To Sell or Not to Sell an Unused Car?

I have a 2006 Hyundai Tiburon SE with only 60,000 miles. I live in downtown Sacramento and got tired of moving it for street cleaning and getting tickets if I forgot to move it or was out of town; I also work in town so I rarely used my car. It’s been in storage for about 19 months now, decreasing in value every day. Should I sell it and put the money into an account for when I’m ready to own a car again? Or hang on to it so it’s there if I need it some day? I’m hoping someone in the know can offer some sage advice so I don’t make a mistake. Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

Sell it and try to head off even more depreciation.


Sell it before you have fuel degradation or mice chewing on wires, etc.


Impossible to go through life without making mistakes. You vehicle is not a classic but it seems to appeal to those who watch ’ Fast and Furious movies. Just sell it . Besides you are paying insurance for something you are not using.


If it is just sitting unused, sell it. If you can arrange drive it once a week or so on a 5-10 mile trip at least, keep it. A 12 year old won’t bring much money to freshen your pockets on the used car market, but if you leave it sitting for any length of time unused, you’ll likely discover it will cost a lot just to get it running correctly again. Cars don’t do well when they aren’t used. If you can arrange to drive it once a week you’ll be minimizing the risk of that expense. Otherwise, sell.


It’s non-op right no so at least I’m not paying anything.

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No storage fees ? Did you keep the registration up to date ? If not you are looking at penalties when you try to tag it

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No storage fees. I non-opped it to avoid paying registration, so yeah, that’s waiting for me.

You’re paying by virtue of its depreciation, the reality that a car unused will deteriorate away over time, and by virtue of the depreciation of the dollar every year. The money you could get for the car will return more value to you now than if you wait a few more years. Beancounters call this last one “opportunity cost”. Money is tied up in the car that could be more valuable used elsewhere.

Cars that very rarely get used don’t keep the cylinders wet, don’t keep fresh oil in the bearings, don’t keep the rotors scrubbed, etc. Cars retrieved from long term storage suffer need to have some prep work done before they’re streetable again. Cars rarely used sustain more wear on their occasional startups than they would if they were used daily. And elastomers are subject to deterioration over time.

Your impression that it isn’t costing you anything only takes into account the cost of operation, not the cost of sitting for long periods.


I rented a new SUV for a week for $200. Soon an 06 will be worth very little, so sell it while you can.

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Sell it! Avoid added depreciation and ownership costs such as license and insurance.

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I’m with everyone else, sell it off now

get it running so that people can drive it. If you sell an nonoperating car, the price will be very low.

Yep, sell it. Do you Uber? Very convenient for those times you might need a ride.

One of the first and possibly biggest problem you will have with putting a car into use after it has been sitting inoperative for a long time is the gasoline in the tank. It stagnates and especially if it’s Ethanol. This can occur in less than 6 months time.

That can not only cause the vehicle to fail to start but it can crud up the fuel filter, kill the fuel pump, and possibly ruin the fuel injectors.

If you feel that you must keep the car then you really should have the fuel tank drained. That can present a problem for someone with no tools or mechanical knowledge. I’m not saying that you’re inept as I have no idea of the depths of your mechanical abilities.

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strong let it go text

Sell it very fast

Selll it with the hope of helping someone that can really use it …at the moment.

But, does Craigslist have an “Unused cars” category???