Let’s face it, if we had the choice, our beloved classic cars would take centre stage on a rotating floor in our homes so that we could see them at all times. But the reality is, that you need to find a garage, outbuilding or external storage facility to keep them in.
Whether you are a first-time classic car owner, or are looking for some useful reminders, here are our 12 top tops for making sure you have selected the safest space to store your classic motor.
- Give Yourself Enough Space
You need to be sure that you can carefully manoeuvre your vehicle in and out, open doors and work on your car without running the risk of scratches and damage. Many classic cars are longer or wider than they appear, so a standard size garage may not be sufficient.
- Think About Security
Most owners are concerned about the safety of their vehicle – make sure that you have valid, sufficient insurance but also consider how you can best store your car in the most secure way. Think about the location, visibility, the use of alarms, cameras and trackers. Another idea is to regularly take photographic evidence of your car in its storage space, should you ever need to make an insurance claim.
- Opt for Dry Conditions
One of the biggest risks to classic cars is damp. Ensure that wherever you are storing your car is free from damp, mould, humidity or any flooding risk. A dry environment, with some ventilation works best. A humidity level of 55% is recommended. You could consider placing silica gel packs in footwells or dehumidifiers in your storage space if you know that it can get humid in the Summer.
- Structure Choice
Bricks do a great job of maintaining a stable and moisture free environment and are definitely the recommended choice of structure for storing your classic car. Concrete buildings can reduce airflow, allowing mildew or damp to linger, so it is important to combat this by ventilating the space as frequently as possible. Metal structures or metal roofs can get hot quickly and wooden sheds or barns do carry the risk of damp and can be less secure.
- Be Aware of Animals and Rodents
Rodents, insects and even animals such as cats and foxes can cause considerable damage to your car as they enjoy them as comfortable spaces to sleep (and do their business!). Make sure garage shutters, windows and doors are secured and free from damage that allows unwanted visitors inside. You should also avoid storing your car in the same place you store any food, hay, or animal feed. If you do live in the countryside where rodents are plentiful, you can close air vents and block your exhaust, as they will be tempted to gnaw on insulation, seat foam and air filters!
- Park it Clean
If you are tucking your classic car away for the Winter or know that you will not be using it for some time, it is a good idea to give it a good, thorough wash and tidy up before putting it away. This will help protect the paintwork and the interior from any erosion, discolouration or damage.
- Temperature Control
Depending on the structure of your garage or outbuilding, the temperature can fluctuate throughout the seasons. It is a good idea to get a temperature gauge so that you can keep an eye on the conditions.
- Protect Your Tires
Over time, tires can lose air naturally and they can become distorted if they remain still in the same position for too long. You could invest in some tire pads or ‘flatstoppers’ to protect the shape of your tires, but you can also make sure you are regularly moving your vehicle to avoid this from happening.
- Handbrake Off
It might go against all instincts, but if you leave the handbrake on your classic motor for long periods, you could be risking fusing the brake pads to the discs. This is not an issue with modern cars that are being driven frequently, but can be a problem for older, less used cars. Instead ensure you are parked on a level surface, use wheel chocks and leave the car in gear.
- Open Windows
It is important that air circulates through your car to reduce the risk of condensation, mould and musty odours. Leaving a couple of windows open slightly can aid this, as long as your storage space is dry and secure.
- Lift Wipers off the Glass
A small, yet significant tip that you will be pleased you listened to when it comes to taking your car out for a spin. Rubber can react and fuse to glass when it is left unattended. So, lifting your wipers off the windscreen or placing a piece of cloth between the wiper blade and the glass can remedy this. Deteriorated rubber will be useless at wiping away the rain and can leave marks on your glass.
- Carefully Consider Car Covers
A cover can help to preserve your classic car, keeping it clean and protected from the harsh ultra-violet rays, rain, dust and pollutants. If you have no choice but to leave your car outside or you prefer to keep it on your drive because you use it regularly, then a proper-fitting car cover is a good choice. However, it is worth being wary of the downsides to car covers too. Many are only intended to protect from the worst elements for short periods of time and will not completely seal your car from damage. Moisture can get caught and retained underneath a car cover, eventually causing more harm than good. To be on the safe side, always follow instructions, try to purchase a car cover that is bespoke to your model and only use a car cover on a car that is clean and free of any sharp objects. Think about the weather conditions and the environment your car is being stored in when choosing whether to apply a cover or not.
If you are taking your pride and joy out of storage and notice that your interior could do with some TLC or it is time to invest in a full re-trim, then please get in touch with our friendly trimming team. Call us on 07942 347 007 or email