Are you having an old damaged car? Thinking how to sell your junk car or junk your car for cash? Need more cash in your pocket or want the money for the new vehicle?
In this article, we will walk you through the details on how to get the most money from your junk car!
A junk car is any vehicle that is old enough, has significant damages, or simply, the cost of repair is more than the value of the car.
If your car is rusty, totaled, has damage beyond repair, and you are not able to sell, and it reached its end-of-life (EOL), then you might need to consider junking your car. Any junk car should worth something.
More than 15 million vehicles are reaching their EOL each year in the U.S, and 13 million are sold to junkyards.
How Do You Know If It Is The Time To Junk Your Car?
Many signs can tell you whether your car is ready for junking or not.
Some of these signs include:
- Age: if your vehicle is very old, it might be ready to junk. However, many newer cars might be scrapped before the older ones if they experienced more problems and were not able to be fixed.
- Damage: if the car is missing significant parts (e.g., transmission, motor, tires) or it was severely deteriorated or mangled, then you might be ready to junk it.
- Low value: if the current value of the vehicle is deficient (e.g., say not worth more than $500), you might consider junking it.
- Parking location: if your car is parked in the wrong place and sitting, therefore, long time not moving without permission, you need to get it out of your way and simply junk it.
Some questions you can ask yourself to determine the time to junk your car:
- Does my car spend more time sitting than running?
- Does my car have salvage or abandoned titles?
- Am I afraid to drive my vehicle?
- Isn't there anyone to buy my car?
- Is my car safe?
Think about it, if someone has a 20-years old car, 180,000 miles, and has many issues in the transmission, is it worth keeping or fixing?
Of course not!
Junk cars are always associated with threats. You don't want your car to drop dead in an empty street or unsafe area, right? Even if it is running on 65 mph on the highway, junk cars pose many threats.
Did you try to install car seats and baby seats in an old junk car? Probably you found it hard to. That's not surprising because car seats and baby seats are not designed for older cars. Something to consider if you have a family and you are thinking wheater to sell your junk car or not.
Overall, there is no precise formula about when is it time to junk your car. For example, a new car might be involved in an accident and was totaled, and then it can right away go to junk.
If a natural disaster, flood, or fire damaged a new car, then it should be junked.
With all of this in mind, do you think you are ready to junk your car for money?
Steps to Get the Most Cash from Your Junk Car
Selling your junk car is not very hard; however, getting the most cash of your junk car needs a little digging and research.
Here are the recommended steps for how to junk your car:
1- Find a local or national junk buyer:
Finding a local junk buyer can be as simple as a quick google search for something like: “Junk your car near me” or “junk your car for cash near me.” You will find tons of junk car buyers locally.
Call at least three junkyard or junk car buyers and request quotes. They will tell you that we buy your junk car for a specific value.
They will first request your vehicle information, the more details you give them, the more time you save them and yourself. Here are some of the information you need to have ready:
- Car make, model and year
- Damage details
- Does it have a title or not
Many junk buyers will offer you free towing, which is a common tactic. They know that if they tow your car for free and offer you a low price, you will think of how much it will cost you to tow your vehicle back, and so, you will accept their lowest price. Be careful!
2- Check their licenses:
You want to make sure to only sell for licensed junkyards. Check if they have a permit.
You can either ask them or visit their yard to see the licensed person.
3- Check for customer reviews:
When you google for “where to sell your junk car?” and decided on the junkyard or junk company, check for customer satisfaction and reviews.
Nowadays, all companies should have an online presence, and if you feel that this specific junk company doesn't, you need to walk away.
Also, people's reviews can save you lots of a hard time if they are not happy, why to bother.
Check on their social media pages like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
4- Think before your final decision:
Once you got all the quotes, knew who will offer a free towing, make sure to take your time, and do the math correctly. If your vehicle is drivable, towing is not a problem.
5- things to consider before you junk your car
Now, you know how to scrap your car and decided to go for it? It is time for
- Take all of your personal belongings:
For many of us, if we use the car for a long time, it turns like a second home.
You will be surprised at how much personal stuff you will find. Things you might be looking for all-around your house and can't find it, you might find it sneaking in your car.
Make sure to look in detail in case there are valuable items like jewelry or relevant documents.
- Valuable Parts:
A lot of people might not have the time to remove some of the useful parts in the vehicle (e.g., alternators, batteries, wheels, entertainment systems, starter motors, gasoline, etc.)
What they don't know is that they can make some cash out of these items if they sold it separately. They can also use it as spare for other similar vehicles.
