Ultimate Guide to Car Storage

Have you considered using a shipping container for car storage?

ISO steel containers, also called conex boxes or storage containers, continue to grow as a versatile product for many industries and residential projects.

Customized Storage Container from Southwest Mobile Storage

With so many different uses, it’s no surprise that car owners have started using containers as ways to keep or display their cars or garages.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll look at several things on car storage including:

  • What it is
  • The pros & cons of car storage
  • Examples
  • How to create a car storage garage, aka a container garage

Let’s go!

What is Car Storage?


What exactly is car storage?

In the simplest terms, car storage is just the ability to store your car. A garage, of course, is a great example of car storage.

Garages aren’t the only ways to keep a car.

Many homes and apartments don’t have access to a garage or may not have been built with one. This means that your car is sometimes left to the outside elements.

In this case, a shipping container can easily be added into to make a container garage.

Car Storage for a Container Garage
Photo by Dane Flavel on Unsplash

We’ll be looking at container garages as we talk more about car storage.

Pros & Cons of Car Storage


Now that you know about a bit more about car storage, let’s look at how container garages can help with that.

Let’s look at some benefits.

Quick construction

By far, one of the biggest benefits to using shipping containers overall is their quick construction.

A container garage can be set up within a matter of minutes and if you like doing-it-yourself, you can make modifications over a weekend.



In general, building a container garage can be less expensive than traditional building costs.

As many home additions and construction, pricing will all depend on what you use and how you plan to use it.

Cost for Building a Container Garage
Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash

We’ll look at the steps to setting up a container garage a bit later, which can help to figure out costs.



Shipping containers are built to be durable.

Made with a type of steel called CorTen, containers are able to withstand harsh weather conditions while onboard cargo ships.

This makes them perfect for areas that experience these types of conditions.

Now let’s look at some of the cons of container garages.

Ceiling height and width

What is the size of your vehicle? Do you drive a smaller, economy car or do you have a large truck?

All ISO shipping containers have an exterior width of 8’ and an interior width 7’8” for the inside width. Lengths can vary from 10’ up to 45’.

When comparing that to a 2020 Camry, the width of the car is about 6 feet and .4 inches.

That’s a tight squeeze!

In order to get the full garage space, not just for your car but other items, you’ll need to consider adding additional containers.


While in many cases, the cost for a container is more affordable than traditional building costs, they can get expensive depending on your needs.

The more you build on to your garage, the more expensive it could get.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits and challenges, let’s check out some examples!

Examples of Container Garages A Container Garage Made from 24' Shipping Containers

So what do container garages look like?

Container garages are just like homes – they can come in many different sizes and many different styles.

Take these double container garages, taken from our very own site headquarters in Phoenix. This is a simple style, which just allows for parking.

However, there are some garages that have been built to act as both car storage and storage for their other items.

A Container Garage Built in a Home

Container garages can be modified or customized, so you can choose a particular door or even place windows inside your garage.

You can create custom roofing for your container garage!

What if you don’t have a car?

No problem! Car storage doesn’t necessarily mean you have to store a car inside. Motorcyclists can also use container garages!

Store one or more motorcycles or ATVs in a container garage.

This works great if you already use your home garage for a car and don’t have room for any other vehicles.

And as mentioned, container garages can also make great workshops. DIY users, woodworkers, and metal workers can have a space to work and create.

We’ve talked about what car storage is, their pros and cons, and we’ve looked at some examples.

Now let’s discuss how to get started with your own car storage.

How to Create Car Storage

Container Garage and Workshop at Hoonigan Racing Division

When considering car storage, especially with a container garage, there are several important steps that you should take before purchasing or leasing:

  1. Check regulations
  2. Choosing container sizes
  3. Choosing container type
  4. Upgrading your garage

Checking your regulations

The very first thing you need to consider and do is to check the regulations in your city or state when it comes to using shipping containers.

This is a crucial step, as building regulations can be open in one area or restrictive in another.

It doesn’t matter if you are using car storage for your business or your home, you’ll need to check to see if your area allows for additional construction.

Zoning laws are different in every country, every state, every city, and even every state.

While shipping containers have grown in popularity, they are still unique structures that may or may not have a regulation in a particular area.

Codes and Regulations for a Container Garage

Your local city hall will be able to let you know what the regulation is for your city or state in regards to adding a container garage on your property.


Choose Your Container Size

Once you get the permission for building your car storage/container garage, the next thing you have to decide is what size shipping container you need.

As we mentioned above, your container should be based on not only the size of the vehicle that will be parked there, but also what else you plan to do in your garage.

ISO steel storage containers come in many different sizes, allowing you to choose as small or as big as you need it.

From our container garage examples, the most common option is using two or more larger containers.

However, this again depends on how many cars you want to store, their size, and if you plan to use the garage for more than just parking.


Choose Your Container Type

There are several types of ISO steel containers, simply known as either new or used.

New containers are just that – they have not been used for any other purpose. One-trippers, containers that have only made one trip, are considered to be new.

Used containers are those that have been used for more than one trip on a cargo ship.

Containers on a ship

These containers are graded by certain conditions, such as any physical damage, the age of the containers, and how many miles the container has traveled.

Choosing a grade again is determined by your use of the shipping container.

For example, if your container garage is being used to store farm equipment – such as a lawnmower or tools – you may be fine using an ‘as-is’ container.


Upgrading Your Garage

When you have a home garage, many of the shelving, windows, and doors that often come standard, are not installed when purchasing or renting a shipping container.

But they can be!

Again, if you just want to use a container for basic car storage, you can use a standard shipping container with add-ons.

However if you want to create more than just a place for your car, there are a few things you can do to take your container garage to the next level:

In this ultimate guide, we looked at the unique ways of car storage. We explained what it was and what a container garage is.

We also looked at the advantages and disadvantages and what to consider when building one.

Shipping containers continue to expand their usage and the opportunities in using them.

Whether they are for a business or residential project, shipping storage containers can met any needs.

If you need a shipping container, give us a call at 800.686.9114 or fill out the contact form below to get your quote today!


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