Sell, Donate, or Junk My Car?
February 15, 2013 9:12 AM Subscribe
I've got a '98 Subaru Legacy Outback with 138k miles that I need to get rid of. It runs, but would need a fair amount of work done to continue running for long. It is safe to drive, but I wouldn't want to take it on a long trip. Trying to determine the best option: Selling, donating, or junking. In Philadelphia.
posted by SpiffyRob to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My beloved Subie has taken me through some wonderful times, but it is time to say goodbye. Per a mechanic I trust, the brakes are so bad that the pads, rotors, and calipers would likely all need to be replaced (pads and rotors for sure.) Assuming it would all need to be replaced, I'd be looking at $1000-$1500 right there. (They still work, for now. He said they probably have about a month left before they start becoming a serious safety hazard. They have started making a bunch of noise though, even when not braking.) A Subie-nut friend of mine who drove it recently also recommended getting the shocks and struts replaced sooner rather than later. Not sure what the cost of that would be, but some googling seems to suggest it could run another $1000 pretty easily.
All this, plus a move to a city where having a car really isn't needed, and borders on being a hassle, has brought me to the sad conclusion that it's time to let the old girl go.
I really don't think I've got the patience to sell it myself, so selling it would likely mean a chain. My first instinct was CarMax, but the nearest one is 1:30 away, which I wouldn't feel super comfortable driving. CarSense and WeBuyAnyCar.com are two alternatives with closer outposts, but I know nothing about them. Moreover, I wonder if I would actually get any money from them. Without the work that would need to be done, I have a hard time believing one of these places would give me anything more than $2000, and knowing that there's probably at least $2000 of work needed, would they give me anything?
So then my thoughts turn to donating. It's unlikely I would be itemizing my 2013 return, so I wouldn't be doing it for tax reasons, just hoping to help out a good cause. But it seems like most of the middle man services are largely frowned upon, and very little of the car's value ever makes it to charities. I really have no idea how to go about finding a worthy cause who would be interested in a car in this kind of shape otherwise.
So finally, the big parking lot in the sky: Junking. I haven't done much research here, but it seems like I could get it towed, and if so, this would seem to be the easiest option.
1. Worth selling? If so, any experience with CarSense or WeBuyAnyCar.com? Any Philly-area places I should look into? Preferably no more than 10 miles or so from the city. Someone who would tow it would be a huge plus.
2. Worth donating even if I wouldn't be taking the deduction? Again, preferably no more than 10 miles or so from the city. Someone who would tow it would be a huge plus.
3. If all else fails, any recommendations on how to go about junking it? Once more, with feeling: preferably no more than 10 miles or so from the city. Someone who would tow it would be a huge plus.