For example, if there is gasoline in the tank, you can siphon it out with a siphon pump and store it in a tight container away from heat.
If you don't have the mechanical experience to remove these parts on your own, you might think of bringing some friends to help you.
- Paperwork needed:
You might not get a lot of money if you want to junk your car without the title. However, you don't need to panic, and many companies still buy junk cars without a title.
The title is proof of ownership and makes things much more manageable. If you don't have a claim, you can call the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and ask if it is easy to make one. Some states do not issue a title for cars over 15 years (e.g., Vermont).
DMV can also help you cancel the title under your name in case the car was stolen before flattened crushed in the junkyard. Also, you will not be brought for theft investigations.
- Remove plates:
Why do you need to remove your license plates from a dead vehicle? If you know, it will be crushed?
You must, by law, remove the license plates from your junk vehicle, and the DMV will ask you to bring them.
- Cancel your car insurance (if exist):
Remember to cancel your existing insurance. Check if you are qualified for a refund of pre-payed insurance.
This way, you will prevent any recurring payments.
You can build a good relationship with your insurance carrier by letting them know that you will junk your car. They might qualify you for future offers and discounts.
- Get at least three quotes:
Although most dealers will give you a very close offer, they might vary a little.
You need to learn how to negotiate as they will offer you the lowest price.
It is a good idea to have an estimate from your mechanic; this way, you will have a plan in mind about how much your junk car worth.
Consider the towing price. As we mentioned before, if your car is drivable, you might not worry. If your vehicle needs towing then, do the math right.
- Keep only metal parts:
Most junkyards will only buy the metal part of your vehicle, and some do buy the full car including the non-metallic elements.
You might be required to strip down all the parts and only keep the bare metal.
Remove plastic, empty fluids, remove seats.
You might need to call your mechanic or friends to help.
- Make sure they have a certified scale
All junkyards must use a certified range when weighing your vehicle.
You will be paid by tons of metal; therefore, make sure to check and confirm they are using a certified scale.
If a dealer is offering $200 per ton of metal, your $2,000 vehicle can get you about $200.
- Donate your junk car
Many people donate their cars to charities instead of going through all of this process.
If you planned to donate your junk car, many charities accept it and can sell it.
You will get a tax deduction for charity donations.
6- Set a pickup time
Most junkyards will offer free towing. Many of them can pick up your car in the next or even same day.
Coordinate with them and set up a time for car removal.
Let them know if you left some valuable parts, they might negotiate the price and probably offer you something for these parts.
7- Complete the paperwork
Paperwork differs by state, and there might be different restrictions. In individual countries, you might be required to prepare some paperwork to scrap your vehicle.
Check with the junk buyers if they have clerks to help you with the paperwork.
8- Get your cash
Now it is time to get some money for your junk car!
Make sure to get paid the price you negotiated. Most junk buyers will pay you cash if you have the title, and they will use a check if the car doesn't have a claim.
9- Notify DMV
You must let your local Department of Motor and Vehicle know that you sold, traded, or donated your vehicle. You could notify them online through customer service, call them, or even go to their location.
10- Follow up with the junk buyer
Confirm that the junk buyer finished the title transfer, so you don't be pulled in legal issues. Call them the DMV and check if the title was transferred.
If the title was not transferred, you might need to call the junk buyer and follow up.
How much can I get for my junk car?
If you decided to get rid of your old vehicle, finding a junk buyer is not that hard, but knowing how much money can you get for your junk car is worth is a little confusing.
The bottom line, it is always less than what you are thinking of.
Junk cars can be purchased between $50-$20,000, but most of the time, between $100-$500.
A 10-years old car won't get you more than $200, while a newer, better condition car can get you up to $1,000.
Generally, the heavier the car, the higher the price as you sell the metal.
For example, two cars with the same make and model can be sold for $70 and $520! Why is that?
Simply because one can be a sedan and the other SUV, the heavier, the more money you get.
Or one has a completely damaged body while the other is in such pristine condition.
To get the most cash for our junk, you need to contact more people, get more offers.
According to Kelly's Blue Book, most cars' salvage value is about 20-30% of the current vehicle value. This is not always true, though.
Many factors are affecting how much you get for your junk car:
1- Vehicle Location
The location where you live can affect how much you get paid. For instance, the closer you are to the junkyard, the more money you get as they don't have to worry about towing for a long distance. The local price of the metal and scrap at your location. How popular is the vehicle in your area?
2- Vehicle make, model and year
The make, model, and year of your car can determine the demand for missing parts. However, this is not always a rule as many cars might be taken off the road at the end of its lifetime. For example, there are tons of Dodge Neon cars on the way and you don't get a high price for them because the junk vehicles are usually useless.
Cars also change from year to year and becoming more plastic, environmental-friendly which might make their junk value less and makes the old part not needed anymore.
Of course, the more pristine, clean, and smooth the vehicle, the more money as compared to rusty and clunker.
4- Scrap metal price
The most crucial part when it comes to junk car price is how much metal is in it. You are selling metal. Therefore, the scrap metal price can significantly affect your junk vehicle price. Nowadays, there is not much money you can make from your junk car as the scrap metal price is going down.
With that in mind, you can sit and ask yourself these questions:
- Is my car still running?
- Is it old? Is it relevant to the current market?
- What are the make and model?
Evaluate the overall condition, and you will get some idea.
Mistakes To Avoid When Selling Your Junk Car
- Get your original quote: in many cases, when the towing come to pick up your junk car, they will try to tell you that it is not worth the price they offered to you. In this case, you need to walk away and ignore it.
- Release of reliability: you must not forget to sign the statement of authenticity, so you don't get in legal issues with people reselling your vehicle.
- Make sure to get your cash before you sing
- Vouchers and tips: some buyers might offer you coupons as part of their quote, ignore it. Most of the time, you will end up throwing these vouchers away.
- Free towing: don't miss the chance of free towing. Many local and national buyers provide free towing unless the price is significantly high.
- Don't count on tax deductions from donation: some people consider donating their cars relying on tax deductions. While this is a lovely action, tax deductions are not defined clearly and are questionable. Therefore, you might sell a junk car and donate the cash better.
- 2000 and newer cars are worth it: if someone told you that your vehicle is not worth it and it is 2000 and more modern, walk away. These cars were always worth good money.
- Make sure not to forget any personal items
- Never take the first bid: as we mentioned before, contact at least three junk buyers. Getting a quote is very simple and quick. Consider contacting at least one national and one local junk buyers. You might need to take the first bid if your car is sitting in a shop, and you are charged for the time it is there.
- Take the vehicle accessories: don't forget to uninstall any vehicle accessory, the junk buyer won't care about your stereo or backup sensors. It makes more sense to remove it and use it for other vehicles or even your bike.
Can I Sell My Junk Car Online?
There are many companies and junk buyers online. The process can be done entirely online except for the car pick up the part.
You can simply enter the vehicle's information (VIN, mileage, condition, location, type of vehicle, etc.), the issue it is experiencing, and get quotes!
They will call you and negotiate the price with you. It is recommended that you do not wait for them to think as the price will not change significantly.
Once you are happy with the price, you can verify a pickup location, date, and time.
What Is The Difference Between Abandoned And Junk Car?
The abandoned car means it was sitting in a place for a very long time. This place might not be where it belongs (e.g., street, private property, etc.); this car is considered to be junked.
Some abandoned cars might be outstanding, while others can be completely damaged.
In short, every abandoned car is a junk car, but not every junk car is an abandoned car.
What Is The Range of Junk Cars Prices?
According to very recent sold junk cars, the offers range from $50-$200 for older smaller cars and $200 to $500 for SUVs and more modern vehicles. See the table below for examples:
|vehicle||Zip Code||Offer date||Offer price|
|2008 Pontiac Grand Prix||37040||03-21-2020||$70|
|1994 Ford Ranger||38068||03-21-2020||$65|
|2007 Toyota Camry||42223||03-21-2020||$635|
|2007 Toyota Corolla||73173||03-21-2020||$730|
|1998 Toyota Camry||27529||03-21-2020||$70|
|2001 Toyota Corolla||06820||03-21-2020||$95|
|1999 Honda Civic||94591||03-21-2020||$80|
|2001 Honda Civic||03801||03-21-2020||$70|
|1991 Acura Integra||90262||03-21-2020||$80|
|2000 Lincoln Town Car||85015||03-21-2020||$55|
|2007 Honda Accord||43081||03-21-2020||$730|
|2004 Pontiac Montana||29670||03-21-2020||$75|
|2005 Chevrolet Blazer||29461||03-21-2020||$70|
|1997 Toyota Camry CE||90059||03-21-2020||$70|
|2003 Ford Taurus||04073||03-21-2020||$95|
Summary and conclusion
Junk cars are old, damaged, and hard to repair cars. Junk cars usually cost more money to repair than their actual value.
It is straightforward to find a junk buyer for your junk car; however, getting the most cash of your junk car is a little tricky.
You need to do a little research about the junk buyer, get quotes from multiple buyers, and do the math to get the best deal!