Dear PoPville – Getting Rid of a Junker Car?

Photo by PoPville flickr user philliefan99

“Dear PoPville,

I was hoping to get some ideas from the PoPville community on how to get my junker car removed from DC. I have a 2000 Mercury Cougar that, while it still looks in good shape, has serious issues under the hood. A bad electrical system, leaking oil due to a water pump failure, and to top it off the gas tank has apparently developed a hole. I have been trying to find a junkyard that will take it for scrap but either they won’t accept it or won’t come in to DC to get it. I’m wary of trying to donate or anything like that because I’m afraid someone will get it barely running to sell to an unsuspecting person who would then have a problem ridden car they probably paid too much for. Basically I want to make sure this thing goes to the big parking lot in the sky as soon as possible and I’m sure my neighbors would appreciate its disappearance from the street as well since it’s starting to look grimy after sitting for so long.

Any help from someone out there that has dealt with this situations would be greatly appreciated!”

25 Comment

  • You should look up charitable organizations because often they will take cars in bad condition and just auction them off for parts. They don’t actually give them to someone to drive. We donated our old barely running Civic and got I think a $300 credit on our taxes.

  • You know those weird signs all over the city that say “we pay $200 for cars”? Try that. I had a roommate who essentially abandoned a broken-down/old/crappy car in our backyard after he moved across the country. After pestering him for over a year, he finally gave us permission to get rid of the the thing. We called one of those “we buy cars” numbers and a guy came that afternoon to pick it up and gave us $200 cash. Seemed a little sketchy but it got the job done.

    I really have no idea what they did with the car. I imagine it ended up in a scrap yard. It wasn’t registered in my name so I didn’t really care what happened to it. Since its your car and likely registered in your name, you might want to do a bit of research on the people to make sure the car won’t end up being used in a crime or something that gets traced-back to you.

    • I did the same thing about 9 years ago. Seemed a little weird, but worked really quickly and easily. Guy just came, towed the car, and dropped me a cool benjamin.

  • we buy any car! Any Any Any Any.

    I think it’s but that’s just a guess……

  • I actually sold mine a few years ago to a guy in western VA to be used in a demolition derby. People who do these events usually look for American made sedans. As an alternative, you could also just do the demolition derby yourself.

  • Donate the car to Capital Auto Auction. They run the car charities for a number of local organizations (Salvation Army being one if I’m not mistaken) and they will help you out with all the necessary paperwork/tax forms. They’ll even pick it up!

  • Hopefully you’re talking about one of the several vehicles that have been hogging the spots in front of Kalorama Park for the past year 🙂

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    The Red Cross accepts donated cars.

  • Formerly Broken Jaw

    and will send somone to pick it up.

  • Most charitable organizations will take your car and you can get a tax credit as well as have someone tow it. Find a charity that you enjoy and see if they will take it!

  • You can get it towed to CarMax and they will buy it. They buy any car, no matter the condition. If the car is in bad shape, they auction it off for parts.

  • I use . Got rid of my 97 Camry and got about $500 from them and they picked it up on my schedule. Pretty good service.

    • Your 97 Camry was worth a lot more than 500 bucks. That era toyotas were workhorses. I still drive my corolla from 97 and last I looked online it was worth about 1500 bucks.

  • Car Talk (the former NPR show) still takes donated cars. If I’m not mistaken, they pick it up for you too. Good way to support public programming!

  • Donate it to a Burner and they can use it to build a mutant vehicle! 😀

  • Seriously? On this entire post. Seriously?

  • I donated my car to NPR this past February and it was a breeze. You fill out the paperwork, give them the title, they haul it off for you. Later, you get a letter saying how much they auctioned it off for, and you write that off on your taxes. Not too shabby.

  • Charities will usually take it. I know my parents donated their `89 Jeep to Wounded Warrior Project and they came out and picked it up in the Maryland burbs. The other option you could try is calling one of the numbers on those signs you see throughout the city that says they will pay $300 for any used car… If you do that though, you have to share the experience on PoPville, so we all know what actually happens when someone does that…

  • You might also try some of the local fire departments. They use old cars to train for emergency extractions.

  • Call WTF Towing. They’ll take care of it for you

  • Donated our old car to the Purple Heart–they came and got it and we got a tax break.

  • Selling your vehicle is the first and most utilized option when try to get rid of a junk car. Junk cars are no longer considered roadworthy. Some junk cars are repairedd and these are vehicles that may have value as a classic car if restored.

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