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Sell or store?

my daughter will be in Hong Kong for a 10 mo internship. Should we sell the car (2001 Civic), saving the $ for a newer car when she returns OR store the car in our barn and hope the critters (mice etc)don’t invade it? If we store, how do we reduce the risk of damage?

From what you describe, I’d sell it and save the money for a new(er) car, especially if there was any thought about replacing it in the near future. But it’s a close call. The critter problem is hard to deal with, but other than that you could get a ‘battery tender’, put in a full (or double) dose of gasoline stabilizer in a fresh tank of gas, and hope for the best.

If you said 2 year internship, sell the car. For a 10 month internship I’d keep it. Stabil for the fuel, remove the battery, put a charger on the battery every couple of months, or put a battery tender charger on the battery and leave it hooked up.

As for the critters, put boxes of d-con under the car, inside the trunk and a few in the engine compartment. There are “sticky” traps that work too. Train a barn cat to guard the car and it should be ok.

For 10 months is might be best to leave the car insured and just drive it every couple of weeks on errands. An '01 Civic should be great on gas so why not just use it periodically instead of one of your other cars that gets worse mpg.

Agree; ten months is not a long time; some slow selling cars sit on the dealers lot that long. As Turbo says, stabilize the gas and keep the battery up.

Ten months is nothing at all but I’d keep it out of the barn if there is a critter problem. You’d be better putting it outside for the time with a car cover. Agree with all the Decon and everything but also dryer sheets inside the car helps to repel critters. Why not try finding a garage for rent. When I was in the Army, I rented a garage for $5 a month from an elderly lady. All I needed when I got back was a battery.

Ten months isn’t storage. It’s long term parking.

As other’s have said, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank and fill the tank. Remove/disconnect the battery. If a battery maintainer isn’t used on the battery expect to replace the battery. The dryer sheets in the interior work to keep critters out.

But I would also purchase some stainless pot scrubbers and stuff this in the tail pipe and in the air box before the air filter. This will keep critters out of the engine. Put a note on the steering wheel to remind you to remove this when the vehicle is put back into service. Then go to a local garden center and purchase some dehydrated fox or bobcat urine and sprinkle it around the vehicle. When the critters pick up this scent they get out of Dodge.


Store the car at a secure storage bay for $24 per month. No food and water or rats on a concrete slab in an aluminum shed. You would want to yank the battery if temperatures get to freezing, but otherwise, don’t bother: just visit the bay once every few weeks and start the car and drive it around the lot. Over ten months this will cost you $240.

If you decide to store it, check with your insurance company. Likely you can cancel the collusion part of the insurance and save most of the cost, while maintaining the comprehensive that would cover theft etc.

I would also bring the battery to a different location, ideally a cool spot. If someone would want to try an steal the car, they are not likely going to happen to have the right size battery handy when they come for the car.