It’s often easy to think of our cars as people, sometimes even friends: They are there when we need them the most, we spend a lot of time with them, invest in them, and learn all about them. Sadly, however, cars don't tend to last as long as people do. They age faster and their wounds don't heal. After some years, they wear down so much that it's the end of the road for them.
Now, of course you want to give your friend a deserving farewell. This means not letting it rust away on your front or back yard, nor selling it to some sleazy car salesman who will give you close to nothing for it. You might like to part with your once-beloved car in a better way, or simply earn some money in exchange for it - despite it’s unusable condition. If that's the case, then there are some choices which are easier, and often even more financially beneficial for you.
There are many organizations that will take away your damaged or worn out car and donate the money to charity. If you feel emotionally connected to your car this is the best send-off. You're not selling it away, you're giving it away. You're doing a good deed, helping some poor person out there have a better life.
They say that no good deed goes unpunished, but this is luckily not the case. If you do this, you might not make a fast buck, but you would be left with a tax deduction on the value of your car. This might even earn you some cash on your tax return, so there’s still a financial incentive.
Of course, many people will be more tempted by getting some money in exchange for their car - especially since you’re probably in the market for a new car. If that's the case and you're in a tight spot with money, you might be better off with some of the following options.
Sell it on your own
A good proverb says "If you want something done right, do it yourself". If you don't trust car salesmen, (and who does?) you might wanna try selling the car yourself. To do this, the internet is often your best bet. Ebay, car forums or any kind of online auction... all of them offer a lot of exposure to sell your car in. If you’re selling on the internet, you have to be smart. Do your research, and check out other listings. Read up on how best to write your listing, as well as getting a good feel for asking prices. Now, if you're selling it by yourself, you have two options here: sell your junk car as it is or part by part.
? Selling it as it is
This is an option for you if you're car is still in operational or partially operational state. From fathers who like working on their cars with their children, to car enthusiasts who have very specific tastes (and a garage full of parts to rebuild broken motors), there are plenty of people out there always looking for a broken-down car to restore or work on. Bear in mind that different cars hold varying degrees of desirability in this market, but almost any car will hold some value. Whether it’s rare (and would thus make for a unique project), or common, with available and cheap parts, with the right add, a fair price, and a little patience you’re sure to find a buyer.
? Selling it part by part
This one is more of a last resort option. This is the best option if your car was damaged in a car crash. Some of it may be totalled and beyond repair, but some parts are safe and as good as they were the day you bought the car. You may have been terrified of what to do with a damaged car, but here is your way out: tear it down, and sell the good parts, one by one. You may be surprised at how much some parts will go for.
Now, both of these options are good if you're an expert on cars or simply know a lot about them. If you don't, then you may not know the good price for the state it's in or might harm yourself while tearing it apart, due to lack of expertise. If you're an amateur or simply don't want to risk hurting yourself, I recommend the following, and for me personally, the most financially sound option:
Junk yard junk car buyers
Do not mistake them with car salesmen. These people are car professionals who know their job, know their cars, and often aren’t looking to exploit you. What they do is they come to you upon your request, examine the state your car is in, give you a realistic price for it and tow it away the same day. This is my favourite option for two reasons: you don't have to pay for towing, which can be pricey; and it's all fast and simple, with you getting paid and your car gone, all in the same day. They usually take away your car in any kind of condition. With one phone call, you can replace a useless vehicle with some cash in your hand in no time at all - a convenience that many other options won’t afford.
So, if you want to avoid the hassle with the internet, but still want some actual money in your hand, then this is the option for you.
In the end it all comes down to what suits you the most, depending on your skills and what you’re looking to get out of your broken-down car. Bear these tips in mind, however, and you’re sure to make the most of that old friend’s demise, and give it a proper farewell.