One day, you’re driving the car you’ve relied on for the past 9 years. The next day, you get in a car accident and the car gets totaled.
Adding to the multitude of things already on your plate from your job, family, and life, you now have to try and figure out your next steps!
But how can anyone sell junk cars to make back some money? It’s actually not as uncommon as you might think.
Selling your junk car for cash is a tremendous option, but there are things you need to be aware of. Here are 10 tips to help you out in the process of selling junk cars.
1. Take Stock of What You See
Essentially, the term “junk car” means that your car is in horrible shape or damaged to the point where it’s no longer safe (or possible) to drive.
If your car falls into that category, then it may be best to sell it for parts and see what kind of return you can get. Before any of that, however, you need to take an honest and in-depth look at the vehicle’s situation.
Whether you’re a gearhead or not, you should be able to distinguish what’s salvageable and what isn’t.
The best practice here is to grab a pen and note pad and inspect your car’s interior and exterior. Write down any parts you see that are beyond fixing. Are there any parts of the car that could end up being valuable on the market?
For example, is your radio system still working? Is there a high definition speaker or two that’s still in good shape?
What about the engine parts or other parts under the hood? Do they look to be in good condition?
This will provide a “check-list” that you can have access to as you talk over your options with local junkyards and cars for cash buyers.
2. Search Online for Your Estimated Value
Granted, it’s going to be nearly impossible to go online and try to get an accurate price of your current car when it is in bad condition.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t at least get an idea of what to expect.
One of the best ways to do this is by checking out the Kelley Blue Book and seeing what the value would be if your car were in mint condition for its age. This will allow you to filter your car mileage, year, make, and model to get an accurate estimate of the highest bid for your car in premium condition.
Obviously, you can expect your junked car to sell for far less than this because it is not in premium condition. However, it’s still a really good indicator AND is better than you going into the process oblivious to your car’s value.
3. Grab the Car Title
All of the tips on this list are completely irrelevant if you can’t prove to the junkyard that you are indeed the owner of the car.
That’s why you need to have the title of the car ready to go anytime you negotiate with a junkyard. If you were to come to an agreement, you’d need to have the title on-hand to get the car transferred into their name and off of yours.
Should you sell it to them without turning over the title, then you’ll still be the owner of the car years down the line. You don’t want that!
Be preemptive on this step and be sure to locate the title early on in the process, as it can be hard to keep track of after not needing it for several years.
4. Take All Your Items Before Visiting
Negotiations can happen and they can happen really fast!
Whether you’ve already struck an agreement with a junkyard and are driving it directly there or you’re spending the afternoon visiting a junkyard to discuss in-person… you’ll want to clear out your car before going.
Not only should you clear out all the old classic rock CDs from the backseat, but be sure to rid the car of ANY personal information with you attached.
Be diligent, even check between the seats for old receipts or anything else that has your name on it. Once you sell the car, you’re at the complete mercy of the car’s new owner if you forget the $200 umbrella that was left in the trunk.
5. Check the Texas Junked Vehicle Requirements
You probably never realized this, but every state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has its own regulations on junk cars.
Since you’ll more than likely be selling to a junkyard in the Dallas or Fort Worth area, you’ll want to look up the Texas salvaged vehicle requirements before shopping around.
These requirements list off the state’s definition of a salvaged car, your settlement options, and other minute details. Reading through these will give you clarification on the proper steps to ensure a legal transition from the owner to the seller.
6. Don’t Settle for One Offer
It’s understandable that with everything that’s transpired while you have had your junked car, you would want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
However, to maximize your return for the car, stay strong and seek out a few offers from different locations.
Even if the first offer you receive is more than you were expecting, be sure to find at least 1-2 more offers you can compare it to. It’s worth the wait!
The best way to do this is by grabbing your “check-list” from step 1 and having it by your side as you call around to different junkyards nearby. Be sure to accurately define your car’s condition so the can give you the best possible offer.
Have a pen handy so you can jot down the different quotes that you receive on the “check-list” you’re using. That’ll make it easier to compare after you’ve called around.
7. Ask About Their Process
Another valuable question to ask these junkyards that you’re calling is what their expectations are on the car selling process.
Will they pay you more if you take apart the car yourself and bring it? Is their higher offer worth the hassle for you to go through?
Are they willing to pay you more if you were to drive the car straight to them? What’s the expected turnaround time?
Make sure you know what all they’d need on their end to complete the transaction. Be as specific as possible… it’ll help set the expectation for both sides.
8. Arrange the Logistics
As was mentioned in the previous step, you’ll want to get clarification on the logistics for getting your car to the junkyard once it’s sold.
This all depends on whether your junk car can be driven in the first place. If not, then it’s just a matter of whether you or they pick up the towing cost.
Remember that this will most likely play a factor in how much they pay you, so get clarification on that as well.
9. Weigh out All Your Options
After you’ve asked all the hard-nosed questions of an experienced car owner, it’s time to figure out which option is best for your situation.
Perhaps there is a junkyard whose offer is way more than the others, but requires you to get it there and is further away than the others.
Maybe there’s a closer option, who won’t pay you as much and will tow the car themselves for the same price they offered you to drive it to them.
Whatever your current situation is, be sure to factor it into the selling equation before you make your choice.
The end goal is placing yourself in the best possible situation from this unforeseen circumstance. Take whichever route you feel gets you there!
10. Cancel Registration
Once the car is sold and out of your ownership, it’s time to cancel the registration you had on the car.
You don’t want the registration looming over your head, so this is a crucial step to remember. You shouldn’t do it until you have absolutely sold your car, however, so wait until you sign the contract and have the money in your hands.
The Texas DMV requires you to visit their Close a License portion of the site to cancel your registration. Once you cancel the registration, your previously-assigned license plates will be close.
Opportunity to Sell Junk Cars for Cash
Whether it happened suddenly or from normal wear-and-tear of an old car, it’s an opportunity to sell junk cars for cash and turn the page to a new vehicle.
No one likes to think that they will be in this situation, but no car lasts forever. It’s best to know what to do when you end up in this situation, whether that is right now or in a couple of years!
Maximizing the return on your junked car will set you up for a great opportunity with your next new car.
Be sure to read this article on several options for wrecked vehicles. For more inquiries, please reach out by phone at 844-663-7286.