How to Help a Senior Citizen Sell Their Old Car

Sometimes, growing older is a slow and demeaning process of losing the comforts and freedoms you took for granted in your younger years. A big one is the ability to drive. As vision dims, decision-making processes falter, and a senior prepares to enter home care, it becomes clear that it’s time to put away the car keys. When the senior in your life admits it’s time to stop driving, you both need to decide what to do with their car. To help get it out of the garage, here are a few suggestions on how to help a senior citizen sell their old car.

Offer Your Assistance

Support the senior during this trying time, and let them know that you’ve available to help. Make it clear that selling a car is easier these days. If they’re not Internet-savvy, offer to help them navigate online sources they may be familiar with, like the Kelley Blue Book and NADA guides. Review current asking prices for their vehicle, and advise them about listing an ad on online marketplaces like Craigslist,, eBay, and others. It should make the process less scary and intimidating for them.

Give the Car a Last Checkup and Cleanup

More than likely, your senior is part of the generation that took the time to look after and maintain their vehicles. As such, it should still be in pretty good shape. Even so, bring it in for an all-points inspection and update. Perform some basic maintenance on the vehicle. Change the oil and filter one last time, and inspect all the tires for imperfections and damage that can lead to future flats or blowouts. Replace any filters, and top off all fluids. Your senior should participate in the process since they know the car better than anyone. Take them out for a few last spins. It’ll be good for them and the car, keeping it from sitting idle.

Gather All the Papers

Before you can sell the car, all the paperwork needs to be in order. Work with the senior to create a binder with the car’s title, warranty (if it has one), a bill of sale (if they sell it themselves), a history of repairs, and other relevant records. If it’s been a while and your senior is having trouble recalling where things are, this may take a little longer. Be patient.

Other Alternatives

When deciding how to help a senior citizen sell their old car, you may both realize that selling online isn’t an option. Not to worry; there are other ways to sell or otherwise hand off the vehicle to someone who will put it to good use. Most car buying services offer something, even if it’s not market value. Still, consider it if the car is a beater and in poor shape. Junking it might be an even better option. Don’t dismiss donating it, either. Many nonprofits and charities can make good use of the vehicle, and your senior will get a deduction on their taxes.