In 2017, 39.2 million second-hand cars were sold in the United States.
That was a record number at the time.
Clearly, there’s a market for selling used cars. However, is that the case when yours is a beaten-up old banger that hardly runs? You know, the rusty hunk of metal taking up space on your driveway?
Would people really want to buy that?
Well, maybe, or maybe not. But it turns out there are many other ways to get that old car off your drive. Don’t give up on it just yet. Deciding too early to scrap an old car can lose you hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.
Want to learn exactly how to get rid of an old car and earn some extra cash?
Keep on reading.
7 Ways to Get Rid of an Old Car
Many people in the US own an old car they’re hoping to part with. Maybe it was a first car, held onto for sentimental reasons. Perhaps it began as a project that never got going. Its origins don’t matter. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when you want it gone.
Check out these 7 ways to do it and earn some extra cash (and learn more about this process here).
1. Renovate and Sell Privately
With old cars, you can often do a little with a lot.
Your vehicle may seem totally run down and on its last legs. But with some minor repairs and sprucing work, you can still get some good money for it.
Some people make a living from flipping cars in this way. You take an old car, give it a lick of paint, tidy up the inside, ensure it runs, make it sparkle, then sell it on. It takes a bit of effort. However, it can pay off.
The trick is to only fix what needs fixing. There’s no point going overboard as you can end up spending more money than you’ll get back.
2. Trade It In
Trading in your vehicle is an option for vehicles with some demand on the market.
This is less of an option for total bangers. They’re unlikely to return much of a profit for a dealer. However, in the right circumstances, you can offer to trade in your car for a newer one. The dealer will offer you a figure to use against the value of your new ride.
You won’t make a tonne of cash here. After all, the dealer’s trying to make a profit. They’ll buy low to sell on at a high margin. It isn’t worth their while any other way.
3. Put It up for Auction
Car auctions are becoming increasingly popular ways of selling unwanted vehicles.
Do a quick online search to see if there are any car auction houses around you. You might be able to put yours up. Sure, there’s no guarantee it will sell. But you never know when the right person will be there to make an offer.
Be wary though.
The unpredictability of auction houses can work both ways. You can do much better or worse than you’d expected! Put a reserve on it to ensure you get a minimum asking price.
4. Dismantle and Sell for parts
Do you know how to take your old car apart?
You could choose to dismantle your vehicle and sell on the more valuable parts. In fact, there’s a bustling market for used car parts. You can turn a tidy profit for the right parts.
Classic cars and rare parts will get you the best prices. Generic car parts from old vehicles aren’t worth much. Likewise, be prepared to sell some parts quicker than others! Do the math: figure out what you can get for the parts before you dismantle it. You may be able to sell the car for more when it’s in one piece.
Do you lack the expertise to do it anyway? Get professional parts pickers to do it for you. It can be dangerous to do it alone when you’re untrained.
5. Sell for Scrap metal
The shell of your vehicle may have scrap metal value.
You could try to sell this yourself. However, many people ask a local salvage yard to take it off their hands. You can sometimes exchange the value of the metal for the service of towing it away.
You don’t make money. But at least you don’t lose any!
6. Sell to a Damaged Car Service
Damaged car services will pay you for your broken vehicle.
It’s a win-win. You get your unwanted car taken away and get paid a sum of money for it. Again, you might not get a lot. But something’s better than nothing, right?
The companies take the time to restore the vehicle and sell it on. Otherwise, they’ll dismantle it and sell it for parts. Whichever they deem more valuable.
7. Donate to Charity
Finally, you could donate your car to charity.
This method offers payment in a different form. Instead of cash, you get to feel good about yourself!
Charities that accept old vehicle donations may provide employment to underprivileged people. They train the individual to repair and restore the car, to be returned to working order. Likewise, they might just sell the parts, or empty chasse, for money.
Another incentive is that tax break it offers you. You get to reduce your tax bill in line with the car’s donated value.
Time to Wrap Up
There you have it: a guide on how to get rid of an old car.
It can be tempting to simply scrap or give away your old vehicle. After all, you may not have used it for years, and they take up space. However, that approach can lose you money.
There are a bunch of alternative methods that can both rid you of the vehicle and get you some extra cash. Hopefully, the information here will help you have it all! It might take a bit of effort, but the money in your pocket and the space on your driveway will make it worthwhile.
Did you enjoy this piece? Click here to learn how to extend the life of your vehicle!