Ever wonder if you still need car insurance for a parked car?
If you're one of the millions of people who have had to work from home or retire because of COVID-19, you may also be using your car less — or not at all. Maybe it was the surging price of gas, and extreme money-saving measures at the pump were too intense for you.
That's why it's important to take some time now to properly prepare and store your car so it's in good condition when you start using it again.
And, yes, don't forget to insure it. We'll explain why car insurance for a parked car is still important and advise on the type of coverage you should have.
Store Your Vehicle in a Safe Place
Whether you need short-term or long-term storage options, there is sure to be a solution that meets your needs.
If you're looking for a safe and reliable way to store your car during periods of inactivity, consider renting a self-storage facility.
Here are a couple of reasons why self-storage facilities might be perfect for you:
- These facilities have secure locking systems to keep your vehicle protected from theft.
- They are climate controlled to ensure that your car stays in excellent condition.
- Many storage facilities offer online tools that allow you to manage access and see up-to-the-minute updates on your vehicle's status, making it easy to keep track of your stored car at all times.
With these benefits in mind, storing your car in a dedicated self-storage facility can be a great way to protect it while you aren't using it.
Consider a Cover or Garage
If you've decided against a storage facility for your vehicle, you'll still need to protect it from the elements, whether it's sun, rain, snow, or even just dust and dirt. One way to do this is to keep it in a garage.
You can use a car cover if you don't have a garage or if your vehicle doesn't fit in it. There are different types of car covers available depending on your needs.
Some are designed for indoor use, while others are better suited for outdoor use. Some are even waterproof, which is ideal for cars stored outdoors.
Whichever type of car cover you choose, make sure it's the right size for your car and is easy to put on and take off. Here's how to measure your vehicle for a car cover:
- Measure the length of your vehicle from the front bumper to the back bumper.
- Measure the width of your vehicle from one side mirror to the other.
- Measure the height of your vehicle from the ground to the top of the roof.
With these three measurements, you should be able to find a car cover that fits your vehicle perfectly. Just be sure to double check the measurements before you buy.
Keep Your Car Clean and Free of Clutter
Anyone who owns a car knows it requires regular cleaning and maintenance to keep it running smoothly. But did you know you need to keep your car clean and free of clutter even when it's not in use?
Dust, pollen, and other airborne particles can settle on the surface of your car and eventually work their way into the crevices, causing long-term damage.
In addition, unsecured items can roll around inside your car and become lodged under the seats or other hard-to-reach places.
Not only is this a potential hazard, but it can also make it more difficult to clean your car later on. So next time you park your car, take a few minutes to give it a quick once-over. It'll save you time and hassle in the long run.
Keep The Gas Tank Full and The Tires Inflated
Many people don't realize that even when they're not driving, their car is still using gasoline and wearing down the tires.
It's estimated that a car parked in a garage will use about a quart of gasoline per year and can lose up to three pounds of air from each tire.
Over time, these small leaks can add up, leading to decreased fuel efficiency and increased wear and tear on the tires.
That's why it's important to prepare your vehicle for long-term storage by keeping your gas tank full and your tires inflated, even if you're not planning on driving for a while.
By taking this simple step, you can help prolong the life of your car and save yourself money in the long run.
Service Your Vehicle if You Plan To Keep It Parked for a While
If you're planning to store your car for an extended period of time, it's important to have it serviced by a professional. While it may be tempting to simply leave your car in the garage and forget about it, long-term storage can take a toll on your vehicle.
As we discussed, dust and debris can build up on the engine, and the tires can eventually lose air and become flat. In addition, the battery will slowly lose its charge, making it more difficult to start the car when you're ready to take it out again.
A professional service will clean the engine and replace any oil that has degraded, inflate the tires, and disconnect the battery to prevent it from being damaged by discharge.
Taking these simple steps will help make sure your car is in good condition when you're ready to take it out of storage.
Insure Your Car Against Damage or Theft
Even if your vehicle is parked for the long term, it needs to be insured against damage and theft. This is especially true if you live in an area with high crime rates, as unattended vehicles are often targeted for break-ins and vandalism.
Even if you drive a well-maintained vehicle that would be difficult to steal, staying protected from potential damage caused by other drivers or rough road conditions is important.
Luckily, most insurance providers offer affordable coverage options specifically designed for parked vehicles.
If you're not interested in keeping up with the insurance payments or the other steps above seem like too much work, consider selling your vehicle for some quick money. Selling a vehicle can actually be a pretty simple process.
Upkeep Still Be a Top Priority
Whether you're “retiring” your car during the pandemic or just taking a break from it, be sure to give it some love. Park in a shady spot, keep the windows cracked and follow our other tips to help ensure your car stays in good condition.
And don't forget to keep insurance on it. You never know when you might need it again.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.