5+ yr car storage


#1

We are considering an overseas location that would take us out of the US for a considerable time. We have 2 expensive cars that we love and still owe some money on. Can we easily store them for 5yrs? Where in California would you recommend?


#2

It seems to me that you would be making payments on something that you aren’t using. Automobiles may change in the next 5 years and you might want something different. I would opt for selling the cars.


#3

Can we easily store them for 5yrs?

No, not easily. You would need to shelter the cars to protect them from the sun. The storage fees probably make this a bad idea. Your batteries probably would not last five years under normal conditions. So you should just remove the batteries and replace them upon your return. You would also need fuel stabilizer and I don’t even know if it would last that long. Perhaps you would be better off draining and burning off any remaining fuel so you can replace it with new fuel upon your return. You will probably need new tires when you get back too because they will have aged.

What kind of cars are these? Do you owe more than they are worth? If not, I would sell them and replace them when you return.


#4

Unless these are collectible, one-of-a-kind, cars, you are probably far better off selling them now and replacing them when you get back. 5 years in storage will do nothing good, and they’ll depreciate. Compare value for same mileage cars 5 years older on Kelly Blue Book’s web page and you’ll get an idea of how much you will lose on top of the payments you’ll still be making while they just sit there. Plus, you may have to pay for storage space in a locked garage, so it gets even worse. Sell these cars and put the cost of payments and storage fees into a new car account for when you return.


#5

Agree; I would only store these cars if you absolutely love them and plan to keep them for their FULL LIFE, such as 20-25 years!! Otherwise, the best option is to sell them, pay off what you owe and buy new and more economical cars when you return to $6-$7 gas America after 5 years.

From a pure business point of view you have to consider: depreciation, some deterioration of seals, etc., storage costs, some insurance, etc., as well as having capital tied up in a depreciating asset. If you invest the sale proceeds you can apply them to the new and frugal cars you will buy when you return.

We were overseas for 4 years and kept our cars since we also kept our house, and our daughter “house sat” for that time. We were also able to use the cars when on leave twice a year. Our son was able to drive free and had use of the two cars. He kept them in good running condition. Our situation was unique, and may not apply to you.

Your decision is really based on how much you like these cars and how long you plan to keep them, so that depreciation is not an issue.


#6

I agree will all the above, plus one extra reason to sell - there is the risk that where you store them will have a problem (fire/storm damage/earthquake/theft/vandalism/whatever) and your cars will be damaged. So no, there is no way to ‘easily’ store cars for 5 years, and there are many good reasons not to even try.