Women Drivers Blog

Trade-In vs. Donate

February 25, 2010 / 

A trade-in is by far the easiest and most popular choice for upgrading to a different vehicle. Today, we are more prepared than ever to give you a great quote on it. Whether you’re selling a barely used vehicle or simply want to get a few hundred dollars for the family ‘heirloom’, trading in is a great option for you. Good maintenance history and good up-keep will help you get the most value for your trade-in. The benefits of trading in are that it is a simple transaction and you can lower the price of the car that you want to purchase.

You will get the best trade in value for your vehicle by simply keeping it clean and maintaining proper care of it.

You also can sell the car on your own, which takes a bit more time and effort on your part, but you may possibly end up with more money in your pocket.

Visit various used car pricing sites to understand the approximate value of your car.  You will be asked for the year, make, model, mileage and whether it is in excellent, good or average condition.

One of the most generous choices when getting a new vehicle is to donate the older car to one of your favorite charities. A number of charities now offer quick one-stop donation services that make it easy to give the car away and earn a considerable tax credit in the process.

Donating your car makes sense if it is fully paid off, if you do not need the value towards a trade-in, or if the trade-in value is negligible. It’s a great way to support one of your favorite charities, provide you with some tax benefits and also remove the burden of getting rid of the car yourself.

 If the charity or organization sells your car, you may deduct the full price that the charity receives for the sale of your vehicle. If the car sells for under $500, list the Fair Market Value or FMV of the car on your tax forms. Check with the charity for details.

Hundreds of charities accept older cars as donations and most gladly handle the entire process from paperwork to pick up. Some examples of charities that benefit from donated cars are:

  • American Red Cross
  • American Diabetes Association
  • United Way
  • American Association for Cancer Research
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Humane Society
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • National Public Radio
  • And many more! If you do not see it listed here, ask your favorite charity if they accept donations.