What Is the Best Way to Sell a Junk Car in 2020?
Updated on: by Olivia
Have you had an old vehicle sitting on your property for months, and you’re not sure what to do with it?
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Believe it or not, there are places to scrap a car for cash, and there are even places who will buy your junk car from you for a decent price.
So, instead of pawning off your car to the first person who’s willing to grab it for free, follow this guide to see if you can get some money out of it.
What Is the Best Way to Sell a Junk Car in 2020?
What’s the first thing you should try if you want to get some money from your junk car?
Selling it “as-is”.
If you’ve browsed local private listings, or even dealership listings, for used vehicles, you’ve probably seen cars being sold as-is.
What does that mean?
Selling your car as-is means that you’re selling it in the exact condition it’s in now, flaws and all.
That means that if someone were interested in your junk car, you make it clear that anything that’s wrong with it will be their issue to deal with (in a nice way, of course).
In other words, let them know everything that you know is wrong with the car, from its non-working headlights to its malfunctioning brakes.
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The more details you can be honest about, the better.
Have everything you explained to the buyer typed up in an agreement that’s signed by both of you to ensure that both parties understand what’s wrong with the car and that it’s being sold as-is.
This can keep you off the hook if the buyer complains that something is wrong with the car after you’ve already explained the issue and sold it as-is.
You won’t always get top dollar selling a car this way without fixing things first, but remember that this is a junk car – you’re not going to get top dollar anyway.
And if you don’t have a bunch of money or time to spill into your car before selling it, selling as-is can help you make money from it as quickly and easily as possible.
Before selling your car as-is, be sure to look into the laws for your state about doing so.
You may be able to find out the guidelines from your state’s Attorney General office.
Make sure you know what rights your buyer has so you don’t run the risk of impeding any of them when you sell your car.
Other Ways to Sell Your Junk Car
Selling as-is may be the best way to get rid of a junk vehicle and get some money out of it, but here are a few more ideas that could work:
Sell It for Parts
This idea comes in a close second to selling your car as-is.
If your vehicle seems like it’s in shambles and probably won’t find a buyer, then try to sell your car for parts instead.
Sometimes, the parts can be worth more than a barely or non-functioning full vehicle, especially if they’re parts that are hard to find or scarce.
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If you’re handy, you can remove the parts yourself and sell them on places like Craigslist or eBay.
Or, ask local mechanics or junkyards if they might want to buy the parts from you.
Sell It to a Trade School
You might be able to convince a local trade school to buy your car if they have a program for auto mechanics.
What better way to learn their trade than working on a beaten-up car that needs a lot of help?
You probably won’t get much this way, but it’s possible that you can work out a deal with the school to at least get some money for your vehicle.
Sell It to a Local Auto Shop
If you don’t know how to remove parts yourself to sell them, you might get a local auto shop to buy the car off you and do the hard work themselves.
An auto shop can reuse tires that are in good shape, batteries with life left in them, and several engine and other mechanical parts that still function well.
Plus, they have the expertise to remove everything they need to use in other vehicles.
Sell It for Scrap Metal
For cars that don’t run at all, scrapping them might be your best bet.
Scrapping them for their metal, that is.
You might be able to sell your car to a metal scrapyard, which will either:
- Pay you for your car and then remove the metal it can salvage and reuse or resell, or
- Require you to remove the salvageable metal and pay you for the metal you bring in
Call local scrapyards to see what they require and how to best go about selling your car’s scrap metal.
Find a Junkyard Willing to Buy It
Some junkyards buy junk cars to get parts from for resale.
See if there are any junkyards near you that will be willing to take your car off your hands for a price.
This directory of vehicle salvage yards can help you find one near you.
Try Trading It In
If your car is in really rough shape, it’s unlikely that you’ll get much out of it as a trade in at a dealership to help you afford a new car.
Some dealerships might even deny it completely.
However, don’t let dings and dents in the body or a few malfunctioning mechanical parts scare you away from trying to trade in your car.
