Storing a Car

My husband and I will be moving to New York City next year and will be there for at least 2 years. I’ll probably sell my clunker but we want to keep his 2004 Toyota Matrix with 40,000 miles on it. We were thinking of storing it at his parent’s place in NJ. When storing a car, do you have to make sure it’s driven once in awhile? Are there any other precautions to take? It will be in a driveway, not a garage, and subject to the elements.

Since you are not moving very far, and will likely visit your husband’s parents frequently, I would just park it, and add some fuel stabilizer to the gas and drive it at least 20 miles each time you visit.

If you visit less often than every 3 weeks or so, put the battery on a “battery minder” which will keep it charged up without your inlaws needing to do anything.

If you went overseas for 2 years we would recommend a more detailed “mothballing” process. But we assume you will want to drive the car when you visit you inlaws anyway.

I agree with Doc, except if you need to store it for the two years unattended. In that case, I’d sell it.

There’s a big difference between storing and parking. What you’re contemplating is parking, and I don’t recommend parking a vehicle for two years.

Sell the car, bank the money, and buy something else when you need a car again.

Parking a car in NYC can cost more than many apartments in the rest of the country. My guess is you’d like to have the Matrix available for some trips now and again during the 2 years you’ll be living in NYC.

If this is the case I’d just add fuel stabilizer to the gas and try to leave the car exterior clean when you park it for the period of “rest”. Likely in a month or two you’ll either take one of those little trips or visit the family and can start the car and run in around a bit before parking it again and heading back into the city.

It would be a good idea to buy a battery jump starter and keep it at the families house in case the battery is weak and needs a boost to start the car. I’d say if you drive the car once every 3 to 4 months during the next two years it should hold up OK.

I would first suggest selling it. If not then I suggest truly storing it.

If stored you can cancel the collusion part of your insurance as it only comes into play if the car is being driven. Use stabilizer, store it in a safe place etc.