If you have a junk car that needs to be disposed of, you have two options.
You can either sell the junk car to a junkyard, or you can donate it to a charity. There are several factors, many of which this article will discuss, that could push you in either direction.
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Pros of Donating a Car
Donating your car is an easy way to get it off your hands. This will not involve the time-consuming process of working with junkyards or other potential buyers.
Charities are usually happy to accept your junk car in whatever state it is in because they are not paying a dime for it. If the car is too old, the charity may offer to tow it at no charge.
Junkyards or other potential car buyers, on the other hand, will closely inspect every part of a car before accepting it. This is because they want to either make a profit from it or drive it.
Another reason you might want to donate your car is the tax benefits. Once you donate your car to a charity, you will be able to make tax claims on it based on the price that the car was sold for. All you will need is documentation from the charity confirming that they received the car and title, and that they sold the vehicle at a certain price.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to make a large tax claim, as charities often sell donated junk cars for very low prices. That being said, the charity could decide to keep the car. This would be great for you because it would allow you to make a tax claim based on the vehicle’s fair market value.
How to Donate Your Car
If you want to donate your car, all you will need to do is call a charity and ask them to pick it up. Some reputable ones that you could look into are the Car Donation Foundation, Cars4Kids, and 800 Charity Cars.
If the car is sold for less than $500, you can either deduct $500 or the fair market value, whichever is less. Additionally, remember to itemize the donation in your tax returns, as this will allow you to make a claim. The charity should be able to guide you through the rest of the necessary paperwork.
Lastly, you should ensure that the charity that you are dealing with is reputable. It should be a 501(c) (3) charity because if it’s not you will not be able to make a tax deduction.
Cons of Donating Your Car
The one downside to donating your car is the fact that you will not be able to make any money directly from the donation. Junk cars can be sold either as a whole or as parts for a good price. This is money that could go into paying the initial installment for your next car, for example.
Pros of Selling Your Car
The greatest advantage of selling your car is that you will make money directly from the sale. You will not have to reap your tax benefits, and you’ll have money in your hand right away.
Additionally, you make more money by selling your car. So, not only is the cash immediate but it is also a greater amount. As mentioned earlier, charities sell donated cars for very low prices, and this is the amount that you will use to base your tax claim when making returns.
Cons of Selling Your Car
On the flip side, selling a junk car may not be as straightforward or as easy as you’d like. Most junk cars will be purchased within two months, but it may take longer if the car is not in good shape. If you are not able to find a buyer for the car itself, consider selling its parts.
Ultimately, you should base your choice on whether to sell or donate your junk car on what is more important to you; money or philanthropy.