A car always retains some value. It doesn't matter how old it is and whether it has extensive damage or not. In fact, even if your car is little more than a rusted shell that has been sitting on your front lawn for a year, it will still be worth something to someone.
Scrapping a car is an easy way to get some quick cash for your junk vehicle. It could even free up some space in your garage, driveway, or yard. But how can you guarantee the most money when you send your car to a salvage yard? What steps, questions, and strategies will ensure you get the most value, pay the least fees, and guarantee the smoothest transaction?
Consider Selling it Directly
If your car still runs and is able to go from A to Z, you should consider selling it to a private buyer. You'll get much more money than if you were to scrap it. As a result, this should always be your first port of call, and you should only think about scrapping your vehicle if it has no private value.
Salvage and Sell the Parts
The first thing that the junkyard will do is consider the value of the components, including the catalytic converters, radio, and batteries. If you remove these parts from the car, it will have less scrap value, but if you're able to find a private buyer, you should gain more than you lose.
After all, the junkyard's goal is to remove those parts and sell them for a profit. They are the middlemen, and if you can find a buyer without issue, you don't need them.
Find a Junkyard
Demand is high for junk cars and it's getting higher every year. There are a growing number of vehicles on the road and that leads to a mass of scrap and salvaged parts. If you want to sell your junk car, you should contact at least 2 or 3 of these companies and see what they offer you.
The quote will likely be very similar, but there may be enough of a difference to warrant the time and effort.
It's also important to go directly to a junkyard, as opposed to middlemen services. Sure, they're hassle-free and tend to offer a more streamlined service, but only just, and you'll probably get more money going direct.
Make Sure You Have the Title
You don't always need a title to sell a vehicle. It really depends on where you live, but in most states, not having a title just means you'll get less money for your junk car.
Car buyers may offer you up to $150 less on average for a vehicle without a title, so it's worth holding onto that document or doing what you can to get a replacement.
Understand Market Prices
The cash for cars industry is dependent on the market value of scrap metal, along with the value of the salvaged parts. It's generally not something that you need to worry about, but if you're dealing with large quotes or selling multiple junk cars, understanding the going rate and paying attention to the changes could make a big difference.
Drop it Off
Cash for cars services offer free towing. They will collect your vehicle, take it away, and leave you with a bundle of cash. But they still need to pay for that towing, and if you're able to negate the cost, you may get more cash for your vehicle.
If the car still runs, drop it off. It's generally not worth paying for a tow truck to take it there, but if you can get it to the junkyard with minimum fuss and effort, it could be worth it.
FAQs About Selling Your Junk Car
Do you still have a few questions about selling your junk car? Take a look at the following.
How Much Will a Junkyard Give Me for My Car?
It depends, but you could be looking at anywhere from $50 to $500 if the car doesn't run and has some damage. In such cases, the junk car buyer will consider the value of any remaining car parts and then calculate the total scrap metal value based on its size.
If it's operational, fairly new, and hasn't been salvaged for parts, they'll likely give you much more.
Are Junk Car Buyers Legit?
Most of them are, but there are a few exceptions. Outright scams are rare, but some junk car buyers will agree on one price and then show up with another. The hope is that you'll be so desperate to sell you will just take the money and think nothing of it.
If they do this with every customer and pay each one just $20 less, it could equate to hundreds of dollars over the week.
Never take less than what they initially offered. Remember, they are the ones who paid for the towing, and that expense will be paid regardless of whether you agree or not. If you reject their reduced offer, you might be surprised to see how quickly the additional cash appears.
Who Gives the Most Cash for Junk Cars?
If you compare prices across multiple scrap yards, you'll find that they all offer a similar amount. That's because the value of a scrap vehicle is dependent on demand, scrap metal prices, and other factors that don't differ from one scrap yard to the next. It's still worth getting multiple quotes, but don't expect any major differences.