Selling Cars vs. Donating Cars: Which Should You Choose?

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Anyone who owns a car has been on one side of the selling process – the buyer’s side. Even if you’ve never sold a car yourself, it’s easy to understand how the sales process works because it’s much like buying or selling anything else. But donating a car is a different story altogether. It’s something strange and new, and it has its place in our automotive environment. But how do you compare selling vs donating a car?


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How is Donating A Car Different From Selling?

Selling a car that you own is pretty standard fare today. You place an ad in your local classifieds online, whether it’s Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or another local source. People who are interested in your car call, text, or email you to meet up or haggle on the price. You show your car to prospective buyers that grind you down on the price you’re asking. Once you settle on a price, you walk away with money in hand and they drive away in their new whip.Donate or Sell a Car

Selling Has Its Issues

Selling a car has its negative aspects though. It can take a bunch of time to get your car fixed, cleaned, and ready to sell. You’ll get many messages from people who want to know your lowest price, then never respond again. It can be sketchy to meet up with people you don’t know – who knows if they’re going to steal your car, snatch your wallet, or hurt you.

Benefits of Donating a Car

For people who want to avoid many of the hassles that come with selling a car, giving a car as a donation is a great option. It’s a very simple procedure where you call up a local charity that takes car donations, they come to pick it up, and you get a donation receipt.

Come tax time, that donation receipt will make a difference when you file your income tax. How much exactly depends on your financial situation, but there’s no doubt it will boost your refund or at least lower how much you owe.

Besides the tax benefits, there’s comfort knowing your car donation will make a difference for the charity. As well, it’s going to save you a whole bunch of time that you’d burn trying to sell your car - that’s the most valuable resource you have!

The downside of donating your car is simply this: you won’t have any immediate financial benefit. There’s no money in your hand…but come income tax time, you’ll see at least a partial result for your generosity.

Difference to Trade In or Donate Car

Both trading in and donating a car are the easy way to get out of your vehicle. When you’re in the market to replace your current vehicle, a trade-in could be the way to go. However, if your car isn’t desirable, the dealer could lowball the trade-in value or say they don’t want it. Plus, to trade in a vehicle, you MUST buy another vehicle.

On the other hand, if you just want to get rid of your car – retiring your ride, essentially – then donating it is better. There’s no need to purchase another vehicle and your car goes away just as quickly.

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How Do I Donate My Car?

There’s always a tough decision to be made. Do you donate or sell a car? Which is best for you? The best way to determine which option is better for you is to look at the financial benefit.

When you sell a car, you’ll get roughly what its resale value is. You can determine that when you check its fair market value on KBB.com, or on a similar site.

When you donate a car, there’s no immediate cash for your car in hand. You’ll get a donation receipt for its fair market value. But if you can wait until tax time, you’ll get up to 40 percent of its value back in tax savings. Not only that, but a donation lowers your annual income level as well, letting you double-dip into tax savings!Selling vs Donating a Car

I Have an Old Car. Donate or Sell?

Are you asking yourself, “Should I donate my car?” If it’s an older car, worth $1,000 or less, it’s probably a really great idea. Let’s face it – the time it takes to sell a car is invaluable. If you can save yourself ten hours trying to sell a $500 car, doesn’t that seem worth it alone? Add to the time savings the tax savings at year end, and it’s almost a no-brainer. Unless you desperately need a few bucks in your pocket right now, that is.

Sell Your Junk Car to CarBrain.com

You’ve asked yourself, “Should I sell or donate my car?” But have you considered selling it to CarBrain instead? When the option is weighed – donate vs sell car to CarBrain – it comes out as a pretty clear winner.

With CarBrain, you get the best of both worlds. You get cash value in your hand right away WITHOUT the hassle and time commitment of selling a car.

You’ll get a fast, no-obligation offer for your car in as-is condition, no matter what it looks like or drives like. Once you accept the offer, you’ll receive payment in just a day or two. Your car is picked up free of charge. It’s simple, and there are no fees to use CarBrain. We’ll even pay the title transfer fees for you. Check how much your car is worth by getting an offer now.

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