How do i get rid of a dead car in Cambridge ma
August 18, 2011 4:20 AM   Subscribe

Auto salvage around Cambridge, MA: I have a dead car, I would like to get rid of it and perhaps get a bit of cash. Do you have a specific recommendation? It's about the spammiest, unmanageably seedy topic that I've ever searched for and I would like personal recommendations. Everyone claims that they pay the most, I just want fast and easy to deal with-- any money is a bonus to having it over with. Hopefully today. Feel free to memail if you feel weird about public recommendations. Thanks!
posted by Mayor Curley to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Kidney Foundation is a great, low-hassle way to donate the car (they will pick it up) if you can't find a way to get any money for it.
posted by tetralix at 4:25 AM on August 18, 2011

If it's still drivable then you may be best off selling it as scrap metal. Steel is bringing decent prices these days, so a typical car is worth $350-$400. Scrap metal companies have references books / databases that tell them how much metal is in a car of a particular make/model, so you can call them over the phone and say, "I have a '99 Super Duper that I want to scrap," and they can tell you what they'll give you for it without even laying eyes on it.

If it's not drivable but there's a scrap yard nearby, it might even be worth enough to pay to have it towed.
posted by jon1270 at 5:07 AM on August 18, 2011

The Car Guys on NPR, who have a real garage in Cambridge, recommend donating it to NPR.
posted by mareli at 5:40 AM on August 18, 2011

I used Nissenbaum's (yelp) just over the line in Somerville. I had a '71 that wasn't going to garner any cash in an auction so I simply hoped I wouldn't have to pay to junk it. I'd been in Nissenbaum's a couple of times before looking for parts so I knew they were a reasonable local business. I think we called it an even exchange, but I was happy because they were fast and efficient, even though the car was parked in a tricky spot.
posted by cocoagirl at 6:13 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

My family has used JP Carroll in Waltham with good results.
posted by sarahmelah at 7:13 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Craigslist. Put up a post that says what you want in the general classifieds section. Basically, "X model car for scrap. I'll take offers for one week. Highest offer gets it".

Painless and should get you at least a little money. In a down economy there are a lot of guys with trucks and and free time that'll take it off your hands.
posted by pjaust at 7:54 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I sold my totaled car to earlier this year. Local junkers offered me $200-$300, and Damaged Cards gave me $800. They're out of Florida but they contract with local companies for transport. The only thing that's annoying is you have to have a few things notarized but other than that it was very easy.
posted by radioamy at 7:55 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I actually ended up calling Phil's Towing in Cambridge, and I was really impressed. There was only the kidney foundation suggestion when I got back to the thread, and I figured I needed to start making calls if I wanted this done today. My plan was that if I got any local suggestions in this thread, I'd start working on them if I got a bad vibe from the first couple places I tried.
I googled "cambridge ma auto salvage" again and ended up picking Phil's because it seemed like an appropriately amateurish and earnest local company website.

I made it clear that I was willing to compromise a bit to get it done today, but I still ended up with what appears to be the standard promised payout among salvage offers. Most importantly, I had no more junk car before noon. Some times you get lucky picking something nearly at random. If anyone ends up using this suggestion, ask for Hutch, because he was pretty awesome.

The Car Guys on NPR, who have a real garage in Cambridge, recommend donating it to NPR.

That's a fabulous idea if you're not worried about a payout (and I suspect it's not something that you can do in a morning). Public broadcasting is our single greatest resource and the people who work in it are precious. (Or at least I am.)

Thanks for the two local suggestions. Nice to know that I had recommendations if this hadn't worked out so well. The Craigslist idea is solid as well. And damagedcars is intriguing and sounds worth exploring if I wasn't looking for expediency.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:49 AM on August 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

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