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Moving Abroad- Keep the Yaris or sell it?

Hi Auto Aficionados-
I have a 2010 Toyota Yaris 4-door Hatchback with 68,000 miles on it. I am moving abroad in about a month and I’m not sure what to do with it. I will be gone anywhere from 6 months to over 1 year depending on how much I like being out there in the world. I still owe about $4,800 on the car and my monthly payments are $198. This is a huge amount of money if I keep the car just in storage being as I will be living in developing countries doing disaster relief (an unpaid position), where my monthly expenses are only around $1,000. Plus I won’t be making much by way of income each month freelancing on the side. I think my options are: Store it. Rent it (?). Sell it. And I’m not sure which one is best. On the one hand selling it would be a relief to not have to worry about it. On the other hand it would be easy to come back to the states and have a nice little car ready to go. When I am here I don’t drive a ton. I’d say about 2-3 days a week on average, besides a jaunt off to the mountains once in a while. It’s a great little car in wonderful condition, but I don’t have a ton of sentimental attachment to it or anything. The two things that I do think are unique about it are that it is in exceptional shape and it’s the model where the drivers console (speedometer, gas indicator, all that stuff) is located in the center of the car. Most would find this weird and that’s probably why the newer models have it back in the normal location, BUT I’m a shorty at 5’-0" and it makes it much much easier to see out of the car while driving. One last thing to consider, I wouldn’t have to pay for storage as I would probably drive it to my parent’s place in rural Iowa where it might be able to be stored indoors, but I would have to drive 900 miles to get it there. Ok! Those are the details. I would love anyone’s opinions on what to do with my little rollerskate. Thanks so much!

Sell it. You won’t have steady income but you will have the payments and the car will just lose value over that time. Plus you will need to change oil before you leave and again when you return. Sell it and buy a new car when you return.

sell it. It would depreciate in storage, plus you would need to put a trickle charger on the battery, and perhaps some stabilizer in the gas tank.

+2. Sell the Yaris and buy another car when you return if you need one. Since you owe $4800, you should have money left over after you pay off the loan. Put it in a savings account and use it only in emergencies. If you don’t need it, you will have a down payment for your next car when you return. Good luck on your adventure.

Given your stated financial situation, sell it. You don’t really have any other option. Once you get back you can buy another one. Don’t delay, as the longer you have to sell it, the more likely you’ll get a good price, which you can bank and have it available to buy another one for when you get back.

Edit: The only other way it would make sense is if you had a way to rent it to someone for their use. Not sure if that is even possible given insurance limitations.

Unless you have a relative or friend that you trust to care for it and drive it occasionally, selling it is the most logical option. Start saving up for another Yaris if you can. I had one for 9 years and all I ever had to do was regular maintenance. Very reliable.

You could ship it to your parent’s place in rural Iowa, fly there and store it.
Or sell it.

Personally, I’d drive it to Iowa, leave it at your parents’ place registered and insured with Iowa plates, let them use it while you’re gone, and start your trip abroad from Iowa. If you decide to stay abroad indefinitely, once you pay the car off you can sign it over to your parents and let them sell it. Meanwhile, they’ll have a nice economy car to enjoy.

This is another vote for selling the car. Payments of 198.00 plus insurance and if not registered while gone there will be penalties.
Also do the parents really want to have the responsibility of having the car in their care.

Sell. A car in storage actually deteriorates from lack of use.

Well that’s a pretty unanimous response! It must be the right thing to do. Thanks for taking the time to reply. It’s very helpful to get the opinions of folks who are interested in cars. Much appreciated! I’m still open to more, but it seems like most have the same opinion.

Under the circumstances I agree that selling it might be the best choice.

On the other hand, we spent 5 years overseas and had two paid for cars and let our son use them. He looked after the maintenance and when we went home for Christmas we had cars to use. We kept our house and our daughter lived in it, so keeping the cars garaged cost us nothing.

Each foreign posting is different; if the parents are still young and can use the car, it would be a good choice to leave it with them to drive. If I was a parent that’s what I would offer to do.

I say…sell it.

Interesting to hear from someone who has done the expat thing and kept the cars. I wish I would have worked harder to pay this thing off. Question to the group: If I could manage to scrounge up enough cash before I leave to pay it off (even though I might depart with a little less savings), then should I keep it or sell it? You might maintain the same opinion. Just curious.

Even if you pay off the car before you leave, I would still recommend selling it. You would be paying insurance for something you aren’t using. The Yaris is depreciating, so you are losing money. The Yaris is not a collector car like a Dusenberg. When you return, you can easily find a,replacement.

Just getting in here late but I’m another sell it. It just isn’t worth the hassle. Try Carmax for a quick sale and hopefully you’ll get the $4800 out of it at least.

If you keep it, you have to pay insurance, registration, and possibly personal property taxes. Call your insurer and ask what it will cost to insure your car if it sits in one spot for a year with zero miles. If you want to keep it you need to know the cost if you don’t know already.