Extra nice car, no garage
May 9, 2014 3:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm getting a Maserati that's a few years old. I've never owned a similar car and I'm planning to enjoy driving it for a year or two, then sell it. It has very low mileage now and I won't be putting many miles on it. Is there any reason I can't park it on the street like every other car I've ever owned? We live in a low crime area of Southern California with a lot of nice cars, but true luxury cars seem to go into garages.

How I'm getting the car is a convoluted story, but I'm not paying anywhere near the real cost for it. Assume that I will not own a similar car in the future. (Anon, because I'm sort of embarrassed by it!)
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (21 answers total)
When you report it stolen the insurance company won't believe you, for starters. Even if, by some miracle, it's not stolen it hugely degrades the value of collectables to not garage them.
posted by fshgrl at 3:43 PM on May 9, 2014 [7 favorites]

Are you going to have a car cover for it? It's not just for fear of theft that cars are stored in the garage. It's because of ambient dirt and wear from sunlight exposure.
posted by muddgirl at 3:44 PM on May 9, 2014 [6 favorites]

Is there any reason I can't park it on the street like every other car I've ever owned? We live in a low crime area of Southern California

When I lived in the High Desert in Southern California, we could not park in the garage. We had one white car and white black car. They both took a beating from the sun and blowing sand. The black car took it much harder and was peeled down to bare metal in places. So that's something to think about.
posted by Michele in California at 3:44 PM on May 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, the sun is really hard on paint. It may lower the value of the car.
posted by GuyZero at 3:48 PM on May 9, 2014

Maybe check with an insurance company -- they probably have different rates for garaged vs. not garaged.
posted by amtho at 4:03 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sorry, that should say "we had one white car and one black car."

We had a garage, it was just part of a duplex and the driveways were next to each other and the driveway was weirdly angled such that you would have to drive across the other driveway to have any hope of getting into the garage and the garage became my workshop for reupholstering stuff and that kind of thing. So neither car was ever parked in the one car garage we actually had.

In Southern Cali, it is not just the sun. There are fierce winds and they sometimes carry grit and it is like taking a sander to your paint job.
posted by Michele in California at 4:04 PM on May 9, 2014

Also...it has a fine leather interior. You don't want that subjected to the harsh heat and UV of So. Cal.

With great, uh, wheels comes great responsibility. You're getting a freaking Maserati, not a Mazda. It was not built to sit out in the hot sun. Treat it like a favorite relative that's visiting you from afar, not a tenant that answered a CL ad.
posted by mosk at 4:06 PM on May 9, 2014 [14 favorites]

Can you rent a space or garage from the neighbors?
My insurance does take into account whether my car has secure parking.
posted by calgirl at 4:17 PM on May 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

Suck up the cost of a proper secure garage, especially if you won't be driving it every day. In a a way it's money you're spending now to ensure the resale value of the car and reduce your insurance costs while you own it.

Plus there's nothing like the feeling of rolling up a garage door to look at your Maserati.
posted by a halcyon day at 4:22 PM on May 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Is there any reason I can't park it on the street like every other car I've ever owned?

Well... not if you want to be able to sell it for anything like decent money in a year or two. A car like that will have a crappy looking interior and crappy paint after 2-3 years in the California sun. Find a garage space.
posted by Brockles at 4:26 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rent garage space. You might even be able to use self-storage if the facility allows vehicles. Call the local Maserati dealer (Southern California has a few) and see if they have any suggestions.
posted by holgate at 4:26 PM on May 9, 2014

Is there any reason I can't park it on the street like every other car I've ever owned? We live in a low crime area of Southern California

Nope! I mean, yeah, of course, but I've seen it done before. When I lived in Hollywood there was a homeowner down the street who parked his Lamborghini Murcielago on the curb every day. I believe, in his case, that it was a practical matter of not being able to clear the driveway entrance, but his car never seemed to suffer from it. He did have it professionally detailed on a weekly basis (mostly road grime and tree debris removal) by a team that delivered their service to his home, and I'm pretty sure he lost whatever discount on insurance you get from garage parking, but I think those were trade-offs he was willing to make to drive a Lambo.
posted by carsonb at 4:42 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and another major service the detailers provided was sun protection for both the interior and exterior. They let me look inside the car once, and it was literally no worse for wear.
posted by carsonb at 4:44 PM on May 9, 2014

