Many businesses own a fleet of vehicles for their work and where space can be in short supply in many urban areas finding somewhere safe to park them when they are not being used can be difficult.
The proliferation of edge of centre self-store units in the UK can provide an affordable solution, particularly if they have a reasonable outside space within a secure perimeter.
They offer a solution for bus companies which do not operate 24 hours a day, and for service and delivery vehicles that are also not needed at night.
Some vehicles may only be used seasonally, such as open top buses, which can only operate during warm summer months. Another example is classic vehicles or even horse-drawn carriages that are used for special events like weddings.
Similarly, classic car enthusiasts often only bring their pride and joy out during the summer, partly to protect them from the damage that can be caused to lovingly-restored paint and body work by the salt and grit used to make icy roads safer for drivers during winter weather.
In some cases a soaking wet vehicle may better stored outside than being parked up in a garage to allow a breeze to pass around it and help to dry out places on the vehicle where moisture can collect, particularly around wheel arches, behind the radiator or underneath.
It is worth doing a little preparation and inspection of the vehicle if it is to be stored outside for a significant period.
Any inside floor mats or carpeting need to be clean and dry to prevent mould growth while the vehicle is in store. Similarly it can be a good move to check door and window seals as well as any seals attached to pedals where they pass through the vehicle floor.
A quick check for any rust spots in the floor is always a good idea as it is one of the most likely places for water to get into the vehicle. Equally, accumulated dirt and mud on the undercarriage could retain moisture for a long period.
Many vehicle parts and accessory shops sell waterproof covers that can be clipped onto the vehicle to protect the bodywork from bad weather.
In addition to secure indoor units or rooms some self-store facilities also have open space, similar to warehousing, in clean, dry and well-lit spaces where a vehicle may be kept under cover, and some maintenance work can then be carried out on such things as paintwork, electrics, cabling and brakes while it is in store, as long as the work doesn’t require anything that could be a fire hazard, like welding equipment.
The tax and insurance will need to be kept up to date if the vehicle is to be driven to and from the storage unit.
However, if the vehicle is being moved by trailer on site property insurance is generally available through the storage company, which will be able to advise on the best options if the owner’s own insurance cover can’t be extended to storage in a secure unit.
Whether a business needs regular overnight parking or seasonal storage, the 24-hour secure access in a self-storage facility could provide an affordable solution for keeping vehicles safe when they are not in use.