If you are taking a long road trip, whether alone or with friends and family, there is nothing like it. But one thing that can put a damper on the trip is an incident that happens to your car while you’re away. Theft; accidents; vandalism; weather damage; all of these things can happen while you’re gone for any amount of time.
So what can you do to protect your vehicle? Safe storage will ensure peace of mind while you are away from home—and also help keep your car safe until your return. Here’s how to take care of the essentials when leaving the car behind for a few days or longer:
Lock Your Car Doors
Leave your car keys with a trusted friend or family member, along with written instructions on how to start the engine, where you keep the spare key, and other information on what to do in case of emergencies. If you have any special needs or requests—whether it’s for someone to fill up your gas tank every few days or take out your mail—be sure that person knows about them so they can be met while you are away.
Take It To A Storage Facility
If you plan to take your car out for long periods of time, it may be better to keep it at a local storage unit rather than leaving it in the driveway. A locked vehicle is an easier target for would-be thieves and vandals, so keeping yours stored in a climate-controlled unit will help protect it from the elements and unwanted visitors alike.
There are storage facilities in the UK that offer monthly or annual storage agreements that include 24-hour access, so feel free to make use of the facilities while you are away. You can also buy specialized storage units that can provide extra protection.
Storage boxes: Designed specifically to house vehicles—and typically feature heavy walls and thick roofs which provide plenty of protective insulation.
Storage garages are much larger than storage boxes but feature similar protective materials that help insulate the car from heat and cold.
Most garages also come with electricity running to them, allowing you to leave your headlights on at night or use an extension cord to power the battery if needed.
Take Care Of The Outdoors
If you are leaving your car for a short amount of time, but want to get it ready for summer driving conditions, get the fluids flowing and tires aired up. If you’re taking off on a long road trip this winter, there are additional steps to take to ensure safe travels.
Check out your tire tread if they’ve worn down more than 1/16th of an inch in the last 6 months, it’s best to replace them. If you don’t have the resources to replace them, re-inflate your tires to keep them in their best condition. You can also check out other maintenance tips for winter travel.
Check Your Battery & Tire Pressure
If you’re taking off on a long trip this summer, make sure your battery is in good shape and that your tire pressure is up to par. A dead battery or flat tires will only put an additional stressor on your vacation–so get these items checked before you leave home. You can also bring along jumper cables or small spare tires to give peace of mind while away from home.
Keep Your Car Safe While On Vacation
Even if you are leaving town for just a few days, it’s important that you keep your car safe. If you have a garage available, pull the car inside and lock it up tight to protect it from potential thieves as well as inclement weather conditions. While it’s not ideal, if there is no garage available, look for a covered area outside of the home or apartment—such as under a tree or porch roof—that will shield your vehicle from sun and rain damage while you’re gone.
If you are leaving your car for a long period of time—say three weeks or more—it’s important to fill up its tank before locking it away in storage. Leaving a vehicle empty for even just one week can cause damage because fuel evaporates easily inside an untended engine block; not only will this affect the health of your car, it will affect your wallet when you need to re-fuel it upon returning home.
In addition to your everyday necessities like a cell phone charger, a first-aid kit, and maps for on the road, be sure that you bring along any additional items that may come in handy during an emergency situation. Make sure everything is in place before leaving your car for an extended period of time.
Have you got the charger for your phone? Is there water and food, sunscreen, and hats if it’s a sunny day? Is there an emergency kit complete with jumper cables, flares, extra tire, first aid supplies—whatever you feel is necessary to keep yourself safe in case something happens away from home.
Taking a few precautions before leaving your car behind for an extended period of time will ensure that it stays safe and ready for the road. From car storage tips to emergency supplies, make sure you are prepared for any scenario before setting off on your trip so you can enjoy yourself with peace of mind.