Are you a business owner, taking up studies abroad or perhaps just in search of a new adventure? Hundreds of people are afforded the luxury to travel throughout their lives and careers every year. This gives them the opportunity to discover new cultures, languages and life-changing experiences. When planning a trip abroad we all stress over the same thing and ask ourselves this one question. “What will I do with my possessions while I am away?” One personal possession that is quite perplexing to delegate is the storage of your vehicle. This is where Brisbane Car Storage from Autohouse can potentially help.
Sure, long-term street parking might be a cost effective option financially, but don't ignore the potential costs it may come with. Is the location in a safe neighbourhood? Even if it is, the more educated criminals tend to target 'safer' more up-market areas, with a car theft and/or break-in spree taking place in Brisbane's western suburbs last year.
On a wider geographical front, the Courier Mail reported last month that 16,000 cases of vehicle were reported in Queensland between July 2018 and June 2019.
So, if you still decide to commit to long term street parking, here's some tips to follow:
1. Keep it Locked
An obvious one perhaps, however its quite easy to simply forget to hit the lock button after parking your vehicle up. Opportunistic thieves roams the streets of a night time, who will literally attempt to pull open the doors of parked cars until they find one thats unlocked, and then rummage through it for items of value. In Australia a car is stolen every 12 minutes, so by simply locking your door you can help fight this startling statistic.
2. No Valuables in Sight
Nothing of value should be left in the vehicle. This includes any form of personal bag, whether empty or not, as these will create an attractant for any would-be thieves. Parking in a more crime-orientated area? Then leave your glovebox and counsel empty and open, displaying to would-be thieves
3. Hide the Keys
Another obvious one yes, but car keys need to be treated like a bid wad of $100 bills. Forget leaving them on the kitchen bench or dresser next to the door, hide them somewhere well hidden. This will make life harder for would-be criminals willing to break into a house in search of car keys, as 70% of thefts of modern cars are stolen with the keys. Whilst you're at it, make sure your house is secure with all doors and windows locked.
4. Let Your Neighbours Know
Let your better-known neighbours of your intentions of leaving the vehicle on the street, and have them keep an eye out for you.
5. Stay Away from the Flora
Parking under a shady tree might seem like a wise idea in theory, but it exposes your car to a multitude of nasties including tree sap, leaf litter, bird droppings - not to mention the tree itself in case of a wild summer storm.
6. Avoid The Hills
If possible, park the vehicle on flat ground, so as to minimise the strain on parking brake and transmission components.
7. Shade Is Your Friend
High shade = low UV = less deterioration. Finding a naturally shady park (i.e. next to a building, embankment or retaining wall) will keep the UV and heat off your vehicle, which will preserve its state. (FYI this doesn't mean point 4 is redundant and parking it under tree is now ok).
Not exactly sure how safe your suburb is to park a car? Click here to learn about the top 20 car theft hot spots in Queensland.
Should You Sell Your Car?
Going away long enough to justify getting rid of it? If you do ultimately decide to sell your vehicle you need to ask yourself a few questions:
1. Is my vehicle new enough to still be declining in value? (Click here to find out which cars are the top depreciating cars of 2019)
2. What are the costs associated with selling a car?
3. Will buying a new car when I return home be a cost-effective option for me and my family?
If you can sell your car you will mitigate further depreciation loss on it, as well as save on un-utilised holding costs (registration, insurance, etc) . However, you must consider the costs of selling the car - safety certificates and any subsequent repairs needed, advertisement fees and of course your personal time conducting inspections. Do these, along with the costs (and potential inconvenience) of purchasing a new car upon return, outweigh the costs of a long term car storage arrangement?
Secure Car Storage
If none of the above options appeal to you then Long Term Car Storage is a viable option that will give peace of mind of safety and security, whilst you are abroad. Knowing your car is in a secure environment and out of the elements will eliminate stress while you travel.
If you do decide to put your vehicle in long-term professional storage, find an operator that doesn't stop at simply 'storing' the vehicle. Value-add options such as battery maintenance, dust prevention measures, tyre pressure management and regular engine start-ups all help prevent deterioration during the storage period. Your storage operator should be able to provide these services to ensure your vehicle is turn-key and ready to go when you come to collect it. A poorly maintained vehicle in storage can be an expensive and inconvenient problem to have!
Prepare For Long Term Car Storage
Before you embark a car storage environment, considering the following hints and tips, sourced from the Autohouse Car Storage Guide:
1. For storage terms 6 months or longer, fill up the fuel tank and consider the use of a fuel stabiliser.
2. Ensure tyres are inflated to circa-5PSI above normal operating pressure, to help alleviate flat spotting and compromise of tyre life. Bonus points if you use nitrogen instead of air (it is a more stable gas than compressed air).
3. Its good practice to have the car serviced prior to storage, as fresh fluids will be less conducive to contaminants and other nasties.
4. Ensure the battery charge will be maintained during the storage term, particularly if it is a modern car (more technology = more draw on the battery).
We hope you found this article enjoyable and informative! Lachlan from Autohouse Storage.