Long-Term Storage of a Car - or should we just sell it?



My husband and I were both just laid off and are in need of slashing our budget until our situation changes. We have two cars and are willing to sideline our 2001 Volvo S60 to save $$. (Our 2007 Honda Fit is much more versatile and economical so we’ll use that as our one car.)

We’re thinking we will long-term store the Volvo but all available options (friends, family, etc.) will be outside. Is there any way we can store this vehicle so that it will be in reasonable condition when we go to get it - hopefully in a year or so? Or should we just sell it? (It has about 90,000 miles on it and very minor front end damage from a low-speed fender bender.) Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?


Sorry to hear this. Me, I’d sell it, you’ll get some money, avoid insurance and storage costs, and the headaches that go along with it. If things pick up you can get a low-cost used car (not a Volvo) to replace it.


I agree…With the uncertainty involved, I think you would be better off selling the car. Or at least TRY to sell it. If it’s cash value turns out to be very low, then keeping it won’t cost you much. But after a year or two outside, it REALLY won’t be worth anything…


Attempt to sell it(very hard). If that does not work out store it. You won’t lose much in one year time at this point in the depreciate curve(flat).


Those places like Carmax, that buys your car even if you don’t buy one, could be an option on the back burner if no one bites on the Volvo


It really depends on the volvo, Can you replace the car in the future for the price you get now? It always seems one has to sell cheap and buy high. I would look at replacement costs now, figuring they will change over the year for a little better, decide your breaking point between selling and keeping. How much do you love this car?


just remember, your insurance will double on the one car you keep driving!if it’s full coverage.


Assuming you own the Volvo outright, you can park it for a year, reduce the insurance to comprehensive only since you aren’t operating it (unless your state forces you to have liability) and find out what the insurance will be on the other car, assuming you won’t be driving it back and forth to work anymore.

There have been lots of threads here about storing a car for a year, and you should search for helpful answers. If you decide to stuff things into openings like exhaust pipes and air filters and so forth to keep out rats and mice and such, be sure to make a list of what you have done, and leave the list in the car. Be sure to put in gas stabilizer, new anti-freeze, and take out the battery and put it in the house. There are lots of other ideas.

A car like this that you own free and clear is not worth dumping. You won’t get much and when you need it again the price you’ll pay for another car will be higher. Besides, maybe you’ll get lucky and find another job!

That would be the best outcome, and you’d have a car to get to work.


I’d sell it. You need the money and you aren’t using it. Your situation is all about cash flow. It could be several months rent, or a few year’s food. You can get another car when you need one. BTW, you should work on the S60 to get it ready to sell. Get offers from someone like CarMax, as bscar said. If you like the money, take it. If the damage is confined to the bumper, replace it. You have the time to mess with it on days when you aren’t looking for jobs. And maybe the extra work will keep your mind off your troubles for a little while. That’s always a welcome relief. Consider whatever work you can do on it a part time job that will pay off when you sell it. Let us know exactly what it needs and we will help you fix it or tell you if the work is worth it.


ust remember, your insurance will double on the one car you keep driving!if it’s full coverage.

Well it likely will cost more for the remaining car, but not near double.


Sell it! Volvo’s are expensive to repair and after storage for a year you could have all kinds of problems, a bad alternator, radiator, all kinds of pumps could go bad - air pump, fuel pump.

You need the money sell it.


Sell it. It’s not that special, and you really don’t know how long it will have to sit. If you suddenly get a new job and need a second car you can always find a cheap used car at that time. It will be easier to sell while it’s still in use and drivable, if you find you need cash in a few months it will be harder to sell it out of “storage.” Put the cash from the sale in a savings account.


Thanks everyone. My husband & I sat down and read all your thoughts and have decided that we will clean it up and get it ready to sell. Anyone want to by a Volvo? Thanks again for all your input. It was immensely helpful!


Good luck! Never underestimate the value of a nice wash and vacuum job. And get all the maintenance records together, the more you can show someone you took good care of the car, the better the price you’ll get. Finally, both Craigslist and ads at the local grocery store can work well, as long as you avoid scammers - cash only!