The wind in your hair, loud music blasting in your speakers, warm rays of sunshine on your skin—it’s so nice to take a drive in your convertible! Let’s be realistic though: the days are getting shorter, the mornings and evenings are cooling down, and soon enough the leaves will begin falling from the trees. It is time to start thinking about storing your beautiful cars to protect them from our harsh winters. To make things easier for you, here are some tips for putting your vehicle into storage.
Submitting a Request to the SAAQ
Firstly, vehicle storage means taking your vehicle off the road temporarily for later use. If you do so with your car, motorcycle, or snowmobile, you may be able to benefit from a reimbursement from the SAAQ for your registration fees.
A request to put a vehicle into storage can be submitted in advance, but one to license a vehicle for road use must be submitted the same day.
Moreover, it is important to note that for seasonal vehicles, the storage request must be submitted by a specific date. Otherwise, no reimbursement can be provided.
- September 30 for motorcycles.
- March 31 for snowmobiles.
Once you have submitted your request, it is your responsibility to leave the licence plate on the stored vehicle and keep your registration certificate. You will need it when it comes time to submit your request to license the vehicle for road use. It is also prohibited to park a stored vehicle on a public road. You therefore need to have planned to store it in a secure location (yard, private property, garage, storage facility used for this purpose, etc.).
Finally, it is important to be aware that a vehicle that has been stored with the SAAQ for over a year must undergo a mandatory mechanical inspection.
Vehicle Storage and Insurance
It is also possible to receive a premium reimbursement from your insurer, who will add Q.E.F. 16—Suspension for Storage Endorsement to your policy. This amendment will suspend the Section A coverage for civil liability related to the driving or use of said vehicle and the Section B coverage for collision. Section B3 coverage, i.e. mainly for fire, theft, vandalism, and auto glass breakage, will remain in effect.
It is important to note that each insurer has its own way of operating when it comes time to provide a refund of the premium due to storage of a vehicle. Some insurers provide a percentage of the premium for Section A (civil liability) and B2 (collision), while others credit the entire premium for these two types of coverage for the given period. Usually, the reimbursement provided is limited to a period of six months. Contact your Lareau broker for more information on this subject.
In relation to insurance for motorcycles, snowmobiles, boats, and recreational vehicles (RVs), the premiums already take into account seasonal use. No reimbursements of the insurance premiums are thus possible.
In the spring, you must notify your insurer as soon as the vehicle is once again licensed for road use. Q.E.F. 17—Reinstatement After Storage Endorsement will be added to your policy and will reinstate all coverage.
Why You Should Not Cancel Your Policy
While some people are tempted to cancel their insurance policy during this period, please be aware that it is not recommended to do so. Despite the suspension of some coverage, your civil liability coverage will continue to be in effect for damage that your vehicle may cause to others (except that related to the use of the vehicle).
Preparing the Car for Winter
Finally, since your vehicle will be in storage for the coming months, it is important to adequately prepare it for this time of solitude that it is about to experience: tell it that you love it and that you’ll miss it! All kidding aside, before you officially store your vehicle, we recommend that you do the following:
- Clean your car. Make sure that it shines inside and out. You definitely do not want to find that your vehicle has been damaged due to an accumulation of dirt or that it has an offensive odour due to forgotten waste.
- Find a safe place to store your vehicle. An ideal place would be somewhere indoors that is protected from humidity and unwanted critters, such as small rodents. If the vehicle must be stored outdoors, equip it with a cover that allows air to pass through in order to prevent condensation.
- Refill fluids. Your gas tank should be at least 3/4 full, and you should also add fuel stabilizer to prevent the accumulation of deposits in the piping.
It is also recommended that you disconnect your battery while the vehicle is being stored. However, certain vehicles with various types of technology would benefit from having the battery left in to prevent the deprogramming of internal components. Ask your mechanic if you are unsure.
As the fall season begins, it is now time to prepare your vehicles so that you can have peace of mind as winter approaches. To summarize, you must
- Find a storage space;
- Prepare your vehicle;
- Contact the SAAQ; and
- Contact your insurer.
Above all, don’t forget that when it comes to insurance, your broker’s role is to provide you with information, advise you, and simplify your life. Contact us!