What to do with a dying van?
June 29, 2012 10:45 AM   Subscribe

What to do with a 2000 Econoline which is (not so slowly) dying?

Hello all! Thanks for reading!

I have a 2000 Ford Econoline conversion van (150,000 miles) which I have loved for years but is now slowly dying. I travel for work so it sat through a Chicago winter in my mom's driveway without being driven, and now it's in Louisiana where it's not being driven very much and the salt from Chicago has combined with the humidity of Louisiana and it's slowly rusting out.

I've spent considerable money to keep it functioning, but now I don't trust it for the long road trips I've been using it for, and considering how little I use it, I'm thinking about just using rental cars for the short periods of time I am home until my job situation changes.

So, now what to do with it. I don't think it's worth selling for the not much money I would get for it, (around $2000 I think). Would it be worthwhile to hold on to it for a trade-in in the future, or donate it?

Thanks so much!!!!
posted by ashtabula to opelika to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
If you donate it, check with your tax people to see if the donation is deductible - you may not see anything if your refund is under a certain amount (Happened to me when I donated a car to NPR through their donation plan.)

The car is usually parted out, and a chunk of the proceeds of the part sales and the scrap metal value goes to the charity. It's a good way to get the car out of your yard if you can't be hassled to sell it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:52 AM on June 29, 2012

Trading it in is not going to increase its value. Those deals where a dealer gives you a high trade-in value for an old junker are not the giveaways they're made to look like, they're just gimmicks to get you in the door. If you don't need the van anymore, get rid of it now.
posted by jon1270 at 10:55 AM on June 29, 2012

Check the going value for a 2000-era Econoline on whichever city's Craigslist you're planning on selling it in, and dump it ASAP. This is not some classic old car that's going to increase in value, it's a rusty van with a lot of miles on it.
posted by jabes at 11:57 AM on June 29, 2012

Dealer trade-ins are a complete ripoff compared to selling it yourself. If the trade-in price seems good, it's because you're getting screwed elsewhere.
posted by scose at 11:59 AM on June 29, 2012

I'd sell it. You can always donate the actual cash (or use it to fund your rental cars).

You might be doing a struggling person a solid by selling them your van. The new owner might be very mechanically inclined and able to keep it running.

Post and ad on Craigslist, be totally honest and see what pops up.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:04 PM on June 29, 2012

Sell it if you need the cash and you are in town or have someone willing to handle the sale for you; donate it if you don't need the money and/or don't have time. Its value will just continue to drop, and at some point you are going to have the worse problem of "How do I get rid of a rusty, totally dead vehicle that my mom wants out of her driveway ASAP? Snowflake detail: I am working in Nigeria and won't be home until 2017." That's a great AskMe question, but a crappy situation to actually deal with. Offload the van now, and either keep renting or buy another one later.
posted by Forktine at 1:25 PM on June 29, 2012

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