Vehicle Storage: Uncovered, Covered, or Enclosed?

Posted March 14, 2022 in Self Storage Tips

vintage car in enclosed storage

For some, driving is just a means to get from point A to point B, but for others, their vehicle is their pride and joy; an extension of who they are. Many of us will go to great lengths to avoid as many dings, scratches, and other avoidable forms of wear and tear as possible.

Whether it’s a trusty, beloved ride, a restored classic, or the newest model on the block, Premium Spaces understands and appreciates anyone that invests in the longevity and care of their vehicles. Not just cars, either! Trucks, RV’s, boats—if you want to protect it, we want to help. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you decide when vehicle storage is needed and which type of vehicle storage is best for your needs.

Uncovered Outdoor Car Storage

Vehicle with storage cover

The most affordable and most simple of all the storage options, uncovered vehicle storage is perfect for short-term storage or for larger vehicles that wouldn’t fit under an awning for covered storage or in an enclosed parking space. While you don’t really have to worry about inclement weather too much throughout Texas, we recommend buying a car cover for your vehicle to protect against fading from the sun and the occasional hail storm. Due to the long-term exposure to the sun and other elements, uncovered outdoor storage works best for large RVs, boats, and commuter cars.

Here are the pros:

  • Affordability: If your goal is saving money, then uncovered storage is your best bet. This usually means your car is occupying a basic parking space, freeing up your garage or driveway at home.
  • Quickest access: All vehicle storage is pretty quick and easy to get in and go, but without needing to worry about a garage door or something similar, uncovered is certainly the fastest.

The cons:

  • Least protected. Exposed to the climate and open sky, this form of storage is by far the least protected from the elements. Harsh sunlight, storms, hail, and other natural phenomena will be unimpeded while your vehicle is stored in an uncovered space. These can be mitigated somewhat by wrapping your car in a tarp or similar cover, but that’s still not as effective as a hard roof covering or indoor car storage unit.
  • Lowest longevity. Because of the increased exposure, this storage type is not ideal for long storage options. If you need somewhere to keep a car for, say, a month or two, it should be all right, but especially as seasons go by, you’ll want it somewhere where its paint won’t fade and it is unlikely to accumulate rust. An uncovered storage space provides none of these benefits.

Covered Outdoor Car Storage

The next step up in vehicle storage is a covered storage option. This storage type is similar to the last, but with a roof overhead to protect against the harshest mother nature has to offer.

Pros:

  • Still pretty affordable: Usually a bit more expensive than an uncovered spot, covered car storage is, relatively speaking, still quite affordable. 
  • Decent vehicle protection: As long as the vehicle is outside, it’s going to take some punishment. But, compared to an uncovered parking space, your covered vehicle is likely to come out the other side of a harsh storm in much better shape than it would have otherwise. Plus, the sun won’t be beating down on it all day long!
  • Convenient pick up: When you need or want to pick up your car for an afternoon drive or day trip, you don’t have to worry about hot seats or interiors, since your car will be shielded from the most unforgiving sun rays.
  • Longevity: Unlike uncovered car storage, feel free to leave your vehicle in that spot for a while. It’s about as safe as it can get without being enclosed completely, so a longer stay is fine.

Cons:

  • No climate control. Though covered car storage is a nice step up from uncovered storage, it’s still not good for vintage cars which need the benefits of climate control. Though it won’t immediately pose an issue, sustained exposure to humidity and trace elemental damage will eventually take its toll, especially on older or more aesthetically delicate vehicles. Like uncovered parking, it’s best to use a tarp or vehicle cover to protect the sides of your vehicle.

Indoor Car Storage

Providing walls and a roof, this is the most isolated storage option available and is generally regarded as the best for long-term storage.

Pros:

  • Highly protective: Perhaps the most obvious advantage of a completely enclosed space is that no amount of weather can reach it. As such, you don’t need to worry about any damage in the short or long term! Without climate control, you still run the risk of possible issues, however, with things like high temperatures. Fortunately for you, they are also usually…
  • Climate-controlled: Not a feature present in every indoor car storage unit, but many of them offer additional protection from the outside with a climate-controlled unit that ranges between 55 and 80 degrees. Climate-control is ideal for vintage cars which may have sensitive components or are still being restored and you want to prevent additional damage to the body before you can made repairs. Climate-control is also recommended for high value sport or luxury cars that you want to keep in pristine condition.
  • Highest longevity: For long-term storage, enclosed vehicle storage is without a doubt the most reliable option for upholding the integrity of your vehicle, regardless of what it is.

Cons:

  • Highest price: Though it’s the most expensive option so far, it’s not without its value, and even then, it’s affordable and could end up saving you thousands of dollars in potential weather-related damages.
  • Sizing restrictions: While enclosed storage is a sought-after option for many vehicle owners, ceiling heights will restrict which vehicles to you can store inside a storage unit. Most indoor units, however, will allow you to store a vintage car, motorcycle, small watercraft, or similar vehicle. As a rule of thumb, if you’re looking to store an RV or large boat, you’ll have to opt for an uncovered parking option.

Vehicle Storage for Your Protection

Premium Spaces loves that you love your vehicle and want what’s best for it. If any of the options listed here sound appealing, and you’re in the market for an effective, responsible storage facility to free up some space back home, we encourage you to visit a Premium Spaces facility near you to find your ideal storage solution. With locations throughout Texas and parts of South Carolina, and Louisiana, you’re sure to find a home away from home for your weekend or road trip cruiser. Give us a chance to impress you.

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