I’ll admit that I’m a little bit of a car nut. I love to buy cars and work on them but over the years I’ve had a few projects that I knew were never going to get completed. After some unsubtle hints from my wife that it was time to part with at least one of my uncompleted projects I realized that although I knew how to buy a project car, I had no idea how to get rid of an old car I didn’t want anymore. After some thought I considered all the different ways to dispose of an unwanted vehicle and thought that besides just selling a car to a dealer there were other ways to get a bigger return for a used car.
With so many cars on the road, I was curious about how many cars are sold each year and found that between six and seven million used cars are sold in the UK and over two million more recycled as scrap. Recently the EU has passed the for the End of Life Vehicle Directive which has actually made it illegal for car owners to receive cash for scrapping a vehicle, so this was quickly ruled out as an option for my unwanted car. It may not work, but it’s worth something so I wanted to find out what my other options are. Below are the best options I discovered for disposing of my project car and hopefully they serve as a useful guide for you when you are selling your car.
Selling Your Car
Your first stop is likely to look on the internet for websites that can help you sell your car. Of course you can go to a local dealer but they’ll give you much less on a trade-in value for your car than you can get from selling it yourself and you’ll receive even less from a dealer if you just want to sell your car without buying a new one. Autotrader.co.uk is a great resource for people looking to sell a used car. Not only can the website tell you the value of your car, but can give you a range of suggested selling prices. Advertising your vehicle for sale is very reasonable ranging from about £9.99 to £19.99. However, if you’re like me and your car is not running the prices provided by this website are not going to be very helpful because they assume the car is in working order and all taxes are paid.
Another online option is Ebay, which has a robust auto section. Similar to Autotrader, Ebay has a tool that will help you determine the value of your used car and suggest pricing that will help you to sell it quickly. They charge £14.99 to post a classified ad or £10 for an auction plus 1% up to £35 of the final sale price. It’s an easy platform to use and you might be surprised by the response to an auction for your car and get more than you expected.
One of my favorite ways to sell a car, and where I find most of my project cars, is by using Craigslist.co.uk. This stripped down classified ad website is free to use for buyers and sellers and allows you to post photos of your vehicle for free as well. If you’re like me and have a project car you just can’t finish this is the most painless way to dispose of your car and be totally clear about what it is that you’re offering for sale.
Although I wasn’t willing to take a loss on my failed project, you can still choose to scrap your car. After the new EU directive regarding how to dispose of used vehicles all cars sent to scrap must go to an Authorized Treatment Facility. Each scrapyard must have a license issued by the government to ensure that the scrapping process will not harm the environment and that the cars are recycled properly.
After some internet research I found that most local scrapyards would pay between £150-£200 if I took the car to their facility myself or about £50 less if I wanted them to come pick it up. Choosing a car scrapper isn’t as hard as you might think, as the EU directive made the vehicle manufacturer ultimately responsible for partnering with car recycling partners. Many have partnered with carakeback.com or rewardingrecylcling.co.uk. In both cases these websites contact local recyclers who will contact you about the next steps. Again, they can’t pay you in cash so if a recycler contacts you offering cash then you know they can’t be trusted. Just remember to file the proper paperwork confirming you are recycling the car and that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle or you could get burned by a dodgy recycling company.
Donate Your Car
One commonly overlooked choice for disposing of your used car is to donate it to a worthy charity. Many organizations are happy to take your used car off your hands and dispose of it themselves by either repairing and selling it or recycling it for you and using the money for their charitable purposes. This is a great way to get rid of your car because you can take a deduction on your taxes for a charitable contribution and the charity gets to benefit from a sizable donation. Another benefit to you is that this is relatively hassle free and you don’t have to worry about finding a good buyer for the car.