Ways To Make Money From Your Old Car

cash for clunker cars

Do you have your vehicle's history report? If yes, you’re already miles ahead of the car selling game. 

Of course, there are traditional ways to make money from your old car, like selling it yourself, but that doesn’t always go as planned. Considering some alternative ways to make money with your old car could save you valuable time and money. 

What to Do With a Car to Make Money

You might be looking at your old car thinking, “no one will want this junker.” However, you’d be surprised how valuable even a non-running vehicle can be.

The first thing to consider when you’re looking to make money from an old car is what you need moving forward. Before you do anything, ask yourself what are your reasons for needing a new car. Ask can your old car be salvaged and could your car still be used to make money? 

Buying and selling can be stressful. If you need to sell the car quickly, you may not walk away with as much money as you would if you could wait longer for a better offer.

Your answers to these questions below should help you navigate what traditional or non-traditional money-making option could be best for you.

How can I sell my old car fast?

If you have no wishes to keep or salvage your vehicle, a quick sale could be what you need. You can utilize social media websites to advertise your car. Some of the best ones that will give you the best chance for selling your motor vehicle privately are Instagram, Facebook Marketplace, Nextdoor, and Craigslist.

These social media channels are the best ways to advertise for private sellers, but if you need something more professional, a seller-curated marketplace could be better suited. Your need for a new car or cash can help you choose which site is best, but a list of websites to start with include:





Dealerships (If your vehicle is in acceptable shape)

eBay Motors

Kelley Blue Book


Posting on social media and selling on local websites could save you from getting a short-end deal from a dealership, but selling it yourself could take more time.

Needing a fast option is common in the auto marketplace, so trading in your vehicle or putting it up for auction is often easier than advertising yourself. Making necessary low-budget car repairs can assist in getting a higher evaluation for your car.

Insurance Tip: Under most car insurance policies, drivers will instantly have coverage for a new vehicle for about a month after their trade-in date. Be sure to speak to your insurance agent before finalizing a deal to know what you’ll need after purchase and how your current premium will change.

What to Do With a Useless Car

Depending on your car’s condition, you may require a more creative solution. You shouldn’t have to part with a once-prized possession for free, but finding a reasonable buyer for an old car isn’t always easy.

When selling your car traditionally isn’t an option, it could be time to take out your creative hat. 

Turn Your Old Car Into Decor

If your car is barely passing a road inspection, repurposing your car parts could be the best non-auto specialist solution. Turning car parts into an interior statement piece is actually easier and cheaper than you think.

A few ideas to incorporate car parts into interior design decor are:






Pot planters


Wall art

Wall shelves


Cars can provide unique indoor design features, but outside car parts can be just as functional. Old car parts bring a modern touch to homely nature in gardens or for patio designs. 

For some beautiful outdoor design ideas to start with, try your DIY hand-in garden decor, a tire swing, a game table, a water fountain, chairs, or a table.

Making an old car new through repurposing is a profitable endeavor that only requires time as an investment. Learning how to change your car tires doesn’t only have to be for road purposes. Selling your car parts as decor could be more profitable than its trade-in value, and most importantly, you can control how much time and money you use.

Sell Your Car in Parts

You don’t need to be a mechanic to know that the parts of your car hold value. Mechanics, auto enthusiasts, and collectors all find value in even non-running auto parts, making selling ill-condition pieces not overly tricky.

Car parts that have the most online demand and are the easiest to sell at their highest value include:

A/C compressors and A/C control systems

Air filters


Battery accessories

Brake pads


Clutch kits 

Exhaust system parts

Fuel filters




Performance chips and programmers




Shocks and struts

Sound systems

Spark plugs




Another way to simplify this process is to have a mechanic remove the parts you wish to sell for you. In some cases, you can offset mechanic labor costs by trading in car parts if you don’t know how to remove them yourself.

Scrapping Your Car

Going to the junkyard is easily the fastest way to get money for your car because any scrap, iron, and metal yard will take it. Don’t expect to walk away with thousands of dollars, but an instant $300-$800 takes away the hassle of doing repairs and self-selling.

You can call your local scrap, iron, and metal yards to get price quotes and advice for prepping your car before you go to ensure you go with the best offer. In some cases, a scrap yard may buy your junk car and sell it to a car insurance company.

Donating Your Car

Donating your vehicle could sound a little too generous if you’re in need of a new one, but you will profit in the end. You won’t get instant cash to put in your pocket; however, you can apply for tax deductions.

Though the profit is not instant, this option is a way to ensure you get the full and fair market value for your car. Ask the organization about their process and how you will claim the total value of your donation come tax time. Don’t forget to include questions about any other incentives to ensure you get the most out of your donation.

Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the car insurance site, CarInsurance.org. Danielle’s first job was at a scrap yard where she bought cars and auto parts from the auction and private sellers.