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Can You Trade-in A Non-Running Car? Here’s All What You Need To Know

Can You Trade-in A Non-Running Car? Here’s All What You Need To Know

If you want to trade in a non-running car, you need to understand its value, received multiple appraisals, determine the best offer, and finalize the deal. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


Your vehicle is not designed to last forever, and there will be a point in time where you must deal with complicated mechanical problems. Things get very frustrating when these problems are major and are associated with one of your vehicle's biggest components like the engine, transmission, or probably the electrical system.

While you can get connected with many dealerships interested in new or used cars, things get a little harder if you are trying to trade in a non-running car. Is it even possible?

When we talk about not learning cars, we're not talking about simple starting problems; we're talking about major issues that need significant repair costs. This article answers the question of “can you trade in a non-running car?” And “how to get the most money from your trading car?”

Is your non-running car worth fixing? 

Before moving forward and diving into the details about you can trade in a non-running car or not, let's step back and think for a little about whether it's worth fixing you're not running car or not.

Probably, if your vehicle is repairable, you can get it to work and have it bought by a private buyer who is willing to feel much more for it rather than ending up with a lower offer from your dealership.

The first step here is to determine what's stopping your vehicle from running? Is it a starter problem? Or is it a major issue in the electrical system? 

If the problem is minor and can be fixed by simply changing the starter, you can go ahead and get the problem resolved. However, if you notice that repair costs are going to be significantly high and close to 75% or more from your vehicle's value, you'd better move ahead with trading in your car with the dealership and accepting whatever they're going to offer you. 

For example, if your vehicle is worth $10,000 and they got involved in a major accident. Your professional mechanic told you that, unfortunately, repair costs would be $8000; you do not spend a penny to get this vehicle repaired because it's not worth it.

Another way to look at the problem is by comparing how much value repairs will add to your car. For instance, sometimes, if you fix something in your vehicle, it's not going to add significant value to your car, and you will end up just losing money instead of gaining. 

How much is my non-running car worth?

Once you do your best about determining whether your vehicle is worth fixing or not, it's the next step now to determine how much to expect for your non-running car.

It is very important to keep a number in the back of your head before negotiating a price with the dealership.

This is because dealerships usually underestimate vehicles, and they will not pay you what you're thinking of no matter what. Dealerships are great at negotiations, and they have their mechanics who can pinpoint major problems in your car. They will look at your vehicle's detailed history and see whether they are any accidents or any previous problems that could reduce the price. 

Thus, by having an estimate about your vehicle's value, you can confidently negotiate the price with them and determine when you have a good deal versus when you are underestimated.

There are plenty of ways to determine your vehicle's value, including the following's:

  • A professional mechanics estimate

One of the most direct ways to get an estimate about your vehicles without value is through our professional mechanic. The mechanic can look at your car and determine the major problems. Then, he can subtract the problems from your vehicle's used cars market value.

The only drawback about visiting a professional mechanic to estimate is that it will cost you some money. It is not free. 

Sometimes this inspection or estimate by the professional mechanic can cost you a significant amount, especially if you're selling a relatively cheap car. 

  • Kelley Blue Book instant cash offer 

Another very common method for determining your vehicle's value is through Kelley Blue Book online tool. If you visit their website, you will find a form to fill in your vehicle's information, including its make, model, and year. Also, you need to input the vehicle's mileage.

Immediately, you will receive two numbers indicating the minimum and maximum values for your car. Kill blue book can also provide you with a trade-in value that indicates that if you decided to go to a dealership and trade this car, you should expect it.

While Kelley Blue Book is a great tool, it does not consider any major damage is in your car. Thus, once you receive the KBB value, your job is to estimate the meter damage subtracted from the Kelley Blue Book value. 

  • Edmunds trade-in estimates 

Edmunds is another amazing online tool that is also for free where you can get a rough estimate about the trade-in value for your car.

Like Kelley Blue Book, you need to do your math to subtract any major damage is in your car from what Edmunds tells you. 

  • Cash Cars Buyer instant offer 

Cash cars fire has an online tool that not only considers your vehicle type but also considers any major damage in your car and provides you with an accurate estimate about how much to expect for your vehicle.

The great thing about this tool is that you can get an estimate within roughly 30 seconds from inputting your vehicle's information.

If you are happy with the offer, you can even move forward and have Cash Cars Buyer by your vehicle and hand you the cash payment immediately on the spot and only within three days. 