Most dealerships will still accept trade-ins that need some help, although they may not pay much for them.
But even $100 is better than nothing, especially when you’re looking for a new vehicle.
Make sure you clean your car up as much as possible, inside and outside, before you bring it to the dealership.
And make sure it runs! Most dealers won’t accept vehicles that you can’t drive to the lot.
Sell It Quickly with a Junk Car-Buying Company
Some companies are in the business of buying junk cars!
CarBrain, for example, will give you an instant online quote for your junk vehicle.
Then, if you accept the offer, someone from the company will come pick up your car for free, go over all the paperwork (like signing over the title), and pay you for your car.
In most cases, the process takes about 24 to 48 hours after you accept the company’s offer.
These companies are like middlemen, making it easy for you to get rid of your car, taking care of the legwork involved in selling the car to a junkyard, and taking a portion of the profits.
This company isn’t available in all areas, but you can use the search tool to see if it’s available in yours.
If not, do a quick Google search for “junk car buying near me” or a similar search term to find a similar business in your area.
How to Get the Most Money for Your Broken Car
Following the tips below can help you get the most out of your junk car:
Make Some Fixes First
You might consider doing a few fixes on your car before selling it.
Now, this won’t always be a plausible idea.
If you have several expensive fixes to make on a car that’s not worth that much money, then it probably won’t make sense for you to spend a bunch of cash to fix the car up.
You’ll probably end up paying more than what you’ll get out of the car when selling it, which is exactly what you don’t want to do.
However, a few minor fixes might be worth the cost if they help you sell the car for more than what you’d get right now without repairs.
Things like new brakes or a new battery could help you get more out of the car when you go to sell, especially if you save the receipts to prove the work you’ve done to your buyer.
It’s a good idea to check with an experienced mechanic who can do a thorough inspection of the car, let you know what needs to be repaired, and can give you a few suggestions for where your money will best be spent.
Set Up a Private Ad
Setting up a private ad without a middleman (like a dealership) can probably make you more money for your car.
You’re selling it on your own without anyone getting a cut of your final pay.
So, decide where and how you’re going to sell it.
You might put an ad on Craigslist, advertise your sale on your Facebook page, or place an ad in the newspaper.
Just make sure you’re the one selling it and no one else is getting a piece of the pie.
Write an Agreement or Contract
I mentioned before that having everything you explained about your car to your buyer written down and signed by both parties is something you should consider.
Really, though, it’s a must.
A written agreement or contract that’s been read and signed by both of you will not only make the buyer feel more confident about their purchase, but it’ll also protect you in legal situations.
Make sure both of you have a copy with your contact information and signatures on it.
The agreement or contract should detail everything you know about the car, including any work you’ve recently had done to it and any known issues it has.
Be as specific as possible to keep you both protected.
Know Where to Sell
There are a lot of places you can use to sell your car.
I mentioned Craigslist, social media, and the newspaper, for example.
But there are also some used car lots that are willing to buy less-than-stellar vehicles to sell for their lower-income customers.
You can also try Facebook groups local to your area.
Reddit may also be a good place to advertise your junk car for sale.
There are also businesses that specifically buy junk cars for the purpose of reselling their parts to people or auto shops that need them, and you might get lucky enough to find one in your area.
In other words – you don’t need to stick with the usual newspaper or Craigslist ad to sell your junk car.
Get creative and find the perfect buyer, and you’ll probably get more out of your vehicle than you expected.
Conclusion: Sell Your Junk Car for Cash
Selling your car that you think is junk could end up being a lucrative task for you simply because someone else needs its parts or can find some other way to use the car.
So don’t think your junk car’s life is over just yet!
Selling it as-is gives you the most hands-off and simple approach to selling it without having to spend a lot of money to get it done.
Still, this guide has some other ways you might be able to get it off your property while still making a few bucks.
Best of luck and be sure to come back here and let us know how your sale went!
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