Guide To Car Parking And Car Storage In Brisbane.

Car Storage Brisbane – This week we look at a common problem faced by car owners looking for long term carparking and collectors of motor vehicles in Brisbane and the issue of car storage in Brisbane and in particular this article looks at the options available and a rough guidance of costs to store a motor vehicle. Car storage was an issue i faced some time ago in Brisbane when I took a posting overseas but in the end I elected to sell my car giving me peace of mind from insurance, vehicle registration costs and potentially damage while I was away.

There are different levels of car storage in Brisbane depending upon the need of the car owners. The most demanding is that for storing classic and vintage vehicles that could not otherwise be stored “safely” in a home environment. In its most basic form, open air car parking is the cheapest option but is not without risks.

We intend to discuss short and long term airport carparking in other articles as well as car transportation so stay tuned as well as car storage ideas and options in both Sydney and Melbourne.  If you have arrived here at this article about Brisbane airport car parking options and pricing comparisons you might want to check out this excellent article featured in the website “Australian Business Traveller” which looked at “offsite” and “onsite” Brisbane airport car parking options.

Brisbane car storage can be divided into two broad categories. Indoor and outdoor. In some countries theres a need for car storage during the winter months such as cold climates that can experience months of blizzards and snow. Thankfully, Brisbanes temperatures aren’t so extreme but there are considerations to make such as the summer hail storms so keeping the car in storage under cover and paying the extra is imperative. As we wrote in the article about the Manheim / Pickles salvage auctions, the likelyhood of experiencing some hail during the summer is quite high and the damage to vehicles uncovered outside significant.

Car storage options available in Brisbane.

As mentioned above, the storage options can be broken down as follows:

Outdoor car storage: Brisbane has multiple options for outdoor car storage and as the term “outdoor car storage” goes, its is exactly what it sounds like and is the type you generally find at airports or fringe Industrial areas close to the airport. This offers long term parking but if you are going away for some months there are cheaper options to park your motor vehicle than paying for a long term carparking site next to the Brisbane airport. The only convenience being getting to and from the airport. Having your vehicle parked in an open, outdoor area does expose the vehicle to elements of wind, rain and sun or hail so bear this in mind over and above the glossy sales pitch of shuttle services to and from the airport, car detailing etc. Domestic and International airports generally provide parking and examples such as Melbourne airport have 25,000 carparking spaces but again, this will be a cost you have to bear in mind depending on the time you are away. Parking at the Brisbane city airport whether in the parking building or outside will be the costliest option for you.

If you do decide to park in an open car parking area bear in mind the movement of vehicles around your own vehicle. I had a friend who used a long term parking company near the Brisbane airport and arrived back to find their vehicle damaged (bumped) and the company denying responsibility for the damage saying that the panel damage existed before they had parked the vehicle at the companeis depot. You should also consider buying a vehicle cover for your car as there may be a lot of dust, sunlight etc in the place where you are parking especially from nearby industrial businesses. There is also a risk of the vehicle being broken into especially where Industrial wire fencing may be the only protective barrier for overnight security and some security lighting and the occasional roaming guard at the gate dropping by.

Indoor car storage. These services for indoor vehicle storage aren’t limited to the Brisbane airport area and can be divided further into climate controlled and non climate controlled storage. Non climate controlled car storage is like a standard storage unit, your traditional garage style unit and the vehicle is driven into this unit and the garage door closed. There is greater levels of security for your stored vehicle as well as protection fro the elements that outdoor storage doesnt offer but you certainly pay for the extra protection. There is also peace of mind from hail storms hitting your vehicle but you also won’t find your vehicle being shuffled around like my friend above experienced where vehicles in open storage areas are sometimes moved by the storage operators to accommodate more vehicles. You do pay a premium here though for added onsite management, security and in some cases air controlled management systems for specialised storage which are used for the most serious of car collectors.  These guys (link) are located in Hamilton Central and might also be worth ringing.

