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How Many Cars Is Too Many?

Autopian Asks Too Many Cars
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We all dream of having our own fleet of cars, but eventually, building a stable of cars can feel overwhelming. Maybe the maintenance is too much to take, maybe insurance is a heartbreaker, maybe you’re just running out of space, maybe you have other commitments in life, or maybe you just want to enjoy everything you own. Most people will find that it’s possible to own too many cars, so today we want to ask what you’d consider to be too many.

I think my realistic maximum is three cars. One for winter, one for summer, one for autocross, track days, and any gaps not filled by the others. At that point, my monthly insurance bills would add up to the payment on a new Corolla, I’d still be able to maintain a decent ratio of DIY to farm-it-out, and there’s some hope that all three will work most of the time. Having a consistently working large fleet of cars that works can be a challenge, as Jason detailed in 2022.

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Mind you, the maximum number of cars varies for everyone. Our own Mercedes has a fleet well in the double digits, and David has all manner of vehicles in his possession, some of which even run. In contrast, I know people who will only ever need or want one car in their possession at any one time.

So, how many cars is too many for you, and what makes that number too many? I’d love to read your answers, as ever, in the comments section below.

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(Photo credits: David Tracy, Jason Torchinsky)

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LostinTransit
LostinTransit
2 months ago

In my lifetime, I’ve own 46 cars or trucks.. The best one.. the current 2020 Transit Connect.. The worst one.. 1998 thunderbird Most expensive.. 2003 Chevy Corvette Z06 Least expensive.. 1963 Vw Beatle

Myk El
Myk El
2 months ago

I’ll go with the 1 more car than you have space to park. Or one more than you can afford to keep insured.

Surfbeetle
Surfbeetle
3 months ago

Too many is the number of parking spots you have, plus one… Don’t be that guy who f’s over your neighbors by hogging all of the available parking with your sh**boxes. My house is on two acres so that number is way more than I actually have. The insurance and registration is bad enough with the number I do have.

Ben
Ben
3 months ago
Reply to  Surfbeetle

In my neighborhood that number can be 1, thanks to people who refuse to park in either their garage or their driveway.

Turbotictac
Turbotictac
3 months ago

I have a very manageable 4 + my wife’s car. All 4 of mine were running until my Mazdaspeed’s connecting rod number 3 decided to be a disconnected rod. I have a new engine I am building for it though with a MUCH larger turbo, naturally. At one point I had 5 but I sold the 67 Mustang because I am just not in to owning classic cars it turns out.

Jj
Jj
3 months ago

If you have more than 2 vehicles that can’t be driven in your fleet and you are considering adding more non-drivers, you are a hoarder.

The problem will get worse until David Tracy starts writing misguided sympathetic articles about you trying to sell off acres of cars that may have been nice on arrival but are now full garbage because of your neglect.

Memphomike
Memphomike
3 months ago

Depends on work/family status I think.
Once had a van, a BMW 2002 and 3 little kids. Parked the 2002 to get something more dependable and the kids kept me so busy the hydraulic seals in the 2002 froze up. Got it running and gave it away while kids were still little.
Spent several years maintaining a fleet of 5/6 with the kids’ cars in various states of maintenance. One kid has worked a seasonal job requiring a truck for a few years, so I’ve had access to a truck for a while and agree that’s a necessity.
I like the idea of having 2 dailies and a sport/project car for a 2 person household, but I want my cars to be in a covered space, so storage capacity should be a limit.
We’ve usually managed to keep a reasonable/reliable 4-door for my wife and a 2-door MT for me.
Currently, a ’17 Crosstrek for the wife and a ’13 BRZ for me. We just got all of the kids vehicles titled in their names, but I still do a lot of the maintenance.
Toying with the idea of a restored old “retirement” car for myself, but the BRZ keeps creeping into that classification with 100K on it now and lots of fun mods I could do.

Griznant
Griznant
3 months ago

Late to the party on this one. I currently have 21, and while only a small number actually run, 8 are insured because they are worth something and all are stored inside.

That number is too high though, and I will be thinning the herd a bit over the next few months. There are some I would never part with (two) and the rest are great projects that I feel I rescued, but need to move on. I don’t know of an ideal number, but it’s definitely not 21.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
3 months ago

one fun-car,one daily driver and one back-up should be enough I think. Unless you need more than one back-up car of course..

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
3 months ago

Here, our city council changed recently, from right wing car loving old men to left wing environmentally aware slightly younger persons of all genders, and they put a limit on the amount of parking permits you could buy..
So MY right number is 2 at home, and 3 at the workshop.
Are 3 project cars too many? Probably.. 😉

Last edited 3 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
3 months ago

Objectively for me and SO one is plenty, as I WFH, they don’t drive, and we live within walking distance to many amenities or bus stops. Especially because it’s Japanese and never in the shop.

So naturally we have three.

OnceInAMillenia
OnceInAMillenia
3 months ago

IMO it’s however many when it’s not a hassle to move them around when you need to. Whether that’s a tandem garage/driveway or weekly street cleaning or however often you need to get something out from the garage that the car is blocking – so long as you don’t approach it as ” *sigh* I gotta go figure out how to move the cars” you don’t have too many.

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