Right Driver

How do you get rid of an old, broken-down car?

Eventually it becomes uneconomical to maintain an old car unless you have the skills yourself. Sometimes it will be a cherished family car, while other times it’ll be a lemon that you’ll be glad to see the back of. There are options for what to do with it.

Live the memories

If you loved that car, park it in your garden and let the grass grow up around it. Your neighbours will hate you, but you’ll have the job of looking out at the vehicle that’s brought you so much joy and mobility as the sun fades its paint into crazed patina.

Keep it

Barn find

Maybe you have some spare garage space and want to hedge your bets for a long-term increase in the value of your car. Some terrible cars have become quite valuable as time has gone on and someone might want the ultimate barn find in the future.

Donor car

Buy another car of the same model and vintage and use this car as a donor car. You can swap out parts to achieve the best version of the two cars. Of course, the other one will be like Danny DeVito in Twins.

Dismantle it yourself

Individual parts can be worth quite a lot. The four tyres and wheels, even if in average condition, might get you a hundred quid. If they are alloys and the tyres have a lot of tread, they’ll go for a lot more. Have a look on Ebay and you’ll find that individual parts can be worth 50 quid or more and there are hundreds of parts in a car.

Of course, you need the tools and time to do it and the space to store the bits. You’ll also be left with some parts that are not saleable and you’ll need to be able to get rid of any fluids in the car.

Send it to a breaker yard

If you don’t want to dismantle it yourself, a breaker yard or scrap yard will do it, but they won’t pay you much for your car as they’ll be the one spending the time undoing the bolts and storing the items from the vehicle. You might want to pick one that collects the vehicle for free. There are some frequently asked questions about scrapping vehicles here.

Trade it in

Not all dealers will take cars that don’t run, but if you find one that does, you can use it as part payment. However, the price you negotiate will depend on:

  • How desperate they are to sell you the car you’re interested in
  • How easy they can get rid of your car
  • How much they think they can get for your car
  • How much margin they have in the car you’re interested in.

Race it

Put a cage in it, strip out all the breakable bits and take it banger racing. My local is Skegness Raceway, but there’s bound to be a track near you.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

Posted in Advice