Tag: car storage

Car Buying: New or Used, Consider this Advice

Having a new car is something almost everyone looks forward to but the purchase process can be a bit stressful. In the end, whether new or used, it’s a new car to you!

There are so many things you might want or need in a vehicle, you have to look around Buying a New Carand see what kind you want, what color, what type of features you want it to have whether you want leather seats, what type of transmission, just to name a few.

Before you begin car shopping, make a list of yourself for what you want your car to have; knowing exactly what you want can very helpful, such as a family sized car or a smaller car, what color you would like the exterior interior, a hybrid/eco-friendly car, even down to the smaller details of the auto. Of course, being more flexible with what you desire in a car can give you a wider range of cars available for sale in your area.

Decide what type of a car you’re going to want, a brand new or used car. A brand new car is great; in some cases it’s much more reliable than a used car and can last longer than a used car. There is nothing wrong with buying a used car; if you aren’t ready to make a big purchase, it can be less expensive than buying a brand new car.

An important thing to know if you aren’t purchasing your car with a check or cash, is what types of loan you can be approved for. You can save money on interest rates by going to your financial institution and getting pre-approved for an auto loan, whether you’re purchasing the car from a dealership or a private party. Normally the financial institution has lower rates than what a car dealership can offer you and being pre-approved will give you a bit more leverage to negotiate with a salesperson. If you’re trading in your current car for a new one, know the price before you go to the dealership. Getting a trade in value before you start shopping can let you know whether you’re getting more or less than what your current car is actually worth. KBB.com (Kelly Blue Book) is a great website to get an estimated value over your current car or a used car you’re thinking about purchasing.

Car Dealerships:

Check different dealer locations (if you’re purchasing closer to Arlington chances are prices could be higher than purchasing in Stafford, Dale City or even Fredericksburg). Purchasing at a smaller dealership vs. a larger dealership can have its pros and cons. A smaller dealership pro: you can negotiate more but you have higher interest rates. A larger dealership pro: lower car prices, lower interest rates but less room to negotiate. If the vehicle you’re looking for is not terribly unique, try find identical models at two or more dealerships and compete each dealerships offer against the others.

Online Shopping:

The internet can be a great tool to make your car buying easier, rather than driving from location to location looking for cars you can search many dealerships. Many dealerships can offer you an “online special” or have a “price promise” that can get you a lower deal on your vehicle. If the dealership you’re shopping from doesn’t have any type of online deals going on, they possibly might have an information tab where you can submit to them your information and a salesperson will contact you either through phone or by email.

Car Buying Services:

USAA, Costco and other membership based groups have car buying services to negotiate a lower rate for you. Keep in mind the price may still be higher than what you could negotiate on your own.

When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, you have to keep in mind several things. A few of those things can be how much your monthly payments will be, how much interest you’ll be paying over the years, and what benefits the dealership can offer you (such as free state inspections, promotions on car care packages, discounts on servicing your vehicle).

Think about where you’ll keep your newest purchase. Do you have a garage, will you park it in your driveway at home or will you have to park it on the street? Will you trade in your old car or keep it for a while to sell at private party value? Private party sales almost always net you more money than a trade in offer. For your old wheels, consider temporary outdoor storage or container storage until you find a buyer. Showing potential buyers your vehicle at home can be a safety concern. At a storage facility like Gateway Storage, you can meet your potential buyer onsite to complete paperwork or let your buyer take it for a test drive, instead of your home. If you want to keep your old vehicle in storage for a bit while you decide whether to sell it, you can remove the tags and reduce the insurance from liability to general to save money. You will not be able to drive the vehicle on the road without tags or liability insurance, but you can place it into storage at Gateway. Many storage facility require current tags or full insurance, so make sure to call ahead with these questions. If your old car is not running, you may want to store it for a few months while you decide whether to repair it and to what extent. Check your local requirements, as it may be illegal or against HOA regulations to leave wheels with expired tags in your driveway or on your neighborhood street. Tow-in vehicles are welcome at Gateway Storage.

After the Purchase:

The moment you drive your vehicle off the lot it depreciates in value up to 20%, which can be a strong negotiating factor in purchasing your car. You want your vehicle to hold as much value as it can from the moment you drove it off the lot, meaning take good care of your car. Keep up with your vehicle’s maintenance/ mechanical and cosmetic needs (both on the interior and exterior). Regularly change the oil (most auto servicers recommend ever 3k-5k depending on the oil you use), change the breaks and tires when needed as well, detail the interior to to keep it looking nice/clean, give it a good wax to keep it looking as good as the time you bought it. Purchasing a car can be an extremely exciting thing to do, just keep these tips in mind when you are looking around the car market.