Specialised Car Storage: The classic motor car market has really boomed in recent years. Car auctions of classic vehicles interstate in Melbourne and Sydney have been achieving premiums on old Ferraris, Porches, Holdens and Ford cars. There are a number of collectors around Australia like Mr. Michael Turner who was reportedly (in the media) one of the biggest collectors of muscle cars in Australia with a collection of vehicles exceeding AUD$3 million. There are some collectors who have recently bid on vehicles up to AUD$450,000 in value in Melbourne at classic car auctions. With these sort of prices, vehicles need proper care and storage to maintain their values. You simply cannot buy an old car and stick it in the home garage and hope that this home environment will keep the vehicle in pristine condition. Many collectors of vehicles use specialised car storage facilities, which cost money every month but are a necessity to keep the vehicle from depreciating in value. Classic car storage of vehicles also requires staff attention and there are systems to monitor air temperature, humidity etc. There are ongoing costs of electricity and alarm systems and security monitoring of the vehicles which are an added cost. Like wine collecting and any other form of collecting, things have to be done properly. The vehicles have to be rolled to stop tyre distortion, vehicle seizure and oil changed regardless of use of the vehicle.

How to choose the right storage and storage tips.

Basically choosing the right car storage boils down to budget, type of vehicle and needs of the owner. This is largely a common sense descision based on the level of peace of mind you are wanting. Your not going to put a much loved Holden Monaro for example in long term outdoor storage and go away for the summer months to come back and find its been hit by the biggest hail storm in decades to hit Brisbane as recently was the case. Convenience will be a factor and finding a good outdoor storage thats easily accessible to you will take a bit of research in itself.

Plastic bubbles to store your vehicle in: You might want to check out our article on classic car auctions where we mentioned the Carcoon system.  These

plastic bubbles to store your vehicle in

This is just one of the interesting vehicle storage options being offered by Gold Coast company – Carcoon.  picture source:

look great and are various size and types of plastic enclosures for your vehicles with prices ranging from $990 to $1,500 from a Queensland company that can post the product to you.  If you want to check the Carcoon companywebsite that has a lot more information and photographs of what type and style of Carcoon may suit. I have put an example photo below which appears on the company website but there are many other options available.  This will keep the dust and moisture off your vehicle while its parked, but you could go so far as to have airflow control incorporated into the bubble.

Car storage tips

Parking the vehicle: Keep in mind the car will be in one spot for a while so you ideally should look for a good spot to keep the car. That might be a space having a wall on each side of the vehicle. “bingo” that will mean you have less chance of damage on return with other cars coming and going beside you or at least some setback. I checked a number of forums out and some suggested when putting the vehicle in storage to do such things as:

  1. filling the fuel tank and adding a stabaliser as they suggested that long term sitting of the vehicle the fuel tank rusts and also upon restarting the vehicle when you return. There was suggested some separation of the gasoline long term. Readers below might want to comment on this.
  2. Another post I noted suggested putting tyre jacks underneath the vehicle and jacking up the vehicle to take the pressure off the tyres to prevent distortion and needing to replace the tyres upon return.
  3. Wash and waxing the car this will take off any grime that could contribute to corrosion but also puts a wax layer on the vehicle and makes for easy cleaning on return.
  4. Disconnect the battery this is to prevent acid leaking from the battery and spilling corrosion everywhere. I had a vehicle where that happened. Take the battery out however, you need to seek professional advice in respect of this as there may be issues with electronic car alarms, radios and other on board electronic circuitry that differs from vehicle to vehicle.
  5. Investing in a good car cover no matter even if the vehicle is under cover, still get a car cover for added protection.
  6. Look for extra features. If you are wanting further features ask if the storage units have dehumidifiers and that the floors are painted and sealed. This is an aspect of moisture seep through the floor and makes the environment more dust free.
  7. Consider size of the units – Ring first to find out what sizes of storage units are on offer and whether they will accommodate vehicles. Storage spaces can be as small as 1.5 x 1.5 meter units right up to 6 metres x 6 metres dimensional units. I would think some may not like the idea of cars being stored in a regular storage lockup unit as there are risks such as petrol and resultant fumes from the vehicle being stored and there may be some health and safety considerations at play here.
  8. Storage managers – Each facility varies with the type of management from owner operators to management team and access at different times and these are also different considerations you have to check out.
  9. Plan in advance. Give plenty of time to research, find out what your need options are and compare costs of the storage. Just for examples sake that a company quotes a daily rate cheaper than another doesn’t mean that same company is cheaper on their monthy rate. Some companies might have a deeper discounting applied for longer term storage than another. These questions take time to investigate.
  10. Remember though that the car is meant to be driven and you need to turn over the motor regularly. This is the problem about going away for an extended period where the motor isnt being turned over and the car is not being driven. Before you take the car out and start driving on return, after the vehicle has been garaged for a while you will need to get the vehicle checked by a mechanic and the oil possibly changed as it may have become affected with the vehicle sitting idle and unused.

