Leaving the country: Sell or keep the Honda CRV?

I need some informed advice about whether or not to sell my 2004 Honda CRV before leaving the country for ten months. I’ve had a great experience with the car and had planned to keep it for years to come. It only has 57K miles. My only concern that it will continue to depreciate in value even though it wouldn’t see much use next year. Is it better to sell now when the car is only five years old or hang on to the car and avoid having to buy a new one in 2010?

Additional question: If I do sell is it worth spending $1500 to repair a dent in the side door? Or is it better to leave it and accept less money?

If you’re going to be gone less than a year I suggest keeping the vehicle, assuming you have somewhere to store it while you’re away. A garage would be best.

You’ll need to take a few preparatory measures before storing it, but you can inquire about that after you decide what to do.

Yes, the car will continue to depreciate, but that’s not really a big deal if you keep it and continue driving it when you come home. And with only 57K miles you should be able to drive it for many years to come.

So, do you have a place to store your CRV while you’re away?

Yes, we have a good place to keep the car with my parents and mother-in-law. It might get driven a few thousand miles at most, but that’s probably a good thing. In many ways I want to keep the car. It’s been a great car for us and keeping it would mean one less expense when we return. Thanks for the advice!

That’s perfect. If someone drives it once every few weeks that’s much better than storing it. I think you should keep it.

Wonderful. Thanks again. cd

I’d also vote in favor of keeping your CRV. Talk to your insurance agent and amend your coverage to reduce costs. Contact the DMV in your state to see if you need to turn in the plates and how to handle the vehicle registration while you are away.

10 months is not long term storage so the process of prepping the car is pretty simple. StaBil in the fuel tank. An oil change just prior to storage. Either disconnect the battery or hook up a “Battery Tender” charger to the battery. If you have time clean the interior, and wash and wax the body of the car. After taking these actions the car can sit without need to start it for the entire 10 months. Often cars come out of storage like this by starting right up and going on as before. Other times the brake pads may seize to the rotors, or an alternator may freeze up, but most likely your CRV will fire right up upon your return.

Yes, for only ten months away defintiely keep it and make the preparations mentioned. You could cancel part of your insurance if the vehicle is not driven, but keep the fire, theft and all risk part.

Thanks to all of you for your excellent advice and additional comments about preparing a car for storage. I appreciate your insight!

One last thing, don’t apply the parking brake. Block the wheels with small wooden blocks if the car is not parked on the level.

Have a wonderful trip abroad.

This might also be a great time to get the door dent fixed. You won’t need the car and your folks won’t, either. I’m sure you could arrange for them to help you out with pick-up and drop-off.

Just make sure they drive it on a good highway trip and not just up the street and back, that’d be worse than just letting it sit

Yeah, I’d keep it. Ten months is really nothing. If you are planning on keeping it for years to come, there is no need to be concerned about depreciation. Depreciation doesn’t cost you a cent until you sell it and really is not a factor unless you have a business.

While you were both typing at the same time, he said it was going to be driven a bit from time to time. So, insurance and other preparations should allow for that.

Be very careful about who drives it. Loaned cars can get bad treatment by people who don’t know how to take care of them.

This is also true for other things. I remember a lot of years ago a friend of my wife borrowed our big old tent for a two week trip out west. When they came back, I asked them if the tent was dry when they packed it. They said, why, yes, it was.

So, like an idiot, I took their word and put it away. A couple months later when we needed to use it, it was ruined by mildew. They clearly had no idea what dry meant.