Essential Guide to Winter Car Storage 2024

As the winter blankets us, car storage becomes an increasingly attractive option for owners. How else can you protect your pride and joy (or run around) from the harsh elements?

It’s time to enhance your car's lifespan, keep its resale value high, and swerve past those winter maintenance costs. Our winter car hibernation tips and car storage options will give you the know-how to mitigate freezing temperatures, damp conditions and rodent infestations. Hit the spring roads with confidence by preventing winter car damage now.​

Winter Risks for Your Vehicle​

Knowing how the cold affects your car over winter is half the battle. Let’s look at these winter risks so you can already make a start at saving your vehicle. 

Battery Blues

The winter chill isn't kind to your car's battery. Winter car battery maintenance can start with simple health checks (see the next heading) and even investing in a trickle charger. This simple device can keep your battery charged and ready to go, preventing the dreaded dead battery scenario on a frosty morning.

Engine Chill

Cold weather means thickening oil, which can prevent your car from running smoothly. Especially on the colder mornings, let the engine warm up. Allow the cold thick oil to loosen up and get around the car. Switching to a winter-grade oil can make a world of difference, giving your even more leeway to go from frozen. Antifreeze is your vehicle's winter warrior, preventing your engine coolant from freezing up. A winter car coolant check should come right after your tyre check.

Tyre Troubles

Lower temperatures can cause your tyres to lose pressure. Tough luck really. All we can do is make sure that they are inflated to the right amount as much as we can. Icy roads and low tyre pressures aren't the best combination, so check out the best winter tires UK for better traction and safety.

Interior Invasion

It rarely crosses our minds, but winter car rodentproofing is a real thing. This one depends on your car make (rats will have trouble getting into an EV) and location, but it's better to be safe than sorry. If you’re worried about animals finding refuge in your car over the winter, seal entry points like exhaust pipes and air vents and use deterrents to keep these critters at bay. Regular inspections of your vehicle's interior can save you from unpleasant surprises.

Prepping Your Car for Winter Storage

Let’s prepare your car for its seasonal slumber. Find our simple step-by-step guide to winterising your car for winter car storage UK. 

1. Clean and Prep

  • Wash on warmer days: Aim for above-freezing temperatures to ensure a safe, thorough wash without the risk of ice buildup.
  • Clean undercarriage and wheel wells: These areas are prone to salt and grit accumulation; rinse them thoroughly to prevent corrosion.
  • Dry thoroughly: Remove excess water with a drying chamois or towel to avert ice formation.

After the wash, apply a protective layer of wax. Not only does this protect the paintwork during the cold months, but it also makes spring cleaning a breeze. Next, spruce up the interior to ensure it’s free of crumbs and trash, deterring any rodents or pests.

2. Top Up Fluids

Make sure that all your fluids are topped up for the long haul. Winter grade oil, antifreeze, and full tank of fuel are your targets here. Don’t forget the brake fluid too – a smooth spring return depends on it.

3. Charge up battery

  • Keep it charged: Regularly start your car and let it run for 10-15 minutes, maintaining the battery charge. A battery maintainer is ideal for extended periods of storage.
  • Clean those terminals: Disconnect the cables (negative first) and clean the terminals with a wire brush and a baking soda solution. Apply a corrosion inhibitor for added protection.
  • Extreme cold? Store it indoors: In severe cold, consider removing the battery and storing it in a cool, dry place.

Bonus Tips

For those who like to go the extra mile, here are a few more tips:

  • A well-fitting car cover made from breathable materials is essential for protecting your paint from snow, ice, and harmful UV rays.
  • Turn off or disable interior lights and the GPS to prevent battery drain.
  • Inflate your tires to the recommended pressure to avoid flat spots.
  • Open windows slightly on dry days to prevent moisture buildup and mould.

Electric and Hybrid Winter Storage Secrets

Storing electric and hybrid cars during winter requires a nuanced approach. These vehicles have unique needs, especially concerning their batteries and electric systems. Let's dive into some key tips to ensure your eco-friendly ride remains in top shape during the colder months.

Save the Powerhouse!

  • Optimal Charge Level: Keep your battery charged between 50-80% before storage. This range helps prevent battery degradation. If storing for an extended period, consider a battery maintainer.
  • Temperature Control Matters: Batteries and extreme cold don't mix well. If possible, store your car in a sheltered area or use a thermal car cover for added insulation.
  • Periodic Rejuvenation: Like a healthy snack, your battery appreciates occasional top-ups. If possible, plug in your car every few weeks to maintain optimal charge levels.

Maximise Efficiency

  • Smart Defrosting: Rely less on your car's electric defrost system, as it can drain the battery significantly. Instead, use windshield covers or portable defrosters powered by external sources.
  • Post-Winter Checkup: Before you hit the road again, give your car a comprehensive inspection. Look out for any signs of rodent activity, top up all fluids, and replace worn-out wiper blades. Ensuring your car is in prime condition guarantees safety and efficiency as you transition out of winter.

Finding the Perfect Storage Partner

Whether you're looking for winter car storage services UK or the best winter car storage near you, here are key factors to consider to ensure your car gets the best care possible.

Security Savvy

  • Robust Protection: Look for a facility with security features like secure fencing, CCTV surveillance, and 24/7 access control.

Climate Control Comfort

  • Optimal Environment: Choose a storage solution offering temperature and humidity control. This environment is essential for preventing rust, mould growth, and interior deterioration, especially during the damp winter months.

Service Spectrum

  • Customisable Care: A storage service with a range of options like battery maintenance, regular tire pressure checks, and car washing before pickup is ideal. These services ensure your car isn't just stored but also cared for and ready for a pampered return.

Reputation Matters

  • Trustworthy Providers: Don't underestimate the importance of reputation. Seek out storage providers with positive customer reviews and a proven track record of reliable service and transparency.