Everything You Need to Know to Sell a Junk Car
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Your car served you well for many years and miles, but now it's damaged and no longer reliable, and you're looking to sell it.
It might be that mechanical issues keep showing up here and there, and it's become too time-consuming and expensive to keep taking it to the shop.
Or maybe you've taken your old car just about everywhere, racking up hundreds of thousands of miles, and it's come to the end of its lifecycle, and you need to get behind the wheel of something new to you.
Many reasons exist for needing to sell your junk car. But if you find yourself in this scenario, who buys junk cars? What are the details of how to sell a junk car?
Let's explore ways of how to sell a junk car in further detail.
How to sell or trade in a car
When you're ready to part ways with your current vehicle, you typically have two options: selling to a private party or trading it in.
The choice you make depends on whether you put a more significant premium on receiving top dollar or convenience and timeliness.
While selling your vehicle to a private buyer usually brings a higher price than trading in, it can be a hassle that takes up your valuable time. It could also be a while — possibly weeks or months — before someone decides to purchase your car.
Not only that, but you're responsible for taking care of required paperwork like transferring the title and signing a bill of sale. All in all, selling your car privately can be a laborious process.
On the other hand, trading in your vehicle is smooth and straightforward. All you have to do is contact your preferred reseller, choose whether or not to accept their offer, then use that money as a down payment on your next one. A down payment lowers the amount you finance and also your monthly payments. And it may take only a few hours before you drive away in your new-to-you car.
Another essential benefit of trading in is saving money on sales tax. You're only responsible for sales tax on the remaining total once you subtract the trade-in value from the purchase price in many states. This excellent perk can save you thousands of dollars, allowing you to keep extra funds in your bank account for other day-to-day expenses.
Whichever option you choose, visiting online resources like Shift's free estimate calculator can help you determine a fair value for your used vehicle.
Though buying a car can be fun, selling your old one is a hassle. But Shift makes selling your used vehicle easy. All you'll have to do is enter the make, model, year, and mileage on Shift's easy-to-use website, and you'll instantly receive a purchase offer that's valid for seven days. You can get a fair offer, better than at the dealership, driven by powerful machine learning algorithms and tons of data. And with Shift, there is no need to spend the extra time waxing and washing the car. A little dirt won't affect the quote, as we fully detail the cars ourselves anyway before listing them for sale.
Who will buy junk cars?
When you have a damaged or undrivable vehicle, you have several choices when deciding what to do with it.
One option is selling it privately to a hobbyist or car enthusiast. Your vehicle could be in demand with certain junk car buyers looking for a project, and going this route could net you a better price.
If your vehicle is in such poor condition that you just can't find a buyer, selling to a junkyard could be the way to go. Salvage yards buy vehicles for their parts and scrap metal, and in some cases, they are the last resort when you need to offload a car that won't run.
If you'd like to support a good cause and save some money on your taxes, donating your vehicle to charity is another worthy option. Though you won't receive any money in return, you can enter a nice deduction on your tax return.
How can I sell my junk car?
In some ways, selling your junk car to a salvage yard is similar to selling one in good condition. However, when you sell a damaged vehicle that won't run, you'll need to take several additional steps.
Like selling or trading in a used vehicle in decent shape, when you sell an old junk car, you'll need a copy of the title to show proof of ownership. A vehicle title shows you as the car's legal owner while also allowing you to transfer ownership to someone else.
If you can't locate a copy of your car's title, you can contact your DMV to obtain a new one. Though regulations differ from state to state, you can expect to pay a fee and provide identification to complete the process.
Next, you'll need to find licensed and insured salvage yards. When you deal with reputable, licensed, and insured scrap yards, you're sure to receive good customer service and fair pricing.
Contacting several salvage yards and comparing offers can help you narrow down the best price for your junk vehicle. Typically, a junkyard needs to know your vehicle's make, model, mileage, and condition. With that information, they'll make an offer for your car, which you can either accept or decline.
After you've compared offers and made a decision on which salvage yard to go with, it's time to ready your vehicle for pick up. It's good to remove any personal belongings because there won't be a future owner to contact you and return them.
With those tasks completed, it's time for the auto salvage yard to pick up your car. Remember that you should never have to pay for towing or junk car removal. Trustworthy junkyards offer free pick up and free towing, making for a hassle-free transaction.
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How to sell a junk car in summary
Though it may seem as though no one wants to buy your junk car, you do have options when you want to sell it.
With used vehicles in high demand, junkyards buy cars in nearly any condition and usually pick them up for free.
If you have a rare car or one with desirable parts, selling it to a shade tree mechanic or hobbyist is another way to obtain some cash in return.
Or, when you'd like to support a worthy cause, donating your vehicle to charity is another good choice that also gives you a nice deduction on your taxes, which, in turn, can help you get behind the wheel of your next car, truck, or SUV.
Though buying a used car can save you thousands, where can you go for a great price and a quality vehicle? Shift's certified mechanics perform extensive 150-point inspections on every car and have complete vehicle history reports, so you know your used car feels as good as new. Shift's website has a large selection of fully inspected vehicles located across the country that are ready to go. Whether you want a Honda, Chevrolet, or Toyota, Shift has what you need.
And when you need an auto loan, Shift works with a network of trusted lenders who compete for your business, so you get the best deal on financing.
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All prices are based on vehicle availability and pricing as of
April 15, 2022
Pricing shown is not guaranteed and does not include taxes or other product fees.