car question

I finally bought my ideal kayak car yesterday (my first ever new car). I’m going to keep it in a lot, at least through winter. My question is, an outdoor lot is $55/month less than an indoor lot. Just curious whether the outdoor storage will end up costing more than that in depreciation.

Thanks for any advice,


PS…the car is a Hyundai Elantra Touring, my second choice but my first choice, the Pontiac Vibe is generally unavailable.

It should be fine
My current company pickup is almost ten years old and hasn’t been inside for a single day. If I wanted to, I could still polish it up to look really nice. As it is, the amount of weathering visible on the exterior paint is barely noticeable. Car finishes seem to be getting better all the time, which is a darned good thing considering how crappy the quality had become for a while all through the 80 and early 90s.

By the way, heated indoor storage will accelerate the rate of rusting, though the “nice-ness” factor is worth it to some people.

the worse thing you can do to …
… a vehical , is let it sit outside unused .

get a cover
if you aren’t going to use it that often… and keep it waxed.

IMO the UV damage from the sun causes the most damage.

When I lived in the city my parking space had shade from a tree while the others didn’t and their cars were faded and the dash was cracking, while mine looked new.

I have a new CRV that gets shade in the afternoon and I just keep it washed and waxed.

In the 70s, I would have said yes, go
for the indoor lot. Now cars are much more corrosion resistant, and stand up to sun and temperature extremes better.

I would make the decision on other grounds, such as security… and money. You’ll need half of the price difference for a basic set of good racks.

depends on where you live
If you’re on one of the sea coasts that gets salt air, if you live there you know what I mean, it’s really hard on the finish of the car, best kept inside. If you’re in a dry area it won’t matter either way, cars are designed to be used outside.

Bill H.

thanks for the replies
Will decide in an hour or so when the garage managers are available. Parking in NYC is not for the faint of heart!!


the worst thing you can do to a car is let it sit under a messy tree unused. But even letting one sit INSIDE unused is not good. Use 'em or lose 'em.

I’ve never had a garage I could manage to keep empty enough to pull a vehicle into…over the years, some vehicles have battled the elements more successfully than others, but I’ll agree that newer cars are much better at this than those rustbuckets from the 60’s & 70’s.

under a tree
I’ve traded in two cars that were kept under oak and pine trees for five years and the clear coat was still good, zero fading, etc… but if you don’t wash the tree sap off then that can damage the finish…

The only other issue right on the coast (I’m within 70 feet of the ocean) is driving through salt water on the road or a boat ramp. The salt air isn’t a problem.

Of course salt on the roads up north is like cancer.

Whatever you keep out in the sun will fade especially dark colors.

Which outdoor lot?
Where do you find outdoor lot that’s so much cheaper than indoors?

If kept my car in indoor lots for the most part because I simply didn’t find any outdoor lot that’s really significantly cheaper…


– Last Updated: Dec-07-09 1:04 PM EST –

A Hyundai is going to take a big depreciation hit off the lot no matter what. This is a fact of the brand and the industry right now. If money is not an object, go with the indoor lot, especially if you live someplace with nasty winters. It's also easier if you're using the car on a regular basis, as lots sometimes have issues with snow removal. If you're not driving it often, start it up and let it get up to temperature at least weekly for an outdoor lot. Take of for a drive at least once a month, again, making sure you get it up to operating temperature. This will also keep the tires from flat spotting. As for the car exterior, they are manufactured to be in the weather, so follow the same procedures as if you were keeping it at home. Before the winter, it's a good idea to put a coat of wax on for protection. During the winter, wash the outside as necessary. Get an underbody wash from a car wash after each inclement weather period that requires salt/sand to be applied to the roads. Wait until the roads have completely dried before expending the funds for the underbody. At the end of the season (last storm), give the car a good wash/wax/detail.

how much and how long?
I’ve heard it’s bad to let a car sit, I always had clunkers and never thought much about this. I use the car once per week, is that enough? If not, is it sufficient to sit in the car with the engine running or do I need to actually drive it?

Thanks for your advice, this is not something I considered when I bought the car new.


165th St.
Between Amsterdam and St. Nicholas.


I talked down an indoor garage to within $25 of the outdoor space, so it’s living inside now. Oddly enough, the outdoor space wouldn’t have me or my car because I don’t drive it to work. They need their monthly cars to go out all day so they can rent the space to people driving in to work.

I got an amazing deal on the car, which is why I bought it new. Dealers are really hurting now and I took cruel advantage.


Once/week is good enough

– Last Updated: Dec-07-09 1:49 PM EST –

I've had vehicles that sat garaged longer than that between driving. Did not harm them. You can run it sitting in the garage; let the engine temp come up to normal. Don't just turn it on and off while it's still cold. Don't rev it up high thinking that'll hurry things up. Just let it idle normally.

Of course, it makes sense that if you run the engine you might as well drive it and get some errands done. But if the roads are wet-salted to hell, it's better off idling in the garage.

Make sure you keep up with all standard maintenance. That is, if it's been less than 3000 miles since the last oil change--but that was a lot longer than 3 months ago--change the oil. For things like air filters, time doesn't matter as long as it still looks clean. Do be scrupulous about flushing your coolant from the entire cooling system--draining and refilling the radiator is NOT a flush.

Study the owner's manual and learn what other fluids besides engine oil and coolant need to be changed regularly. Some people don't realize there are things like differential oil that also need changing (not often).

I live in NYC also - when I got a new car (Mini Cooper) I immediately got an indoor garage and think it’s worth it. Keeps the prying eyes away, keeps the ice and snow and bird poop off, no shoveling snow around the tires etc. I use mine everyday which is part of the equation too.

do you cartop
your kayak with the Mini-cooper? They’re so cute.

You work at one of my favorite spots to paddle, just under the last bridge when the E. River opens up to the LI Sound, right by the Maritime school. Nice spot!!


holy cow
I guess I know what I’ll be reading tonight. Thanks for all the great advice, it’s really appreciated.

There’s an Edison lot in Inwood
on 212 adn 10th, right by the 1 train, that rents for $100/month and $5 every time you take the car out, or $175/month regular.


good advice

The fuel starts going bad after a few months, so try and cycle through it in less than about 3 months. You may try keeping a 1/4 tank or look into fuel stabilizers (I’ve heard different results on that)

Check with the dealership about how long the oil and other fluids will hold up. I think it’s closer to a year for oil and longer for some of the other stuff. You will probably be changing all of that before you reaching the millage.

Try this link for more car info…!make=Hyundai

enjoy your new car!