What do I do with this dead car?
November 14, 2012 4:14 PM   Subscribe

My car (97 Oldsmobile Aurora in pretty bad physical condition) is more or less a lost cause. The fuel pump is shot, the battery's dead, and it won't turn over because of those two things working in conjunction. It also has no working AC or radio. It's sitting on the street, as it has been for the past several weeks. I need to do something with it and get rid of it but I have never had to do this. Never had to even sell a car. What do I do?
posted by Modica to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total)
You can donate it to a bunch of different charities and it'll give you a tax deduction next year if you itemize.
posted by jabes at 4:19 PM on November 14, 2012

Donate it.
posted by scratch at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2012

oops, jinx jabes.
posted by scratch at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2012

Assuming you live in a city, just go on craiglist and search for junk car removal. Should be lots of options. They come pick it up, maybe give you a bit of cash, you sign over the paperwork and take the plates off. Bye bye car.
posted by mannequito at 4:20 PM on November 14, 2012

I got a few hundred bucks for a beater back in the day. Go on line and look for a junk dealer who will tow it away for you
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:30 PM on November 14, 2012

Before you junk removal it, there are many individual people that could use that car given the hard economic times. Yes - even your car.

Use Craigslist to announce it.
posted by Kruger5 at 4:41 PM on November 14, 2012

New battery is <$100; a fuel pump is a relatively cheap fix. Don't junk it, donate it; it can be fixed for short money, and someone else can get some utility from it.
posted by ellF at 4:43 PM on November 14, 2012

I'd prefer to get some money out of it since I make very little with AmeriCorps. Craigslist/junk dealers it is!
posted by Modica at 6:01 PM on November 14, 2012

I used damagedcars.com earlier this year to sell my completely dead Camry (mayitrestinpeace). It was super easy--filled out a form online, they called me to arrange a pick-up, the driver met me with a check and that was it. The only annoying thing was that they gave me a 2-hour window for the pick-up, so I had to wait around a little while, but other than that it was painless.

I might have gotten more money selling on craigslist to someone who wanted to rebuild it or something, but I didn't want to deal with exchanging emails with multiple buyers, flaky folks, etc. And the offer from damagedcars.com was actually double what a local junkyard made...so I figured it was worth it to get maybe less money and just have it done with.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 9:11 PM on November 14, 2012

I've sold nonrunning vehicles on Craigslist before, both sold within a couple hours of posting it, and both times I got over $200 for the "junk". Take pictures from all sides so they know it's not smashed on the unseen side, make sure you have the title and say so in the listing, tell them exactly what you know isn't working and that they better bring a trailer, and some backyard mechanic will pay you a couple hundred for it so they can put $200 in parts into it and resell it for $700 next week.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:04 AM on November 15, 2012

The '90s Aurora has a V8 motor, and therefore in some small demand as a hot rod platform. N'thing Craigslist - lots of pics, and a clear description of its mechanical and cosmetic condition.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:56 AM on November 15, 2012

Post it on Craigslist with lots of GOOD pictures and a detailed description of what's wrong with it, and you should be able to get $500 easily, possibly more. I would probably start it at $700-800 and be willing to negotiate. Make sure you get CASH and nothing else.
posted by Slinga at 6:04 AM on November 15, 2012

Do you still need the car to function, or is it merely a car you don't need? Because the repairs you mentioned, with the exception of the AC, are relatively cheap to do and relatively easy, too.

Donate/sell it if you don't need it (make sure you have the title paperwork) but if you need it, the car can be made to work relatively easily.
posted by Thistledown at 6:23 AM on November 15, 2012

Those repairs are inexpensive and even if you have zero mechanical knowledge you can certainly change the battery yourself, and possibly even the fuel pump.

Once it's running, you'll get at least 1.5x what you would if it isn't.
posted by zug at 10:01 AM on November 15, 2012

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