Seven Fantastic Ways to Get Rid of a Car

You can get rid of an old car by selling it, trading it in, donating it, recycling it, or junking it.
Written by Samuel Todd
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Whether it’s a barely-used sports car or a battle-hardened minivan, you can get rid of your car by selling it, trading it, donating it, recycling it, or junking it.
Each option has its pros and cons—selling it might get you more money, but trading it in could be more convenient. Donating your car will get you a nice tax break, but nothing beats junking your car if you want fast cash.
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, is here to give you the inside scoop on how to get rid of a car. We’ll walk you through the strengths and weaknesses of each option so that you can find the perfect way to bid your trusty old car goodbye—plus, we can show you how to say hello to affordable
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for your new ride.

1. Sell it to a dealership

If you’re looking for a tried and true way of getting rid of your car, taking it to a dealership could be the perfect method for you.
The good: Dealerships are a trustworthy, low-hassle, and efficient way to get paid for your old car.
The bad: Dealerships are trying to make a profit, so they might give you an offer that's below fair market value.
Pro tip: Shop around with multiple dealers to find the best price. Start with dealers that sell the same make, then branch out to off-brand dealers. After all, you worked hard to maintain your car all those years—you should get a fair price for it!

2. Sell it online

In an era where online marketplaces are thriving, you could skip the dealership entirely and join the growing crowd of folks selling their car online.
The good: Selling online gives you more power over the process and allows you to personalize your car advertisement. 
The bad: This route will take patience and work on your part, as you’ll need to have your car inspected, cleaned, certified, and you’ll have to create a persuasive ad.
Pro tip: Try using an online sales platform—like
, or
—to speed up the process and find plenty of potential buyers!
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3. Sell it to a private buyer

Whether you’ve already got a friend in mind or you just want to meet whoever you’re entrusting your car to, a private sale is another fantastic option.
The good: One word—flexibility! You can strike up a discounted deal with a friend or get more money from a stranger than you would from a dealership.
The bad: Selling privately could take several weeks or months, and you’ll need to be wary of any buyers who want to scam you.
Pro tip: Be sure to choose a safe location to meet with potential buyers so that you have peace of mind during the negotiation.
Key Takeaway Dealerships are a low-hassle way to sell a car, but online ads offer more personalization. Selling privately is a great choice if you already have a buyer in mind or want to get more cash than you could get from a dealer.

4. Trade it

If selling your old car doesn’t tickle your fancy,
you can trade your car in
instead, either to a dealership or a friend or family member.
The good: Trading with a dealership can get you good terms on a brand-new car, and trading with a friend is a win-win for both of you.
The bad: You’ll probably get less value out of your car by trading it.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to negotiate with a car salesperson to land a better price for your vehicle!
MORE: Trade-in vs private sale: What’s the best way to sell your car?

5. Donate it

Now we’re talking! Donation is the perfect way to help out the community, and most donation services, like
Habitat for Humanity
, or
Vehicles for Veterans
, will pick up your car for free. 
The good: Donation is an easy way to help a family in need. Plus, you can write it off on your taxes!
The bad: Naturally, you won’t get as much money if you donate your car.
Pro tip: Be sure to clean out your car to make it easier on the nonprofit that’s picking it up.

6. Recycle it

Okay, maybe your car isn’t in great shape and you want to get rid of it, but you don’t want it to rot in a junkyard somewhere. Here’s a home-run option—use an eco-friendly disposal service like
Green Vehicle Disposal
The good: Recycling a car is easy on your conscience and the environment.
The bad: You might not get as much cash and it can be hard to find a convenient recycling service.
Pro tip: Recycling cars has
reduced oil usage by 85 million barrels
—so encourage your friends to recycle when they part ways with their car!

7. Junk it

If selling, trading, donating, and recycling don’t work out, you can always sell your junk car for cash.
The good: Junking your car is the fastest way to get quick cash and you usually don’t need your vehicle’s title.
The bad: You won’t get a lot of cash, especially if your car’s barely holding together.
Pro tip: As with dealerships, different junkyards will give you different offers for your car. Test the waters at a few junkyards to get the sweetest deal.
MORE: How to sell a junk car for cash

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Phew! Deciding on the best way to get rid of an old car can be a challenge, especially with so many tempting options. For lots of people, finding the best car insurance is tough, too—but it doesn’t have to be!
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If you need quick cash, junking your car is the fastest way to get it. Donating your car is another great, hassle-free option if you want to help out the community.
Though there’s no magic formula, you should consider getting rid of an old car when its repairs outweigh the benefit you get from it. If your car is constantly breaking down and heading into the shop, it’s probably time to bid it goodbye.
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