How does classic car storage affect my insurance?
Your method of classic vehicle storage can affect your ability to qualify for classic car insurance and get a lower rate. Classic car storage for insurance typically involves protecting it from nature and theft, but requirements will vary by insurer and state.
Do insurance companies have guidelines for how to store a classic car?
Yes, insurers often have guidelines for storing a classic car. Proving you follow their guidelines can help you qualify for a classic car insurance policy and a better rate.
Progressive Classic Car by Hagerty prefers that your classic vehicle is stored in a:
Pole barn (a type of post-frame building that allows for significant open space on the inside)
All other factors being equal, these ways of storing your antique vehicle can lead to a better car insurance rate. There may also be considerations for carports, driveways, parking garages, and car hauling trailers.*
If you won't be driving your car for an extended period, find out if you need insurance for a car in storage.
Classic car storage tips
Use these classic car storage tips to help keep your vehicle safe and good shape. Consider researching the recommended practices for your classic car — local and national classic car clubs may be helpful resources.
Prepare your classic car for long-term storage
If you'll be storing your classic car long-term, experts recommend changing the oil and oil filter and driving the car for a dozen miles or so until the fresh oil is fully worked into the car's systems.
There's some debate over keeping gas in the vehicle. The safest action is to drain the fuel tank as much as possible before storage, but some experts say you can fill the tank with recreational fuel, add a stabilizer, and drive it a few miles.
Aim for the best-case classic car storage scenario
Some owners use their classic cars as daily drivers, but many store their classic for most of its life and drive it only occasionally. If you'll be storing your classic for long periods, especially more than three months, many classic car storage experts agree that you should aim to follow these tips for how to store your classic car:
Store your classic in a dry, climate-controlled, secure facility
Wash, wax, and buff the car before long-term storage
Clean and vacuum the inside, and close convertible tops
Remove the wiper blades, and wrap the wiper arms to protect the windshield
Ensure fluid tank contents are full and fresh (transmission, coolant, brake, power steering)
Check your freezing point with a hydrometer or test strips to insure you’re good for the lowest of winter temperatures in your region
Unhook the battery cables, or attach a battery tender to ensure your car can start and your clock and radio settings remain — just don't use a trickle charger
Use tire chocks instead of the parking brake
Dry the car thoroughly before applying a fitted breathable cotton or flannel cover
If the car is being worked on, rest it on jack stands with a plastic tarp underneath the car
Fill the tires so they're full or slightly overinflated
Apply mouse/rat deterrent and stations under and around the car, and put steel wool in the exhaust pipes and air cleaner snorkel if rodents are a real problem
Storing classic cars in an unheated garage
It's not ideal, but storing classic cars in a garage with no heat is better than storing them somewhere more exposed to the elements. Any garage can also help deter theft. If your classic will be stored in an open-air carport, avoid surfaces that trap humidity like grass and dirt.
Keep moisture out
Moisture is often cited as the worst enemy of classic cars in storage. To keep your storage space dry, consider adding a dehumidifier to the space. You'll need to check it regularly and empty the reservoir bin often. Also, a container of baking soda and/or moisture-absorbing dessicant bags can help keep the interior fresh and prevent mildew. Some outlets sell desiccant packets that serve a similar purpose.
Other classic car storage considerations
Experts tend to disagree on these classic car storage topics. Consider researching each to decide what's best for your vehicle and storage situation.
Battery storage: Should you leave it attached or remove it?
Engine preparation: Should you run it for 15 minutes every month or so, or leave it alone the whole time?
Spark plugs preparation: Do you keep them in or take them out? What about lubricating with engine oil or fogging oil?
Tire storage: Should you leave them on or take them off?
Windows: Is it better to leave them down for air circulation or up to prevent rodent and bug issues?
Consulting with experts or car clubs specific to your classic car can help you make confident decisions regarding your options.