Scrapping a car is one of the quickest ways to offload it, clearing some space, getting some extra funds, and wasting very little of your valuable time.
But like anything, if you have never done it before and you don't know what you're doing, it can drag on a little bit and result in some costly mistakes.
In this guide, we'll show you how to scrap a car in 6 simple steps.
1. Remove Personal Possessions from Your Vehicle
Car seats are second only to sofas when it comes to accumulating coins, jewelry, and other detritus. They slip underneath the cushions, roll underneath the seats, and are quickly forgotten about.
Before you sell your car, make sure you have a good spring clean to find all of these valuables because as soon as you hand over the keys and the title, they'll be lost forever.
It's not just about finding shrapnel worth a few bucks. There could be gadgets, toys, documents, keys and other personal items that are better off in your pocket.
2. Find the Vehicle Title
You don't always need a title to sell a vehicle, but it certainly makes your life easier.
The process will run more smoothly and you should also get more money for your junk car.
3. Salvage Valuable Parts
A junk car buyer will consider two things when determining the value of your vehicle.
The first is the scrap value, which covers the total value of scrap metal and is valued and sold by the pound.
The second is the salvage value.
The catalytic converter, GPS system, wheels, tires, rims—all of these car parts will be factored into the equation and will provide the scrap dealer with a resale value.
But like any resale process, they need to buy low so that they can sell high. If you're able to use or sell those parts yourself, it makes more sense to strip them, salvage them, and keep them for yourself.
The parts that you leave will still have value, as everything from the fender to the bumper, doors, and even the airbags have salvage value, but you will need to tell the scrap yard what changes you have made.
4. Use Any Remaining Gas
The gasoline that remains in your junk vehicle constitutes a substantial portion of the total value. However, it's little more than a nuisance to a junk car buyer as they will need to drain the fluids before scrapping and recycling the vehicle.
Don't use it up for the sake of it, as you'll just be wasting your time, but if the car is still operational, use it to run a few errands. If not, and if there is a substantial amount left in the gas tank, siphon it out.
Avoid siphoning gas with your mouth and make sure you store it in a proper container. Don't be one of those people who store gas in plastic bags!
5. Find a Junk Car Buyer in Your State
You can find hundreds of scrap car dealers on this site, all of which are listed by state, city, and county. You can find junkyards operating in your area, use the phone number or website listed, and contact them during working hours.
They will ask you some basic information about your junk vehicle, including the make, model, condition, and parts. Once they have quoted a price, you can accept it or get another quote from a different junkyard.
When you have accepted a cash offer, the junkyard will send a tow truck to your location and arrange to collect the vehicle.
It's a very simple process, with the tow truck driver handing over the cash, taking your car, and then delivering it to the scrap yard.
6. Prepare Your Scrap Car for Collection and Sale
Once a date and time have been arranged, you will need to remove the license plates and make sure the car is ready to go.
Some states require you to turn your license plates into the DMV, so check the local laws and ask the junkyard if you're not sure about any of the steps.
These six steps might sound like a lot of work just to scrap a car, but it's generally a pain-free process and one that could result in a cash payment of over $500.
The actual price paid for junk cars differs considerably and can include everything from your state to the remaining parts (tires, catalytic converter, battery), whether you have the car title or not, the market value of scrap metal, and the size/metal content of your car.