If you're going to be out of town for an extended period of time, you'll need to consider your vehicle. Improperly storing your vehicle can lead to damage, vandalism, or even total loss of your car or truck. Here are four tips to help you properly store your vehicle when you're away on a trip.

Get your car serviced.

In general, you want to store your car when it's in excellent condition. This can serve to prevent problems in the future. Have your car serviced before placing it in storage. Get your oil changed and your filters replaced. If you don't feel confident doing these maintenance tasks yourself, take your car to an auto mechanic.

Tend to your fuel tank.

Pay special attention to your fuel tank when you don't plan to drive it for a couple of months. Purchase a fuel stabilizer from your local auto parts store and add it to your fuel tank. This fluid will prevent the fuel in your car from separating. Next, fill up your gas tank. The additional gas will mix with the fuel stabilizer to more fully incorporate it, and you'll be happy to have a full tank of gas when you eventually return to your car.

Place your vehicle in a storage facility.

People with an enclosed garage can skip this step, but anyone who parks in a driveway or relies on street parking will need to rent a space in a vehicle storage facility. Leaving your car on the street for an extended period of time may cause your vehicle to be declared abandoned. Eventually, the city will tow your car away, and you may be unable to reclaim it. You may also amass parking tickets for leaving your car on the street if your vehicle interferes with street cleaning.

Avoid these expenses and the unnecessary stress that comes with them by investing in proper storage. A vehicle storage facility can rent you an enclosed storage space for your car or truck. You'll be able to drive your car in and keep it there until you return. Most storage facilities charge a reasonable monthly fee. Knowing your car is protected from thieves and the elements is well worth the price you'll pay.

Cover your vehicle.

You can keep dust off your car by covering it. While vehicle storage facilities are covered, dust may still accumulate over time. A soft car cover can protect your car and ensure it's clean and shining when you pick it up.