It had its glory days once, but that dilapidated cruiser has sat in your garage for years, taking up room and collecting dust.
You’re ready to get it off your hands, but who would want it?
Turns out, more people than you’d think. Even if it doesn’t run anymore, that clunker still has valuable parts and materials in it that you can trade-in for cold, hard cash.
Pros in the know call this process “junking.” In other words, you’ll sell your car to a junkyard, where mechanics can then strip it of anything worthwhile.
Meanwhile, you get your personal space back, as well as an extra jingle in your pocket. Before you call a towing company and get this process started on your own, do you know how to junk a car the right way?
Today, we’re sharing nine tips on how to navigate this journey with ease. Follow our advice and you’ll drive away satisfied. Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Remove Your Personal Belongings
A recent survey of 1,000 drivers found that one-third of them clean out the inside of their vehicles only one time per year. Even more disheartening? Twelve percent never clean it out!
Are you guilty of following this timeline? If that’s the attitude you take about your everyday car, what about that spare one you’ve got sitting around in the backyard? When’s the last time you cleaned out the glove box, scrubbed the floorboards or vacuumed the seat cushions?
There’s no telling what you’ll find when you go to tidy it up!
When you’re considering a car disposal service, you don’t have to wax or detail your vehicle before you bring it in. Mechanics have seen it all and can work around most general debris. However, you will want to remove all your personal belongings such as insurance cards or jewelry.
Make sure to give the trunk a good investigation, as well as any other compartments! Also, look under seats and inside any pockets, leaning the seats backward or forward to get a thorough look.
2. Take Out Valuable Parts
The main goal of junking your car is to make money from it! That said, before you hand it over to a junkyard where it will become scrap metal, take the time to remove any valuable parts.
Some auto components will earn you more money if you sell them separately. These include:
- Entertainment/Radio Systems
- Starter Motors
Of course, if you partner with junk car buyers, they’ll take care of this step for you. You don’t have to worry about losing money when these components fall prey to the crushing blows of a car crusher.
The only thing you need to do is give them a call and have them come tow your vehicle to their location! If you partner with a solid team like ours, you’ll discover that towing is free of charge.
3. Get Paperwork Squared Away
In some cases, you can junk your car without showing documents proving you as the legal owner. Yet, you might not get as great of a deal on your clunker if you go this route.
It’s always easier when you have the titles and other paperwork in hand. This way, you can transfer the ownership to the junk car buyer you’re working with, relinquishing all your associated duties and responsibilities. Then, if something unexpected happens, such as a vehicular theft, you won’t have to deal with the investigation. Not sure where you last placed your title? That’s OK!
You can request a copy at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For an interactive map of all the DMV locations in the country, visit this website. While you’re at the DMV, ask about your state’s requirements concerning titles of junked cars.
Some won’t require you to show a title or any other form of ownership if the car if over a certain age. Vermont is one state that follows this model, not titling cars that are more than 15 years old.
4. Take Off the License Plates
Yes, your car might get crushed as soon as it enters the junkyard. So, why do you need to bother with removing the license plates? The answer is simple: Tags and titles go hand-in-hand.
When you visit your local DMV to request a title cancellation, they may ask you to bring in the license plates, as well. Call beforehand to verify on the specifics. Most will also require that you remove the license when you perform the official transfer of ownership.
Got some antique license plates lying around that you can’t use anymore? They aren’t doing any good sitting in that box by the corner. Check out these 13 license plate upcycling ideas to turn your junk into a unique work of art.
5. Cancel Your Automobile Insurance Policy
In all the excitement and rush of learning how to get rid of an old car that doesn’t run, you may forget to make one important phone call to your insurance agent.
It’s important that you fill this expert in on what’s going on. Share any updates in your policy that have occurred since you last checked in and explain that you’ll no longer need coverage on that specific vehicle. You don’t want to get stuck paying recurring policy payments on your jalopy before the policy expires.
At the same time, you might have already pre-paid for a set number of months on your current policy. If this is the case and you’ve already paid for the year, you’ll receive a refund in the mail that’s equal to the difference. That’s even more unexpected cash you’ll earn!
Even if your policy is about to expire and you plan to junk your car right as it does, go ahead and still call your agent. This is a strategic business move that could earn you valuable deals and promotions down the road.
