A car can seem like a fantastic investment, but you’ll often find that it depreciates quickly in value after you’ve purchased it. Depreciation can cause headaches for owners who are looking to upgrade. You don’t want to have bought a vehicle a few years ago, only to find out that you can’t get any money for it when it comes time to sell and replace it. Even worse are those scenarios where an old car is barely drivable anymore, due to damage or wear and tear. In cases like these, a new vehicle is almost always needed, since trying to repair a car yourself to the point where it’s safe to drive can be difficult and time-consuming. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice if you could get some money for your old vehicle?
Further complicating matters is the fact that many people can’t afford to buy a new car without the money that they would receive from selling the older vehicle. Many of us live in relatively tight economic circumstances, which means that people are less likely than they used to be to make large purchases casually. If you find yourself in that kind of predicament, you may be stressing out about your available options. Not to worry, though—practical ways to get rid of your old car do exist, and they’ll make buying a new one much, much easier.
Of course, almost everybody knows about programs such as The Kidney Foundation and Kars 4 Kids, which offer tax deductible donations to various charities when you donate your old car to them. While this is certainly an admirable philanthropic gesture, it’s not always a viable strategy for people at or below a certain income level, who need to make money directly from the sale of their old automobile before they can think about purchasing a new one. For those of you in such circumstances, here are a few other things you can try to make a few bucks off your banger.
Push, Pull or Drag Sales
Those of you who have already been through one or more older cars are probably quite familiar with the concept of a push, pull or drag sale. The idea is that a car dealership will offer you a certain amount of money off a new car if you trade in a vehicle. The advantage to a plan like this is that there are usually no requirements whatsoever for the car you’re trading in—it can have bent axles, broken windows and be absolutely gutted by rust. Furthermore, the value you’ll get for your old vehicle is almost always in the thousands of dollars, which can be quite a bit more than a car like that is worth. The bad news? You must use your trade in value to buy a new automobile, which means that while the dealer might give you $5000 for your beater, you could still be left paying off tens of thousands of dollars on the vehicle you want to buy. For this reason, some people are adamantly against push, pull or drag sales.
Selling for Salvage Value
Trying to get money for a car that has damage can be one of the most difficult tasks a vehicle owner can face. After all, who would buy a car that doesn’t run properly or meet legal requirements anymore? Well, there’s a good answer to that question.
Some people specialize in a “we buy any car” business model—buying cars that won’t sell through more traditional outlets, even if they have unrepairable damage. In cases like these, what you’ll get is called the “salvage value” of your car—also defined as “the remaining value of a damaged car after the cost of repairs are subtracted from the undamaged value of the car”. Some places will buy a car even if it has no salvage value—for example, if the costs of repairs would outweigh the vehicle’s current value. These places can be one of the most convenient ways to get rid of your old car without giving it away for nothing.
Trying to unload your old car while putting a bit of money in your pocket can seem complicated, but it’s far from impossible. Trying either of the methods listed above is worth a shot—and there’s always Craigslist for those of you who are willing to try a shot in the dark. After all, one person’s junk is another’s treasure, right? No matter what you decide to do, we wish you the best of luck out there and hope that our advice helps you collect a bit of cash for that car you can no longer drive.