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When Is It Time To Get Rid Of A Car?

Cars lose value as they age — there’s no debating that. That loss in value can increase dramatically after an accident or when mechanical problems pop up.

Repairs can sometimes cost thousands of dollars. But when is enough enough? How do you know when to get rid of a junk car?

Here are a few key factors that can help you decide when and how to get rid of a car — especially if you’re trying to sell a damaged car and get rid of that old car quickly.

  • How much will it cost to repair?

  • How old is the vehicle?

  • How much use are you likely to get out of it?

Typically, if the cost of repairing your truck, can or SUV exceeds 50 percent or more of its current actual cash value, it’s not worth making the repairs. Instead, it makes more sense to sell your car as-is and get paid for it.

what to do with an old car

When a car is running in good shape, maintenance costs should be relatively low. But as a car ages, maintenance costs typically go up. You’ll find yourself spending thousands to replace a transmission or repair a faulty electrical system.

These costs will only go up as your car ages. The average car’s engine is designed to last for 200,000 – 250,000 miles, and replacing or rebuilding an engine will almost always cost more than the vehicle is worth.

If your vehicle is already older — let’s say, over 10 years old — then it’s already depreciated significantly. Unless you think it’s possible to get affordable repairs that will guarantee it runs for several more years, chances are you’re burning money trying to fix it.

At a certain point, vehicles just start breaking down. If your car isn’t already totaled or wrecked and you’re just trying to repair minor problems, it might seem worthwhile to tackle each one as it appears. But the reality is the vehicle is doomed to continue breaking down as it ages, and it may make more sense to sell it and get a more reliable vehicle instead.

How To Get Rid Of A Car That Doesn't Run

Unfortunately, as you may have already discovered, it’s not all that easy to sell a damaged car. Getting rid of your old car comes with its fair share of complications.

Each case is different and depending on your needs and situation you should consider various scenarios that may benefit you the most.

How To Sell A Totaled Car

options for selling an old car

When figuring out how to get rid of a junk car near you, you’re going to want to nail down how to get rid of an old car fast for the most cash possible. This involved getting quotes from different types of buyers:

Junkyards — When looking for places that buy wrecked vehicles near you, local junkyards are the common choice. They will accept vehicles in virtually any condition. They purchase them quickly, but they make their profit by buying low and reselling the usable parts.

Dealerships — Any dealership that accepts cars “as is” will purchase your non-running car. However, dealerships usually won’t trade wrecked cars for cash. The money offered is likely credit to be applied to buying another vehicle from them. Additionally, they specialize in roadworthy cars, so a wrecked vehicle that can’t run is likely to get lowballed.

Private Buyers — Private buyers aren’t restricted by pricing or any condition constraints. If your model is popular and in demand, someone will want it. Finding that person, however, can be a massive hassle; vetting serious candidates and haggling being chief amongst the most annoying portions of the process.

Online Dealerships — Companies like CarMax and Carvana have taken advantage of the internet and made selling a car that’s been wrecked online a possibility. Keep in mind, these places still specialize in cars that can be resold quickly. A wrecked vehicle isn’t their ideal purchase, so they won’t be paying top dollar for it.

These buyers will likely give a low offer for your unused car. If you still owe any money on your vehicle, your goal should be to sell it for as much as possible so you can pay off your remaining loan faster.

CarBrain can offer you an instant fair market quote online within 90 seconds. Our quotes are guaranteed for one week, so you have time to think it over before completing the sale. Additionally, there are no fees whatsoever for using our service and no last-minute haggling or negotiations.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Car For Cash: Use CarBrain!

When you need to get rid of your car, the best way to do so is with an online damaged car buyer. These types of business specializes in vehicles with problems, whether they’re broken down, non-running or just old with a high odometer count.

There are many different websites for selling your vehicle online, but not all of them are equal. Some may only provide tentative quotes subject to modification when they pick up the vehicle. Others may charge you for the cost of towing your vehicle, and still others may simply not offer a fair market quote for your car.

With nearly 20 years of experience, CarBrain has crafted the perfect place where you can get rid of an old, damaged, or non-running car.

  • Pick-up wrecked vehicles within 24-48 hours.

  • Zero towing fees.

  • Zero title transfer fees.

  • No last minute negotiations or haggling.

  • Hassle-free!

We buy wrecked cars while keeping our customer’s comfort at the forefront of our mind!

Get Rid Of Your Car Today

get rid of old car for cash

CarBrain is the ideal “final home” for vehicles near the end of their road-life. Our top-tier customer service representatives make the entire process as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Get your free quote! Simply enter some basic information about your car on our website and you’ll receive a free and guaranteed quote within 90 seconds.

    Towing is complementary, so you’ll never have to worry about hidden or additional fees taking away from the profits you take home.

  2. Schedule your pickup within 24-48 hours! If you’re happy with your quote, you’ll be able to schedule your vehicle retrieval with one of our partners within your area. They’re trusted to come to you at a time that works best for you.

  3. Complete your sale! After a quick inspection and transferring of your title, you’ll receive the amount you were quoted, no haggling or fuss. Your vehicle is taken off your hands and money is put in them!

If you're worrying about how to get rid of a car that doesn't run, fret not. CarBrain will be more than happy to buy your non-running car. Get an online offer now!

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of A Car?

The best way to get rid of a junk car near you is to find an online car buyer. Online buyers typically include free towing, so you won’t have to worry about being charged for transportation. They can also immediately tell you if they operate in your area and offer fast quotes, so you don’t have to spend time calling numerous junkyards in your area.

How Do You Know When To Get Rid Of Your Car?

Generally, a good rule of thumb is to look at how much you’re spending on maintenance and repair costs. If you add up all the repair costs your vehicle has required over the past two years and divide it by 24, then add in maintenance costs, you can get an estimate of what your car is costing you monthly. If your car’s maintenance and repair costs greatly outweigh its value, it may be time to lay it to rest

How Do You Get Rid Of An Old Car That Doesn’t Run?

If your car doesn’t run, you will need it towed from wherever it is to a junkyard of your choosing. Your best bet is to find a junkyard that does not charge for towing, just so you maximize the profit from getting rid of your broken down car.

Where Can You Get Rid Of A Junk Car?

If you have a junk car you need to get rid of, you can turn to local junkyards, scrap yards and salvage yards to get an offer. You may need to call multiple yards in order to get a satisfactory price, which can be time-consuming. Additionally, you should always confirm that towing is included for free — depending on your location, you may have to pay fees to get your vehicle transported to the junkyard.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Car For Cash Near Me?

Calling a junkyard or scrap yard might be your quickest option for getting rid of your old car for some fast cash. Be aware that if they have to tow your vehicle, many of them will take the towing costs out of your payout.

How Can I Get Rid Of My Car Fast?

Deciding how to get rid of an unused car is as simple as deciding between what’s more important: speed or profit. You can sell your can to a junkyard, dealership, private buyer, or online buyer like CarBrain.

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