Donate, Sell or Trade-In? Deciding What to Do with Your Car

If you have an old car that you don’t need anymore, you usually have three options: sell it on your own, trade it in to a dealer, or donate it to a charitable cause. So, how do you decide what’s best for you?

Let’s take a closer look at all the options:

2008 Saab 93 Turbo Front
Front view of blue 2008 SAAB 93 Turbo at Goodwill Auto Auction

Sell your car

At first, selling your car may seem like a simple choice. You could get cash for your old vehicle! However, it’s not always so easy to sell a car by private party. First, you have to clean up your car and get it ready for sale. This might include making repairs or cosmetic fixes, which could get expensive. Then, you’ll need to list your car online and write a good description that captures buyers’ attention. After fielding calls and messages from interested buyers, you’ll need to meet up, negotiate an offer, and complete all the paperwork necessary to hand over the keys to a new owner. Selling a car doesn’t happen overnight. It can take weeks or even months to find the right buyer. Not to mention, you’re selling a car to a stranger, which may pose safety risks. All in all, the entire process can take a lot of time and effort!

Trade in your vehicle

Trading in your vehicle to a dealership is usually much easier than selling your car, but the pay-off may not be as high. If you have an older vehicle, or one that needs a lot of repairs, the dealership may not accept it at all. If you want to get rid of your older vehicle quickly and you’re not planning on getting a new car to replace it, a dealership may not be the best option.

Front view of Red 2007 Toyota Camry at Goodwill Auto Auction
Front view of Red 2007 Toyota Camry at Goodwill Auto Auction

Donate a car to charity

Finally, you have the option to donate your car to a charitable organization, like Ohio Valley Goodwill. Donating a car to Goodwill has many benefits! First, we accept cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, boats, and more in any condition, whether they’re running or not. We can even arrange FREE towing for your vehicle! Next, you may become eligible for a tax advantage when you donate a car to Goodwill. Visit for more information.

Donate a Car. Change a Life.
Donate a Car. Change a Life.

Most importantly, donating a vehicle to Goodwill also supports our mission to change lives through the power of work. Your vehicle will be resold at our weekly public auto auction, and the proceeds raised will go on to support job skills training and employment services for individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment.

Red Infiniti SUV at Goodwill Auto Auction
Red Infiniti SUV at Goodwill Auto Auction

Donating to Goodwill is a great way to take an older vehicle off your hands and give back to your community at the same time! Because we operate the entire donation and auction process in-house, there’s no middle-man taking a cut of your generous donation. We always maximize the value of your donation to benefit others in need, right here in Cincinnati. That’s a very good thing!

Ohio Valley Goodwill makes it quick and easy to donate a car in Cincinnati! Simply fill out our donation form, and we’ll be in touch with you soon.