What to Do With an Old Car That Is on Its Last Legs



Your car, like almost everything else, won’t last forever. While you may have loved your car for all the years it was running so well, you may begin to despise that machine when depreciation begins to take its toll. Continual mechanical problems and mounting repair bills may make you wish you could just get rid of it. However, who wants to buy a car that’s on its last legs? Thankfully, you have a number of options for unloading your old clunker.

Trade It In

One option that many people take to get rid of cars they no longer want is to trade-in their old car when they buy a new vehicle. This will give you a discount on the new car’s purchase price. However, the amount you save can vary a great deal depending on the vehicle. The older the car, generally, the less you will receive for it due to depreciation. If it’s determined to be in bad shape after an inspection, expect even less for it. Still, it’s one way to get rid of the car.

Sell It

Another option is to get money for your junk car. Unfortunately, there won’t be many regular dealerships or private buyers that want a clunker. However, there are companies that do specialize in buying cars that are on their last legs. Some of these companies may even buy cars that are barely working and may cover the cost of towing them away. This is a good option if you need some cash.

Donate It to Charity

A third option is to donate your old car to charity. There are a number of charitable organizations that will take old cars, such as Habitat for Humanity or One Car One Difference. The proceeds, usually obtained from selling the vehicle for parts, may get to important causes like helping at-risk children or the needy. Donating your car also means you may be able to make a charitable deduction on your taxes. However, be careful that you do calculate its true value correctly when doing so.

Give It to Your Kid

Lastly, you may consider simply gifting your old car to one of your children. While may feel bad about giving them a vehicle that has seen better days, this can be an important opportunity to teach your child responsibility. Teach your child how to take good care of and improve their belongings to keep them in good condition. You can also teach them how to do basic car repairs, which is a great life-skill to have. You can make it a project to bond over and help them grow.

It can quickly get frustrating to have to continually pay repair bills for an old clunker. While you may not get as much for it as you would if it were a few years—or decades—newer, there are still ways to get rid of your old car and get a return on it. Consider your options carefully and find the option that will work best for you and your family.


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