Like many Americans do, you might find yourself with a vehicle that you no longer need or want. This might be a car that you’ve replaced and simply don’t drive.
Maybe it was a car that you inherited and didn’t need or one of the kids left behind when they went off to college. In some cases, you have a car that doesn’t run as it should, so you leave it to sit in the driveway.
At some point, you may decide it’s time to clear out some space and get rid of that old car. While there are various options on what to do with an unused car, you have to choose what makes the most sense for you.
Here are four ways you can unload that old car from your garage:
1. Sell It To A Dealership
Most drivers are well aware that they can trade in their cars to a dealership to help offset the cost of a new purchase. Many auto dealers will make you an offer on your old car even if you aren’t looking to buy another one. Selling or trading to a dealer can be a quick way to unload your car and put some cash into your hands.
What people often don’t realize is that the dealership is looking to make a profit. Their hope is to buy your car for much more than they pay for it, including repairs. That means you’re not going to get top dollar from a dealer. Some places may seem like their being generous with their offer, but that’s only because they’ve raised the price on the cars for sale on their lot.
If you are considering replacing your old car with something else, exploring trade-in options isn’t a bad idea. Most auto dealers have a tool online to check the estimated value of your vehicle, so you have some idea what they’ll offer without wasting your time.
2. Sell It Yourself
If you’d like to get the most amount of money for your car, it’s often best to just sell it yourself. You can put a sign in the window, place an ad online, or even use an online car selling app. In theory, you should be able to get more from selling it yourself than trading it in.
What many people don’t realize is that selling a car can be a great deal of work. To get the best price, you’ll need to clean it up and make repairs. A car that doesn’t look good or run well isn’t going to get top dollar. Then you have to advertise it, meet with potential buyers, go through the haggling process, and more. By the time you sell the car, your check may not cover the time you had to put into making the sale.
3. Make A Difference When You Donate A Car
While planning to donate a car won’t put cash in your pocket, it is extremely easy and can do some good in the world. Many charities will accept automobile donations to either help the community they serve or as a way to earn money for their organization. In some cases, however, charities will only accept safe and running vehicles.
Another form of charity you could consider is one that uses your car donation to teach students to become auto mechanics. These programs rely heavily on used vehicles, even ones that aren’t in perfect working condition. Students in these programs learn to work on these cars before getting a job placement that turns their lives around. The programs either sell the cars to help fund the school or donate the running vehicles to those in need.
When you donate a car to a qualifying charity, you can even earn a sizable tax credit. This may not be the same as having extra cash in your pocket, but it can make a pretty big difference when Uncle Sam comes knocking. If you donate a car, you might be helping your community or a charity that is important to you.
4. Junk It
In some cases, an old car is in such bad shape that no one will buy it. You might even try to donate a car with tons of problems and find it’s of no use to the charity in mind. In these situations, it might be best just to junk the car. A local junkyard or removal service will often pay cash for your junked car. They won’t pay a ton, but they tow it and clear out that space you’re looking to get back.