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Donating Your Old Car vs Scrapping It

June 30, 2017

When you have an older car with too many problems to fix, you are often stuck with a tough decision. Is it better to try selling the car or fix it up so you can continue driving it? Or is it better to just scrap it in order to get rid of it quickly? There are pros and cons to all of these choices, and plenty of reasons why car donation might be your best option of all.

Is Your Car Worth Fixing Up?

When you have an older car in need of repairs, the first thing to decide is whether it's worth spending the money to fix it up. In general, a car is only worth fixing up when the repair cost is less than 50 percent of what your car is worth.

For example, if your car is worth $1,500, you would want to spend less than $750 on repairs. Of course, over your car's life span, you will regularly be spending money on maintenance to extend its life. However, when the car gets older and more things go wrong all at once, it may be necessary to evaluate whether the car is worth fixing.

Should You Scrap Your Old Car?

An old car with damage, mechanical problems, high mileage and low value doesn't have many options. If classified as a "junk car," your vehicle has also probably been sitting stationary for an extended period of time and could give out at any moment if you were to drive it. A junk car may not even run at all. Because no one is going to buy a vehicle like this, except maybe for parts, selling it for scrap is one of your only options.

Scrapping a car requires a few steps. These include researching a junk or salvage vehicle yard, providing the title or registration, getting the vehicle to the yard itself (which may require towing), and finally getting a payout for your scrap vehicle.

Benefits Of Donating Your Old Car

Fixing up an old car is often a wasted effort and junking your vehicle can be a stressful and unrewarding process. Where does that leave you when you have a vehicle that you can't seem to get rid of? Many people don't realize that they can donate just about any vehicle regardless of its age or condition.

Unlike scrapping a car that doesn't run, you receive free towing when you donate your vehicle to charity. Regardless of whether your vehicle runs or not, Wheels For Wishes will come pick it up for free from just about any location in the U.S. That even includes certain areas of Alaska and Hawaii.

Another benefit of donating your car is that you will get a great tax deduction. After we pick up your car, we auction or recycle it. If the vehicle sells for less than $500, your deduction can be the fair market value of the vehicle up to $500. If your vehicle sells for more than $500, you can claim the exact amount for which the car is sold.

The best benefit, one that you can't get from other car disposal methods, is that the proceeds from your car donation will benefit your local chapter of Make-A-Wish. Donors can find their chapter here and learn more about how their donation helps local kids.

How To Donate Your Car To Charity

If you've decided to donate your car, all you need to do is get in touch with us. Make your donation using our online car donation form or call us at 1-855-278-9474. Our donation representatives will walk you through the process and help with any questions you may have about donating a car. Give back to local kids, get rid of an unwanted vehicle and receive free towing when you donate a vehicle today.

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CDF also runs the following programs:
Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish®, Wheels for Wishes & Wellness benefiting local children's hospitals and charities, Vehicles for Veterans benefiting disabled veterans, and Animal Car Donation benefiting animal rescue organizations.

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CDF's mission is to help these benefitting charities fulfill their missions with proceeds from CDF's car donation programs. CDF and all benefitting charities are separate and unaffiliated 501c organizations.
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A federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization