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Trade-it, Junk-it, or Give it to Charity?

car-trade-in-flowchart

What are you going to do with that old car when you buy a new one? 
There are more options and considerations than you might think.  You’ll probably get the most money for your trade in if you can sell it to a private party, but a trade-in could actually net you more because of the tax implications.  Donating to charity might give you a warm fuzzy, but you might just need someone to haul it off your front lawn so you can see your neighbor’s trailer again.

Below is a flow-chart to help you figure out how to get rid of your old car.  Before you get started, go to the Black Book and find out both the trade-in value and the private party sale value.

A Flowchart to Determine How to Get Rid of Your Old Car

car-trade-in-flowchart
There are a few generalizations in the above chart, but hopefully it helps with your decision making process.  If you’re feeling really generous and want to give a $5,000 car to charity, by all means go ahead!  Just be sure to understand the tax law before you try to write-off any large numbers.  There are also hundreds of charities that will accept these donations and some are better than others, so do your research.  Lastly, if you decide to trade-in, make sure you read these steps to get the most amount of money for your trade-in.

You may also want to check out these Vehicle donation tips.