How to prepare your vehicle for storage

Storage is a very useful tool you should definitely have on your side during a relocation. It has various uses most of which can save you a lot of trouble when moving. However, before you put your things in storage, you’ll need to make sure you can use them once you take them out of the storage. That’s why we get our items ready for spending time in a storage unit. When you’re not using your car or motorcycle you might decide to put them in storage for better protection. But, before you can safely put away your item, you’ll need to know how to prepare your vehicle for storage. This is why we’ve created a list of useful things you’ll need to do to keep your car safe and sound!


Before you put your car in storage, you should have it checked out. Try to do this at least a few weeks before you’re actually putting it in storage. This way you’ll be able to have someone repair anything that’s not working. Problems can get worse due to neglect, and since you’re getting ready to place your items in a unit for some time, you’ll want to address everything that’s wrong with your car. Having your car checked isn’t just great for storage, it’s also one of the most useful car transport tips. All in all, it’s always a  good idea to fix your vehicle before storing it.


Before you do anything else, you’ll need to clean your vehicle thoroughly. Cleaning always comes before storing items in a unit. Whether you’re storing your furniture or your car, the same rules apply – the better you clean it, the longer you can keep it in storage. In addition to this, if you prepare your vehicle for storage by cleaning it, you’ll have a ready to drive vehicle once you decide to take it out of storage. So, your preparation process should definitely start with cleaning your machine.

a person cleaning their car.
Thoroughly clean your machine before putting it in storage.

The body

Keeping the outside as pristine as possible is a must. You’ll want to pay special attention to getting every last fleck of dirt off. You’ll want your car squeaky clean before you place it in a unit. This will help you keep it in better shape, as well as help it to stay stored without anything bad happening to it. After you’ve cleaned your vehicle, you’ll want to wax it as well.This will be an additional layer of defense against scratches, dirt and the general neglect which will ensue after you put your vehicle in storage. Of course, if you’re not planning to keep your machine in storage for a long time, you don’t need to be very thorough, but you also shouldn’t skip any steps. Tips for short term storage aren’t all that different from long term storage tips. They’re just a bit looser.

A man waxing the outside of his car when you prepare your vehicle for storage.
Wax after you clean.

The inside

Before you put your can into self storage, you’ll need to do a thorough clean of the inside as well. You can complete it more easily by dividing it into parts:

  • the first sweep – this is when you’ll remove from your car everything you won’t be storing with it. So, remove any garbage, snacks or other debris when you prepare your vehicle for storage.
  • thorough clean – just as your car’s exterior, the interior needs a thorough scrubbing as well. Even a little dirt can do unbelievable damage to a car if it’s let for a long time. And when putting your vehicle in storage, that’s exactly what you’re going to do – leave it alone for a long time.
  • paperwork – don’t forget to take any and all important documents out of your car before putting it in storage. You don’t want to leave your vehicle’s registration papers in a storage unit for a long time.
  • double check – we really cannot stress enough how important it is for your car to be clean once you store it. Check between and under the seats for stray snacks. If your vehicle is clean, you won’t need to check on it, you could just put it in storage and forget about it!
An interior of a car.
Don’t forget to clean the interior!

Check fluids when you prepare your vehicle for storage

Another thing you should do to when getting your car ready is top off its fluids. So, make sure you check your oil is the right level. In addition to this, you’ll want to top off all other fluids in your vehicle – such as antifreeze and wiper fluid.


When you’re trying to prepare your vehicle for storage, don’t forget the gas tank. The worst possible thing would be to leave your gas tank partially filled. If you do this, the evaporation of your gas can cause damage to your car. You’ll need to top off the tank or completely empty it. This way you’ll know the gas won’t start to evaporate because there either won’t be any gas or it will have nowhere to go. Emptying the tank completely may be better in the long run, but it’s really difficult to do as you might need to drain it.

A person pumping gas into the tank of their car.
Filling your tank is a good idea when storing your car.


The last layer of protection for your vehicle should be a cover. You can buy it or improvise with what you’ve got. However, avoid using blankets and old clothing to cover your car. This will only gather more dust and the whole point of the cover is to prevent dust from getting near your engine. If you decide to wrap your car in plastic, make sure you don’t wrap it too tightly, so the air can flow in and out.

Finally, you don’t need to prepare your vehicle for storage yourself. If you hire the right storage company, they can help you do it, as well as provide invaluable advice. So, instead of wasting a lot of time on it and risking failure anyway, you can find reliable movers and they’ll do the work for you!

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