3 Reasons Your Car Might Not Be As Safe As You Think

Photo Credit: alicegop

Photo Credit: alicegop

You may think that your car is safe when you park it on the street. Most times it will be, however, all is takes is one time and your safety is compromised. Whether you’re parking on the street, or in your driveway there are still concerns you may not have thought of.

In this article we’re going to cover three of the biggest dangers you’ll face from parking your car in the street or in your driveway, and lastly what you can do to increase your safety by utilizing car storage.

Remember, the safety of your car is entirely in your hands. It’s up to you how you decide to store your vehicles.

1. Increased danger of theft

When you park your car along the street there’s an increased chance of theft. Either of your car, or objects you’re storing in your car. Even if you live in a relatively safe neighborhood, there’s still the chance of burglars coming into your neighborhood during the nighttime hours.

If your car is in your garage it’s usually much safer. However, if you have more than one car and you have to park it in the street you’re increasing your chance of risk.

2. Parking tickets and violations

Parking tickets are very prevalent in the Alexandria area. Of course, you can do whatever you can to avoid them, but the regulations are very strict. With the sheer amount of tickets the police department writes every year, you would think that people would learn the regulations by now. However, this isn’t always the case.

If you have several cars you know the difficulties of trying to park your cars in a legal manner. Over time, paying tickets can get very expensive.

3. Exposure to the elements

Parking a car outside also brings other dangers with it. For example, if you park your car underneath a tree and a branch happens to break and fall on your vehicle, then you’ll have to deal with the damages to your car, as well as the handle the insurance companies.

The outside environment also includes other cars. If you park your precious vehicle on the street there’s also an increased chance of being hit by another car.

All of these damages could have been avoided, if only there was another way.

What Can You Do To Avoid These?

If you’d rather pass on having to go through theft, damage and parking tickets there is another option at your disposal. Invest in personal Alexandria car storage. Although this option may seem like a hassle, we’ve have a streamlined storage process that is completely customizable to your needs.

We offer Alexandria car storage and short term and long term parking. Our facilities are secured 24/7 and you get a personal pin for easy access. We serve residents and military personnel across the Woodbridge, Alexandria, and Springfield area, as well as all of Northern Virginia. Get in touch with Gateway Storage today.

How To Prepare Your Classic Car For Storage

When you’re preparing your car for storage there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. The last thing you want to occur is have to spend a serious amount of time getting your car ready for driving, once you’ve decided to remove it from storage.

By spending a little time up front you’ll save yourself a ton of worry and hassle in the future. In this article we’re going to cover a few steps you can take to make sure you protect your classic car, before you take your car to an Alexandria car storage facility.

Getting a classic car ready for storage is a different process than any of your other vehicles. It’s important to take extra time and care with your vehicle to ensure it’s safety, no matter the time of year.

Ensure Your Tank Is Full

One of the biggest obstacles you’ll face when trying to protect your classic car is moisture. By keeping your gas tank full you’ll minimize the chances of moisture occurring in the gas tank or the or fuel lines. If the rule level drops, it presents a better condition for moisture to form, which can lead to corrosion.

Another good reason to top off your fuel tank, is due to sediment that may form at the bottom of the tank. If you run your car at too low of a fuel level there’s a good chance that sediment will get dragged through the engine.

Use Fresh Gasoline

Modern gasoline doesn’t compare to the gasoline that cars ran on when your classic car was built. As a result you’ll want to ensure you fill up your car with the highest octane fuel available. Since the structure of gasoline actually changes after 60 days you’ll want to ensure you add a fuel stabilizer to your tank, such as Sta-Bil. This will help your gasoline to stay in the same composition over extended periods of time.

Change Out The Fluids

If you don’t change out the oils and fluids in your car on a regular basis, it can cause excessive wear and tear on your engine. Before you bring your car to storage make sure you take a nice warm up run, drain out the old oil and pour in new lube. This can also be a good time to change the oil filter, if you car has one.

