Leaving for deployment can affect many things, and one of them is your car. When you’re leaving your residence to serve the country, you’ll need to find a place for your vehicle. While some people leave their cars with friends or family members to be driven, others don’t have this option, and the car must be stored. If you’re leaving for deployment, don’t leave planning for the last minute, since deciding what to do with your car is an important process!
Why Store Your Car During Deployment?
There are a lot of reasons you should store your car during deployment. Leaving it sitting in your home’s unattended garage is asking for trouble. Storing your car during deployment protects your car from excessive depreciation in many forms.
For one, storage facilities work hard to keep critters and bugs from invading your vehicle and making it their home. Storage allows you to stay ahead of natural disasters or any weather that could ruin it as well. Of course, professional storage also prevents theft, a broken-into vehicle, or a car that is missing altogether. Even if all goes well, letting your car sit without any attendance could result in a dead battery or another maintenance issue upon your return.
Ways to Store Your Car
There are a few options for storing your car, and which you choose is a matter of personal preference. With that said, a storage facility offers the most benefits. Let’s take a look at the choices, and what protections they offer.
With a Friend or Relative
Leaving your car with a friend or relative is a super simple option. It’s usually free, and your friend or relative can perform regular service and maintenance on your car. Military members often choose this option when they have family members that could benefit from an extra mode of transportation.
A huge upside to leaving a car with your friend or relative is that you can receive your vehicle back immediately upon arrival. However, one downside to this option is that it may inconvenience your loved ones. You’ll also need to make arrangements for insurance purposes, and decide if the vehicle stays at your residence or with whoever is watching it.
Store On Base
Some military bases will allow you to store your vehicle on-base. Like leaving your car with a friend or relative, leaving your car on your military base is convenient and offers immediate access to your vehicle upon your return. Many service members choose to store their automobiles on their base because it can be less expensive than other options. However, this lower price tag comes with its downsides. For one, on-base storage requires advanced planning. A last-minute deployment can make this impossible. Additionally, there’s no servicing of your vehicle and the parking lot is typically un-monitored, often leaving your car entirely alone for the length of your service. It may be slightly safer than parked outside your house, but the lack of service and potential risks are still high.
Car Storage Facility
The best option for storing your car during deployment is at a reputable car storage facility that specifically handles long-term storage, and ideally has experience working with service members. When you store your car with a facility, it’s protected under at least covered parking, and more often in an actual storage unit, keeping it out of the elements. Moreover, you’ll have professionals watching over the car and ensuring it’s in working order, providing surveillance and maintenance. With an enclosed structure and professionals overseeing your vehicle, you’re granted the peace of mind that your car will be returned safe and sound after your deployment.
Things to Know About Long-Term Car Storage
There are some things you’ll need to handle before putting your car in long-term storage, and it may be helpful to have a to-do list ready to jot down some notes.
First and foremost, you’ll want to completely clear your car. Take out all valuables, and have it thoroughly cleaned and detailed. Wash and wax it, and don’t let dirt, grease, and dust just sit — it could cause damage with enough time. Waxing your car helps add a protective layer. Depending on your storage method, you may also want to plug the tailpipe, which can deter any animals from seeking shelter in there.
Next, you’ll want to check in with your insurance. Don’t allow your insurance to lapse, or your premiums could increase. Lastly, it may be worth performing car care before you go. Consult a professional to see which steps are necessary for your car.
Are There Military Discounts for Car Storage?
As with many other services, car storage rates may be found at a discount for military members as thanks for serving our country. Professional storage units may offer military discounts, though this is on a case-by-case basis, and you’ll likely have to call a storage facility to see if they do.
At The Vault, we stand with our military, and we’re happy to offer discounts specific to our service members. Simply call us for special deployment storage rates. It’s also worth checking with your insurance to see if they offer “deployed” status insurance, which helps keep your insurance rates lower.
Who Can Use My Car While I’m Deployed?
Who can use your car during your deployment is dependent on your storage method. Should you choose to store it with a friend or family member, they may be eligible to drive it. If a family member will be driving the car, you will need to keep normal insurance on the vehicle and add them as a driver. If an insurance company is military-friendly, they may allow replacing yourself with a partner or family member as the sole driver for the length of the deployment.
Choose The Vault for Your Deployment Car Storage
If you’re looking for a car storage facility that’s military-friendly and capable of offering top-tier services, The Vault is the place to go! Our state-of-the-art car storage facility offers exotic, classic, everyday driver, and military storage, meaning that we can store any car no matter the type or circumstances. We have high-security facilities and offer detailing services, battery maintenance, and door-to-door transport. Learn more by exploring our website, or contact us today to see what special military discounts we can provide for your specific vehicle!