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5 Best Ways to Sell Your Junk Car for Cash

How much money is that junk car of yours worth?

$300?

$500?

$1000?

$3000?

How much is the same junk car making you sitting in your driveway/backyard, rusting away?

Zero dollars?

How about selling it for some cold hard cash?

If you have an old car in your life and you don’t need it anymore, you should seriously consider getting rid of it instead of leaving it to rot in your driveway or backyard.

If you leave the car sitting unused for months or years, things deteriorate, bodies rust, and you finish up with a non-runner that is more difficult to get rid of.

All the same, I’m assuming your “junk” car is in questionable condition, as you’re driving another one now.

So what to do?

Well, thankfully, you can still make money with your car – yes, even if it’s not running and even if half of it is missing!

Here are a few good options worth exploring for those wanting to know how and where you can sell a junk car for cash.

1. Sell Your Car “As Is”

Selling cars As Is is a popular practice done even by car dealerships.

You could simply advertise your car on Craigslist, or in the local newspaper, for sale “as-is”.

Make sure that you make it clear to any potential buyer that there may be faults with your car, and point out the ones that you know about.

You don’t want people coming back later asking you to repair it for them.

2. Break up Your Car for Parts

If there’s something specific that took your junk car off the road, and the rest of it is in decent condition, you might consider parting out your car, which means taking bits off to sell them.

For instance, you might have blown up the engine, or perhaps had an accident that wasn’t worth repairing, but a lot of the car is untouched. Have you seen the dealer prices for the smallest of accessories?

How much you can take off depends on your mechanical aptitude. Most people could take off the battery, wing mirrors, the center console, the CD radio unit, lights and lenses, seats, and the wheels and tires (which you can recycle.) Best not to touch things like the steering wheel, which may have an airbag that could suddenly inflate and injure you.

However, you don’t want to be left with a hunk of rusting metal in your yard, so make sure you have a strategy in place for someone to take the rest of it after you part it out.

3. Sell It to the Local Junkyard

You will find that many junkyards will come and haul your car away, and should give you some money for it too.

You had better check beforehand whether they mind you taking parts off before they pick up because, of course, they make their money by breaking up and selling car parts.

If you settle for simply selling off the easy accessories, they will still have plenty of heavy-duty parts such as axles, doors, etc. that they can profit from. You will still need to check first.

Of course, you could simply sell it to the junkyard as it stands right now, without taking parts off, and they would be happy with that.

To find junkyards near you quickly and easily use Auto Salvage Yards’ directory. It lets you search for junkyards by state and cities so you can the ones closest to you.

4. Sell Your Car for Scrap

You can make good money selling scrap metal. And a car of any size has a decent amount of metal in it.

If your car is really dead, with most parts worn or broken, it may come down to selling it off for scrap.

When you sell something for scrap, it’s really just the weight of the metal that governs the price you get. If you have an older car or truck, this works in your favor as they tended to be heavier.

Even so, they will tell you that they need to separate the materials, taking away the rubber and plastic, as part of the scrapping process, and that will keep the price they pay you low.

Unlike a junkyard, the scrapyard probably won’t come and pick up the car for you, so you have to arrange your own towing and transportation. You’ll need to figure the cost of this into how much you may make from scrapping the car.

5. Sell It Online

Recently, websites have been appearing that offer to buy your junk car.

You may have to do some research, so you can discover if they work in your area and if they provide towing.

A couple of sites that you can try include

  • Peddle
  • We Buy Any Car

Obviously, you’re not going to get top dollar using this method, but at least you’ll be rid of it.

Tips for Selling Your Car

Here are a few tips to help make the process of selling your junk car (applies to any car really) easier and smoother.

Don’t Get Scammed

Most people assume you have to only be careful not to be scammed when buying a car, but scammers also target you when you’re the one selling a car. So I highly recommend due diligence when selling your car -be it a junk one or a brand new one.

Here is a great car selling guide by Kelley Blue Book that will help you protect yourself when selling your car.

Write a Contract

Make sure to make a contract and have the buyer sign it. Include all the terms and conditions of the deal in the contract so you can avoid any future issues.

Lemon Laws to Abide

There are laws (referred to as Lemon Laws) that you have to abide by when selling a junk car. Normally each state has its own rules and regulations, so it’s best to check with your state’s appropriate authorities.

For example, Massachusetts has what’s known as The Used Vehicle Warranty Law that protects consumers who buy used vehicles from a dealer or private party in Massachusetts.

You might need to watch out for regulations in your state if you’re selling the car to someone who intends to drive it. There are various rules, such as smog tests, in different states, and you could wind up being responsible for certification if you represent it as okay to drive.

Alternatively, the state may allow you to change the registration to “non-op”, signifying that you are not representing it as operable on the road, and this should avoid any problems that could arise.

What About “Cash for Clunkers”?

The “Cash for Clunkers” program, which originally started as the CARS Allowance Rebate System, or simply CARS, was a $3 billion program designed by the federal government to encourage people to trade in their old gas-guzzling vehicles for cash, then use that cash to purchase new and more fuel-efficient models.

A lot of drivers were able to take advantage of it. But unfortunately, the funds were exhausted on August 24, 2009, and so the program ended.

I just wanted to mention this in case anyone was wondering about it, considering that it was a very popular program that made it easy for dirvers to get cash for their old cars.

Final Thoughts

On the whole, you’re more likely to be happy with how much you get if you sell the car to a private party.

All the others, such as junkyards, are experienced negotiators and will maximize their profits at your expense.

Finally, make sure you eliminate the insurance payment from your car insurance policy, so you’re not paying for something you’re not using.

Now that you have a plan of action, there is no excuse for letting your old vehicles clutter your property, and you will even make some money out of them.

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