Things to Know Before Storing a Vehicle

By Molly Hammond,

Active members of the military often find themselves preparing for a move without the advanced notice they’d prefer. Whether it’s a sudden deployment, a training exercise abroad, or another one of the many reasons that military families are away from home so often, servicemen and women need to be prepared to ship out and store things at a moment’s notice.

Finding somewhere to keep furniture and other belongings while deployed is easy to do, but it’s not always as easy to convince a friend to let you park your car or motorcycle in their garage for six months. Fortunately, long-term vehicle storage is common at self storage facilities and an almost effortless way to keep you vehicle safe without hemorrhaging cash.

More for the Money

Self storage isn’t the only option for vehicle storage while you’re away, but it does provide extra protection for your vehicle that a stall in a parking garage or space in a lot doesn’t. While standard garages or lots might be well-defended from theft or vandalism, they’re unlikely to provide the same level of protection from the elements as self storage.

When storing a vehicle in a dedicated storage unit rather than a pay-to-park lot, your vehicle is away from damaging weather, and you have the option of climate-controlled storage that outdoor parking can’t accommodate. Storing your vehicle in an environment with regulated temperature and humidity levels keeps your vehicle from rusting, helps preserve battery life, and keeps interiors from being taken over by moisture that can turn into mold.

If your car or motorcycle is particularly valuable, or you’re simply very attached to your vehicle, you can also find a storage facility that offers advanced security measures like unit alarms or video surveillance—some facilities that cater specifically to long-term vehicle storage may even maintain you car while you’re away!

Flexibility and Freebies

One of the things renters love most about self storage facilities is the month-to-month leases. This sort of flexibility can be particularly important to military personnel, who can’t always be guaranteed when they’ll be home next. If you’re back home sooner than expected, there’s no long-term lease to break or extra money to pay. If your time overseas is extended, you simply keep paying each month until you return to reclaim your belongings.

The flexibility of storage rentals is a perk enjoyed by all, but at most facilities, members of the military can expect a benefit unique to them: military discounts. The discounts offered will vary by facility—some clocking in at a free month, others an overall reduced rental rate—but the majority of facilities will offer at least one military discount. If it’s not immediately clear whether or not the facility you’re considering has any discounts to offer, just ask!

Using military vehicle storage is the best way to save money on storing a car or motorcycle and keep your vehicle protected no matter how long you’re away from it.