Can You Sell an Old Car? A Guide to What to Do With a Junk Car


Americans keep their cars an average of 10 years or more. At the end of their usefulness, or when a driver feels ready for an upgrade, they often use it as a trade-in on a new car or sell it to another owner. But what if the car isn’t exactly “trade-in material,” what if it’s more of a junk car?

Whether you want to sell an old car or get rid of a junker, you have plenty of options. Let’s take a look at what you can do with a car when it stops driving you around and starts driving you crazy.

Donate or Sell Old Cars

If you have an old car that still has some usefulness, consider selling it to a third party. Use one of the many online listing services to let people know it’s available. Always list any cosmetic or mechanical issues you’re aware of to ensure the buyer knows the whole story about the car’s history and condition. 

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of a private sale, there are many ways to donate a car. Charitable organizations across the country look for used cars to support their work or to sell themselves. Talk to the organization about a donation receipt for your own tax purposes.

Junk and Salvage Yards

Selling and donating cars that still run is one thing, but one about cars that are collecting dust in a driveway. If your car doesn’t start or run, there are still ways to sell an old car. Salvage yards, auto recyclers, and car part collectors are always looking for vehicles. Most will come to your home or office to pick up the car.

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If you choose to use a junk car removal service, ask about any fees associated with towing and recovery. Some will pick up the car at no cost, but others may charge a nominal fee to remove the vehicle. The amount of money a salvage yard pays for junk cars vary, so check around for the best price.

Restore Your Car

If you have a car that is considered a classic automobile, restoring it might be a fun and lucrative project. Depending on the condition of your vehicle, complete restoration could take years. Finding parts for older cars can be difficult.

There’s nothing like seeing an old car restored to its previous glory. In some cases, the value of a restored classic car can be 3-10x more than the restoration cost. Consider working with a restoration expert to breathe life into your old car if you aren’t mechanically inclined.

Cash for Cars

An aging, unused car isn’t doing anyone any good if it’s just sitting in a driveway. There are plenty of ways to sell an old car. Trade it in on a new model, donate it to a charitable organization, or sell it as junk to a salvage yard. 

Whether you sell, donate, or restore an old car, take action and turn that hunk of junk into a wad of cash. To learn more about selling cars and other personal finance ideas, please explore the rest of our site. 


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