8 Creative Approaches to Find Value In An Old Car

How long have you had your old car parked in the garage? While owning a vehicle is a symbol of freedom, adventure, and mobility, owning an old vehicle that you haven’t been able to sell could be the opposite. 

Unfortunately, the adventures you once had with your vehicle, from road trips to daily commutes, can become a long lost memory once you are ready to change cars. However, if you wait too long before changing cars, you may find it hard to sell your vehicle at the best value. As a result, your old car might have been stored in the garage for an indefinite period of time. As surprising as it might sound, there may be a better option than accumulating dust! Here are fantastic tips to unlock the value of an old vehicle. 

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#1. Sell it as a vintage car

How long have you been keeping the old car? Chances are, if you kept it long enough, it may have some potential as a vintage car. Indeed, contrary to what you may think, vintage cars in 2023 are not just the classics such as the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Volkswagen Beetle from your parents and grandparents. 

Nowadays, cars that were manufactured in the 1990s are categorized as classics too, and can hold a lot of value when sold as vintage vehicles. Bear in mind that the value of vintage cars can range from a few thousand dollars to several million, so perhaps the old car can become a surprising heirloom! The value of the vehicle will depend on different factors, including the brand reputation, the rarity of the vehicle, and its condition. 

#2. Hand it over to your teen

If you have a teenager itching to get behind the wheel, your old car could be their ticket to independence. It goes without saying, you want to have a clear conversation about driving responsibly and avoiding risks on the road before letting them borrow your car. Some parents even enforce a parent-teen driving contract to ensure rules are respected and everyone will stay safe.  

Letting your teen use the old car will not only save you the cost of purchasing a new one but it also imparts a valuable lesson in responsibility. Teen drivers can learn the importance of car maintenance, budgeting for gas and repairs, and respecting their vehicle. 

#3. Get rid of it for cash

The old vehicle might seem like it’s destined for the scrap head, but you may want to consider selling it for cash to a junkyard. Indeed, with these tips for getting the most out of cash for clunkers, you could make money out of a vehicle that is no longer roadworthy.

Indeed, salvage yards specialize in recycling parts and materials, allowing some components to get a second life rather than going to waste. This is precisely where the value of an old and unused vehicle may lie. Sometimes, it’s not about whether or not the car will start, but about what its components are and whether someone else could use them. 

#4. Hire it for special occasions

Admittedly, for this option, you want to ensure your vehicle is safe to be driven around. Imagine your old car as the start of the show at a wedding, or even a film shoot. Vintage cars have an undeniable charisma that can add a touch of elegance and uniqueness to any special occasion. 

Couples seeking a distinct wedding exit or filmmakers aiming for a period-authentic scene turn to vintage cars to bring their visions to life. Of course, if you go down this route, you will have to ensure the vehicle is properly restored and maintained at all times.


#5. Sell parts for money

If you have an eye for mechanics, you might be able to identify valuable parts. In fact, old vehicles can be more valuable in pieces than as a whole. Many car enthusiasts, especially those who own vintage cars, are constantly on the hunt for spare parts to repair or restore their vehicles. So, if your car has rare or hard-to-find components, you might be sitting on a goldmine.

Bear in mind that this approach is only useful if you know precisely what you are doing and how to extract parts safely. Otherwise, if you are unsure, it’s best to leave it to specialists who will handle it, as seen above if you sell your junk car for cash. 

#6. Use it for mechanical training

If you’ve always been curious about what’s under the hood, your old car can serve as an exceptional teaching tool. Learning how to perform basic repairs, maintenance tasks, and even more advanced fixes can save you money on future repairs in the long term.

Moreover, if you are a parent or a guardian, you can choose to involve your kids in mechanical endeavors to foster their interest in cars and impart essential life skills. Imagine the satisfaction of saying “I learned how to change a car’s oil from working on this very vehicle”!

#7. Upcycle it for new projects

Repurposing is a concept that is gaining traction in various sectors, so it would make sense for automotive enthusiasts to join the movement. Your old car’s components can find new life as part of creative projects.

For example, you can convert the seats into unique furniture pieces, creating an industrial style sofa. You can turn the steering wheel into a statement wall clock. The wheels can become fun planters for your garden. The possibilities are endless!

Sell it as a prop

The car doesn’t need to be roadworthy to exist as a prop as part of a creative project. If you’ve ever been on a film set or in an escape room, you know the attention to detail that goes into creating an immersive experience. Authentic props play a crucial role in transporting viewers or participants to a different time, place, and story line. This is where your old car could find its spotlight! Films or escape rooms set in a particular era may be interested in your car for added realism, even if it is also used as part of the backdrop. 

The bottom line: There is more value to your old vehicle than you realize. So, it is worth taking a moment to explore these avenues and discover the hidden treasures that lie in your garage!

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Lisa Ehrman
Lisa Ehrman
Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.

About Lisa Ehrman

Lisa has been blogging since 2013, and loves sharing resources and ideas for living a simple life. To get free printables, bonus words, and more - sign up for the newsletter.
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2 Responses to 8 Creative Approaches to Find Value In An Old Car

  1. Anita L says:

    These are all very good ideas. I wish my hubby would use just one of those ideas for the junker he leaves sitting on our property!

  2. Bea LaRocca says:

    A great post about vintage and old cars, they are works of art if they have been well maintained

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