How To Get Rid Of A Car

The internet contains a wealth of information for guiding the car buying consumer. Companies are available online to offer every new or used vehicle you could possibly desire. Leases, purchases, financing, and home delivery are just some of the several options of services these companies can provide. Technology has exceeded even our wildest expectations. But perhaps you are on the other end of the spectrum, and instead of looking to purchase a new vehicle, you are looking to get rid of a car.

The excitement of first learning to drive, the exhilaration of experiencing total independence when driving away in that first car, it is an emotion repeated with each new vehicle. The emotional connection formed with a vehicle can present a stumbling block for many when getting rid of a car. Few material possessions trigger more emotions than parting with a car. Owning a car is typically one of the largest purchases an individual makes, and there is a prolonged personal investment that occurred to make it possible.

Reasons People Get Rid Of A Car

There are several reasons to get rid of a car: 

  • To Get Cash - Selling an asset to raise available cash.
  • To Save Money - Perhaps you are looking for ways to lower your budget.
  • To Raise Credit Score - Paying a car loan off can increase your credit score.
  • To Reduce Stress - A switch to public transportation can eliminate a stressful commute.
  • For Environmental Purposes - Helping lower carbon footprint by eliminating emissions.
  • The Car is Old or Doesn’t Run - A car can get old, quit running, or become worthless.

The reason to get rid of a car can change over time due to different financial situations you may find yourself in - or perhaps you would just like a change. The market value of a used vehicle may increase over time depending on the make and model, and selling it can put a nice chunk of change in your pocket. Financial hardships are a reality for most of us at some point in life, particularly in the present as we battle a global pandemic. 

Consolidating bills and eliminating non-essentials are simple solutions to reducing your monthly costs. Commutes across the country continue to become more time consuming and stressful. The choice to take public transportation or utilize ride sharing can reduce stress, free up parking for others, and reduce your carbon footprint. A car eventually may give out on you, becoming a liability instead of an asset. This can sometimes make it a relief to get rid of the vehicle.

What To Do With A Car You Don’t Want Anymore

Multiple options are available to you if you decide to get rid of your car. The decision comes down to what makes the most sense for your situation. The most common choices are to sell, trade, or donate it.

  • Sell the car to a dealership: If your vehicle is in working order, several dealerships may be interested in buying your used car. The dealer or car lot will need to physically see the car, inspect it, and evaluate its market value. If the dealer wants the car, they will present you with a cash offer. A positive aspect of selling a car to a dealer is the ability to show it to several dealerships and garner the highest offer. On the other hand, the dealer is looking to profit by reselling the vehicle and will typically offer a lower cash amount, increasing its own profit margin. 
  • Sell the car yourself: You will need to advertise the car for sale. Several sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace will let you list your vehicle for free. At the same time, other online car sites can show the vehicle to a broader audience and may even offer to complete the sale online and pick up the vehicle from your home. Selling your car yourself will give you the ability to cash in on the highest selling price, but could possibly put you in a vulnerable position of having to meet and conduct financial transactions with a stranger. Keep your safety a priority when employing this option.
  • Trade in the car: Having a vehicle that has appreciated, is owned outright, or has little left on the original car loan makes it an excellent negotiation tool. The trade-in value will allow you some leverage to either reduce the cost of a new car or keep a potential down payment in your pocket, perhaps even enabling you to purchase an extended warranty on your new vehicle.
  • Donate the car: Reputable charities exist that resell and donate used vehicles to help their organization. If you are in a financial situation that allows you to give back to a cause close to your heart, this is a fantastic option. You will also get a receipt for the market value to use for a tax deduction.

How To Get Rid Of A Car That Doesn’t Run

You may be the unfortunate owner of a car that no longer runs. There may be many reasons why a car no longer runs, whether it be that the car was involved in an accident, the cost of repairs outweigh the car’s value, or extensive maintenance is needed that may be too costly. Before deciding to junk it, review your options to see if there are any remaining profits to be squeezed out of it.

  • Sell the car yourself: Invest in a mechanic to inspect the vehicle for any value that remains in the car’s parts. List the vehicle on a free website and be upfront regarding the condition of the vehicle, and have all the paperwork prepared. 
  • Sell car to a dealer: A dealership typically is not interested in a vehicle that doesn’t run; however, they may take it off your hands if they can get you into a new car.
  • Sell car to a mechanic: An auto body shop or a private mechanic may be interested in buying the car to use it for parts, depending on the make and model. This option will require you to put in the time to call mechanics in your local area.
  • Donate the car: Some charity organizations are willing to take a non-running vehicle off your hands. These charities will give a receipt for the market value allowing for a possible tax deduction the next time you file taxes.
  • Junk the car: If the vehicle is not worth anything to you or a charity, a final option remains. Companies are available to pick up your junk vehicle for free. This service will save you a towing fee while freeing up a parking space; all without spending a dime.