What do I do with my (beloved) Clunker?

honda
accord

#1

I have been driving my beloved five-speed '92 Honda Accord for eight years. She isn’t a looker. Her front bumper was re-affixed with wire after a run-in with a pole in a parking lot. The paint on the hood looks like an abstract painting. My roommate was side-swiped by an impatient and uninsured cabbie in Brooklyn and I was once rear-ended along the border in Texas. The trunk closes but both side panels were damaged, causing the trunk to leak.



To add insult to injury, my left blinker was recently hit while parked and now hangs lifeless from a wire. The driver side window is stuck shut and unfortunately the A/C stopped working altogether. This combo has resulted in several sweltering afternoons stuck on the BQE. (I even carry an extra shirt with me so that I can change once I reach my destination.)



With all this said, she runs pretty well and easily passed inspection last winter. Now comes my question–I have to part with her because I am leaving the country and none of my friends want to be seen driving her.



What is my best option? Should I attempt to sell “as-is,” should I look into selling her for parts to a junkyard or should I donate? Which is more likely to yield more change in my pocket?



I live in Brooklyn.



Thank you!


#2

Donate it to NPR, the Salvation Army, or a local rescue mission.


#3

You could advertise it and try to sell it; if it does not move soon, you’re best to donate it and get a tax receipt. A 1992 Accord in good condition has some useful book value.

Or give it away to a needy relative going to college.

I have donated 2 cars in the past to my kid brother when he was studying.


#4

Donate. Some places want “good” cars, others will take anything, even if it does not run and part it out.


#5

Selling it “as-is” will definitely yield the most cash, if you have time and willingness to deal with the process. If that doesn’t go well, try calling around to auto recyclers. Honda parts are somewhat valuable internationally (which is why they’re such hot theft targets) so you might be able to get somewhat more than just the scrap metal value that way. The rules for donations have changed so you can only claim what the charity sells it for, which isn’t going to be much. Plus if you don’t do much other philanthropizing, just donating a car isn’t going to get you past the standard deduction. So do it for karma if you’d like, but it’s probably not going to end up making you anything.


#6

You should easily be able to get a few hundred to a couple thousand out of this car by selling it privately. Hondas are very popular due to their “indestructible” reputation. Try putting it on Craigslist and see what you can get for it.