If you have an old, non-working vehicle, you might be able to exchange it for money or tax credits. Here are a few ways to get some of your investment back from a junk car.
1. Visit a junkyard. Yards will often pay cash for junk cars, since they can tear the vehicles down to their basic components and sell them part by part. You might not get the best possible value for your vehicle if you decide to bring it to a junkyard, but you can usually transfer the title and leave with some cash in your hand right away. Many junkyards also pay for towing.
2. Sell parts on Craigslist, eBay and in local newspaper advertisements. If you’re somewhat handy, you can tear down your car yourself and sell working parts on the Internet and in wanted ads. This is one of the best ways to make money from a junk vehicle, but remember to keep shipping costs in mind if you decide to sell parts online. Likewise, be careful when selling parts in person. Always meet potential buyers in a well-lit public place.
To make the most of your time, make a list of all of your vehicle’s major parts and post it on Craigslist, in your local newspaper and on online car forums. As you sell parts, you can remove them from your list. This way, you won’t have to make separate entries for every part. You could possibly sell the entire vehicle as a restoration project by using this technique. If you do, be sure to check the value of the vehicle on the Kelley Blue Book and make appropriate considerations for the vehicle’s condition.
After you sell valuable parts from your vehicle, you can bring the body to a scrap yard. You might even be able to recycle parts of the frame for some extra money depending on your location and your vehicle model.
3. Donate it. You can also consider donating your car to charity. According to the IRS Statistics of Income Bulletin, almost 252,000 Americans donated their vehicles in 2010, although the cash value of these donations dropped significantly in 2008 as a result of tax law changes.
You can often donate your vehicle to:
- Technology colleges
- Churches and faith-based charities
- Larger nonprofits like the Cancer Fund of America
Donation will not result in a big check, but you can deduct the approximate value of the junked car by obtaining proper documentation. However, note that some charities will charge you if they need to tow your vehicle. You will also need to choose a charity that can provide you with a reliable receipt that you can use at tax time to prove your donation.
Some charities and services will actually pay for your vehicle while covering the towing costs. However, your car will need to have some operational components. The age, model and mileage of your vehicle will factor heavily whether you can make any money, but if you have a junk vehicle, it’s definitely worth your time to call around. Have odometer readings, service records and other relevant information on hand when you call for the best results.