How to get rid of your car

Owning and driving a car is expensive. Buying a new car is cheap compared to the regular costs you have on fuel, insurance, maintenance and tax. And then there might be other costs depending on your situation, such as parking and a car loan you took out to acquire your vehicle. Overall expect to spend at least several thousands a year, more if you have a gas guzzler or live in a place with high gas prices such as Norway or the Netherlands. Fortunately there are alternatives. Getting rid of your car is one of the best ways for saving money.

There are other ways to get around and even if you need to get around by car you don't have to own one necessarily. Renting a car can be a good alternative if you only really need a car less than once month, car sharing and taxis are also good alternative. Even hitchhiking might work well for you.

Personally I have only ever owned one car. A more than second hand French diesel machine that lasted me less than one year. It was standing in the street for a while when I was trying to get rid of it.

So if you decided to give up your car, for reasons of malfunction or otherwise. So how to get rid of your car?

Steps to get rid of your car

  1. Find a buyer - this could be a "scrap my car" company depending on the condition of your car
  2. Get the money, sign the deal
  3. Cancel your license plate with the DVLA in the UK or the DMV in the US
  4. Cancel your car insurance, in most places you can get money back retrospectively from the moment the car was
  5. Optionally: Get rid of your car loan

Find a buyer for your old car

Online market places can be a good way to find a buyer. If you're in Europe autoscout24 can be a good choice. It's common that buyers from less rich countries will pop up. This is normal. Prices for second hand cars are a lot higher in places like Mexico, Moldova, Mali or Madagascar where not many people don't buy new cars. Car traders specialize in buying up older, sometimes even barely driving cars and get them to places where it's a lot cheaper to get them repaired.

It's also common that the person who will come and sign the deal, pay the money, get the car keys and then leave the vehicle where it is. Later the guys with the tow truck will come pick it up.

Give your car away

It can also be nice to give your car away to a friend or family member who can use it. Only do this if both of you are aware of the consequences. The car might break down any moment and there are costs attached to owning a car.

Donate your old car to charity

Another great and easy way to get rid of your car is through donation. While car donation has lost some of its luster due to the rise of scams and tax rule changes, it’s still a viable option to get rid of a vehicle quickly — and contribute to a worthy cause. 
 

In the United States: donate to 501(c)(3) orgs

Despite car donation being a fairly easy process, it does take more than just handing your keys to the first organization you see advertised on a billboard. In order to receive a tax deduction and make sure your contribution goes to a worthy cause, it’s important to find a reputable charity that is both a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and registered with the IRS. When it comes to filing taxes, you must itemize your deductions and apply it for the tax year you donated.
 
Check out The Road Map to Car Donation by Goodwill Car Donations for more vehicle donation tips. For more specific information about charitable contributions, be sure to consult a tax advisor or the IRS.

The Road Map to Car Donation was created by Goodwill Car Donations

Further reading

Car sharing

No money to buy a car? Be glad, because without a car you have fewer problems. You could try car sharing instead. Car sharing is a global trend and it can be a pretty good option besides public transport or even hitchhiking. Car sharing is a relatively good solution for saving money. Sharing a car without money is only possible if you're driving a sponsored car or if you have a friend who lets you use their car.

Car loans

It is more and more common for people to buy a car on credit. You see more and more ads for cars and the cost per month. But is it really a good choice to borrow money to purchase a car? And which loans are available?