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What to do with your car while you're on vacation
January 20, 2023

What to do with your car while you're on vacation

If you’re planning a longer vacation, you’ve likely considered details like who will water your plants, where you’re leaving your pets and whether or not to have the post office hold your mail. But have you thought about where to leave your car? If you don’t have a reliable parking situation, there are many other options to keep your car safe while you’re away.

1. Try peer-to-peer car sharing with Avail

Peer-to-peer car sharing platforms like Avail offer a unique way to park for free and earn a little extra money by renting your car to others while you’re not using it. Getting started is simple. First, verify your car’s eligibility for sharing, create an Avail account and answer some questions about your car to get it approved for sharing. Then, you’ll set your sharing details by selecting a location to list your car from, as well as start and end dates that span at least 5 consecutive days — there’s no limit to how long you can share, so the dates can line up perfectly with your vacation. 

Before you head out of town, simply drop off your car and keys at the Avail lot you selected. We handle everything from there, including key hand-offs and inspections, so you come home to a clean car and easy money.

2. Leave your car with friends or family

One of the easiest things you can do while you’re away is to leave your car with a friend or family member. This works best if they have a driveway or extra garage space, so they can avoid the hassle of street parking rules. Plus, it’s easier for them to keep an eye on it if it’s nearby. Also, ask them to take the car for a drive if you’re gone for more than a week or two. This helps to keep your car running smoothly, but remember that if they get in an accident, your car insurance policy will need to cover it.

3. Park in an off-airport parking lot

Trying to determine, “Where can I park my car for a month?” probably leads to some pretty expensive options. One budget-friendly choice is to park in an off-airport parking lot or garage. They’re located near airports, but are typically much less expensive than parking in an official airport parking lot. There may even be a complimentary shuttle to take you to the terminal with your luggage. Search your departing airport to see what alternate parking areas are available.

cars in a parking lot

4. Leave it at work

Your office parking spot can be another great option for vacation parking. You’ll need to check and make sure you’re allowed to keep your car there overnight, but it could be a free way to keep your car safe while you’re away. Find out if there are any other rules to avoid getting towed and what security measures are in place — if any. Most garages and parking lots won’t be held responsible for theft or damage, but they may have gates and security cameras to add a layer of security.

5. Use long-term vehicle storage

For an extended vacation of a month or longer, you’ll need to really think about the best place to leave your car while you’re away. Long-term vehicle storage facilities are often climate controlled and well suited for this kind of situation. Prepare your car for sitting idle by disconnecting the battery and getting your fluids topped off before you park it. You may even want to jack up the car to take pressure off the tires and extend their life. 

6. Rent someone’s extra garage space

For a short vacation, try renting out someone’s garage. There are apps that let you pay to park your car in someone’s personal garage or parking spot. Browse by location to find an affordable spot near your home or departure point (like a train station, airport or friend’s house). You can also filter search results by garage versus outdoor parking spot and explore what other security features are in place. 

7. Keep it at the rental car lot

If you’re renting a car for a road trip, you may wonder whether or not you can leave your own car in the car rental company’s parking lot while you’re away. This seems like a logical solution, but the answer really depends on the car rental company’s specific rules. Many do let you leave your own car on-site, but they won’t be held responsible for any damage or theft that occurs when you’re gone. 

Can you tell me more about Avail?

With self-service neighborhood locations throughout Chicago and Denver, it’s easy to find a convenient sharing location nearby. Sharing your car with Avail is safe and secure: we pre-screen all borrowers and protect every trip with Allstate insurance. And, should the unexpected happen, borrowers have access to roadside assistance and 24/7 customer support when driving your car, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about during your vacation.