6 tips for storing your vehicle
Published on September 8, 2023
If you think that all that’s involved in storing a vehicle is parking it in a safe place, it’s time to get informed. Whether you’re going down south for the winter or you want to store your convertible until next summer, read on for good vehicle-storage practices.
1. Find the ideal storage space
The best place for storing your vehicle is cool and dry, such as indoor parking in an office building or a garage. If you don’t have a garage or a parking space at work, you can find many rental options on line. The location should be secure and, above all, level. Uneven ground can damage your car or leisure vehicle. Choose a cement or asphalt floor so that the vehicle doesn’t sink in soft ground.
2. Top up the fluids
Top up all the vehicle’s fluids: gas, antifreeze, windshield wiper and brake fluids. If your storage space isn’t heated, choose the appropriate antifreeze and buy windshield wiper fluid made for winter use. We recommend you use a fuel stabilizer to protect your gas tank and fuel lines. It also extends the life of your fuel. This way you'll avoid breakdowns when you start driving the vehicle again.
3. Prepare your vehicle
After topping up all the fluids, do a deep interior and exterior cleaning. This way you get rid of all the contaminants that may damage the vehicle body. Dry it thoroughly so that there is no rusting. Have an oil and filter change done. A tip for avoiding musty smells: Put silica gel packets in your vehicle to reduce humidity. You can also wrap the wiper blades in soft cloth so that they don’t leave marks on your windshield. Finally, check tire pressure and pump them up if necessary. Do these things and your vehicle will be ready for your first spring outing.
4. Lubricate the motor
When you’ve done all of the steps above and your vehicle is completely cooled down (usually five to six hours after turning off the motor), turn the motor over for 30 seconds. Oil will circulate to all parts of the motor and lubricate the components.
5. Take advantage of the storage credit
Did you know that automobiles and recreational vehicles that are unused and stored for a period of at least 60 days are eligible for a storage credit? Coverage related to using the vehicle is suspended. Your vehicle is still covered against theft, vandalism, fire and wind, if you purchased these coverages.
The credit is paid as soon as you store the vehicle. When you put your vehicle back on the road, your insurance company will adjust the premium proportionately to the remaining term of the contract. To find out more about a storage credit, see our article.
6. Notify your insurer
You can save on your insurance premiums if you’re storing your vehicle for several months. Or your insurance company might suggest a Q.E.F. 16 endorsement. This endorsement suspends civil liability coverage, which entitles you to a storage credit. Talk to your broker to see if you can modify your insurance during storage. But don’t forget to reinstate the full coverage when you’re ready to get behind the wheel!
You’ll extend the lifespan of your vehicle, if you take the appropriate measures for storing it. If you do the proper maintenance and a deep cleaning, it’ll be ready to roll when you take it out of storage.
Insurance brokers are there to help you. Get in touch with one!