If you have a salvage title car in your garage, you may be wondering how you can free up that space. You may believe that your salvage title vehicle is, as the insurance companies told you, a total loss. But don’t worry! You can sell your salvage vehicle and free up some space and cash, leaving room for a new car or truck. There are a few places that buy salvage title cars. Let's take a look.
What is a Salvage Title Car?
In insurance terms, a salvage title car is a vehicle that would cost more than 75% of its market value to return to drivable condition. For instance, if you were in an accident and your car suffered extensive mechanical damage, your local DMV may require that you be issued a salvage title.
Natural disasters like flood, tornado, or hurricane can result in a salvage title. Theft can have the same result. If your car was stolen but later recovered, your car may be issued a salvage title, regardless of its condition.
As you know, most states require a safety and emissions inspection before you can register and drive a vehicle. Because of this, many buyers are wary of buying salvage title vehicles. The repairs may simply cost too much to warrant buying a salvage.
But if you’re holding a salvage title, you still have options. Here’s where to sell a salvage car for maximum profit.
Selling for Parts to Car Buyers
If you’re even slightly mechanically knowledgeable, you can sell your salvage car for parts. Imagine, for instance, that you have a salvaged car that’s suffered mostly cosmetic damage. Parts under the hood may be just fine to sell.
If you’re not sure about what each car part is worth, it may be worth it to visit a mechanic. He or she can tell you what each car part might sell for. Keep an itemized list on hand to help you determine if parting out your car is worth it in the long run.
There are two things you should keep in mind when parting out your car. First, it will likely take longer to sell your car for parts than to sell your car whole, regardless of its condition. Secondly, your buyers will still likely want to see your vehicle’s salvage title, so be certain you have that on hand. It’s best to be upfront with buyers to avoid legal or other issues later.
In some cases, you may be able to list your entire vehicle as a “mechanics special.” You can use Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or any other venue you like to advertise your car. Be clear in the description that you’re selling a salvaged car and be prepared to describe any and all damage to the car upon sale.
Whether you sell for part or sell “as is,” you may be able to earn more money for your sale than you would from our next option: selling to a scrapyard.
Sell your Salvage Car to a Scrapyard
If you’re in a hurry to sell your vehicle, you may consider selling it to a scrapyard. Junkyards won’t necessarily give you the most cash for your salvage title car, but the process is quick and very simple.
You can check the many junkyards on this site to sell a salvage car. Take your time and call each business. You’ll find that the quote they offer for your car may vary. In some cases, you’ll only be offered a few hundred dollars. Some businesses, however, may offer you much more.
Many salvage vehicle buyers will be able to offer a quote for your car online. In most cases, you can set up an appointment for pickup within the week, and sometimes same-day pickup is available. In almost all cases, the salvage yard will pay you cash for your vehicle upon pickup.
It’s not always necessary to have your title on hand when you’re selling to a scrap yard. However, we do recommend that you, at a minimum, have a bill of sale ready to show the agent.
What will happen to your vehicle once it’s sold? Well, generally the car will be sold for parts. If the vehicle is in fairly good condition, it may be “fixed up” to drivable condition and then resold. Salvage vehicles will eventually be scrapped and sold for their metal content.
Donating Your Salvaged Car
If you don’t need the extra cash and you just need that space in your driveway clear, you may consider donating your vehicle. Again, a simple Google search for “donate my vehicle” will bring up a list of non-profits who will accept salvage cars.
In the United States, the donation of your salvage title vehicle can help aid organizations that support:
- Terminally ill children
- Domestic violence victims
- Low-income and struggling families
- Natural disaster survivors
Your donation is almost always tax-deductible, so be sure you get a receipt from the non-profit organization you choose.
Salvage Title Cars: Not a Total Loss
Just because your vehicle has a salvage title doesn’t mean it’s worthless! Sure, it may cost more money to repair the car than its market value, but you can still earn enough from the sale of your salvage for a down payment on your next vehicle. Sell your car for parts, sell it to a scrap yard or donate your car to a good cause to free up space in your garage and earn a bit of extra spending money.