If you have an old, beat up car on your hands, you’re probably wondering what you can do to get rid of it. While you have lots of options, some may be better than others. Carefully sorting through each method and analyzing the pros and cons, you can make an intelligent choice.
3 Options to Consider
Some people are geared up to buy, sell, and make deals. For the rest of us, the thought of getting rid of a vehicle – even an old one that’s in bad shape – stresses us out. From getting the right price to finding a way to move it, there’s just so much to think about.
By boiling it down to the following three options, you can simplify the process and give yourself a route to pursue.
Your first option is to donate your vehicle. If it’s in working condition and you just want to get rid of it, you’ll need to find what the IRS calls a “qualified charity,” or one with “exempt status.” In most cases, you’ll only be able to deduct the “selling price” of the vehicle, which is the price the charity gets when they make a sale. If specific conditions are met, you can deduct the “fair market value,” which is generally a bit higher.
The pros of donating a vehicle are that you get to help people in need and you get a nice tax break (which depends on the value of the car and your tax bracket). The biggest con of donating a vehicle is that you aren’t going to receive the maximum value. Even if you’re able to deduct the fair market value, you’re still only getting a percentage of the car’s value back on your tax return.
If you have a vehicle that doesn’t drive or has been totaled beyond repair, your options are really limited. You probably can’t donate it, but you should be able to sell it to a junkyard and make some quick cash off the scrap metal.
The advantage of junking a car is that you can often get someone to come haul it away for you. The con is that you have to do your research and find a junkyard that’s honest and fair. Generally speaking, national junk car buyers are the best to work with.
3. Fix Up and Sell
What’s wrong with the vehicle? Are there just a couple of cosmetic issues and simple parts that need to be replaced? In this case, you may be able to fix the vehicle up and sell it. Just be sure to run some cost calculations and get a number of estimates from different shops. You want to be sure the return will be substantially higher than the investment.
The advantage of fixing up and selling is that you typically get the best return on your money. You’re actually getting the vehicle in working condition, which maximizes its value. The biggest con is that you have to go through the time and effort to get quotes and have someone perform the work (not to mention the cost). Then you have to turn around and sell it (which can be a stressful process in and of itself).
Make a Smart Choice
There’s no right or wrong way to get rid of an old car. In most cases, it depends on your circumstances. Maybe you aren’t worried about the financials, but just want to get the vehicle out of your way. Or perhaps the money is really important and you have time to wait it out. Every story is different, so consider the factors that are unique to your situation and make the choice that makes sense for you.