Industry Insider: What Should You Do With A Dead Car?

An old car can feel almost like a member of your family, especially if you’ve had it for many years and racked up over a hundred thousand miles.

Despite all the affection that an old and well-used car can warrant, somewhere in the back of your mind, you must know that any car can’t last forever. If you’ve gone to start your old motor and it just won’t start no matter how much you try to coerce it, it might have had its day. However, that doesn’t mean it’s useless. You do have some options when dealing with an old car that won’t start.

Fix It Up

 If you have a passion for cars and know your way around an engine, it can be a lovely project to give it some TLC and try to refurbish it. It’s also quite a nice thing to do with a couple of car-loving mates as well. The downside to this is that it can be quite expensive – you’ll need new parts. With the right parts, you can even get a written-off car back on its feet, but they do come with a price. Still, do your homework, and you might find it’s less than getting a new car would be.

Sell It for Parts

Cars are recyclable – your car might not be worth much as it comes, but its parts might be worth something to someone. That’s why there’s such an industry around selling old and seemingly useless cars. You can easily get cash for junk cars, and depending on the car that you own you could sell it privately if a car enthusiast takes a shine to it.

Part Exchange / Trade-In

It might be quite difficult just to buy a new car when your old one stops, but you should have a look for part-exchange schemes, where you can look to buy a new car by putting your old car towards it. This can give you a discount, but if your car is not even starting, then you might not be eligible to exchange it. It’s worth trying as it can save you a bit of money.

Great example?  This Alfa Romeo Spider clearly perished mechanically. But check out those new seats!  Probably worth hundreds if taken out and sold on eBay.

Recycle It

Even if you can’t recycle your car for cash, you can still recycle it by taking it to a scrap yard. Metal from these scrapyard cars tends to be reused in some manufacturing, though if your car did feel like a member of your family, it might not be a pleasant thought imagining it living on in the form of 5000 tin cans.

Donate It to Charity

Donating a car to a registered charity can give you a nice tax credit when you’re doing your taxes.  Just be sure to get a receipt from the organization because it will have that charity’s tax ID number and the donation value.  They typically assign a standard value with generous minimums — so any running car might get you a $2k tax credit.

Get Creative

Depending on what your car looks like, you can be quite creative with its afterlife. Some people like to turn it into something eye-catching to complement their garden. One thing that might be nice is to cover it in mesh netting, fill that netting tightly with earth, and then use it as a flower bed. A car covered in flowers can be a beautiful and unique sight and is bound to catch any visitor’s attention.