Author Topic: Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"  (Read 2073 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"
« on: September 07, 2016, 08:10:58 AM »
This thread got me thinking of additional related questions...

1) What is the most cost-effective way to dispose of a car that has actually died?  Especially if it requires a tow ... and the tow costs money.  How would I know where to tow it to?  Is it best to just tow it home and figure it out later?  I don't even know of all the possibilities or how to accomplish them -- sell for parts, sell to junkyard/salvage yard, sell to low-end dealer, sell to private party through Craigslist ... ?  Should I have places lined up in advance so I know what to do if this scenario occurs?  How do I find such places?  Is it possible to just call around and ask who will take it and how much they'll offer for it, without them seeing the actual vehicle?

2) What is the most cost-effective way to search for and obtain a replacement vehicle?  I want to be able to shop around for the best deal on a used car (with good gas mileage, reliability ratings/reviews, etc.) and test drive it and then take any serious contender to a mechanic for both an analysis of the vehicle's condition and a quote for fixing everything (so I know what to expect and can use it as a bargaining chip as needed).  If I'm on my own and my former means of transportation is no longer available though, it's not exactly like I can hop from dealer to dealer or easily visit people with ads on Craigslist or AutoTrader.  If I ask friends to take me, then I might feel pressure to hurry up and make a decision even though it might not be the most cost effective.  Public transit isn't great around here but I could possibly take the bus and/or walk to a few places.  Is it worth renting a car for one day and then going around on the most optimized/efficient route from open until close at all the local options?


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 08:21:23 AM »
You should be able to find someone who will tow a junk car for free (or maybe give you a little cash) - check Craigslist for the 'we take junk cars' listings.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 08:33:19 AM »
+1 to CL "Takes cars for free".  A slightly more profitable option would be to rent/borrow a trailer and take it directly to a scrap yard yourself.  If either axle is fine, you can rent a single-axle trailer for 18(ish) at uhaul.  Older cars or cars with higher amounts of metal (and less plastic bodywork) will bring in more money.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 08:55:56 AM »
It may depend on the vehicle, but in my case I was able to donate my non-running car to a non-profit (public radio). They towed it away, and later provided me with a donation receipt to use on my taxes.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Tangent/Follow-up to Driving Car "Until it Dies"
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 09:01:43 AM »
Actually a good number of internet companies will buy your car as is and tow it away... I can't find the company I used, but when my mechanic declared that my Kia Sportage had serious engine issue requiring dealership repairs that he figured would be "end of life" costly, the internet company bid $700 for the carcass, handled the tow, I signed over the title to the company and had a check in 3 days.
Can't find the name of the company I used but this one looks very similar:

I was skeptical, but it was easy peasy and the transaction fully documented.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!