If you have an older car that needs repair, at some point you will be faced with the choice of whether to fix it, dump it or donate it. The decision about whether to fix your car depends on the nature of the needed repair and whether or not you can do the work yourself. If you are handy with cars, you might decide to fix the car yourself. If not, you need to know the value of your car. If the cost of repairing it is more than the car is worth, it does not makes sense to fix it.
One thing to consider when making the choice about whether to fix your car is how often it breaks down. If your average monthly repair costs are equal to the cost of a better car, it is probably time to dump or donate your car. If you are on a first name basis with your mechanic or you have him on speed deal, it is time for another car. The safety of your car should be another consideration. If your family is riding in a car that is not safe, you need to get rid of it. Also, if the car has a lot of rust, gets horrible gas mileage, has been in a flood or in a serious accident, you should strongly consider replacing it.
Once you have made the choice not to fix your car, you then have to decide how to dispose of it. You do not want to sell a potentially dangerous vehicle to an unsuspecting person. If that is the case, selling it to a private person should not be an option. That will narrow your choices down to selling it to a junk yard or donating car to charity.
The price you will get from a junk yard depends on your location and whether you can drive the car to them. The average price a junk yard will give you for a car you can drive it in is $200. If the junk yard has to tow your car, you will get about half that amount.
Many people mistakenly believe that they can only donate car to charity that runs and is in decent shape. Many charities are happy to take cars that are old or are in bad shape. Most car donation charities have contracts with parts yards to take cars for a pre-determined amount. That amount is usually more than someone could get on their own. In any case, when you donate your car to charity you get a tax deduction of at least $500. If the charity is able to sell your car for more than $500, you can claim the sale price as your tax deduction. All you need to do to claim your tax deduction is to itemize on your federal tax return.
Besides getting a tax deduction and getting rid of a car that is giving you a headache, the other good thing about car donation is that you can help to support a cause you believe it.