Owners Tips

Auto Advice: Scrapping That Dirty Old POS

LOL! Your old POS just died. You held on for years. You waited for this day. You made a commitment to drive this rusted old heap into the dirt, hoping it would die a quick death, but it just kept going.

It was like that old girlfriend that just wouldn't let go. You could swear that, more than once, your leaky old rust-heap whispered into your ear “I’ll never let you go…we can make this work! And don’t you dare leave me… I’ll find you!”

Your POS was what Vince Vaugnan would call a Stage Five Clinger.  And now it’s dead. Dead dead dead. The engine finally seized up and blew bits of itself all over the place in dramatic fashion, you’re ready to part ways, and move on, and start shopping for something new.

After all, your once-lustrous and fresh POS had become like a really old man, suffering dribbles, leaks, grumbles and aches, and experiencing frequent and embarrassing failures to contain gas.

But oh, what to do with that dented, peeling and faded heap of sheetmetal and plastic and memories. After all, you can’t exactly just leave her out for the trash, and if you’re crafty, you might even be able to squeeze a few bucks out of the old POS before it’s shredded in a scrap-yard and turned into bed-pans and cutlery and watering cans.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize value from your old POS (Pretty Old Sedan, by the way), if you’re all set to move on.

Strip It

Do you know how to operate a wrench? What’s more satisfying than dismantling your old rust bucket to harvest some of its parts and sell for a few bucks? Headlights (especially of the HID variety), taillamps, seats, interior trim panels and even parts like the alternator or trunk-lid can all be worth a few bucks apiece to the right person, provided they’re in good shape, and you’re of the proper level of mechanical inclination to tackle the dismantling. Inner door bits, including window regulators in good condition, can be another gold-mine.

Remove any parts you can sell for a few bucks, take plenty of pictures, and sell them online. This can be especially fruitful if you own a rarer or sportier car. Post the for sale ad in the car’s online owner’s forum too, where appropriate. Note that shipping larger items like wheels and seats via your local Greyhound bus station can typically be done for a reasonable price, if the seller isn’t local.

Get a Tax Receipt

Pick a charity you’d like to support, possibly from a site like kidney.ca, carheaven.ca, or donatecar.ca, and give them a call. Most will arrange free pickup of your ride, after which point it will be dismantled, recycled and used to generate a bit of income for the assigned charity. That charity will send you a tax receipt, which saves you some dollars and basically makes you a genius. The amount of your receipt will vary based on numerous factors, but the folks at donatecar.ca say they’ve had donations for recycled vehicles, and corresponding tax receipts, as high as $11,000! Donating your old clunker to a local highschool or college auto program may qualify you for a tax receipt as well, while providing a learning tool for aspiring mechanics.

Free Tow-Away

You can’t bear to look at that rotten old POS another moment, and you want it off of your driveway, pronto. When you just want it gone in a hurry, call a few local scrap yards (you’ll find them under Salvage or Recyclers in the yellow pages) and see who will come and tow your ride away for free, saving you a towing bill. Some will, some wont. Spend a few minutes on the phone, and you can typically save yourself the cost of towing.

Get a few Bucks

Maybe your old POS didn’t blow its engine to kingdom come, and it’s still drivable. Maybe there’s a scrap yard near you that’ll pay you $100 bucks if you bring it there to die. Call around and find out. Then, do the drive of shame to the junkyard, and celebrate the occasion with a neutral-drop burnout, because, why not? If you can drive your car to the local scrap yard, you might get a few bucks for her.

PRO-TIP: if you need to clear a bunch of junk from your shed or garage, this final drive with your old POS is the perfect opportunity. Load its seats and trunk full of the stuff you want to get rid of, and bring it to the junk-yard, too.  Pure profit!

Retire Your Ride

If your car is complete and in running condition, this program makes it super easy to make your POS disappear. Head to retireyourride.ca, fill out a form, and wait for a local scrap yard to contact you. This government program claims to ensure environmentally-friendly recycling of your old POS, and will connect you automatically with a Certified Auto Recycler willing to pay the highest price for your old ride. Using the Retire Your Ride program, you handle everything online, and the bids – and a tow-truck – come to you. Note that the vehicle must be complete, and in running condition. Further, you may have to make special arrangements if you live in a remote area.

Don’t Forget the Plates

Don’t forget your license plates! Depending on the province you live in, you may get a few bucks if you remove them from your old scrapper and turn them in, and you may be eligible for a credit or refund for some unused portion of your plate sticker, too.