Cost/benefits of storing a car vs. driving

Dear Tom and Ray,

I have a 1997 Toyota Corolla that I was planning to bequeath to my children. My oldest is 18 but has not learned how to drive. She is currently away from home attending college and will not return until June. My youngest is 15 1/2 and was preparing to apply for his learer’s permit. Unfortuantely, last week, I (or to be precise my dog) found a countrolled substance in his bedroom and as a result I have decided not to let him get his permit until he is 16 1/2. For the past six months, I have been insuring the Corolla and driving it once a week so that it would be operational for my son. I am wondering whether it is more cost effective to continue doing this or if I should store it and save the expense of insurance and registration? In other words, approximately how much will it cost to get the car running again after it sits in my drive way for six or seven months? The mileage on the Corlla is about 188,000. Aside from regularally scheduled maintenaince, it has only required two repairs: a new starter and a new catalitic coverter. It runs well, although it seems to rattle a little more each year. Thanks for your help.


For 6 or 7 months, put a fuel stabilizer in the tank, then fill then tank, and then park it. Finally, disconnect the battery. No big deal. If you’re especially worried, when you go to start it again, unscrew all the spark plugs and put a squirt of oil down each hole before you crank it over. Your biggest issue with leaving it parked so long won’t be mechanical so much as rodent-related. I’d put several mothballs under the hood and in the car to try and keep them from chewing on the wires