How to Get Rid of Old Cars Safely & Legally

Written by jeanne dober
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How to Get Rid of Old Cars Safely & Legally
Remove the rusty old car from your yard. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

An old car in the backyard or driveway is an eyesore. Removing the car from private property helps to keep the property looking neat. Owners often wonder how to get rid of a car without having to dispose of it illegally by junking it somewhere in the woods or on abandoned property. Legally getting rid of an old car keeps the owner from getting fined or thrown in jail for illegal dumping.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Examine your vehicle to see what is its model and year. Turn the key in the ignition and see if the car starts. If the car starts and runs well, you can donate it to a charity such as a convent, nursing home or children's home.

  2. 2

    Research the value of your old car with the Kelley Blue Book. It will help you determine what the car is worth, and how much you can ask for it if you decide to sell.

  3. 3

    Sell parts from the car by placing an add on Craigslist. Create an ad by clicking on the "create a post" link, select the area you are posting in, which is "For sale," choose "cars and trucks -- by owner" and type in an ad for car parts.

  4. 4

    Sell your old car to a junk car dealer and receive money when the dealer comes and tows the car away. Junk car dealers often buy cars by weight to use as scrap metal or for car parts.

Tips and warnings

  • If you donate the car to charity, can keep a copy of the donation for your records and claim it as a tax deduction at the end of the year.
  • Examine the car's interior and the glove box to make sure you leave nothing valuable inside.
  • Request cash or a money order when you sell the car, so you know that you have access to the money.
  • Keep records of any transactions in case you need the records later.
  • Include contact information in the Craigslist ad. The automatic e-mail feature does not always work. The contact information can be a cell phone number or a free e-mail account.

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