6. Do Your Research
You don’t have to jump at the first offer you see.
It’s important to weigh all your options on the same even playing field. Remember that even if your car is in sub-par condition, you could receive multiple offers on it in a wide range of price points.
Shop around and find the buyer who will give you the greatest deal. Keep in mind that if you’re trying to sell your clunker back the dealership or to a brokerage firm, this is where you’ll find the lowest offers.
The two most important questions to keep in mind at this stage include:
- How much damage has occurred to this car?
- What’s the rough estimate of this car’s value?
The latter is for you to know. Once you know what your car is worth, you can clearly distinguish a lowball offer from a great one.
Before partnering with a buyer, ask about towing capacity. You want a team that can tow your car from its current location without putting that responsibility on your shoulders.
Ask if they offer free towing and if the answer is “no”, then ask how them much you could stand to make if you handled the towing process yourself. While it’s always easy and convenient to let someone else take the reins, this is a step that may work in your favor as long as the math adds up.
7. Check All Licenses
In several states, junk car dealers must have a proper license in place before they can conduct business. While checking for this accreditation may take extra time, it’s worth it.
Require an active license from any buyers you interact with. In some cases, this is a matter of hopping online. Check to see if your state offers e-services that let you verify the number and active status with a few clicks!
It’s important to find a reputable and reliable dealer to ensure you’re protected during this process and shielded from potential liabilities you could incur if anything turns sour with the deal.
For instance, say that you team up with a shady dealer who pays you only half of what you’re due and then promises to settle the other half later on. With only this data to go by, you’ll be hard-pressed to get any kind of legal expert on your side.
Yet, when you give the control over to the licensed dealer, you’re in more capable hands. The dealer can handle all records and pertinent paperwork with professionalism and ease.
If you choose to partner with a shady dealer even after finding out how they conduct business, you could face fines and even imprisonment for doing so.
8. Ask About Non-Metal Parts
There are plenty of parts and components in your car that isn’t metallic. Think about your built-in sun visors, seat cushions or cup holders, for instance.
Some junkyards prefer that you bring in your vehicle completely stripped down to the pure metal. Others don’t care if you leave those parts intact.
Ask around about dealers who operate in and around your locale. Do they prefer metal shells only, or are they fine if you don’t remove every excess accessory?
If it’s metal they love, go ahead and take out everything that isn’t attached to your vehicle’s shell. This way, you can catch the eye of more buyers in this category.
While performing this step, remember that there are some non-metal components, including gas, that require extra care and caution when you remove them. Tossing everything into one giant trash bag might seem efficient, but it could also be dangerous.
Your best bet is to hire a mechanic to take care of this effort for you. While you’ll pay for this service, you can rest assured that it was completed in the right way.
9. Understand the Weight Scale
How do the junk car buyers know what to pay for your vehicle? They use a weight scale to measure it, often paying a set amount by the ton.
This means that if a dealer offers $200 per ton for a 2,000-pound (one ton) vehicle, you’ll earn around $200. The irony in this situation? That rock-heavy, broken-down SUV is worth more at the junkyard than the shiny new hybrid model in your driveway.
While the calculation process should be as straightforward as possible, it may surprise you to find that not all weight scales are equal. In fact, different dealers may use different ones! During your buyer research, take a look at what the scale looks like.
If it’s faulty or otherwise tampered with, look elsewhere for a partner. These can give an inaccurate reading of your car’s weight, which can affect how much you earn. To make sure you’re getting the best, fairest deal, make sure to partner only with a reputable and experienced dealer that uses a certified weight scale.
How to Junk a Car and Earn Quick Cash
When you’re dealing with a run-down vehicle that isn’t worth the space it’s taking up, it’s time to take action. You now know how to junk a car, but you’re busy! Plus, you don’t have the time or money to devote hours to costly towing.
You need a junk car buyer that can handle the entire process for you, starting at pickup.
That’s where we come in.
We buy old cars, trucks, and SUVs and we’d love to take a look at yours. From vehicles worth $200 to those that bring in more than $20,000, we’ve seen it all, in every condition, and we pay a fair price.
We’ll beat your trade-in price and offer you cash on the spot, along with free and fast towing services. Give us a call today to begin. What will you do with the cash you earn from your clunker?