Saturday, October 11, 2008

How we got rid of our junk car.

This subject seems to have a new meaning to me, earlier this year, we had to make a tough decision of what to do with our 1995 Nissan Altima after a few estimates came in on how much it would cost to fix the car, with over 130,000 miles on it, some interesting rust underneath, sitting for a while in the driveway, a repair bill that just started at $1500-$2000, not covering damage to the undercarrage with rust and a lack of use, we made the decision to junk the car and save for another used car that has less miles and works.

So if you find yourself in this position, you have several options available to you, however there are really only two that we had to look at, first donate the car to charity, this option carries a small tax deduction and free pickup or second, take the car to a junk car for recycling, meaning getting little cash for the vehicle, but that is big with the every rising cost of gasoline, fuel and all of those bills.

So we decided to go with the junkyard option, that’s finding a junkyard to either drive the car too or pickup and get cash for the car. Believe it or not, this is where calling around to several local junkyards for pricing using commercials on television, the phone book and some research on the internet will come in handy and it did.

Without saying any junkyards by name, we started out by calling one that advertised on television regularly with a commercial. In calling around, that first junkyard offered $100, they didn’t want the make or model, just drive it in and that’s it. If you live in Central Massachusetts, you know exactly what commercial I am talking about and the commercial is really terrible, but caught our eye nonetheless.

With one offer in, here’s where taking five minutes paid off, second one, now we were up to $200, that works, just different location, third, fourth call, now we are up to $220, now don’t expect this to happen all of the time, it all depends upon the year, make, model and miles, however after a couple of calls, I thought of a place nearby and checked it out online, bingo, called, $250 offer, if we drive the car to the junkyard with all of the paperwork or have it privately towed, $200 if they have to pick it up.

Remember at this point, distance is also a factor because you not only have to drive or privately tow the vehicle, but have another car follow you to bring you back, that’s double the gas, sure we could have gotten $300 or maybe more at a further out location that was up to a hour out, but it might have cost us a half of tank of gas to get up and back total for both vehicles, so that’s what we did, $250 check in hand.

Believe it or not, as they are taking the plates off and filling out the paperwork, I was talking to a guy in the yard that was buying bumpers, frontends and even more parts, he asks me about the vehicle and how much I was getting for the vehicle, then he shocked me by saying “bring the car down the street and I will give you $350”, damn, two minutes too late and that was it, oh well, my thoughts after that was maybe putting it up on craigslist or something if I get in this position again, however time is money too.

Basically, to a consumer, donating the unwanted or junk car to charity would be a good option and that does take a little research online and/or using the phonebook, find a REAL charity and have them pick it up, however if you are junking a car by a junkyard like we did, call around, would you rather have $100 for your car or $250 dollars and all it took was five minutes of work and four or five local calls, what a lesson there. Personally, I can’t get over it, $150 more somewhere else, just for five minutes of work and just think, others have taken their car there and sold it for only a $100, damn that must have hurt.

- Racedriven