Car accidents are serious, sometimes life-changing events. If you’ve been involved in an accident, you may find yourself wondering what to do with your car. Maybe it’s damaged beyond repair, or maybe you simply can’t bear the thought of driving it again.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to sell a car after an accident and how to get the most money for your vehicle.
Selling a Car for Scrap After an Accident
If the insurance company has determined that your car is totaled, it may be in your best interest to simply scrap the car. You can sell vehicles in any condition to junkyards, regardless of the status of the title.
If your vehicle is in rough shape, you may not get more than a couple hundred dollars for your car. However, this is likely more than you’d earn by selling your car “as-is” to a private buyer, and the transaction can usually be completed in just one or two days.
Again, the amount of money you earn from your junked car will depend on the condition of the vehicle (repairs needed, extent of accident damage) but the benefit of quick cash and a free tow is definitely worth it.
Parting Out Your Car
If your car body is severely damaged, but the car is still in good mechanical order, you can consider salvaging it for parts.
Simply remove the individual components of the car, such as the engine, battery, and other parts, and then sell them as-is. You can do this even if your car has a salvage title. Just be honest with prospective buyers and let them know about the accident.
If you’re not strong in the art of mechanics, you can take your car to a garage you trust. The technicians there can help you assess the potential value of each of the parts of your car. They also may help you inventory the components you have available to sell.
Parting out your car will net you more money than selling it for scrap. However, it can sometimes be a quite lengthy process. This is not a good option if you just want your car gone.
Selling Your Car As-Is
If you’re wondering how to sell a car after an accident, you’re probably curious as to whether you can sell it whole, without chopping up those parts. The answer is a definitive “yes”.
Again, it’s important to be honest with your prospective buyers about the status of your vehicle title and also about the accident that caused the damage. They deserve to know what they’re buying, and not telling them can constitute fraud.
Before you sell your car as-is, you may want to drive or tow it to a garage. You can get a fair estimate of the cost of necessary repairs, which may encourage hesitant buyers to hand over their cash.
Have all applicable information on hand, including accident reports, the physical title and receipts for all repairs made. This will further convince buyers that purchasing from you is a safe bet.
Selling Your Car to a Dealership
In some cases, you may be able to sell a car after an accident to a dealership. Call before you visit, though, as not all dealerships offer this option. Explain your situation and the status of the car, and ask whether they’ll accept a damaged car for trade-in.
You likely won’t get a lot of money from a dealership if you sell your wrecked car. After all, they’re in it to make money. But the quote that’s offered to you can come in handy as a nice down payment on a replacement vehicle.
Be sure to clean your car before you take it to a dealership. The cleaner your vehicle looks, the higher the offer should be. As with any other sale, make sure you have your title on hand. This will make the sales process go much more smoothly.
Summary: Sell a Car After an Accident
If you’ve been involved in an accident, you can still sell your car. You have four options, each with their own pros and cons. Need quick cash? Sell your car to a junkyard. Have time and patience? Sell your vehicle for parts.
Now that you know how to sell a vehicle after an accident, you can determine which course of action is best for your timeframe and also for your budget.