How to Get Rid of an Old Car: 7 Smart Strategies for Offloading a Clunker

If you have an old car, you might think your only choice is to call the scrapyard. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are seven smarter things you can do to offload a set of wheels that have seen better days.

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Shaking handsPhoto: Shutterstock

Trade In Your Car

It's a dilemma that every car owner will ultimately face. You're itching to explore options on a new car but don't know what to do with your old one. The simplest way to get rid of your old car is to trade it in when you buy your new car. You won't get top dollar, but the dealer will take it off your hands, and the money you get could lower your car payments going forward. Psst—this is the best time to buy a new car.

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Old rusted carPhoto: Shutterstock

Restore Your Car

If your old car is a classic, why not restore it to its former glory? Since there are a limited amount of old cars out there, the value of quality classic vehicles could go up substantially in the years to come. And if you do a good job, you could end up with a vehicle that is both valuable and fun to drive.

Looking for restoration inspiration? Check out these amazing before-and-after transformations:

The 1967 Chevrolet Camaro
The 1931 Model A Ford
The 1952 Studebaker
The 1967 Mustang Coupe

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For sale sign on car windshieldPhoto: Shutterstock

Sell Your Car Privately

There's always the option of selling your old car privately, whether through classified ads or social media. Just be honest about its problems and set a fair price—you can't expect to get top dollar for a car that will need constant repairs. Check out more tips for selling a used car.

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Take Your Car to a Consignment Lot

Want to get rid of your old car hassle-free? This may be the option for you. All you do is drive it to the lot, park it in the assigned space and let the lot owner do the rest. In exchange, the dealer will take a commission when the car sells and send you the balance. This might be a great option if you made the mistake of purchasing the least reliable vehicle in the industry.

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Black car for salePhoto: Shutterstock

Sell Your Car to a Dealer

If the consignment route isn't for you, there's the option of selling your vehicle outright. Many used car dealers specialize in buying private vehicles, fixing them up and reselling them for a profit. You may even be able to get an estimate online by entering a few key details about your vehicle. Psst—this is what happens to all of the cars that never get sold.

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Car parts Photo: Shutterstock

Sell Your Car Parts

Even if your car is no longer in great mechanical shape, the parts in it may still be valuable. Selling your car for parts could yield more than you might think, so don't write off this option. Just call the local auto-recycling centre, provide the make, model and year of your car, and see how much they will give you.

On the market for parts yourself? Here are six great online sources for classic car parts.

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Man giving out car keyPhoto: Shutterstock

Donate Your Car

If none of the previous options work for you, don't panic. There are plenty of charities that take donations of cars, then auction them off or sell them to raise much-needed funds. You will even get a receipt for tax purposes so you can write off the value of the donation when you file your return. Donating to a charity helps you both get rid of your old car and help a worthy cause.

Wondering whether or not your car is on its last legs? Learn to spot the signs your car is about to die.