Donating a Car vs. Trading in a Car

Do you have a car you're looking to get rid of? There are other options besides selling the car, which include donating or trading in the car for a newer model. The factors that go into this decision can be complicated, and you will want to consider the pros and cons of each before making your decision. This article should give you a clear idea of whether you should donate your car or try to trade it in.

  1. What condition is your car in?
  2. The first thing you will want to assess is what condition your car is currently in. If the car is in great shape and needs minimal to no repair services, then you might elect to trade in the car. If it still has a decent trade-in value, then this might be your best option. However, for a car that seems a bit worse-for-wear or has some serious repairs needed, you won't get much value out of a trade-in. In this case, your best option is to donate the car to a charity that could greatly benefit from your gift.

  3. Why do you want to get rid of your car?
  4. Another thing to consider is your primary motivation for getting rid of your vehicle. Are you just looking to upgrade to something new? If so, and your current car is in great shape, consider trading it in. If you are just wanting to get rid of a car that has been sitting around, or you want to change lives through donating your car, then definitely look for a nonprofit that will accept your old or unused car.

  5. Do you support any local charities?
  6. If you are a supporter of any local charities, then consider looking into whether they accept car donations. Many charities will accept donated cars, and it can be an excellent way to make a huge impact on that charity. Before pursuing a car donation with any charity, make sure they are an IRS-designated 501c organization. This means you will get the tax benefit if you choose to donate to them.

  7. What can you get from trading in a car?
  8. While trading in your car won't yield as much money as selling it might, it does spare you the hassle of listing and showing your vehicle. In most cases, you can trade in your car for cash or a discount towards the purchase of another car. However, you are severely limited by what the dealership is willing to give you. There are ways to negotiate the price of a trade-in, but ultimately, the dealer has the upper hand. They are under no obligation to accept your trade-in, and they will usually offer you less than the car may be worth.

  9. What can you get from donating a car?
  10. If you instead choose to donate your car, you will always receive a tax receipt to prove you have a valid non-monetary write off. Also, you will walk away knowing that you've just made a positive impact on the lives of others. You also might receive a gift or other commemoration of your donation, depending on where you choose to donate.

  11. Is it easier to trade in or donate your car?
  12. In general, it is much easier to donate your car than to try trading it in. If you choose to donate, the charity will come to pick up your car and handle all the legal paperwork. The charity will also handle the sale of the car and processing of the proceeds and then provide you with a tax receipt. If you choose to trade in the car instead, you will have to take it to a dealership and try to negotiate with the employees there to receive a decent value for your car. Donating your vehicle saves you the hassle of having to haggle with the dealership.

  13. Should you try to trade in a car that doesn't run?
  14. It's not a good idea to try and trade in a car that doesn't run. Most dealerships won't accept a trade in for a car that no longer runs. If they do, they are going to offer you the bare minimum for the car. However, it's highly unlikely they will even consider taking it as a trade in. If your car doesn't start, then your best bet is to donate the vehicle instead.

If you are weighing your options between trading in and donating your car, then consider the aforementioned points before making your decision. There are pros and cons to both options, but ultimately, you must decide which route works best for you and your vehicle. If you do decide to donate your car, then you will be making a lasting impact on the charity of your choice. A Car donation can be a great way to make a difference in your local community, and it might be the best option in many situations.