What to Do With Your Car While You’re on Vacation?

One of them is the question you're likely to face before leaving for the airport: what should you do with your car while you're gone?

Going on an extended vacation is all about relaxing and filling your days with exciting activities that are undoable during your usual routine. It’s the time when you don’t want to be bothered by the problems of everyday life, as the goal is to recharge your batteries away from home. However, before you leave for your next adventure, you need to address some nagging details. One of them is the question you’re likely to face before leaving for the airport: what should you do with your car while you’re gone?

At first, it might seem quite self-explanatory — just park it in the garage, and off you go. But what if you need it to drive to the airport? What basic maintenance should you take care of to ensure your car’s in pristine condition once you get back? Don’t lose your sleep over these questions! Instead, read the article below and learn about everything you should do with your car before leaving town.

Take Care of Basic Maintenance 

Ensuring that your car is well maintained before packing your bags and leaving for an extended period of time is more important than most people think. For instance, if you’ve already been experiencing some minor issues, leaving them to sit for too long can increase the risk of something going terribly wrong once you come back. What if you have an engine leak or one of the parts needs to be replaced?

Besides addressing any concerns of this kind, you should also clean your car thoroughly before leaving. Go through your vehicle and clean it well. Get rid of all trash or perishables such as food or drinks because if they rot while you’re away, the smell will be horrible.

It’s also a good idea to take your car to a car wash and get a deep clean. This way, you can come home to a good-looking and nice-smelling car. And, of course, don’t forget about taking any valuables out of the vehicle.

Then check the fluid levels so they’re not too low when you come back and want to drive somewhere. If you have some handy things that you usually keep in the car but want to take them out for the time you’re away, keep them in garage cabinets with a lock so you won’t end up misplacing them.

Have Someone Drive Your Vehicle While You’re Away

Some people prefer to have their friend or relative come by and turn the car on for a few minutes when on an extended vacation. That’s because it’s not good for your vehicle to go too long without being used at all.

For example, if you don’t drive regularly, your car battery will die quicker. Car batteries are designed for the alternator to charge them as they move along. Therefore, for a car that’s been sitting for a few weeks, the electrical system will drain the battery.

If possible, arrange for a trusted family member or a friend to come to your house and turn on your car once every few days. Or, if they feel comfortable enough, have them drive the vehicle around the neighborhood for a while. Still, make sure it’s someone with a good driving record that you can rely on. You wouldn’t want to leave your car in the hands of someone who might misuse it or drive recklessly.

Consider Your Parking Options


Garages protect from bad weather and the elements, but not everyone is fortunate enough to own one. However, if you have a garage right next to your house, it’s a secure place to leave your car for an extended time.

Even if you decide to park your vehicle inside a garage, it’s still a good idea to have someone check on your vehicle once in a while, so you can minimize the risk of small rodents getting inside and chewing on the cables and wires. Also, ensure that you don’t leave any windows or a sunroof open, so animals don’t get inside the car.


Another option is to park your car in a driveway. If that’s what you decide to do, remove any valuables from the car so burglars won’t feel tempted to break in. You can also use a cover with cable locks to prevent people with ill intentions from entering your vehicle. Besides, a cover will protect your car from elements such as hail.

If you have a trusted neighbor, friend, or a family member living nearby, ask them to keep an eye or check on your car every once in a while as it’s sitting in a driveway.

Airport Parking

If you need your car to drive to the airport, leaving it in a designated parking spot might be the best option, given the circumstances. Airport parking lets you relax on your vacation because your car will stay in a place filled with security and cameras. Nevertheless, there have been instances where owners returned from vacation only to find their cars having dents, scratches, and broken windows.

Nonetheless, you need to remember that if something does happen to your vehicle, the airport won’t be liable for it. Don’t leave any valuables inside, and, if underground parking isn’t available, get a cover.

In Conclusion

If you have to leave your car behind, you can protect your precious investment in many ways. Remember that it’s always a good idea to address any existing issues before leaving so things don’t deteriorate while you’re away. Clean your car inside and out, so it’s ready for driving when you’re back. Additionally, consider arranging for someone to drive it while you’re away so that it doesn’t sit unused for too long.

If you own a garage, you can leave your car there, but think about different options as well. In some cases, a parking spot at the airport might be the best alternative. Consider all the pros and cons of each solution and choose the one that suits your needs best.

By following the tips above, you can ensure that your car will be in good shape when you return from vacation. Bon voyage!

Robert Cooke
Rob is a certified mechanic and long-time automotive enthusiast who has worked on everyday passenger vehicles, race and rally cars, and derby cars.