Used car sales are at an all-time high.
Indeed, almost 40 million of them were sold in the US two years ago.
That’s good news for anyone looking to sell their vehicle: there’s clearly an enormous number of people willing to give you their money! Selling a second-hand car has never been easier.
However, what if the car in question is more junk than a hunk? After all, there can be significant differences in quality in the used car market.
Newer vehicles with fewer miles on the clock will be easier to sell than older, worn-out options.
Thankfully, even the oldest, most beaten-up cars can find a new home. What’s more, you can sometimes get a surprising amount of money for them too!
Looking to sell your old junker for as much money as possible?
Keep reading to discover 10 top tips for selling a junk car for top dollar.
1. Understand Its Condition
Selling your ancient, rusted car begins with a solid understanding of its condition.
Give the vehicle a good look over.
Not an expert? You could consider having a mechanic look at it too.
Look at the state of the car and assess the condition it’s in. From there, you can develop a better understanding of how much money you can expect to get.
Does the engine run? How much rust is there? What’s state is the chassis in? Are the electrics in working order? Answering these questions will help ascertain the best next steps and set your expectations for how much money might be on the table.
Equally, they’ll mean you can answer the inevitable questions from would-be buyers. They’re bound to ask about the car’s condition. Educating yourself on these matters means you’re able to answer honestly.
2. Understand Its Value
Next up, try to figure out its actual value.
Use the Kelley Blue Book to help. This resource allows you to search the value of your car in the current state of repair that it’s in.
Knowing the value of your car will help you price it more accurately too. It takes the guesswork out of the process. When advertising the vehicle you can set it at a realistic asking price.
Understanding how much something is worth is key in negotiation too.
Imagine entering a discussion on sale price without knowing it’s actual worth. You could be taken for a ride and get far less money than you deserve. In the bid to maximize your returns, you simply must know how much the car is worth.
3. Get the Car Roadworthy
It almost goes without saying.
But we’ll say it anyway:
Cars that are operational and roadworthy will receive a far higher price. That’s a heavy incentive to get your junk vehicle up and running.
Of course, that might not be possible. Some junk cars are literally pieces of junk! Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t get any money for them. It does mean they’re unlikely to be driven again.
Your assessment of condition should reveal the car’s potential to be brought back to roadworthiness. Got the right mechanical knowledge? It can be worth your financial while to get it running again.
4. Prove your Ownership
This is a crucial point:
You must be able to prove that you own the vehicle you want to sell. For that, you need to have access to the title of the car.
Without the title, you can’t sell it legally. Even junkyards are unlikely to take it off your hands. Furthermore, buyers will need to transfer the car into their name. Don’t have the title? Then it can’t be signed over.
Being unable to actually sell the car is something of a stumbling block in the bid to get as much money as possible for it.
The lesson? Don’t lose the title! Here are 10 more mistakes to avoid when selling a junk car.
5. Don’t Accept the First Offer
You want to sell your car.
You’re sick and tired of having it on your lawn. It’s time for it to disappear, and you want it gone as quickly as possible.
It’s understandable. Unfortunately, the rush to accept a buyer is sure to back-fire in financial terms. The first offer you get is rarely the best one available. Sure, it might be! But there’s no way of knowing that unless you get multiple quotes.
Never accept the first offer that comes your way. Call around to get an array of offers from different potential buyers. If each one is lower than you want, don’t accept it. Push them to an acceptable price tag.
6. Avoid Costly Scams
Scams are always a quick way to lose money.
Unfortunately, they’re relatively common in the second-hand auto industry. There are all sorts of unscrupulous people who attempt to swindle others of their money.
Educate yourself on the most common scams to look out for. Here are 5 of them.
The best way to avoid scams is to know who and what to avoid in the sales process. Selling to reputable buyers is a good place to start.
7. Avoid Lemon Law Issues
Of course, scams work both ways.
There are many auto sellers trying to swindle buyers of their money too!
Lemon laws have been put in place to protect people from unscrupulous vehicle sales. Cars must be sold without sugar-coating the reality of their condition.
In simpler terms, buyers must be fully aware of the car’s downsides at the point of sale. Car sellers are obligated to tell buyers of hazards, defects, and issues.
Lemon laws vary by state. Be sure to educate yourself on your specific requirements. A sure-fire way to lose money is to sell someone a deficient car that they were unaware of. You’ll be served with hefty costs if there’s a problem, as well as court fees if they sue you.
8. Do Lots of Online Research
The internet is your ally when trying to maximize the cash you get for a car.
For one thing, there are masses of forums and websites for researching and asking questions.
You can send photos of car parts and ask for clarification and valuations. You can interact with fellow car enthusiasts who share their knowledge at no cost. You can see what other junk cars are selling for and compare them to yours. You might even be able to find a buyer!
Indeed, there are all sorts of ways to sell a car online. From advertising it on Craigslist and listing it on car sales websites, to soliciting junk/damaged car services.
This last option is a good bet for truly worn-out cars. Damaged car services often buy any vehicle, regardless of condition. You’re unlikely to get a huge amount of money for it. However, it’s one of the quickest and easiest methods available.
9. Sell the Car for Parts
Parting a car is a popular alternative when it’s truly a pile of junk!
No way to fix it up? Then use any mechanical knowledge you have to strip the vehicle down into parts. You’d be surprised at how much money you can make like this.
Everything from the smallest parts of the door and the radio, to the battery and GPS system, can be sold for cash. Again, the internet is a great resource for advertising parts and finding buyers.
This is a time-consuming process.
Stripping the car, organizing the parts, and listing the items for sale takes a heavy investment of time and effort. It’s worth weighing up the amount of money that’s up for grabs first. That figure may or may not justify the effort required.
10. Sell to a Junk Yard
Junkyards are a common outlet for getting cash for a junk car.
This is literally their business! They’ll often actively want your old car and be willing to pay for it. They might also come and collect it from your doorstep.
Make sure you know the exact protocol involved. Junkyards operate in different ways. Seek clarification on how they prefer to operate when calling up for a quote.
For example, some of them will, as we mentioned, collect the car from your home. However, they deduct the price of that service from what they pay for the vehicle. Knowing that means you can offer to transport the car yourself. You get the full price as a result.
Final Thoughts on Selling a Junk Car
There you have it: top tips for selling a junk car for top dollar.
Tens of millions of used cars are sold every year around the United States. However, the term ‘used cars’ encompasses a huge range of conditions! Not all second-hand vehicles will be as easy to sell as others.
The oldest, rustiest, and most damaged of them are inevitably hardest to sell for much money. All is not lost, though! With the right know-how, it’s possible to get reasonable sums of cash for what seems a total pile of junk.
Hopefully, this post has highlighted some of the ways to make that happen.
Are you looking to get rid of a junk car quickly? We can help with that. Contact us today to learn how.