What to Do With Your Junk Car

It’s sad, but true: on average, even the most reliable vehicle will last you only about 12 years. This, of course, depends on how well you’ve cared for it: follow the right maintenance plan, and you might find yourself driving your car for upwards of thirty years!

Of course, no matter how well you care for your ride, there’s no way to escape the inevitable repairs, accidents, and breakdowns. Eventually, you’ll be left with nothing more than a junk car—which can be a surprisingly cumbersome possession to get rid of.

When your car is in a state of disrepair—or, worse, when it’s no longer driveable—who can you work with to take it off your hands? In fact, depending on your needs and preferences, there are a number of options available to you. Here’s what you should consider when disposing of a junk car.

Junk Your Unwanted Vehicle

The first option available to you is the most obvious: dispose of your old vehicle to make room in your driveway. For this option, you’ll need to find a local disposal service that has a tow truck to remove your car. In most cases, you won’t get any money from junking your car, though you won’t have to pay for the free towing service that takes it to the junkyard!

Donate Your Used Car to Charity

If you’re not looking to make a profit off of your old, broken-down car, donating it may be the better option. Though you may have to do more research to find a local nonprofit that can make use of a junk car, donating your used vehicle can support the work of an organization in need. In most cases, the nonprofit will tow the car for free if necessary.

In addition, donating your car can have a surprising financial benefit when tax season rolls around. The IRS allows taxpayers to claim large donations as a tax deduction, meaning that you can boost your savings for the upcoming tax year. However, you’ll want to consult a tax expert for specifics, and you’ll need to research the fair market value of your car to make an accurate claim.

Sell Your Junk Car to a Dealership

If you’re hoping to make a profit off of your junk automobile, working with a dealership may be one of the first selling options that jumps to mind. Because most areas have a range of local companies to choose from, you’ll benefit from the convenience of an easy sale.

However, it’s worth noting that an easy sale may not always be the most profitable sale. Buying a used car for top dollar isn’t in the best interest of the dealership, which is why you might find yourself receiving lowball offers. If you decide to go this route, be sure to get multiple quotes to see if you can find a dealership that’s willing to give you a fair deal.

If you do choose to sell to a dealership, you may be able to negotiate a trade-in—though this may be more difficult with junk cars that no longer function.

Sell Your Used Car Yourself

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you can sell your junk car yourself. You’d be surprised by how many people purchase old, low-cost vehicles to modify and repair! Of course, this option is far less convenient than selling to an established dealership, but it does give you the opportunity to make more money—though your outcome depends on your efforts and your luck.

First, you’ll need to do your research to understand your car’s value. This can sometimes be difficult with a junk car, but a bit of sleuthing can help you find examples of car sales for vehicles in a similar condition to yours. From there, you can work to set a fair but competitive price to attract a buyer.

Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are the most common places to post about your sale, though you can also try traditional newspaper ads as well. Don’t forget about word-of-mouth advertising: be sure to get the word out to friends, family members, and coworkers who can help spread the word to any interested parties.

Once you start getting calls, you’ll have to make time to show the car to any potential buyers, and you should also be prepared to negotiate the price.

You’ll also need to tackle the paperwork requirements—which can often be extensive—on your own. These requirements differ from state to state, so do your research on the documentation needed to transfer ownership. If you’re uncertain, contact your local OMV for details.

Sell Your Junk Car Via a Car-Selling Site

If you’re hoping for both convenience and a decent profit, there’s another option you should consider: a dedicated car-selling platform that specializes in junk cars. These platforms allow you to sell your car with ease—without leaving your sofa!

Instead of placing ads, marketing the sale, showing your car to buyers, or getting quotes from a dealership, you can get a quick online offer for your junk car to decide if this approach is right for you. What’s more, if you decide to go this route, you’ll get cash upon pickup!

Note, however, that some websites require you to pay a fee for towing services if your car isn’t driveable. Depending on where you live, of course, you may be able to find a company that doesn’t require this fee. For a reputable service with hassle-free pickup, find out more here.

It’s Time to Get Rid of Your Junk Car

Ready to get your old junk car into someone else’s hands? Decide how much time and effort you’re willing to spend, consider your preferences in terms of profits, and do your research to find local companies that can help. With the options above, you can get rid of your old junker and make room for a vehicle that can get you through the next 12 years—and beyond!

Looking for more of the quick tips you need to make the most of your possessions? Be sure to check out our other posts for additional insights.