It is always nice to have a home that comes with a garage to store your car. However, somehow, our garages always end up storing all of the things we don’t have room for in our houses, as opposed to the cars that they were designed to safely store. A garage offers the perfect conditions to keep your car cleaner, slightly warmer, frost-free and safer overnight, coming with a locked door that protects your car from theft and vandalism. We look at all of the ways that storing your car in your garage, can help look after your car and potentially drive down insurance costs, and where to put all of your junk once you decide your car should return to its rightful spot.
Insurance savings, versus parking on the street or driveway
When you go about taking out an insurance policy on your vehicle, it is standard procedure to be asked where you park your vehicle overnight. But have you ever wondered how much your answer affects the eventual cost of your insurance? The answer is not necessarily cut and dry, and it is not always guaranteed that you could save money by locking your car in your garage overnight – however, many insurers think that your car will be at less risk to bumps and thieves if it is locked away out of sight. Of course, when you are seen as less of a risk to insurers, they will provide you with a lower insurance cost. If you are hoping to save on insurance by parking your car in your garage, consider shopping around for an insurance plan that will see that as a lower-risk option.
Paint longevity and preventing rust
There is no greater disappointment for a car owner than seeing a patch of rust, however big or small, on your vehicle. You will want to have your motor looking in as good a condition as possible, and the truth is that rust patches or damaged paintwork don’t look so easy on the eye. No matter if your car is a classic motor that you work constantly to protect the value of, or your standard daily motor that needs to be protected from the UK’s regular downpours, keeping it parked in your garage is a great step to prevent rust and promote the longevity of its paintwork. When your car is parked in the garage it gives it a break from the outside and the elements, and gives it time to dry out if it has gotten wet, says the FBHVC. Another great idea is to keep a small heater (thermostatically controlled) in your garage, to help keep your car as dry as you possibly can.
No need to de-ice the car on cold days
In the UK, wherever you live, the chances are that it will get very cold at some point in the year and there will be some frosty mornings (check out our tips for winter driving). When the weather gets like this, it is of great importance to safety that drivers clear their windscreen – in fact, it is illegal for drivers to have their vision distorted. It’s true that de-icer is an effective method of preventing or getting rid of a frosty windscreen. However, parking your car in the garage can prevent your car from frosting up at all. When your car is in the garage it will stay warmer through the night than if your car is parked on the driveway, eliminating the need to spend time de-icing your car in the cold mornings before work. Another bonus is that your car will be that little bit warmer when you hop into it in the morning!
Potential issues with new car warranties, if not kept in a safe environment
When you invest in a car, car companies understand that you are expecting a certain degree of performance, safety, reliability and durability. Car warranty packages are designed to provide customers with added peace of mind in their purchase, and although it is exceptionally rare that car owners will need to make use of their warranties, it is still good to know that we have them if they ever are needed. However, seeing as you rely on your warranties validity and efficacy, it is important to make sure that you do everything you can to uphold its terms. This can often involve keeping your car in a safe environment, proving you are doing your bit to keep the car safe so there is no liability if there was to be an issue. A garage is the ultimate safe environment for your motor, especially when locked.
Reducing the chances of car theft
Criminals are devising new innovative methods to break into your car every day, so it is becoming more and more important to make sure your car is kept as safe and secure as possible. If you own a garage, it is really important that you use it to store your car overnight. Not only do garages work to keep your car out of the sight of criminals, but they are also designed especially to keep your car safe. If a criminal has somehow set their targets on your vehicle despite it being hidden away for the most part in your garage, the garage structure offers far more hurdles for them to jump as opposed to stealing your car off your driveway.
Reducing the chances of burglaries
Burglars are often on the lookout for empty houses as they are easier to break into, and part of this is surveying when people are home by keeping an eye on when the car is or isn’t in the driveway. Empty driveways have often proven to be an invitation for burglars – however, when you are parking in your garage every day it becomes harder for burglars to tell when you are and aren’t home. Once doubt is thrown into the mix, burglars are less likely to target your home over others that park on the driveway. However, it is also important to keep the locks on your garage up to date, especially if you have a connecting door between the garage and the house. Always keep your garage door closed when you leave the house and disable automatic doors when you go on holiday.
Cars need washing less often
Cars that park outside on the driveway or road are susceptible to bird droppings every day, which means having to clean your car all the time in order to keep it looking presentable. Although bird droppings do not have any corrosive properties that could affect your paintwork, they are still unpleasant to look at. An easy way to solve this problem is to park your vehicle in your garage, where there are no birds. This will also protect your vehicle from other outdoor elements, such as the sun and heat, which have both been proven to damage your car’s paintwork over time. Parking in the garage also prevents the need to invest in a weather-proof cover for your car, as the structure of the garage will do the protecting for you.
Sloped driveways can cause fuel and battery issues
If you live on a hill or have a sloped driveway, you may have noticed fuel or battery issues with your car after parking on the slope. Sloped driveways can cause your car’s engine to not be able to get enough fuel, meaning your car won’t be able to start. Although this problem can depend on the model of your car, it is definitely not worth the risk. Many people have problems with their car starting when they are parked on a hill, whether uphill or downhill. If this happens to you, you simply have to carefully back your car down the driveway onto flat ground and your car will start up – however, this is a lot of effort to be going to on a daily basis if you have a sloped driveway. This is yet another reason to make use of your garage, as they are built to the optimal conditions for cars and you will not have issues with slopes causing your car to be unable to start.
So, where should you put your junk?
Once you begin using your garage to park your car whenever you are home, you may find that there is less room for all of the other items you were storing in there. The easiest solution for this problem, without having to throw any of your items out in the rubbish, is to invest in an affordable self-storage unit. A self-storage unit will come with regular rental fees that start fairly low depending on the amount of space you will need for your items. You’ll also need to buy insurance, either direct from the storage facility, or online with someone such as Surewise. Although this is a costlier option for items, it means that you do not have to get rid of all of the things that you don’t have room for in your house, and have the garage space to look after your car properly. Self-storage units also come with the added peace of mind that your goods are being kept just as safe, if not safer and in clean conditions.
Have we convinced you that your garage should be used to store your car? Don’t let garages become a thing of the past, existing merely as on-site storage units for your home. Your belongings will be much safer in a self-storage unit under the care of a company that aims to keep your things as safe and well looked after as possible.