How to Get Rid of a Car That Doesn’t Run: Top 7 Ways

If you have a car that doesn’t run anymore because of being old, totaled, or blown power plant, it’s wise to part ways with it. But wait! Even if you can no longer drive your car, it doesn’t mean it’s lost all its value. It can still earn you some valuable cash or at least peace of mind. Here are our top 7 tips that explain how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run.

Estimate the Value of Your Junk Car

Before determining how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run, your first step should include figuring out its value. One of the most convenient ways to get an estimate for your non-usable vehicle is to evaluate it through a dealership or a mechanic.

It is important because if you plan to sell the car, you should be prepared and know its worth. It will help you get the best deal. That said, if the repair cost exceeds the vehicle’s worth, you might be better off selling it as junk.

A valuation can also provide a detailed insight into your car’s interior and exterior condition. Even though you know the repairs will cost a lot, the estimation may help you find that only a few essential parts might need replacing to make the vehicle usable again.

It means your car can be drivable again, and you will be able to sell it in a few months. It’ll have a much higher value than a completely run-down vehicle when you sell.

Figuring Out How to Get Rid of a Car That Doesn’t Run

When getting rid of a car that doesn’t run, you have a lot of options. Your choice will depend on your preference and how much money you are trying to get for your car.

how to get rid of a car that doesn't run
Image credit: Pexels

Here are seven of our best options you can pick from:

1. Selling to a Junk Removal Service

One of the fastest and easiest options is to sell your car to a junk removal service by looking up a removal service near you and placing a call. You get a quote on your car in no time, and they will even come to your property and pick up the vehicle.
With this option, you don’t have to deal with any potential buyers or put up an ad for the car. It’s also quite suitable if your vehicle doesn’t have a title.

2. Recycle Your Car

Recycling is an excellent, hassle-free option if you want to take care of the environment while disposing of your vehicle. Like a junk removal service, many recycling programs and services are also available. Look up recycling services online, get a quote and decide which one is suitable for you. Some firms make sure to dispose of your car in an environmentally friendly way.
If there aren’t any recycling services in your area, try calling a junk removal service you can easily find. Many removal services are in the recycling business, as well.

3. Sell the Car for Parts

Selling a run-down car for parts is perhaps one of the most profitable ways to get rid of it. Sometimes, individual parts of an old automobile can be worth more than the entire thing put together.

If you go down this route, you can sell car parts to different buyers looking for those specific parts. Some parts can be worth a lot due to high demand, such as engine, transmission, suspension components, etc.
If you have knowledge as a mechanic or a good knowledge of cars, you can take it apart yourself. Otherwise, find a mechanic to do it for you, but be prepared for the added cost of hiring a professional.

Before you deal with a car part buyer, there are a few important things to note. Firstly, make sure you know the actual value of the car parts. Compare prices online or ask around from a local mechanic.

Sometimes, buyers may want to buy the parts in a bundle at a discounted price. To counter this, set individual prices for all the parts and stick to them.

4. Sell the Car to a Dealership

How to get rid of a car that doesn’t run in the quickest and most straightforward way? Well, tow it to a local dealership and sell or trade it. They will assess the car’s condition and offer you a quote (if they deal in non-running cars) that you can accept or deny. However, many dealerships will only buy an old or unusable car from you if you trade it in with another car from them. Do not hesitate to negotiate with the dealership before agreeing on a price to get the best deal possible.

5. Sell the Car Yourself

Selling a car yourself that doesn’t run isn’t easy because not many will be interested in buying a non-running vehicle. However, if you still want to try your luck, the simplest way is to find auto-classified websites where you can put up ads for your car.

When putting your non-running vehicle up for sale, be sure to:

  1. Set a fair price, keeping the condition and value of working parts in mind.
  2. Take a few pictures from different angles to give vehicle buyers a good idea of what they’re getting.
  3. Be completely honest about the condition to avoid any misunderstandings.
  4. Make sure that all paperwork, such as the title, bill of sale, and maintenance records, is ready beforehand to transfer ownership easily.

We’d also recommend being extra cautious while selling your vehicle online. Watch out for scammers trying to get the car without paying. Furthermore, meet with potential buyers in open, public places. If they come to your home, ensure you’re not alone. Never compromise on safety!

6. Restore Your Car To Sell

Another option to consider is restoring your non-operational vehicle and selling it for a handsome amount. Some people have the knowledge and skills to restore old cars, especially vintage ones, and it’s a great hobby. You can do it yourself or find a mechanic to do it. Either way, it’s a great way to increase the value of your car.

However, before starting the refurbishing process, figure out the restoration cost. If the expense is higher than what you would in a trade-in, it won’t be worth it.

7. Donate Your Car to Charity

The final option on our list of how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run is donating it to a charity. Vehicle owners often ignore this method since they think it has no value, but that’s not true. You contribute to society even if you don’t get any upfront cash this way.

Another advantage of giving your non-operational car to charity is that donations are tax deductibles. Look up charities around you that accept cars as donations, and make sure the one you select can receive tax-deductible donations.


When finding out how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run anymore, you will discover a variety of options. If you prefer a fast and easy method, we recommend calling a junk removal service. On the other hand, donating to a charity is an excellent way to give back to society while saving money on your taxes.

Moreover, selling it for parts or trading it in at a dealership can earn you the most cash. Restoring your non-operational car before selling it would increase its value. In the end, it is up to you how to get rid of a car that doesn’t run – just select the most suitable option from the ones we shared.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.