Working on Car in Storage Unit – Is It Allowed and What to Know Before You Start

Are you considering using a storage unit to work on your car? This article will discuss the ins and outs of this practice and whether it’s allowed.

It’s important to know the rules around car maintenance in storage units, as both the facility’s regulations and local laws come into play.

Self-storage facilities and laws may vary by location, but there are some general guidelines to keep in mind.

Working on Car in Storage Unit

While some storage units might be more lenient about car maintenance within their facilities, others may prohibit this due to liability and safety concerns.

So, before committing to a specific storage unit, make sure to communicate with the facility manager to ensure you’re in compliance with rules and regulations.

Key Takeaways

  • Working on cars in storage units depends on the facility’s rules and local laws
  • Research different types of vehicle storage options for the best fit
  • Prioritize maintaining your car in storage units in a safe and organized manner

Knowing the Basics of Self-Storage

Self-storage facilities are a popular solution for various storage needs, such as storing extra belongings, furniture, and vehicles. These facilities offer various sizes of storage units at affordable rates, providing a convenient and secure place for your items.

However, when it comes to working on a car in a storage unit, it’s generally not allowed.

Many self-storage companies, including Extra Space Storage, prohibit using storage units as workshops. This is to maintain a clean and safe environment for all users. There are several reasons behind this restriction:

  • Oil and fluid spills: Car maintenance often involves dealing with liquids like oil or transmission fluid. These can cause spills, stains, and hazards, which storage facilities try to avoid.
  • Lack of electricity: Most self-storage units don’t offer electrical outlets, making it impossible to use power tools or other equipment you might need while working on a car.
  • Noise, smoke, and odors: Performing car repairs or modifications can result in noise, fumes, and strong smells. These factors can disrupt the experience for other storage unit renters.

To sum things up, using storage units for vehicle storage is possible, but you cannot work on cars inside your unit. Instead, ensure that your car is in working condition and all maintenance is done off-site before storing it in a self-storage facility.

Types of Vehicle Storage Options

Indoor Vehicle Storage

Indoor vehicle storage offers a more secure and controlled environment for your car. These units typically provide:

  • Climate-controlled units: These maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, preventing any potential damage caused by temperature fluctuations.
  • Secure storage: Indoor storage facilities typically have higher security measures such as 24/7 surveillance and access controls.

There are a few disadvantages of indoor vehicle storage, such as higher cost and reduced accessibility compared to outdoor storage options.

However, the benefits of increased protection and climate control outweigh the drawbacks for many car owners.

Outdoor Car Storage

Outdoor car storage is a more affordable alternative to indoor storage units. There are two main options for outdoor car storage:

  1. Covered storage: Provides protection from direct sunlight, rain, and snow.
  2. Uncovered storage: Offers basic security but leaves your car exposed to the elements.

Here is a comparison table highlighting the pros and cons of each outdoor storage option:

Outdoor Storage TypeProsCons
Covered Storage– More affordable than indoor storage
– Offers some protection from weather
– Limited protection from temperature fluctuations
– Less secure than indoor storage
Uncovered Storage– Least expensive option
– Easy drive-up access
– No protection from weather
– Limited security

Consider your specific needs, budget, and the importance of your car’s protection when deciding between indoor and outdoor vehicle storage.

Working on Car in Storage Unit: The Reality

Facility Permissions and Rented Garages: Before working on your car in a storage unit, it’s essential to check with the storage unit operator if they allow it. Permissions can vary from facility to facility.

Some locations may have rented garages specifically designed for car repair, while others prohibit any sort of work on vehicles due to concerns like fluid spills or noise.

Performing major repairs in a storage unit might not be allowed, as they can generate too much noise and disrupt other tenants. Plus, you may need an abundant supply of electricity for major repair works, which might not be available in a storage unit.

When it comes to minor repairs, some storage facilities may allow you to do simple tasks such as changing tires or replacing filters. Always check with the facility staff and ensure you understand their regulations before attempting any car work.

The Importance of Tools: When working on your car, whether it’s in a storage unit or a rented garage, having the right tools is crucial.

Make sure you have all necessary equipment for the specific repair you plan to perform. You don’t want to get halfway through the job and realize you’re missing something crucial.

To summarize, working on a car in a storage unit is dependent on the storage facility’s policies and guidelines. Before diving into repairs, it’s critical to gather the proper tools and get permission from the facility staff.

If you’re unable to work on your car in a storage unit, consider seeking out a friend’s garage or a rented space designed for such tasks.

Size of The Storage Unit

When considering a storage unit to work on your car, size is an essential factor. Typically, a 10′ x 20′ unit is the most commonly used size for storing cars1.

While renting a storage unit, it’s crucial to make sure you have enough space to move around and comfortably perform repairs or modifications.

However, you should be aware that not all storage facilities allow working on cars inside their units. For example, Extra Space Storage doesn’t permit using their storage units as workshops2.

Here’s some advice to help you find the right size storage unit:

  • Measure your car’s dimensions and compare them to the available storage unit sizes.
  • Consider additional space for tools, equipment, and workspace.

Still, you may want to explore other options, such as asking a friend to lend you their garage or finding a rentable space designed for car repairs.

Remember to follow any guidelines provided by the storage facility, and respect their rules regarding working on vehicles in their units.

Maintaining Your Car in Storage Unit

When storing your car in a storage unit, it’s crucial to keep up with maintenance. Before placing it in storage, make sure to invest in a car cover that will protect it from dust and scratches.

