Cars are terrible investments. New cars are depreciated by about 20-30 percent in the first yearand just keep losing value then. Eventually, your car bottoms out in terms of resale potential, and stays there for a while before descending into its final form: the beater. Of course, the value of a car is not only measured in financial terms. There is also the utility you get from it, and many people are perfectly happy to drive an old car as long as it fulfills its intended function†
However, hold on to a car long enough and it will eventually simply refuse to start – or start to drive so badly that you really can’t drive it anymore. When that happens, it’s time to buy a new vehicle, and find out what to do with the old one. The easiest option is to scrap it, as the junkyard will send a tow truck and pay you (a small amount) cash for your car. But there are other options that might make more sense if you want to maximize the value of your non-functional beater.
trade it in
Believe it or not, you can sometimes you trade in a beater that doesn’t even run. If you are buying a new car, your car dealer will be your best friend until the deal is closed, so be prepared to do some favours. Even cars that don’t drive to have some value, so a dealer eager to close a sale could happily give you more than a junkyard would pay for it. Dealers may not be willing to pay to have the vehicle towed, so this may only be an option if your beater can handle one last drive, or if you have other ways to get it there.
hand it out
If you are mechanically capable, consider: disassemble your beater yourself and sell the parts† Even an old car that no longer runs is worth more as a collection of parts than as a whole vehicle.that’s why junkyards pay you for a car that doesn’t drive. This requires tools and timewhat are non-monetary costs to consider, and there’s more involved than just removing and cleaning the parts. You also need to do research how much to charge for each? parts and then find buyers for them† But if the reason your beater lasted decades on the road is because you love working on cars, this can be a great way to turn an old car into cash.
try apprivate sales
You’d be amazed at how much interest an old car can generate. In today’s insane used car market, some people with mechanical skills and experience may be looking for a cheap car that they can repair themselves. Others will look for parts to use for a business or hobby. Whatever the reason, it may be worth throwing your heap of junk in the ads or a online forum to check if everyone out there willing to outbid the junkyards and drag your hopes away.
Because even ancient ruins contain valuable parts, charities are very happy to accept car donations, even if the car is not running. They usually come to collect the car, but do not pay you directly. Instead, you get the tax benefits of a charitable donation based on the car’s paper value, which usually isn’t much. That’s why it’s attractive for charity – the true value of the car is usually higher if you’re willing and able to put the time and effort into selling it another way† But that tax advantage is not nothing, and you also get the eexercise gain knowing you’ve helped a good cause. Just make sure you know what the charity actually does – some charities are looking for car donations obscure their true purposeso a little research to make sure you support a cause you want to support is worth it.
In the end, even a car recently transformed into an immobile sculpture of a car still retains some value, and you owe it to yourself to get the most out of it†