Do A Thorough Cleaning

By taking the time to wash your car on a regular basis you’ll keep it in pristine condition for years. When you’re cleaning your car for storage, take the time as if you were getting it ready for a big car show. Make sure you get every nook and cranny on the inside of your car. After you’ve washed the outside of the car it can be a good idea to apply a coat of wax to protect your car from dust and other objects. You may even want to throw a few silica packets onto the floor of your car to soak up any extra moisture.

Lube Up The Joints

It can also be smart to lube up all the locks, latches and hinges you car has, to prevent them from locking up when it’s in Alexandria car storage. You can even use a little bit of grease to coat the weatherstripping and any other seals on your vehicle.

Use Plastic Sheeting

It’s a good idea to place a plastic sheet below your car to prevent any dampness or moisture from rising up into the bottom of the car. Also, to ensure extra moisture protection make sure you fill the tailpipes with steel wool, just remember to take it out before you drive your car!

Jack Up The Vehicle

It’s a good idea to jack up your car to ensure you’re taking the load off the tires and suspension. You can use a trolley jack to hold up your vehicle. It can also be wise to place wooden blocks under the suspension, so it isn’t fully extended the entire time you’re in storage. You’ll also want to make sure the car is in neutral, and the parking brake is disengaged, so nothing locks up.

Use A High Quality Car Cover

A quality car cover can go a long way. Make sure you invest in a breathable cover that will allow moisture to escape and prevent any extra dust from settling on your vehicle. If you can find a cover that’s designed to fit the body of your car, it will protect it even better.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful and have a better idea of the steps you need to take if you want to maintain your classic car, even when it’s in Alexandria car storage.

If you’re still looking for a place to store your classic car, then get in touch with Gateway Storage, we serve the Woodbridge, Alexandria, Springfield and all across Northern Virginia.

Let’s discuss your situation, get in touch today!

5 Ways to Tell If Car Storage Is Right For You

You may be thinking that  car storage is a waste of time, is too much work, or you might not even know what car storage is! If you’ve been thinking about car storage for while now and are afraid to take the plunge, take a look at our five top reasons below and see if any of them hit home.

1. You have several “junk” cars

You may love the idea of spending your weekends fixing up your “junk” cars, however in reality your projects have been untouched for months, if not years.

Depending on your county you may have even received a ticket for having a “junk” car. After all you may perceive your car as an antique, while another person may see it as a pile of junk.

After all, if you do feel inspired to fix up your car once and for all, you can always take it out of storage. In the meantime you’ll know it’s safe and avoid further citations.

2. You are always getting parking tickets for your fleet of vehicles

If you own more than one car then you know how hard parking can actually be. It’s a careful art to park all your vehicles, legally, so you don’t receive a fine or ticket.

Granted, you may have some cars that simply don’t work, or don’t have enough space outside your home to park all your vehicles. Most likely, you probably only drive one or two vehicles on a regular basis anyways.

Save yourself the hassle of constantly finding parking and take a car or two to storage. That way you’ll be able to breathe easy and know you’re never going to get cited for parking illegally again.

3. You are constantly stressing about whether or not your cars are safe

If you have multiple cars, then you may spend your nights worrying if all your vehicles are safe or not when they’re parked outside your home. If you can’t fit your vehicles into your garage then there’s a good chance you’re going to have to park on the street. Depending where you live, this might not be the most comfortable option for you.

Do yourself a favor and store your vehicles in a safe Northern Virginia car parking facility, you’ll save yourself several sleepless nights.

4. You own a commercial vehicle

Frankly, if you own a commercial vehicle for work purposes, you’re going to have trouble parking it anywhere. You may have a few commercial vehicles for seasonal work and are looking for an easy place to store them during the “off-season”.

Most people don’t know, but Alexandria car storage facilities can store commercial vehicles, just as they would any other vehicle.

5. You don’t have room for all your vehicles

Sometimes you just have too many vehicles, whether they’re “junk” cars, show cars, or inoperable vehicles, you just need more space. You don’t want to park them on the street and you certainly don’t want to sell them.

The easiest option for you to consider would be Gateway Storage Center’s car parking. You get to keep all your vehicles, and still have access to them whenever you’d like.

If any of the above reasons resonated with you, then do yourself a favor and look into Springfield car parking today.

We serve residents and military personnel from Woodbridge, Alexandria, Springfield and all across Northern Virginia. Let’s discuss your situation–give us a call today!

Why You Should Consider Storing Your Junk Car

To some people, their “junk” cars are their pride and joy. They’re weekend projects that someday are going to be transformed into beautiful masterpieces. However, your neighbors or people passing by your home may not feel the same way. When you look at your car you see its potential, when they look at it they see a pile of junk.