The Australian Self Storage Association

For enclosed self storage units: The Australian Self storage association has an excellent website called storage finder. This website allows users to search for self storage facilities all around Australia including a specific search for vehicle storage services. The Self Storage Association of Australasia is the peak industry body for the self storage industry in Australia and New Zealand and most (85% operators, not all) are members of this organisation. I would recommend that you ask whether the storage facility you intend to use are members of this body and if not, find another storage service. Most of the big players in the self storage game are members of this operation such as Kennards, National Storage, Storage King, Rent a Space and Fort Knox storage.  At least this offers some peace of mind on standards of operations including some degree of legal insurance compliance and responsibilities as well as ethical codes to abide by.

So lets have a brief look at the options for car storage in Brisbane

This list is not conclusive. There are perhaps many facilities around and there would be facilitieis no doubt known to some readers that havent been mentioned here. I have used the Brisbane airport carparking but this is not suitable for long term vehicle storage. I have also used the near airport facilities and again, this was open air storage and subject to weather risks. The options below arent recommendations but merely options that are available, you need to take into account your own requirements when it comes to storage of your vehicle and its here that each persons individual case varies.

What are the cheapest car storage options in Brisbane: If you are looking for something basic in Brisbane or fringe city locations then I would look firstly online. There are some internet notice boards where students are advertising storage space for rent. This is possibly the highest risk strategy as you are dealing with another tenant of the property and they may do a runner or leave the premise and what will be the case with your vehicle. There are some students who live in apartments where carparking is included and they are looking to rent out the carspace. Sites like Gumtree in Brisbane unit car spaces in the building for rerent regularly have these types of carspaces available or SunBrisbane which is popular with overseas and Korean language students. You can perhaps advertise or find garages for rent by property owners themselves on these websites but you need to be clear that its the property owner who you are dealing with. Gumtree is a treasure trove for options with options availalable in and around Brisbane including (at the time of writing) for lockable private carspaces – see table below. There are also websites like Find-A-Carpark or Brisbane Park Hound or Go Park Yourself which has car parking spaces for vehicles around Brisbane but this is more for short term rentals and may not be cost effective for long term parking seekers. And I also have never used these two mentioned websites to find carparking in the Brisbane CBD so cannot comment how up to date the listings are.

Lock and go rentals. Storing your car in a shipping container at Oxley – This may be an option and remember, the container is outside in the sun and the vehicle will be subject to the extremes of heat but also if you have other items to keep in storage then this is an option. I remember when I moved from Brisbane to Melbourne I had a company that used a rail shipping container to move my stuff and when I checked some items had damage due to the extreme heat of the moving box inside the shipping container. I have even seen people advertising storage containers for rent which may be one of the cheapest options for lock and go rentals. The 20 foot shipping container was being advertised on Ipswich Road Oxley for $200 per month which is the size of a single garage and would fit one normal car.

car storage pod Brisbane

Image of a car storage pod being advertised on the Brisbane Gumtree website. Located at Narangba north of Brisbane.

You can also advertise as wanting cheap storage in the Brisbane gumtree. Some private owners also advertise car storage pods for around $40 per week but if you are prepared to locate the vehicle in the outer city at suburbs in areas like Warner (northside of Brisbane) then that might be an option. Remember this is a private owner and you are leaving your vehicle in trust so to speak. Gumtree actually presents as a “gold mine” for low rate parking, caravan and boat storage, storage of an old bus or your vehicle on a medium to longer term basis much cheaper than the traditional self storage companies can offer and generally under cover options are available but you are not dealing with the likes of companies and individuals that are members of the Australian self storage association.

Brisbane car storage near Brisbane airport.

