The U.S. is home to more than 50,000 self-storage facilities. Together, these equate to over 2.3 billion square feet of space.
That's right. Storage facilities outnumber McDonald's branches in the country by more than three times.
What's even more surprising is how many Americans choose to pay an average of $88.85 a month to use these units. That's only the average, meaning that many others pay hundreds of dollars for these units.
This is especially true for those who rent special units for storing a car.
In many cases though, it’s best to simply sell a vehicle instead of keeping it. Aside from the obvious payout, there are also environmental benefits.
We’ll get into a more detailed explanation of the pros to selling vs keeping a car, so be sure to keep reading!
How Expensive Is It to Use a Vehicle Storage Facility?
A 10 x 20 (foot) unit is often the standard size of most storage facilities. This is also the usual option for full-size vehicle storage. Depending on where you're located, you can expect an average monthly rate of $120 to $280 for such units.
Note that these facilities only come with basic features and security though. If you want to add climate control and enhanced security, your bill may go all the way up to $450 a month.
That said, storing a car for a year may already cost you $1,440 to $3,360, even if you only opt for the basic. Whereas storing cars in a unit with all the bells and whistles can rack up to $5,400 a year.
Storing a Car at Home or Out on the Street Can Be Even More Expensive
Depending on where you live, it may be against the law to park or store a vehicle at home. Even a car parked on private property can still end up towed away and left in a pound lot. Non-compliance with these local laws can rack up serious penalties.
Homeowners Association (HOA) Fines and Penalties
Most HOAs enforce a list of vehicle types that you can park within the neighborhood. In most cases, they don't allow residents to park inoperable or junk cars out on the streets. For functional vehicles, most HOAs only allow street parking for less than 24 hours.
Failure to comply with HOA rules can result in penalties as hefty as $1,000.
Almost all cities don't allow vehicle parking on public roads for more than 72 hours. Law enforcers can tow and impound vehicles that go beyond this time limit. They can do so under vehicle abandonment laws.
Moreover, most cities have special ordinances for disabled or inoperable vehicles. These include cars without an engine or lacking other crucial parts like tires and doors. Leaving such vehicles on public streets can also classify as vehicle abandonment.
In many other cities, “abandoned” vehicles can include cars parked on private properties. In Chicago, for example, a dilapidated car parked in a home can still classify as “abandoned”. In this case, the vehicle should be within “full view of the public”.
So long as people can see the damaged car from the streets, they can report it as an abandoned vehicle. From there, law enforcers can tow away the vehicle, the cost of which the vehicle’s owner will have to cover. In Chicago, this “fine” starts at $150, plus pound storage of $20 to $35 a day.
Long-Term Car Storage Can Lead to Pricey Repairs
Let's say you'll park your car inside your garage or away from the full view of the public. The question now is, how long can a car sit without being driven?
Experts agree that all it takes is a month for a car battery to die if it goes unused. It's shorter for vehicles that have a lot of gadgets and computers, which is the case for newer cars. Batteries in BMWs, for example, can die within only two weeks.
Leaving a car unused for a year, or even just a few months, can also result in corrosion and damage. Especially if you're storing a car for winter, as the below-zero temp can affect its fluids. Moisture and condensation can also trigger corrosion.
Corrosion can produce byproducts that are harmful to humans, animals, and the environment. These include heavy metals that can contaminate soil and water. Battery corrosion, for example, can leach lead, mercury, and other deadly chemicals.
The wiring can also get damaged due to unuse and environmental factors. Pests, such as rodents, can take up residence in your parked car and chew away at components. All of these can result in expensive repairs.
Avoid All These Expenses by Selling Your Car Instead
If you have a car that you no longer use, you should just sell it to a cash for cars company. You should also sell your totaled car rather than keeping it out on your lawn or in the garage. This is the best way to avoid fines and most importantly, the health and safety hazards of car storage.
Selling your car for cash to junk car buyers can take as little as a couple of days. You only have to request an estimate of your car's worth and then decide if you like the offer. If you do, then you can set the date for the free removal of the vehicle from your property.
You'll get paid on the spot, which is far quicker than private car sales. Besides, it's difficult to find a private buyer who'll offer you a fair deal for a problematic vehicle.
Cash for cars buyers don't discriminate against vehicle condition, age, or brand. The most reputable junk car buyers buy all types of cars, junk or not. They will even buy your flood-damaged or salvaged car.
Don’t Let That Car Deplete Your Wallet and Health
As you can see, the costs of storing a car aren’t limited to monetary aspects. Keeping a vehicle at home — especially one in a state of disrepair — could also endanger your health. Moreover, it could leak and leach dangerous toxins that could harm the environment.
So, don’t put your health and safety at risk and be a danger to others! Rather, sell your old, dilapidated, or unused car for cash ASAP! This way, you can also free up valuable space at home that you can use for beautification instead.
Ready to part ways with a car that’s only collecting dust or even posing health risks? We can help! Connect with us now and we’ll help you turn that junk car into cash!