Where can I get the most for my old car?

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5 min read

Selling a car can be tough in today's market. Between fluctuating used car prices and dishonest hagglers, it's hard to get your car's actual value when you resell. And even the junkiest cars have value.

When it comes to selling older cars, there are options, and they vary pretty significantly. Let's take a quick tour, shall we?

how much can I expect from a private seller?

If you've got a low or mid-market car (usually around $1,000-$3,000) you've probably considered private buyers first. Facebook and Craigslist make it easy to list your car online with a few taps or clicks. So you make the ad, but oftentimes you get a bunch of people—not to mention scammers—trying to haggle you down well below your car’s value.

Even finding someone who's interested can be the start of a whole new kind of headache—bombarding messages and calls, ghosting, or changing terms.

what about trade-ins?

Maybe you're in the market for a new car anyway and want to put the trade-in money towards a car you REALLY want. A great idea (at least in theory). Though it very much depends on the condition of your car.

You're more likely to get a higher return if your car’s in "clean condition," say our Car and Driver friends. If you've got a real junker, odds are that you can't remember the last time you washed it or bothered to clean out the interior and you have to ask yourself—is it worth the effort now?

A lot of dealers also won't offer much for an older model. At Peddle, we consider older cars to be like finely aged wine. Even if they’re not classics, they have value—whether it’s just for parts or scrap metal—and we’re pros at finding the highest value for your car.

how much can I make from donating my car?

Gotta say, we're pretty impressed. Giving your old car away to a charity auction of some kind is awesome. You might not be getting that money directly, but you can still write it off in your taxes for a sweet reward.

The main difference between donating and selling your car is that when donated, you can only deduct the sale value from your stated income if you itemize. (In other words, if you get the standard deduction, you won’t receive any benefit). And when you itemize your deductions, the price you receive for your donated car only subtracts from your earned income, so it doesn’t mean you’ll get that much money back in your tax return.

So donating your car COULD definitely mean a nice tax break at the end of the year, but, of course, it’s not as simple as cash-in-hand. It’s also important to note that you may only deduct the price the car sells for, which may be lower than the market value. Check out our buds at Turbo Tax for more.

Selling to Peddle might not replicate the same fuzzy feeling of goodwill. But we always take fair market value into account, and make sure your car (or its parts) find a good home.

how much will a salvage yard pay for my car?

Junk cars typically sell for a few hundred dollars or less and aren't in the best running condition. They probably need a new engine or transmission, have structural issues, and/or have been in a few accidents.

Negotiating scrap prices with junkyards can be a tricky, delicate process. Some also charge for junk car removal. In short, finding the right scrap yard to get you the best deal for your car can be tough.

Lucky for you, some of Peddle's best friends are the most reputable salvage yards around. Your car might be on its last legs, but we'll make sure you still get top dollar for it. We compare prices from junkyards, wholesale buyers, auction houses…even your local museum, if you've got a real dinosaur on your hands.

should I sell my car online?

Ah yes, who isn't attracted to the appeal of selling your car with just a few taps/clicks? New online car buyers have been popping up left and right, and it can be daunting to select the right shop. Many refer to “instant offers,” and then once they get your contact info, it’s the classic bait-and-switch.

And let’s say after a lengthy phone call, you accept their offer. You usually have to drive a decent distance to drop it off and then wait weeks for them to process your car to receive your payment.

That’s. Not. Cool.

This is where Peddle comes in. There had to be a better way and there just wasn’t. So we created one. An actual easy way to sell your used car—with actual instant offers (based on market car value), free pickup, no tricks, no hoops, no gimmicks. You get an instant offer commitment-free—we don’t ask for your name or contact info unless you accept our offer.

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Finally retiring old-trusty? Get an offer in minutes-it's easy as pie