You might not think this is an issue. However, according to local regulations you can be fined or ticketed if your car poses a threat to community safety.

Storing your “junk” car can be done safely and easily, if you’ve had a single thought about storing your “junk” car do yourself a favor and take a look at our top reasons for using Gateway Storage Center’s car storage below.

You’ve Been Receiving Tickets Or Fines

If you’ve received any tickets or fines for you inoperable or “junk vehicle”, then car storage can definitely be your best option. That way you’ll make your neighbors and the authorities happy, all while saving yourself money. The price you’ll pay for storage every month can actually be cheaper than the tickets you’ve been receiving.

You Don’t Think You’re Going To Finish Your Project Anytime Soon

You may love the idea of finally restoring your car to its pristine state. However, this someday is so far into the future that your “junk” car may not be fully restored anytime soon. After all, you have a job, a life, and a family to maintain.

Sometimes, it can be a good idea to store your car at a car parking facility until you finally have time in your schedule to finish the restoration. This can even reduce your mental workload as well, because you won’t have to see your unfinished vehicle every single day.

You’re Worried About The Safety Of Your Vehicle

If you have a “junk” vehicle, that is actually a classic car and just needs some love. Then you may be worried about keeping your vehicle safe. Instead of staying up at night worrying, it can be much easier to take your car to a Prince William County car storage facility. That way you’ll ensure it’s safety, no matter where you are.

If you have an inoperable, or “junk” car, then  car parking can be an incredible option that can save you stress, worry and even a little money.

We cater to residents and military personnel from Woodbridge, Alexandria, Springfield and all across Northern Virginia. Let’s discuss your situation–give us a call today!

Trouble With Parking? Consider Storage Instead

Let’s face it, parking can be tough. If you own more than one vehicle, or have a large family with multiple vehicles then you know how difficult it can be to park all of your vehicles in a safe manner.

After all, satisfying all of the parking regulations can be tough.

Who knows, you may even end up paying more in fines, than you would if you considered another option. What is that other option, you ask?

Northern Virginia car storage.

Why is it so hard to park multiple cars?

When you have multiple vehicles on your hands, trying to stay within the arm of the law can have you pulling out your hair.

First, you may have a few “junk” cars, that happen to be weekend projects for you. The issue with this is that your project may be seen as a pile of junk, according to your neighbor or a passerby. It is even possible that you can obtain a citation from the city.

Second, you may own more than one car and not have enough parking. There’s a good chance that some of these cars can be show cars, cars that don’t work anymore, or even cars that you simply don’t drive anymore.

Inoperative cars, if they haven’t been certified as safe, can be given a ticket, if they’re parked outside of your garage or on the street.

Even if your cars work perfectly, you may simply have no place to park them. This could lead to parking them in non-designated zones, such as your grass, or side of the house. It might sound tempting, but it can also lead to a ticket.

As you can see, finding the proper place to park multiple cars can be a complete hassle.

How can Gateway Storage Center’s car storage ease my situation?

Using a proper car parking facility will allow you to sleep easy, knowing your car or cars are safe and protected. After all, the cost of storage might actually be cheaper than the tickets you’re going to rack up parking them in illegal ways.

By having a car in storage you’ll always know where it is. Plus, is you really want to drive that car, or work on it, you can simply take the car out of storage. Think of it as having an extra garage.

As an added bonus, you can even store your “junk” cars, that you aren’t ready to get rid of yet, or are still trying to revive from the dead.

All in all, Gateway Storage Center’s car storage is your best bet, if you want to save yourself the hassle and stress of always having to find extra parking.

We serve our residents and military personnel from Woodbridge, Alexandria, Springfield and all across Northern Virginia. Let’s discuss your situation–give us a call today!

Happy Holidays from Gateway Storage!

Here’s wishing you a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year! We want to say thank you to our loyal customers, and thanks to the men and women in uniform who continue to serve this great nation and keep us safe each and every day. We are humbly grateful for the sacrifices you and your families make so we can have an enjoyable holiday season.