Considering kids have keyed both my Honda Fit and an old Toyota just because, this will be an irresistable juvenile delinquent magnet.
posted by MsMolly at 4:49 PM on May 9, 2014 [10 favorites]

seagulls don't care if it's a maserati or a hyundai.
posted by bruce at 5:23 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've seen Maseratis parked on the street and in parking lots here in Los Angeles, but I've never seen one parked on the street in a residential setting (where presumably people who are wealthy enough to have a Maserati are also wealthy enough to have a home that comes with a parking spot). I don't think it'll get stolen, per se, but I'd worry a lot more about damage. I park on the street in a neighborhood with lots of Mercedes and BMWs, and I try to park gently, but I've definitely dinged the bumper of a luxury vehicle.
posted by Sara C. at 6:30 PM on May 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am debating whether to buy a generic 1980's US sedan (for under $5,000) and one of the issues every car guy I talk to raises is, "You're going to park a car that has been garaged year round for 30 years and never driven in winter [this is the point at which their faces look pained]. . .on the street, year round?" I can not imagine what they would say if I asked about a Maserati.
posted by mlis at 6:48 PM on May 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

I guess it depends on which model and so on, but I've seen new high-end BMWs (M5, M6) and such in a similar range (a new Quattroporte starts at "only" $100k) on the street all the time. That said, its true it will affect the value. And if the streets in your neighborhood are as narrow as mine, I'd worry about it getting clipped.

I would also say it does depend on the prevalence of such cars. I live near the Grove, BH, and WH -- so I see Bentleys, Maseratis, etc on a surprisingly regular basis. BMW/Mercedes is practically a Honda Civic. So around there, it wouldn't stick out _quite_ as much (it would still stand out). If you're parking it around Hondas and Fords I'd be more worried.
posted by wildcrdj at 6:54 PM on May 9, 2014

I live in Los Angeles. In a "nice" neighborhood. WeHo. I'm from Lower Manhattan in NYC.

For insurance rate reasons, for sun damage, and for general knowledge of SoCal culture (a few neighbors had cars damaged on our street, our second car not garaged was totaled two years ago by a hit and run driver) you are UNWISE if you do not garage this car.

Financially and risk-wise, street parking this ASSET is not a good idea.

Protect your shit, yo.
posted by jbenben at 12:22 AM on May 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

The general gist of your question, to me at least, seems to be "garage vs. theft" which if this is your only point, and you live in a quiet, low-crime area, shouldn't be too much of an issue if the car is left street parked.

Other than being a potential target for an opportunistic joyrider, car theft most often occurs for illegal resale of a vehicle or selling parts from the cars. Being a Maserati, this would likely greatly diminish its attractiveness to a professional thief, as there is assuredly much less of a market for illegal vehicles and especially parts for this type of vehicle. Of course, there's always the international stolen car market, but I don't believe Maseratis are on the hot list of cars being stolen for this type of black market trade anyway, but you could always check on line to see what the most current reported list is for your region.

You're at much greater risk of having a 5-year old Toyota or Honda stolen than a Maserati.

However, as noted above, there are other factors which you should weigh, foremost being insurance costs, with resale value following as close second.

Side note: You should really look into the insurance premiums before you even agree to take on this car (if you haven't already). Depending on the HP of the engine you can get quite a slap in the face if you're over the "utility driver" size and into the "sport/tuned" engine level .

I used to work with a guy who traded in one Mercedes for a crazy 400 HP sport sedan (also a Mercedes, don't remember the model), but he was stunned that although the blue book on the sportier car was less, his insurance went up by about 200 / month.
posted by Debaser626 at 5:45 AM on May 10, 2014

The potential downsides to parking an eye-catching car on the street outweigh the costs of renting a secured covered parking space. My car (not a Maser) lives curbside in SoCal, and has endured: high school kids egging it on a hot summer evening (goodbye, clearcoat); crows targeting it for poop-parties every damn time I detail it; perpetual coat of dust; garbage trucks denting it; neighbors leaving weird notes on it.

I've seen high-end cars on my street (nice area) with badges that appear to have been stolen.

And on the plus side, having an indoor parking spot will give you a place to lavish affection on that lovely beast (detailing and maintaining) in the style which it deserves. It's nice too not to have to worry about it when you're out of town, or not having to worry about moving it on street cleaning days, etc.

(And don't feel embarrassed about having something special to drive...life is to enjoy!).
posted by nacho fries at 8:48 AM on May 12, 2014

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