Offsite carparking at the Brisbane airport area is typically less than half the cost of long term parking at the airport itself. If one company is cheapest for a two day park it doesnt mean that the same company is the cheapest for a two day park. Under cover parking is an extra charge and generally the two options of covered parking and non covered parking are offered.

shipping container storage brisbane

Example of a shipping container storage. 20″ shipping container can house one vehicle. But remember these units can get hot being exposed to direct sunlight.

Brisbane car storage near Brisbane International airport:Andrews is one of the options that are available near the Brisbane International airport. Here you will get car washing as well as shuttle service to the Brisbane Domestic and International airports. There is an option of undercover carparking starting at $26 a day and outdoor carparking for $22 a day. 2 weeks with

these guys is $114 and $119 respectively and each additional day/s thereafter is $6 and $5 at the time of writing. They will do buses, trucks, motorbikes, trailers and caravans. Did you know that RACQ offer a discount of 10% for its members to park at Andrews.

Many of the carparking services near the Brisbane Airport allow online booking such as Budget Airport Carparking. Options close to the Brisbane Airport and Brisbane Port for cruise ship travellers include Portside Cruise and Airport Carparking.

Car storage in Brisbane for collectors cars: For collector cars and specialised storage there are companies such as “The Vault” whom also have specialised car storage services in Brisbane but also Melbourne and Sydney storage facilities.


Type of storageLocationCostComments
Brisbane Airport parkingBrisbane Domestic and International Airport$$$$Brisbane Airport carparking7 to 8 days costs $158 with each additional day charged at $10 a day. Very expensive if you are going away for longer than a week. Long term carparking near Brisbane airport might be a better option and to use a taxi or shuttle service to get to the Domestic or International Terminals.
Near Brisbane airport car parkingNudgee, Virginia, Nundah etc$$$2 weeks is around $150 for covered space and $120 for outdoor uncovered car parking
Portside carparking$$$2 weeks around $110-$120 for covered space and from $90-$100 for non covered spaces. Each additional day is from c. $6-8 and $5-6 / day respectively. There are services like Gateway airport carparking services and Portside carparking services.
Brisbane CBD carparking space.Brisbane CBD or Spring Hill Fringe areas$$$Monthly rates are advertised around $280-$300 per single carpark with a bond payable. Not enclosed so not good for storage of additional gear. Ideal for people that work in city only.
Shipping Container Storage in Brisbane and Sunshine CoastBrisbane outer suburbs and Sunshine Coast areas.$$$200 per month. Minimum 1 month. Stores 1 vehicle. 20 foot size. Be careful of heat damage to vehicls or things stored if the shipping container is in the open sun. Spotted on Gumtree options in Narangba and Caboolture at the time of writing which were Shipping Container For Rent in Brisbane $550 for 6 months term. Another Brisbane Container hire service is called Port Container Services and may be worth a try. There are 20" containers for rent at Sunshine Coast container storage hire by Bionic storage at $185 per month..
Privately advertised - Carparking spaces - CoveredSpring Hill$$/$>$50 per week. Walking distrance to central station. 24/7 access.
Brisbane suburbs / Fringe Brisbane St. Lucia – within 10 kilomters from the Brisbane CBDSt. Lucia, Fringe Brisbane locations. West End and Fortitude Valley locations.$$Lockup garage advertised for $30 a week near Queensland University, St. Lucia. up to $65 per week for advertised space around 4.5 metres x 7.5 metres in size. Underground car bay at West End around $45 per week and $55 per week for covered spaces in Fortitude Valley.
Car Storage PodsNorthside of Brisbane / Outer Brisbane suburbs over 10 kilomters from the Brisbane CBD$$Insulated lockup storage pod, insulated. Advertised at $40 per week.
Out of city location – Southside eg. Browns PlainsBrowns Plains - Logan City$$/$Lockup storage unit. CCTV, Secured. Lockup unit (2.8m x 5.1m) around the size of a single garage for car storage at Browns Plains.
Specialised car storage services for classic and vintage cars. Investment vehicles.Various Brisbane$$$$+Eg. The Vault. Used for storing collectors cars. The costs are high for humidity controlled environments and regular staff attention. You might also want to check out Prestige Car Storage.
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