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Car storage: Costs and tips for long-term storage

Heading overseas for a few months, or perhaps you’ve got too many classic cars at home and need some extra parking? Have you considered self storage for cars? It may not be something that immediately comes to mind, but long-term car storage is an excellent option for those wanting to keep their ride safe and secure while they're away or simply in need of some extra parking space.

Instead of leaving your prized possession on the street or crammed in the driveway, you could be storing it in a secure, protected environment. No more worrying about the elements, potential break-ins, or those pesky door dings from carelessly opened car doors.

Self storage facilities offer indoor units specifically designed for vehicle storage, complete with drive-up access for easy loading and unloading. And the best part? You have the flexibility to choose the unit size that perfectly accommodates your car. 

Interested? Here’s everything you need to know about long-term car storage in South Africa

How much does car storage cost in South Africa?

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Car storage costs in South Africa can vary significantly depending on several key factors. Firstly, location plays a crucial role in determining the price of car storage. Storage facilities in major city centres where there is a high demand, like Cape Town, Johannesburg or Durban, are priced differently in comparison to those in outlying areas or suburbs. It’s similar to costs associated with renting a home or apartment the closer you get to the city centre the more expensive it becomes.

The type of car storage you choose also impacts the cost. Open parking is typically the most economical option, while shaded parking commands a slightly higher fee. Indoor storage units offer the best protection but come at a premium price. For those looking to take care of their prized possession, indoor storage is often the preferred choice.

It's worth noting that many facilities offer discounts for long-term storage, making it more cost-effective if you plan to store your vehicle for a year or longer. Also, some self storage companies, like Stor-Age, offer month-to-month contracts so you can stay for as short or as long as you need.

Ultimately, the cost of car storage in South Africa depends on your specific needs and preferences. To get an accurate quote tailored to your requirements, it's best to reach out to potential providers directly.

Want a quote on car storage? Click here!

Getting your car ready for long-term storage

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Whether you're going on an extended holiday, relocating for work, or just need to store a seasonal vehicle for several months, properly preparing your car for long-term storage is crucial. 

Letting a car sit idle for too long can lead to dead batteries, flat tyres, and deteriorating parts. But with the right preparation, you can keep your ride in tip-top shape until you're ready to get back behind the wheel.

The first step is to work out approximately how long your car will be in storage. This will help with deciding on the right steps to prepare. A good rule of thumb is that storing for 30 days or less requires minimal preparation, while 30-60 days need moderate preparation, and anything over 60 days requires maximum preparation.

Step 1: Deep clean inside and out

Before storing, give your car a complete clean inside and out. Wash and wax the exterior, shampoo the carpets and upholstery, and throw out any rubbish. This will prevent dirt and grime from causing stains or damaging surfaces while your car is in storage.

Step 2: Change the oil

If you’re storing your car for more than 60 days, it's wise to change the engine oil and oil filter. This removes old contaminated oil that can cause sludge buildup and engine damage over time.

Step 3: Remove the battery

For storage of more than 30 days, removing the car battery is recommended. This prevents battery discharge and avoids having to charge it often. Clean the battery terminals and store the battery in a cool, dry place.

Step 4: Take care of the tyres

Tyres can develop flat spots or dry rot from sitting too long. Inflate your tyres to their maximum recommended PSI to prevent flats. If you are storing on concrete for more than 60 days, place the car on axle stands or plywood to take weight off the tyres.

Step 5: Close up windows and vents  

Make sure all your car windows, vents, and air intake ducts are securely closed when storing your car long term, to prevent moisture, rodents, or insects from getting inside. Cover the air intake and exhaust pipe openings with plastic wrap or bags. The good news at Stor-Age is that we have extensive pest control measures in place.

Step 6: Stabilise the fuel tank

For more than 60 days of storage, fill up the petrol tank at least halfway to help prevent moisture condensation from forming inside. Add a fuel stabiliser to keep the petrol from deteriorating.

Step 7: Cover your vehicle

Use a breathable car cover to protect the vehicle from dust, dirt, and scratches while in storage. Make sure to ventilate the cover to prevent moisture buildup. 

Step 8: Final checks

Check fluid levels, top up as needed, and inspect for any needed repairs before stowing your vehicle away. Don't engage the parking brake to avoid the brake sticking.

With some simple preparation steps, you can keep your car happy in hibernation mode until you're ready to cruise the roads again!

Looking after your stored car Q&As 

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How often should I start my car in storage?

Start and run the engine at least once every two to four weeks. This allows the battery to recharge and the engine oil and other fluids to circulate. Let the engine run for five to 10 minutes each time you start it.  The key is allowing the engine oil, battery, and other components to cycle regularly. Starting it too infrequently can lead to a dead battery or potential issues when you go to drive it again after storage.

How to disconnect a car battery for storage?

  • Find the battery, noting which cable is connected to the positive (+) terminal and which is the negative (-), with the positive being red or having a "+" symbol. 
  • Disconnect the negative cable first by loosening the nut or bolt holding it to the negative terminal, never disconnect the positive side first. Then disconnect the positive cable by loosening its nut or bolt from the positive terminal. 
  • Inspect both cable connectors and clean off any corrosion on the battery terminals using a wire brush or baking soda/water solution. 
  • Once disconnected, remove the battery by lifting it out carefully, as batteries are heavy, and get assistance if needed. 
  • Clean the battery tray area and protectors to prevent any potential short circuits. Store the battery in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures, never store it directly on a concrete floor. 

What should I do about the car’s security system? 

Disengage any active security systems that could drain the battery over time. Check that the car is locked and consider using a steering wheel lock for added protection.

How do I get my car ready after storage?

Reinstall the battery, check all fluid levels, inflate the tyres to proper PSI, and wash/detail the exterior. Take it for a good 20-30 minute drive to fully re-circulate everything.

Store your car safely with Stor-Age 

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If you are a business or individual looking for safe, secure and affordable parking for your vehicles, Stor-Age has the perfect solution. Here are reasons to store your car with us. 


When you store your car with us, you can rest assured that it will be safe and secure until you need it again. All of our stores feature state-of-the-art security with electrified perimeter fencing, access control and CCTV systems with off-site monitoring. We have both uncovered and covered parking bays.


At Stor-Age, we understand the importance of accessibility and convenience when it comes to storing your vehicle. That's why we offer seven-day-a-week access to our facilities, providing you with the flexibility you need. 

Whether you're a business owner requiring a secure space for your company vehicles or a commuter seeking a haven for your car, Stor-Age has got you covered. 


At Stor-Age, we offer flexibility that caters to your unique needs. Whether you require short-term storage for a month or seek a long-term solution, we've got you covered. Our vehicle storage options are perfect for a variety of situations. With our accommodating options, you can rest assured that your prized possession will be well-protected and accessible whenever you need it, for as long as you require.

Ready to store your car with Stor-Age? Get a quote now!

Posted by Stor-Age Self Storage - 23 May 2024 | Tips And Hints