Clunker Conundrum: How to Junk a Car

Does your car have a name? If so, it’s not alone; over 40% of Americans have named their car, according to a recent survey. The most popular car names are Betsy, Betty, and Bessie, but most drivers say they take the car’s color, make, model, or even its personality into consideration when choosing a moniker.

Naming your car might make it harder to say goodbye. Nevertheless, it’s important to know how to junk a car when it comes time to buy a new vehicle. Read on to learn about your options.

Should You Trade in an Old Car? 

If you’re purchasing a new car from a dealership, one of the easiest ways to dispense with your old one is by trading it in. All you have to do is sign over the title and hand over the keys. Even if the old car is not running, the dealership will send a tow truck to pick it up.

Bear in mind, however, that the trade-in value might not be your best bet financially. Most dealerships inflate the price of a new vehicle to compensate for the trade-in. And they won’t offer you as much in trade as you might get from selling a car privately.

Donating Your Car Is Another Option

You probably know that many nonprofit organizations will accept the gift of an old car. Or maybe you remember Click and Clack, the Car Talk guys, encouraging their listeners to donate vehicles to National Public Radio.

This is a generous way to get rid of your old jalopy and relatively convenient as well. You’ll even get to use the donation as a tax write-off. But be sure you’re not saddling the charity with more expenses than the car is worth. Don’t donate a vehicle unless it’s in fairly good, driveable condition.

Should You Sell It Privately?

Plenty of people turn to Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to buy a used car. Selling your car outright is a good idea if you’re willing to spend some time taking pics, writing up a post, and meeting with potential buyers.

This is true even if that old clunker is in rough shape. You might be surprised how many people buy fixer-uppers to tinker on, or who want the car for parts.

How to Junk a Car

Lastly, there are companies that will take your car off your hands, no questions asked, no matter what condition it’s in. This is very convenient; just schedule a time, and the company will send a tow truck to haul ol’ Betsy away. You’ll need the title to the car, too.

In return, you will get a modest sum. You won’t make a killing by any means, but the value might be better than what you’d get for trading it in. 

Goodbye, Betsy

As you can see, there are several options for getting rid of an old car. Which you choose depends on the condition of the vehicle and whether you would rather make as much money back on it as possible, or if you prefer a convenient option.

Now that you know how to junk a car, you’re probably eager to take your new vehicle out for a spin! Why not break in Betsy II with a road trip? Check out our travel blog for inspiration!

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