storage facility. Just make sure the location is dry, safe from the elements, ventilated, and secure with a lock.
2. Prep your vehicle’s fluids, tires, and gas tank.
Open up the hood and take a look at all of the fluids. Top of all of them, including the antifreeze. Change the air filter and the oil. Fill up the tires and the gas, and don’t forget to put a bit of fuel stabilizer into the gas tank. We recommend capital STA-BIL.
3. Be prepared for critters.
Critters may make their way into your vehicle, so prepare for this. Start by putting a ball of steel wool into the exhaust pipe (don’t forget to take it out when you return to your car). Next, sprinkle a few things that mice and other rodents don’t like in and around your car. Mothballs work well and so does peppermint oil on cotton swabs.
4. Know what to do with the battery.
It’s not a good idea to leave your battery in the vehicle and let it become depleted. Instead, attach it to something called a battery tender to keep it adequately charged.
What Should You Do With Your Insurance Policy?
Understanding how to handle your insurance while your vehicle is in storage can be tricky. Here’s what you need to know.
First, always keep comprehensive coverage. This protects you from fire, theft, vandalism, building collapse, and other unexpected events so that you don’t have to pay out-of-pocket. These things can happen while your car is in storage.
Next, if you’re thinking about getting rid of collision coverage, this could be a good way to save money, but make sure to consider all the factors. For example, you won’t want to get rid of collision coverage if you have a loan out on your car as your lender likely won’t allow this. Also, if you’re just going to be keeping your current storage for a short period of time, it won’t be fiscally worth it to remove collision coverage.
In addition, keep in mind that if you are considering removing any portion of your auto insurance, you’ll have what’s called a “lapse in coverage” or a time period in which you didn’t have coverage for your vehicle. When you go to reinstate your coverage later on, your insurance agency may see this as a red flag and give you a higher monthly rate.
For questions concerning auto insurance and long-term vehicle coverage, please feel free to contact Reis Insurance at your convenience. Our friendly agents can answer your questions and help you find the perfect policy for your situation. Call today!