Whether to Sell or Keep A Great Subaru

Hello, everyone! I live in Portland, Oregon and have a 2000 Subaru Outback with 88,000 miles on it. It’s in great condition. I just decided to go to graduate school this Fall in Boston for a 2-year program and I doubt that I will want a car in Boston with the great public transport, not to mention the expense as a grad student.

I paid about 13,000 for this car in 2005 when I bought it used from the original owner. I need advice on whether I should store the car for 1-2 years while in school or sell it.

The Kelly Blue Book estimates I could get around $8,000 for the car now (so I’d be losing 6-7K). Although I think it’s worth more, as we all know, you can rarely get for a car what it is really worth, especially if you had to turn around and buy another car in good condition, knowing its history.

I had intended to keep this car until I ran it into the ground, otherwise I would not have paid so much for a used car. Having a Subaru is important to me for my outdoorsy lifestyle, spending time in the mountains and hauling a kayak, etc… Although I won’t have time for that in the next 2 years, I hope to go back to the NW after school.

However, I’m wondering if I should just sell the car. My mechanic says he’s not so worried about the damage done to the car by storing it but more the idea of having my money tied up in something that is depreciating in value when I could have that money invested somewhere. However, I’m just not sure that even if I got 8K or 9K for the car, if that would buy me another car in such great condition 2-3 years from now (also having lost 6-7K from what I paid in 2005).

Maybe even with the loss of value of the car, would I still be better off, expense-wise, to store the car? Unfortunately, I don’t have any family that could be driving it while I’m gone and, after checking with my insurance, I can’t legally lend it to a friend if I’m not around.

I have stored this car before for a year while traveling abroad and it fared well. I only had to replace the battery and a few belts, which set me back $150.

I would really appreciate thoughts on this! I would be leaving the car in Portland in a friend’s driveway…

Thanks so much!

Has the timing belt been replaced?