How to Get Rid of a Car

by Contributor

Don't let your used car sit around collecting dust. If you have a car that you want to get rid of, there are several ways to get rid of it. Selling a car takes a little bit of legwork, but can reap financial rewards. But even if it is too old or junky to sell, there are still many ways to get rid of your car.

Prep the Car

Find out the value of your car. This will help you determine if you are going sell your car or get rid of it another way. The Kelly Blue Book is the standard reference for used car prices and can be found in any book store or online (see Resources below). You can also search the web for used car prices.

Clean the car, inside and out. If you are selling the car, this will definitely make it more attractive to buyers. Even if you decide to junk the car, cleaning it out will ensure that you do not lose any personal belongings in the transaction. Make sure you retrieve the registration and maintenance records from the glove compartment.

Appraise the car's condition. If it is running well and is in good shape, and you have the time, you should put it up for sale. If it is in poor shape, you may consider junking it or donating it to charity.

Sell the Car

Put an ad online, in the local auto trader periodical or in the newspaper if your car is in salable condition (see Resources below). Be honest and descriptive in your ad and provide a price you're asking for the car.

Set aside time when you can show the car and have potential buyers test drive it. People will may begin calling right away and you want to have all the answers to their questions ready.

Show the car. Answer buyers' questions. You should decide ahead of time if you are firm on your asking price, or, if not, how low an offer you will accept. Stick to your decision.

Do the paperwork. If you find a buyer, you will have to legally turn the car over. The procedure varies between states, but at the very least, you will have to sign the back of the car's title. Some states require a notary public to finalize the deal.

Junk or Donate the Car

Consider getting rid of your car via a junk yard if it is too old or broken down to sell. Be sure to find a junk yard that will come to your home to retrieve the car. You don't want to go through the hassle and expense of having it towed.

Ask how much junkyards pay for junked cars. Be prepared for a low figure. If you have an old car that is useless to you, it's worth it to have it out of your sight and off your mind.

Donate your car. Many charities take used cars as donations. This is a good option as you can take the value of the car as a tax write-off. Call around to local charities or use the Web to find one that takes away used cars.


  • check A good source for selling cars is eBay. If you are computer savvy, this may be a good option for you (see Resources below).


  • close Watch out for shady buyers. If someone wants to pay by personal check, wait until the check clears before you sign over the title.

About the Author

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