The True Cost of Car Storage

money car cost of car storage The True Cost of Car Storage

Things are not always as the seem on the surface. I have been duped too many times by downloading “free” apps only to find I need real cash to buy enough virtual gold to buy enough virtual feed for my virtual livestock. I think I have more capital invested in Clash of Clans than in my 401-K. Sometimes it takes some digging to get down to the true value of things. While not as manipulative and addiction-feeding as in-app purchases, there are also additional costs to car storage in addition to what the price of the unit is. Today, we’ll go over everything you need to know to calculate the true cost of car storage.

Cost of Indoor or Outdoor Storage

Many storage facilities offer both indoor and outdoor storage for your car, and choosing between the two options is the majority of the cost of car storage. There is the cost of the space itself, plus a few other items specific to indoor or outdoor storage. Other factors like the location and security of the facility will affect the base price of any unit.

Indoor: You have two options for indoor storage: climate controlled or unheated. Climate controlled units regulate temperature and humidity, which prevents rust and other damages. These units run between $150 and $450 a month, but you don’t have to worry about protecting your car from changing temperatures. They also might save you money in repairs after storage.

Unheated units run from $75 to $150 a month. They are considerably cheaper, but you also have to take steps to protect your car from humidity, which can damage the paint. A low-end dehumidifier costs around $50, but to effectively dehumidify you might want to invest in a better model. Higher-end devices cost between $100 and $250. Depending on the cost of the different units, climate controlled units might help lower the cost of car storage.

Outdoor: In terms of upfront cost, outdoor storage is the cheapest—and least protective—option. An outdoor plot for a car will be between $35 to $75, but you’ll also need a more effective car cover than for an indoor space. Specifically, a weather and water-resistant cover. Costs vary depending on the car model, but plan for having to buy a new cover if yours isn’t tough enough to protect from inclement weather.

Covered car cost of car storage

Cost of Car Storage Items

An indoor storage unit or a weatherproof car cover aren’t enough to fully protect your car. In an earlier blog, we went over what you need to do to prep your car for long term storage. We recommend going over that post to see an in-depth discussion of the necessary preparations, but today we’ll just cover how each affects the overall cost of car storage. While it may seem like the price keeps ticking up, these steps are very important to prevent damage. A costly repair shouldn’t have to factor in to the cost of car storage.

  • Oil Change and Fuel Stabilizer: Getting an oil change at a mechanic shop is usually around $20. If you’re changing it yourself, the price of different motor oil brands ranges from $15-$40 (we recommend going with whatever is on sale—there isn’t much difference between oil brands). You’ll also need to add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, which runs about $10.
  • Air Filter: Changing the air filter yourself is easy, as you just need to pull it out and put in the new one. A new filter is around $20.
  • Trickle Charge Battery: Leaving the battery in the car long-term slowly drains the battery, and a trickle charger sends small bursts of electricity into the battery. Most are around $40.
  • Car Cover: As we said earlier, weatherproof outdoor covers generally are more expensive. Regardless, expect to pay $100 at the least for a car cover.

The listed price for a storage unit is not the true cost of car storage. When you are looking for a unit, take inventory of what you already have and what you may need to buy. When factoring in all of the hidden costs, the more expensive unit may actually be the overall cheapest option for car storage. You’ll also be able to tell if a unit is actually within your budget. If you don’t plan for the costs of the additional items, you may end with even greater costs in repairs.

Now that you have the know-how to determine the true cost of car storage, contact us today and our team will make sure you find the best storage unit for your needs!


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