Storing a Car

We will be moving to Europe for 18-24 months and will need a car when we return. Our '04 Acura has only about 25K miles. Should we store it or sell it? If we store it, what should be done to make sure it’s not compromised? (The 200-year-old VW scene in “Sleeper” is presumably not based on fact!).


Paul in Menlo Park, CA

Up to 12 months maybe store it, but up to 24 months is too long for just a dose of gas stabilizer. You’d need someone to drive it. Also, how much would be paying for storage? Me, I’d sell it.

It’s just going cost money to store and maintain and insure. It’ll also depreciate while you’re gone, even if sitting for that long doesn’t cause problems. I’d sell it.

The Acura will lose value in the two years it sits. Even if you store it properly prepped it can have problems coming out of storage. Unexpected rust, damage from mice (or squirrels), frozen brakes, frozen alternators, flat tires, etc.

Sell it, save the money on storage fees and insurance. Invest the proceeds from the sale and don’t touch it. When you return and need a car you’ll have a nice nestegg to buy another car.

I also vote to sell it. While I don’t think the choice is totally clear, my personal choice would be to sell and by a new one when you get back. It will loose value while it sits. Sell it and then you don’t need to worry about it while you are away.

Sell it. You can buy another car when you return. Storing cars is much more difficult than it used to be.

If the car is paid for and you have a good (free) spot to store it, two years is not that big a deal…A lot depends on your available storage LOCATION…In a garage, great! Under a carport, good…In someones back yard, forget it…

As for prepping, enter the words “car storage” in the search feature of this board…

My best judgment tells me you are better off to sell it, invest the money, and buy a new car when you return., As others poit out, you will have insurance costs, storage costs (likely), preparation costs, restarting costs when you return, and there may be damage which the insurance will not cover.

We were overseas for 5 years and our daughter lived in our house and drove the 2 cars every 2 weeks or so. We did this because our storage was free and my wife was home for the summer for 2 months each year. If you are overseas as a non-US resident, it makes more sense to sell the car.