If after the holidays you find yourself in need of extra storage for all those wonderful gifts you’ve accumulated, give us a call to learn about our affordable self-storage and container storage solutions. We offer flexible terms and affordable rates, providing you with excellent service and the best value. Our container storage solutions are great for personal and household items, either temporarily or long-term, so you can get back your garage. Going on a nice warm vacation to escape the cold and looking for a place to keep your car safe while you’re gone? We provide car storage services to keep your ride safe and secure. Our affordable rates keep more dollars in your pocket so you can enjoy an extra margarita while lounging on the beach, with the peace of mind that nothing will happen to your car while you’re away. Can’t beat that!

Again, have a wonderful time with friends and family. Happy Holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!

tgivingOne of our favorite holidays (if not the most favorite) is Thanksgiving. Food, family, football…what more could you ask for? We here at Gateway Storage Center have so much to be thankful for: our football teams are doing well (and fingers crossed will continue to do well). But mainly we’re thankful for our amazing customers. We love seeing you guys come and go through our gates, setting off on a new RV adventure trip or going for a relaxing cruise on the water. Some of our customers even stop in and show us their big catch from an early morning fishing trip. Whatever you do with the items we keep safe and secure in between use, we hope you have a great time doing it.

And remember, as you’re starting to think about Christmas presents, especially with Black Friday around the corner, should you finally breakdown and get your honey that sleek new car she’s been hinting at and you need a place to store the old van until your son is old enough to get it as a hand-me-down, Gateway Storage Center is the best value for car storage across Northern Virginia. We offer affordable prices and flexible terms so you get exactly what you want at the right price.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Gateway Storage Center. Hope you have a great one!

How to Pick the Right Car Cover

car coversThe first step in deciding what type of car cover you need is determining what dangers you need to protect your car from. If storing outside, you’ve got the weather elements to worry about, mainly rain, snow, and UV damage, plus birds and other debris flying around in the wind. If storing inside, you’ve got dust, condensation, and the worry of garage debris toppling over on your beauty when you’re digging out Halloween decorations.

Now that you’ve figured out where you’re going to be storing your car and what elements you need to protect from, you need to know the types of car covers:

  • Outdoor Car Covers – these heavy duty covers protect your car year-round and often feature a multi-layered design to protect your car from dings, debris, and weather damage
  • Indoor Car Covers – these are less-heavy duty but are fully equipped to protect against scratches, dings, dust, and condensation
  • Custom Car Covers – these hug every curve of your car, from your side mirrors to headlights, you are covered
  • Universal Car Covers – these protect your car without taking a bite out of your wallet, coming in a variety of sizes and styles to project your car and save you some money

When searching for the right car cover, make sure you find one that is:

  1. Breathes – you want a breathable cover to allow moisture to escape from below the cover and keep condensation off of your finish
  2. Weather Resistance – this is a given, make sure you also know the weather in your area so you can make the best choice. Car cover needs differ from Upstate NY to North Carolina to South Florida
  3. Soft – with most paint jobs being about 0.006 inches thick, you want to be extra careful when it comes to scratches. Find a cover that features a soft, satin lining
  4. Mildew Resistance – just like your shower curtain, you want to protect your cover against the moisture in your garage or the rain/snow outside and get one that’s resistance to fungi and rotting

Do your homework and find a car cover that works the best for your car, your location, your peace of mind, and your wallet. Good luck!

Springfield Car Storage

Red Sports CarAll your friends keep asking you, “What did you do to get your wife to allow you to buy that new hot car?!” And you have not once gotten tired of it since you bought that beautiful new 2013 Scion FR-S, in Firestorm Red no less. Your son thought that was his gift when you drove that beauty home, but no way, he got the hand-me-down van. Now he’s getting ready to go off to college and, since he can’t bring a car to college, you’re trying to figure out what to do with the van during semesters. You don’t want that old van in the driveway taking up room from Sheila (the name of your FR-S). We’re here to help.

Gateway Storage Center provides Springfield Car Storage services on a short-term, long-term, or month-to-month basis. We offer secure outdoor car storage plus container storage should you want to empty out his old room and make an office out of it. He won’t need his things until after graduation anyways. Going overseas? With Gateway Storage, you’ll have the peace of mind that your vehicle is safe and secure while it stays with us. When you return, you can pick up your car and check out of your storage space 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our convenient Lorton facility located on U.S. Route 1, right off of I-95, offers 24 hour access for occupants, two automatic gates with power failure back up, a network of surveillance cameras and extensive lighting throughout the storage areas. Give us a call today and learn more about our Springfield Car Storage options. Long term pre-paid storage discounts are available on most spaces. Call today!