Deciding Between Donating Vs. Selling Your Used Car? Here’s Why Donating Might Be Your Answer

car for sale

Your Used Cars’ Next Home

It’s not unusual to think about what will happen to your car when you’re ready to purchase a new one. After all, it’s probably one of the places you spend much of your time, whether it’s commuting to work, driving to appointments, or running errands. But more than that, it’s a place you’ve made memories. Perhaps it’s the car you first brought your baby home in. Or maybe it’s the car in which you received the phone call where you were hired for the job. Maybe it’s where you had your first date with your partner. Or perhaps it was the car that transported you to the beach every summer. The point is, cars aren’t just possessions. They are places you’ve made countless memories in. It may be difficult to think about parting with your car, so it’s only natural to think about who will make new memories in it, once you part ways with it.

When you’re ready to part with your used car, there are several ways to remove it from your possession. You could choose to sell it yourself, sell it to a dealership, or sell it using an online platform. You could trade it in. Or, you could donate it to an organization of your choosing. Non-profit organizations like Vehicles for Change can take your donated car and use the parts or award the car to a deserving family in need. Learn more about what happens to vehicles donated to Vehicles for Change.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of selling and donating your used car.

Selling Your Used Car

Multi-step process of selling your car.

When you sell your car, you’ll be expected to service or repair and clean your car in preparation for the sale. You’ll also need to advertise the vehicle or meet with a dealership about your vehicle. Next, you’ll need to make time for a vehicle test drive and arrange for a pre-inspection. Finally, an important step, Kelley Blue Book says, is organizing the paperwork for the car to help move the process along. US News and World Report details this sales process further to ensure you get the most out of your sale.

Ensure you have the best offer.

Although potentially stressful and time-consuming, it’s important to obtain multiple evaluations of your car and offers from different dealerships. To maximize your time and minimize the effort involved, call different dealers to gauge their interest in your vehicle and schedule an appointment. You should also prepare for your appointment by checking the value of your car on sites like Kelly Blue Book.

The trade-in.

Trading your car into a dealership may be easier than selling it. When trading in your car, you can use the funds from the sale as a down payment toward your new vehicle. Consumer Reports indicate that in some states, you may only be charged the sales price for the difference between the trade-in of your used car and the purchase of your new car.

Cash in hand.

One of the benefits of selling your car privately or to a dealership is that you can walk away with cash in hand. You can determine how and where to spend your money after the sale. However, depending on your situation and need for transportation, you may not be able to sell your used car until you’ve purchased your new car, according to Consumer Reports. This may delay your end result of selling the car slightly.

Donating Your Used Car Through Vehicles for Change

Skipping the negotiation.

Cars that are sold or traded in are often significantly newer and driven less than cars that are donated. Older cars or cars with a lot of miles hold less value to dealers and less appeal to new owners. The age or use of your car may make it significantly harder to negotiate a fair trade-in or sale price for your used car. When donating your car, its age and condition simply matter less. Vehicles for Change will repair and sell it, repair and donate it to a deserving family, auction it, or use your car for parts depending on its age and use.

The ultimate convenience.

According to CARFAX, donating your car is the easier option because charities like Vehicles for Change, which specialize in car donations, “assist the process by offering towing services, handling title transfer, and automatically sending paperwork for tax purposes.” When selling your car, you’re responsible for the title transfer paperwork, making the process a bit more complicated. Learn more about how Vehicles for Change makes the donation process easy.

It saves time.

Selling your car privately most likely means you’ll hold on to it for a bit longer. CARFAX indicates that the average private sale lasts 60 days. When donating your car to Vehicles for Change, we make the process simple. After completing a quick donation form and scheduling a pick-up, you only need to arrive to meet the tow truck! Learn more about Vehicles for Change’s easy donation steps.

Provides maximum tax benefits.

In 2004, tax regulations for donated cars changed, Investopedia indicates. Vehicles for Change offers a greater tax advantage than most vehicle donation programs in the country. Because we don’t send donated cars straight to auction like many other vehicle donation programs, IRS regulations allow many Vehicles for Change car donors to claim the full fair market value of their car—the maximum permitted by law. Learn more about maximizing your tax deduction with Vehicles for Change.

Feels great and helps a good cause.

When you donate to Vehicles for Change, you help members of your community in a unique way. Your donation helps those in need like Listra and her family. You give a family the ability to accomplish the daily tasks that are often taken for granted like grocery shopping or commuting to work. But, you also give the family hope and a chance to make memories through trips to the local park or ice creamery.

Learn more about how cars donated to Vehicles for Change help those in need.

Contact Us Today

If you’re looking to part with your vehicle and help your community, donating your car is a great way to do both. You can skip the headache of selling or trading it in and donate it to a family in need. Giving a deserving family the keys to new opportunities and freedom is easy with our online, print, or phone donation forms. It’s as simple as:

  1. Filling out the form.
  2. Scheduling a pick-up.
  3. And meeting the tow truck to pass off the title!