• <h4 class="dechead">On One Hand: Selling Your Car

    There are many options available for selling a junk car and making some money, including online services as well as local junkyards. How much they are worth depends on the make, model and condition of the car. Some cars are salvaged just for parts, and others might be resold. Kelley Blue Book is a resource for getting the basic value of a car (Reference 1). Junk car services might charge for services such as towing, auction fees and administration and processing fees (Resource 1).

    On the Other: Donating Your Junk Car

    There are a number of options available to donate a junk car to a worthy cause. The Breast Cancer Society of America will pick up a junk car for free and provide information for a tax deduction (Reference 2). Other services donate old cars to struggling families who need a car to get gainful employment (Reference 3). There are non-profit and for profit companies that take cars for donations. A donated car gets a tax deduction at "fair-market value." According to the IRS, the donor, not the recipient charity, determines this, which the IRS describes as the price that a willing buyer and a willing seller would agree to if neither were pressured to do so (Reference 2).

    Bottom Line

    A junk car is not likely to bring a lot of money, but the value can be measured, and it depends entirely on the make and condition of the vehicle. Kelly Blue Book considers details on age and condition of the car in evaluating value. Even cars that no longer run can be towed and salvaged for parts. Towing and processing fees count against the money that can be made selling a junk vehicle, and it would be unusual to get more than a $1,000 for a car that is going to be sold for parts. Donating a junk car is a worthwhile alternative, and a tax deduction can bring some money savings to the owner. An organization that is a 501 (C) (3) non-profit charity will process the car as a non-profit and can assist in claiming a tax deduction.


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