Store, Ship, or Sell?

I have a 2001 Infiniti G20t with 73,000 miles. Mechanically, it’s in fantastic shape. Cosmetically, it has a few scratches and dings.

I’m moving from Boston, where I drive to work every day, to San Francisco, where I’ll bike and take the train. My first instinct was to ship my car out there, but it seems silly to pay someone to move a car I’m not going to use. My second instinct was to store it, but I would have to insure it and do all the maintenance. Plus, I don’t have a garage in which to store it. I could pay somebody to keep it inside, but that will probably get expensive. The final option is to sell.

My girlfriend suggests going with “store” because we don’t know where we’ll be living in a year or two and might have to buy a new car. I, however, go with “sell” because two years is a long time to store a car you might not need.


Sell. Bank the money and if you need to buy a car in a year or two you’ll have it, plus interest. Not much interest, true, but some.

Storing the car will cost money, and the car will continue to depreciate while it’s in storage. In addition, cars prefer to be driven, and correct storage for anything other than a few months is difficult.

Sell it.

Mcparadise has given you a very good and complete answer, IMHO.

To my mind, paying to store a 9 year old car for two years will yield two definite results:

A drain on your wallet for storage
A depreciated book value of the car, two years hence.

If this was a classic Rolls-Royce, I could see the wisdom of storing the car, simply because it would continue to appreciate in value. However, your G20 (which, in Japan is a mundane Nissan Primera sedan) will suffer some serious depreciation over that 2 year period.

Have you ever lived in San Francisco before? Unless you’re never going to leave the city itself, you’ll probably find yourself wanting a car at least occasionally. On an '01 you can take all the insurance off of it except liability and “all the maintenance” if you’re not driving it very much is basically 2 oil changes a year.

If it were me, I’d drive it out (is that an option?), keep it for a few months and if you really don’t use it at all, sell it.

Yeah. Sell it to me. That was an awesome car.

Were I in your shoes, I’d be tempted to try to keep it. It’ll be hard to find unmolested G20’s in the future, and I’d sorely miss it if I had to get rid of it.

Of course, I’m a car geek who has 3 of 'em already, one of which is in storage and hasn’t even been registered in 5 years, so I can also tell you firsthand that girlfriends do not like it when guys collect cars that they don’t actively use, even if you point out that your car collection is numerically smaller than her shoe, dress, perfume, and little stuffed bunny collections. In fact, that tends to upset them more, so take it from me and don’t point that out :wink:

Before you take the car to CA make sure it will have no issues with meeting CA emissions “smog” testing.

I definately won’t store it, there could be too many problems when you bring it out of storage. If you store it properly, stabil in fuel, battery out or hooked to a “tender” type charger, fresh fluids it could be ok for a year, but 2 years is something different.

Sell it, or take it (based on what you find out from CA DMV) are your best options. I won’t ship it if you can find the time drive it out yourself.

If I only need an occasional car, I’d rather use something like ZipCar, which is very available in San Francisco and also pays the insurance and gas.

hehe. I want just about every cool car I see out there. If I had the money, I’d make Jay Leno’s collection look tiny.

But I was semi-serious about the girlfriend thing. She’ll kill me if I buy another car :wink:

You’ll note I tagged the original post “marital.” This was for good reason. I feel like most of the questions on the show are, at the core, marital questions.

I think you got the right idea, sell it and use ZipCar, etc. SF’s an expensive place to own a car (in the city).