Are you puzzled about how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run? Disposing of a non-functional vehicle is not just about finding a removal solution; it’s about exploring the best options available to you.

In this article, we explore options for handling a non-running car, from selling and salvaging for parts to donating for a good cause. Learn how to assess your car’s value, understand your disposal options, and discover the unique benefits of car donation. With this guide, you’ll learn what to do with a car that doesn’t run and how to make a decision that benefits you and potentially others.

Understanding Your Non-Running Car’s Value

Although your vehicle doesn’t run, it’s still worthwhile to understand its value. When you know what your car is worth, you can make an informed decision about disposing of it effectively without losing value.

There are several factors that affect the value of a non-running car, such as the make and model, year, condition, and market demand. Online valuation tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmunds can provide a general idea of your car’s worth. Additionally, consulting local mechanics or car enthusiasts can offer valuable insights, especially since some components may be in demand for older or rarer models.

The Costs and Efforts of Repairs

Before deciding to part with your non-running car, it’s essential to carefully consider the potential costs and efforts involved in repairing it. While the car might appear defunct, there’s a possibility that it could be restored to working condition with minor repairs.

The complexity and expense of repairing a non-running car largely depend on the specific issues it faces. Some problems might be straightforward, requiring only basic mechanical work or a few replacement parts. On the other hand, more complex issues could necessitate extensive repairs or hard-to-find, costly replacement parts. An important step is to thoroughly assess the condition and age of your car to determine whether repairing it is a viable option, both financially and logistically.

If you find that the repair costs would surpass the car’s overall value, or if the vehicle demands extensive work, then disposal is likely the most practical route. However, if an assessment reveals that the car can be fixed quickly and affordably, retaining and repairing the vehicle could be a worthwhile decision.

How To Get Rid of a Car That Doesn’t Run

Once you know what your vehicle is worth, you can explore your options for disposal. There are several paths to consider when letting go of a non-functional vehicle, each with key considerations.

Trade-In or Sell to a Dealership

When considering vehicle disposal, it’s worthwhile to note that dealerships occasionally accept non-running cars, either as trade-ins or outright purchases. This route may not fetch the highest price, but it’s often straightforward and quick to complete.

With this option, convenience is a major advantage. Dealers handle most of the paperwork, making the process hassle-free. However, the flip side includes potentially lower offers and limited options, as not all dealerships accept non-functional vehicles.

Private Sale

Opting for a private sale of your non-running vehicle could potentially offer a better financial return, but will require more effort on your part. This process involves advertising the vehicle, negotiating with potential buyers, and handling all the necessary paperwork.

To successfully navigate a private sale, it’s essential to be honest about the vehicle’s condition to prevent any legal issues. Utilizing platforms like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay Motors can significantly expand your reach to potential buyers. Remember to have all the relevant documentation, including the title and service records, ready and transparent.

Online Buyers and Junkyards

Selling to online buyers or junk yards that specialize in acquiring non-running vehicles is another viable option. These businesses typically offer convenience by providing free towing services, which can be a significant advantage.

To ensure the best outcome, be sure to conduct thorough research. Look for reputable online buyers or local junkyards with positive reviews, and compare quotes from multiple sources. Make sure you understand any potential towing fees or additional costs involved in the transaction to avoid surprises.

Selling for Parts

If your car has valuable parts, dismantling it and selling them individually can be profitable. This approach requires an understanding of the market demand for specific parts of your car and their potential value. It’s also a more time-intensive and technically demanding route, often requiring professional help to safely remove parts.

Even so, if you know your way around vehicles, it can be lucrative. There are many options to sell vehicle parts, including local auto parts stores, junkyards, online marketplaces (such as eBay or Craigslist), or specialized websites. Compare prices offered by different buyers to ensure you receive the best possible value.


Recycling your non-running car can be an environmentally responsible decision. Recycling centers specialize in dismantling vehicles and responsibly disposing of hazardous materials while salvaging reusable components. This option not only reduces waste but also ensures the safe handling of toxic substances like oil and coolant.

Car recycling is an excellent choice for those who wish to contribute positively to the environment and ensure vehicle materials are reused sustainably.

Why Donating Your Non-Running Car Can Be the Best Option

Last but not least, you might be interested in donating a car that doesn’t run. A car donation can be a rewarding decision that offers convenience and significant benefits to charitable causes. In addition to its simplicity and generosity, this choice offers the possibility of tax deductions, making it a wise financial choice.

Donating a car goes beyond merely getting rid of an unwanted vehicle; it represents a meaningful contribution to a cause that has real-life impacts. Many are drawn to car donation for the profound difference it makes, something that selling or recycling the vehicle may not achieve. The ease of the donation process, combined with the knowledge that your car is supporting a charitable endeavor, brings a unique sense of fulfillment and satisfaction.

How to Choose the Right Charity for Car Donation

Selecting the appropriate organization for your car donation is a critical step in ensuring that your contribution makes the intended impact. Do your research to confirm the charity’s credibility and how they’ll use your donation. For your donation to be eligible for a tax deduction, you should also verify that the charity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

In addition, choosing a charity with a mission aligned with your personal values can make your donation more meaningful. For instance, if you’re passionate about helping at-risk youth, supporting an organization like Rawhide can increase your contribution’s impact and meaningfulness.

Maximizing Your Impact and Benefits

To ensure your donation is effective for both the charity and yourself, make sure you understand your chosen charity’s car donation process. Make sure you get clarity on any questions, find out potential car drop off locations, and understand what paperwork you will need to complete. Additionally, inquiring how the charity will use your car will ensure transparency and allow you to understand the true impact of your donation.

Tax professionals can assist you with the financial aspects of your donation. They can help you understand and claim tax benefits, ensuring that you follow any applicable regulations like obtaining a qualified appraisal. Be sure to ask about post-donation documentation from the charity, such as tax receipts or acknowledgment letters. These records are essential for verifying your donation’s value and maintaining accurate tax records.

Make a Difference With Your Non-Running Car at Rawhide

If you’re wondering how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide to various options. From selling it privately to recycling, and most notably, the impactful choice of donation, we’ve covered what you need to consider for each method.

At Rawhide, we invite you to explore the option of donating your non-running vehicle. Our seamless car donation process ensures that your generous contribution directly benefits young people in need. By choosing to donate to Rawhide, you’re not just getting rid of a car; you’re participating in a worthy cause and enjoying a hassle-free donation process.

To start the process of donating your car to Rawhide, check out our car donation FAQs or contact us for assistance. Regardless of your vehicle’s condition, your donation can make a significant difference, truly embodying the spirit of giving and community support.