Should I Donate My Car or Scrap It?

Sun Devil Auto Expert, published on 04/08/2016

After so many trips and travels, the miles add up and can take their toll on any vehicle, leaving some with a decision: is it time to resign my vehicle to the scrap heap? It’s surely a tough choice for any driver, but when your car or truck is beyond the point of repair, you’ll eventually have to make the call. However, there are other ways to cut your losses while potentially assisting charity organizations in your area. By donating your vehicle, it’s possible to recoup equitable value compared to simply scrapping it, plus you’ll gain the satisfaction that comes from contributing to a good cause. Learn more about the benefits of each approach when it comes time to bid farewell to a tired set of wheels.

Tax Benefits

Charitable donations come in many forms. In recent years, older automobiles have become one of the most popular forms of donation. It helps owners by relieving them of inoperable vehicles that can often become a storage burden. Charities themselves enjoy the benefit of receiving a commodity that may be sold or scrapped in the interest of furthering organizational efforts. When it’s all said and done, you may even be entitled to a nice tax break.

It is recommended that if you decide to donate your car or truck to charity that you choose a non-profit group that is experienced in such transactions. Besides the title and other ownership-related paperwork, there is specific documentation that must be handled during and after any non-cash donation. Failure to complete all necessary tax forms could disqualify you from receiving a potentially substantial tax write-off, so make sure to do your research before making any decisions.

Alternative Options

Of course, you do retain the option to sell your inoperable car or truck to a salvage yard. In reality, scrapping could be the vehicle’s ultimate fate regardless of whether you donate it; the difference lies in whether you prefer to pocket cash up front. Keep in mind that when selling an automobile for scrap, you’re not likely to walk away with a huge sum of money. That’s because only the useable components will eventually result in potential profits for the particular yard.

In the end, many auto owners have found that donation is the preferred route when it’s time to put older wheels “out to pasture.” It offers many of the same advantages when compared with junking a vehicle, and it also has the notable benefit of aiding charitable organizations in the process.