Storing Your Classic Car

If you live in the northeast, you know that the winter – and all of the cold temperatures, snow, ice and road salt that comes with it – can be incredibly tough on vehicles. If you own a classic car, properly storing it during the winter season can help to preserve its condition and value. Additionally, some classic auto insurance policies require you to store your vehicle in an enclosed structure when not in use. In this article, you can find information regarding storage for your classic car, some of the steps to prepare if for the offseason, and how to prepare it for use again.

warehouse with multiple classic cars with protective covers

Storage Options for Your Classic Car

Deciding where to store your precious ride can be a tough decision. A classic car can be a significant investment, and you don’t want to store your vehicle just anywhere. When deciding where you should store your classic car, you will need to determine the length of time you will be storing it. Short-term storage options are typically used when you are putting your classic away for the season, while long-term storage options are for vehicles that are only brought out for special occasions and need to be stored almost year-round. Below are some of the typical storage options for both short and long-term periods.


  • Home Carport
  • Home Attached or Detached Garage
  • Local Storage Unit


  • Dedicated Storage Facility
  • Private Buildings
  • Private Parking Garages

Preparing Your Classic Car for Storage

Once you have decided on a location for storing your classic car, you should take the necessary steps to prepare it for storage.

Wash Your Vehicle – Cleaning your vehicle inside and out before storing is always recommended. Doing so can help get rid of unwanted substances that can deteriorate your vehicle’s components, paint, and chrome. You can also help prevent scratches by using a car cover.

Check the Gas – Filling your gas tank and adding fuel stabilizer will help reduce the chances for air and moisture to get inside your tank, fuel lines, and other components.

Check Other Fluids – Checking your oil and antifreeze levels before storage is important. A motor, even while sitting, should have the proper amount of oil and antifreeze in it. Maintaining proper fluid levels can help prevent harmful corrosion and may make for an easier start up when you’re ready to take your vehicle out of storage.

Make Sure Your Tires Have Air – You should make sure that your vehicle’s tires are inflated to the proper tire pressure, which can help reduce the risk of your tires going flat while in storage.

close up of hot rod headlight and tire

During Storage

After your vehicle has made it to its temporary storage space, there are a few additional precautionary measures you may want to take before it sits for the offseason.

Reduce Rodent Activity – Placing plastic covers or bags over both your exhaust and intake manifold components will help keep rodents from making their way into your engine. Closing all of your windows and placing dryer sheets and other repellent items inside your interior can also help to deter rodents and avoid moisture build up.

Prep Your Battery – When storing your vehicle, you may want to remove your battery and store it separately.  

Place on Jackstands – To help reduce the wear on your classic car’s suspension and to avoid the possibility of developing flat spots on your tires, you could consider placing your vehicle on the proper weight capacity jackstands.

Getting Your Classic Car Ready for Use After Storage

Once the weather begins to improve, the urge to get your classic car out will start to mount. Below are some of the steps to bring your classic out of hibernation.

Install Your Battery – If you removed your battery during storage, then you will need to reinstall your battery.

Remove Precautionary Measures – Next you will need to remove any precautionary measures that were taken while storing your classic car. Remove your car cover, plastic bags, jackstands and other tools that you utilized during storage.

Check for Leaks – Giving your vehicle a good walk around to look for any leaks or damage is always a good idea.

Starting Up Your Classic Car – Now it is time to check all of your fluid levels and start your ride. Let your classic car warm up, keeping an eye out for any new leaks while checking your pedals and gauges.

Make it Shine – Finally, after sitting in storage for a period of time your classic car may have acquired some light dust and grime. Giving your ride a good clean will have you ready for some cruising.

Do I Need Insurance Year-Round on My Classic Car?

It is a good idea to keep your classic auto insurance active year-round, even if you intend to store it during the off-season. Your classic car is always susceptible to threats, such as the possibility of a fire, theft and vandalism, or an “act of God.” Taking your coverage off your ride can leave you vulnerable, and there is sometimes a misconception that your homeowner’s policy will cover a vehicle stored in your garage. In fact, homeowner’s insurance typically will exclude coverage for motorized vehicles meant for the road.

close up of classic car taillights and rear window

Insurance Quotes for Your Classic Car

Cross Insurance can help you explore your options when it comes to insurance for your classic car. To find out more, contact your local Cross Insurance today.



This article is for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Cross Insurance shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, insurance, accounting or other professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article are that of its author and do not necessarily represent the views of Cross Financial Corp. and its subsidiaries and affiliates (“Cross Insurance”) or Cross Insurance’s management or shareholders.


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