How to trade-in a non-running car?

At this point, you have a good understanding of how much is Your non-running car worth. It is time now to follow these simple steps to help you trade in a non-running car while increasing your profit: 

  • Be upfront with yourself and understand your vehicle's problems

It is crucial to be upfront with yourself and understand that your vehicles' problems will affect your overall offer, but you'll get from the dealership.

For example, if your vehicle has engine problems, the dealership needs to account for all report peer costs necessary to fix the engine and sometimes install a new one.

Similarly, if your vehicle has transmission problems, many people wonder, “can you trade in a car with transmission problems?” Luckily, there are still plenty of dealerships that might accept your car even if it has significant transmission problems.

  • Received multiple appraisals 

Since we're dealing with non-running cars, the trade in the process must be made slowly with a lot of caution. You don't want to rush the process and go with the 1st appraisal you'll get from the first dealership.

You need to shop for multiple appraisals from at least three dealerships. Even the ones who don't carry the vehicle that you are interested in purchasing in the future.

By having at least three appraisals, you have the option to accept the one that makes sense for you. You can also understand what the maximum value that your vehicle can ever make from any dealership is.

It is important to know that you don't necessarily need to go with the highest offer. You also need to understand what the different policies are and whether they carry the same vehicle you're interested in buying or not.  

Some automotive experts suggest that it's better to trade in a vehicle with a dealership that does not carry the same brand. This is because when you trade in a car that has five other competing vehicles on its lots, it is unlikely to receive the best offer. 

  • Negotiate the price 

Even after receiving the appraisal, it doesn't hurt to spend some time negotiating the price because you might end up with a better offer.

For example, if you decided to go with dealership B who has the brand-new vehicle we were interested in purchasing, it is good to take some time explaining to them that you got a higher offer from another dealership. Sometimes this tactic might work.

By understanding your vehicle's characteristics, you can negotiate the price confidently. For example, if you know that there is a high demand for your vehicle around your area, you can explain this to the dealership and show that you can sell it for a good price.

Can you trade in a car with transmission problems?

You probably got to a point where you were your mechanic said that “I'm sorry to tell you but, it is your transmission, and there is no way it can be fixed!” It is very frustrating! And it puts another layer of complexity, especially when trading in vehicles because many people might think that dealerships will not accept their cars.

Luckily, there are still some dealerships that were interested in fixing the problem and carrying this vehicle., if you own a car with high demand around your area, the dealership might even be interested in some of the active components as replacement parts. However, all these problems go directly into the evaluation process, and you will notice a significant drop in the appraisal that you'll get from the dealership. 

Trade-in a non-running car FAQs

Let's look at some of the most frequently asked questions related to trading in a non-running vehicle: 

  • Is it better to fix a car before trade-in?

It depends. You need to evaluate the situation very carefully because sometimes attempting to do any repairs to your car will not improve the overall value. As a result, the dealership will not provide you a better offer.

If that's the case, you waste your time fixing these minor issues. 

  • Does cleaning your car increases its value?

Cleaning up your car well indicates that you've been taking care of what's under the hood. However, it does not necessarily indicate that the dealership will provide you with a higher offer.

Dealerships look at your vehicle from a different angle. They consider the major mechanical problems rather than whether the vehicle was waxed or deep cleaned. 

  • Does CarMax buy cars that are not running?

Yes, CarMax buys any car, whether it's running or not. However, CarMax will not re-sell your car if it's not repairable. Instead, CarMax will put it into the used car auctions and have other people buy it there.

CarMax will not provide you the top offer for your non-running car, and it's the last option to go for if you are looking for the maximum profit out of your non-running car. 

  • Should I sell my car or trade it in?

If you're looking for the maximum profit out of your car, it's never recommended to trade in, and by finding a private buyer, you will get a much higher offer than trading it in.

On the other hand, if you don't like to deal with strangers coming to your private property and are looking for a convenient method to get rid of your car fast, dealerships are considered one of the fastest ways of selling your used car. 

It's never easy to trade in a non-running car 

As you've seen earlier, it is not an easy task to trade in a non-running car. However, it is not impossible as well.

If you would like to get the maximum profit out of your non-running car, you'd better sell it separately to the Cash Cars Buyer and put the payment towards your brand-new vehicle.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation, and if you would like to learn more about our process come, I can always give us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.