6 ways to get rid of an old car


Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch

Blog author Anna Baluch

Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer who enjoys writing about personal finance topics including mortgages, retirement, insurance, and investing. Her work can be seen on LendingTree, Business Insider, Experian and other well-known publications. Anna lives in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing. You can contact her on LinkedIn.

Published July 12, 2019 | 3 min read

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Featured Image 6 ways to get rid of an old car

Updated December 2, 2020: If you have a car that you no longer want, you may be wondering how you can get rid of it. Fortunately, there are a variety of options. Here’s a brief overview of the different ways you can dispose of an old car, whether it’s in tip-top shape or past its prime.

1. Sell it to a dealership

The fastest way to get rid of an old car is to sell it to a dealership. But if you go this route, dealers may not be willing to pay fair market value for your car. After all, their goal is to buy your car for a cheap price so they can clean it up and sell it for a profit.

If you are interested in selling your car to a dealership, start by going to a dealer that sells the same make. You can always try an off-brand dealership if you’re not happy with their offer. Take the time to ask around to see what various dealers are willing to pay.

2. Sell it yourself

Although selling your old car yourself requires some work, it can give you the chance to sell it for a fair price or even more than it’s worth. You can try traditional selling methods such as newspaper ads but you’re more likely to have success if you sell it online. Try websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace that allow you to post an ad and sell for free.

3. Trade it in

If you’d like to buy a new or used car, you may be better off trading in your car rather than selling it. By trading it in, you can reduce the amount you need to pay for your new or used car and avoid the hassle of trying to sell your car on your own.

The trade-in offer you receive will depend on the value of your car as well as whether the dealer already has similar cars in their lot, your car’s condition, and whether repairs will need to be made. Remember that if you don’t like the trade in offer you get, you have no obligation to accept it.

4. Use an online car selling platform

Carvana and Vroom are two examples of online platforms that give you the chance to easily sell your car. After you get and accept an offer, Carvana and Vroom will pick up your car at a time that’s convenient for you. Once your car has passed a quick inspection, you’ll get paid on the spot.

5. Donate it

Donating your old car is another option if you don’t want to sell it or trade it in. Many non-profit organizations accept car donations to support their work.

In addition to helping those in need, donating your car can allow you to save money on your taxes because the IRS will allow you to claim a tax deduction. The deduction will usually be equal to the amount the car sells for auction. If it doesn’t get auctioned, you can claim the fair market value or $500, whichever is greater, though you should consult a tax professional for the specifics.

6. Junk it

If your know your car is in need of many repairs and doesn’t have much life yet, junking it may make sense. You can work with a junk removal service who may pay you for your car and use a tow truck to remove it. Sometimes, you may not receive any money for your car but can still lock in the benefit of free towing and get it off your back.

Before getting rid of your old car, consider all of your options, weigh the pros and cons of each one, and choose the disposal route that is right for your needs and preferences.

Image: Nastia Kobzarenko