Adding a fuel stabilizer to your car’s gas tank prevents fuel degradation, which can lead to engine problems if left untreated for extended periods.

It’s also essential to check with the storage units operator if working on your car inside the unit is allowed. Some facilities might not permit this due to safety or compliance reasons.

For the tires, using tire stoppers can help avoid flat spotting by preventing the car from resting on the same tire spots over time. Additionally, placing the tire stoppers under each wheel prevents the car from rolling.

Remember to keep all materials for maintenance organized and accessible within the storage unit. This will make it easier for you to perform any necessary tasks on your car while it’s stored.

Factors Influencing Work in Storage Units

Storage units can be versatile spaces for both personal and professional storage. However, working on a car in a storage unit often has restrictions.

Self-storage properties generally prioritize safety and security. As a result, these facilities may not allow car repairs. For instance, Extra Space Storage prohibits working on cars inside their storage units.

Business storage spaces can offer additional amenities, but car repairs might still be restricted. Check with the storage facility to know their specific policies.

Personal storage units provide room for your belongings, but again, working on a car might be limited. Always refer to the facility’s rules and regulations.

Professional storage solutions may have stricter guidelines to ensure a higher standard of security and environment. So, car repairs might not be allowed in these units as well.

When looking for a storage unit to work on your car, it is crucial to keep these factors in mind and always inquire about the facility’s regulations to avoid any complications.

Special Storage Considerations

RV and Boat Storage

When storing your RV or boat in a storage unit, it’s essential to understand the specific rules and requirements for each variety. For instance, remember that you should:

  • Find a storage facility with ample space for maneuvering large vehicles.
  • Ensure proper tire inflation to avoid flat spots.
  • Cover your RV or boat to protect it from dust and debris.
  • Periodically check on your vehicle to ensure everything is in working order.

Classic and Compact Cars

When considering storage for classic or compact cars, remember that safe and secure long-term storage options are vital. Here are a few tips:

  • Use designated vehicle storage facilities or drive-up units for secure storage.
  • Opt for climate-controlled storage units to protect your classic cars from potential hazards.
  • Disconnect your car’s battery to prevent damage and ensure it remains charged during storage.
  • Utilize a car cover for added protection from dirt and dust.

By following these guidelines, you can confidently store your beloved vehicles while complying with storage unit rules and regulations.

Legally Storing Your Vehicle

When it comes to working on your car in a storage unit, it’s essential to understand the legalities and regulations. Some storage facilities may allow you to work on your car, but others may forbid it due to liability issues.

One option for storing your vehicle is uncovered parking. This type of parking is usually available in a parking lot. It’s ideal for short-term storage and requires lawful adherence. However, it doesn’t provide protection from harsh weather conditions.

Another option to consider is covered parking. It offers more protection than an uncovered parking lot, safeguarding your vehicle from rain, snow, and sun damage.

Nonetheless, working on your car in a covered parking area might not be permissible, depending on the facility’s rules and regulations.

When choosing the right storage option for your vehicle, consider the table below:

 Uncovered ParkingCovered Parking
CostGenerally, lower costHigher cost
SecurityVaries, often moderateVaries, often enhanced
WeatherNo protectionSome protection
SpaceLimited workspaceLimited workspace

Remember that always respecting the facility’s rules and regulations is crucial. Make inquiries with the storage unit operator to ensure your intentions to work on your car are allowed, or if you need to seek an alternative location for any repairs or modifications.

This way, you can avoid potential legal issues and ensure a smooth and safe experience when working on your vehicle.


In summary, working on your car in a storage unit is not always allowed. It largely depends on the storage facility’s policies and local laws.

Some places like Extra Space Storage prohibit working on cars in their units, while others may be more lenient. It’s essential to check with the staff or management before proceeding.

An alternative to storage units could be renting a garage or finding a friend who is willing to lend you their space. This option may provide better flexibility and freedom to work on your vehicle.

Remember to have the right tools and follow any regulations or guidelines in place. If this article was helpful and informative, try looking for other resources to continue expanding your knowledge on the subject. Good luck with your car maintenance journey!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I work on my car inside a storage unit?

No, working on a car inside a storage unit is generally not allowed. For example, Extra Space Storage does not permit customers to work on cars inside their storage units at their facilities.

Are there any specific rules or regulations about working on vehicles in storage units?

Yes, most storage facilities have rules and regulations prohibiting customers from working on vehicles inside their storage units. This is due to potential hazards, such as fires, fumes, and spills, that may arise from car repairs and maintenance.

Do storage facilities allow car maintenance on their premises?

Though individual policies may vary, most storage facilities do not allow car maintenance on their premises. It is always advisable to consult your chosen facility’s rules and guidelines for clarification before attempting any maintenance or repair work.

Are workshops allowed in storage units for vehicle repairs?

In general, storage units are not designed as workshops for vehicle repairs. They are primarily meant for storing your belongings, including vehicles, but not for working on them.

What types of car repairs are generally permitted in a storage unit?

Storage units are typically not permitted for any type of car repair or maintenance work. They are meant to store vehicles, not for working on them.

Do storage unit rental agreements usually have clauses regarding working on cars?

Yes, storage unit rental agreements often include clauses that prohibit or restrict working on cars within the storage unit. It is important to carefully read and understand these clauses before signing the agreement.


  1. “How to Store a Car in a Storage Unit,” source
  2. “Can I work on a car in a storage unit? | Extra Space Storage,” source
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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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