What to do with a junk car?

tan corolla hoodA question from AOA Greg:

We have a 1996 Corolla for which we're trying to find a final home. It's been a great car, but it's finally reached that point where the repairs would cost more than it's worth. (Steve at Larry's Foreign Auto advised us it was time to find a new car. Yep, his advice probably cost him work. Yet another reason why Steve is the best.)
So we're thinking there are three possibilities here:
1. Try to the sell the car on Craigslist. Maybe there's someone who'd want it. Might be tough, because it needs significant repair and it's old. Not the option we'd prefer.
2. Sell the car to a junk car service.
3. Donate the car to a charity.
Our preference is to donate the car -- sure, we'd like the money, but the sum would probably not be large. If we can help out a charity, great.
So, suggestions for local junk car services or charities looking for car donations?

Got a suggestion for Greg and Mrs. Greg? Please share!

Comments

I think Greg and Mary's old stomping grounds (WAMC) has a program that would take it off your hands. The Kidney Association has a progrm as well.

Are you going to buy a new car? I know you probably think a dealer would not be interested, but they can still take the car to the junk yard. It might save you the time of some of your other options. You should be able to get at least $500 from a dealer.

@Jessica R: That's what we thought, too. We bought a new-to-us car (that is, used) from a dealer (we weren't looking to buy from dealer necessarily, but they had the car we wanted). We described the car and asked if they'd take it. Response: "We wouldn't be interested in that."

We donated a car to the local fire department. It was used to practice "the jaws of life" with and because the car was demolished the full blue book value was allowed for tax purposes.

Several of the local BOCES have auto repair programs and may consider your car a gem. They won't pay for it, but you'll feel good about it.

@helping hand, abby: Thanks for both suggestions! They never crossed my mind.


Or donate it to a worthy 24 Hours of LeMons team! If you are lucky, they won't paint your logo on the car!


For thos that are unaware, 24 Hours of LeMons is endurance auto racing for cars worth less then $500. :)

Hah, here's a really good report from one of my favorite (living) photographers from one of the events KB is talking about.

Definitely looks fun, but I'd wager even the participants would rather you donate the car to any of the good causes suggested.

I sold a dying car through Copart. You basically sell them your car for a 'processing fee' and they auction it off to someone who is willing to fix it or junk it or whatever. They take a percentage of the auction profit and the rest is yours. I got ~ $1200 for my '93 Corolla with a bunk transmission. Not too shabby! I'm pretty sure there's one in Albany.

We donated our old car to WAMC via Car Talk last year. It was a cinch and a half, and as straight forward as could be. Just make sure you hand on to your license plates to return to the DMV, and you'll be good to go.

Goodwill also accepts donated cars. If you decide to sell "ole faithful" to a junk yard, you could donate the money you receive to a charity of your choice.

I recently donated my old car to Kindney Cars. If your car doesn't run they'll tow it for free but if its drivable then you can drop it off at Auto Insurance Auctions on Kings Rd in Colonie (after phoning in your donation to 1-800-488-CARS). Your get a tax-write off of at least $499 or whatever the car sells for if greater. So if it's not worth much to trade in and you don't have somewhere to park it while you're trying to sell it on craigslist then I recommend donating your car - it's the easy answer and as a bonus you get to claim it on your taxes!

I would have said charity as well, but then komradbob's post reminded me of the many great stories I have heard about the 24 Hours of Lemons. What an insane and ingenious sport! Getting sand poured in your crankcase if you break a rule or having the ability to bribe the judges with hot pastrami sandwiches sounds like a great time and a wonderful resting ground for an old car. It's like being put out to pasture in the middle of an early John Waters flick!

Drive it in to the Hudson and claim it was stolen.

Thanks for all the suggestions!

@Tim: Only if we get to set it on fire first.

Holy smokes I miss Steve and the gang at Larry's. They are the best! Best of luck with the car.

My firehouse accepted a car donation, and as the one who had to receive it, it was a nightmare of paperwork.

We have relationships with the two junk yards near us (one will even stack cars like a roll over), and they'll come take the pile of metal away when we're done with it.

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