The thing about junk cars is that they’re easy to ignore. Getting rid of a non-starting car just isn’t urgent for most people, and they tend to procrastinate because they don’t even know where to begin. If this is your situation, you’ve come to the right place; you’re about to learn everything you need to know in order to make some cash from your junk car. First of all, this is a great time to sell any type of vehicle. Global supply chain disruptions have seriously affected the auto industry, and the shortage of new cars has had a trickle-down effect for all vehicles – even the ones that don’t start. Junk car prices are enjoying record highs, so now is the time to get money for your car.
Second of all, the process is generally pretty easy. There are several different ways to sell a junk car, and the most complicated part of the process may be determining which buyer will give you the best price. All it takes is a little know-how to start out with, and you’ll soon be trading your junk car for cash.
How to Figure out Which Kind of Buyer to Go For
In order to know this, you’d first have to consider what condition your vehicle was in. Are you trying to sell a ranch truck that hasn’t moved from its place for two decades, or do you want to get rid of your commuter car that’s broken down one time too many? Maybe you have one of the old classics, a car that could fetch more money purely for the nostalgia.
A vehicle that’s completely deteriorated should probably be taken to a junkyard. A car that still has a few miles left in it (given the right repairs) could make you some money through an online buyer who needs a functioning vehicle, even if they have to fix it themselves. If you had a vehicle that was somewhere in between, you could find a company that buys cars in all different conditions.
Who Purchases Junk Cars, Anyway?
You might be surprised at how many people and companies want to get their hands on non-running cars.
Maybe this isn’t technically “buying”, but you could always donate your junk car and use it as a tax write-off. If you picked the right charity, they might even offer to tow the vehicle away themselves.
Online buyers looking for cheap transportation
Provided your junk car isn’t totally falling apart, this could be where you get the best price. They aren’t offering to pay the same as they would for a used car, but they’re essentially paying for most of a used car; the only thing missing is a couple of strategic repairs. Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good places to start; just watch out for scams.
Since they pay you by the ton, older and heavier cars will get a better price than smaller, lighter models. The condition doesn’t particularly matter, as long as the metal is in decent shape; they’ll accept almost any vehicle as long as it hasn’t been eaten up by rust. You won’t get as much money and you’ll probably have to pay for towing, but it’s still an easy option for a car that nobody else will buy.
Online car-buying companies
This is by far the most hassle-free way to sell a junk car, provided you choose a reputable company. You can get a quote almost instantly, they’ll tow the vehicle for you, and they’ll take care of the title transfer. The only downside is that you probably won’t get as much money as you would from an individual online buyer, but a lot of people choose services like these for the convenience. Plus, they’ll accept junk cars that wouldn’t have a chance on Craigslist.
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What Would You Have to do to Sell Your Junk Car?
The goal is to make as much money as possible with the least trouble possible.
Get some estimates for the vehicle
You might have a certain price in mind, but that may or may not be reflected in the current market. Online companies that buy cars in any condition will give you lightning-fast quotes, and you can check online listings to see what other junk cars are selling for.
Take care of the paperwork beforehand
The title should be in your name only, and you should look at your state’s requirements for transferring a vehicle title. If you’re working with a salvage or rebuilt title, definitely let the buyer know about it.
What Happens Once You’ve Found the Right Buyer?
It’s a great feeling to shake hands on a deal, but there are a few things to do first.
Check for customizations that could be sold separately
A junkyard isn’t going to care about your car’s alloyed wheels or high-end radio. If there’s a market for them, think about removing custom parts to sell for a little extra cash.
Confirm full payment before handing them the keys
There are all kinds of ways to get ripped off when selling an old car. A buyer might ask to set up a payment plan and then disappear after the first installment, or write a hot check and ask you to hold off on cashing it until next week. Some companies will surprise you with hidden fees, or pressure you into accepting a lower price. Don’t go for it; if one buyer doesn’t work out, there will be plenty more waiting to hand you their money.
Clean out all personal items
Do you keep a lucky figurine hanging from the rear-view mirror, or your favorite CDs in the glove box? Make sure everything’s cleared out before the car gets picked up.
Even if your car won’t start, you can pretty much take your pick of buyers. It’s a seller’s market for cars these days, so if you have a vehicle to get rid of – even if it hasn’t been driven in years – you shouldn’t have any trouble getting cash for it.