Few things have less value than a rusting old hulk sitting on your property. While cars are an essential part of life for most Americans, an old vehicle that doesn't run is well beyond the point of usefulness. Unfortunately, this fact can also make selling these cars challenging, leading many people to leave them sitting in the driveways and lawns.
If you've got an old junk car lying around, turning it over to a scrapyard can put some cash in your pocket, beautify your property, and even offer a way to put yourself on better financial footing. Check out these three ways that you can turn your scrap car into an investment in your future instead of just a rusting lawn ornament.
1. Buy a Newer Car
Buying a newer vehicle isn't necessarily a luxury or a poor financial decision. Newer cars are safer, cheaper to maintain, and often much more fuel-efficient. Getting yourself into something more modern will protect you on the road while also reducing your monthly costs. Saving on repair bills can also mean keeping your budget more predictable, allowing you to put away more cash for a rainy day.
While you might not get a tremendous amount of cash for a junk car, you can use that extra money to add to your down payment or cover your first month's payment. Either way, that money will help you secure transportation that's less likely to leave you stranded on the side of the road or blow an unexpected hole in your wallet.
2. Start an Emergency Fund
If you already have another daily driver, you might not be in as much of a hurry to junk your old car. However, buying a new car isn't the only reason to scrap your beater. A majority of Americans have less than three months of savings in their emergency funds. If this sounds familiar, you may be leaving yourself vulnerable to unforeseen and expensive emergencies.
An old car will only lose value over time, making it a very poor store of value over the long run. Instead of letting it depreciate away, consider junking it and adding that money to an emergency fund. You'll get to increase your financial stability while keeping that old car from losing even more value.
3. Try Your Hand at Investing
Have you wanted to try your hand at some investments, but you were too worried about losing your hard-earned cash? Your old junk car might provide a great starting point with minimal risk. Instead of taking money from your savings, scrap that old heap and use the money to start a small "fun money" investing fund. You'll get to learn the ropes of trading while only risking money you can afford to lose.
Whatever option you select, remember that an old, unused beater is never more than a drain on your wallet. By getting cash for the car, you can take whatever value it has left and put it to work for you.