5 Tips for Selling Junk Cars for Cash

July 2, 2012

Selling junk cars for the most money is a simple research process. Find out how to get top dollar for your car.

Junk Car for Sale

Selling junk cars for scrap or parts to a business that pays cash for auto salvage is a good way to realize some of your car's value. Salvage lots sell the parts to other car owners or repair shops for money, which is why they will buy your junked vehicle in the first place. Before you sell your car, ensure you get the maximum value for it.

Establish Ownership
Obtain the title to the vehicle (if you don't already own it). Scrap yards and salvage lots cannot purchase the vehicle from anyone but the owner of the vehicle. Establish ownership in your name prior to dealing with these businesses.

Assess the Value
Assess the damage to the car and determine the Blue Book value of the vehicle. Arm yourself with as much information as you can about the condition of the vehicle. When you shop around for prices, you may be asked a lot of questions about the car, including what damage it has, does it run, what is wrong with it and more. If possible, consider repairing some damage to the car to make it road worthy. Vehicles that drive are worth far more than vehicles that don't, and some junkyards may charge you to pick it up from your location.

Get Prices
Call all the junkyards in your area but also make sure to call those in nearby cities. You may find substantially different prices, making a longer drive worth the extra money. Some yards don't pay anything for vehicles that they have to pick up, while others will pay a substantial amount depending on the make, model and what is wrong with the car. It's best to call several junkyards and compare prices. Having a list of damages can make this process smoother as well.

Deliver Your Car
Now that you have a price, you need to deliver your car. If possible, tow or drive the car in yourself. Most salvage yards will pay more for cars that they don't have to bring in, as it saves them both time and money. Make sure you bring the title with you when you go, as you can't sell the car without proving you are the legal owner.

4 Lemon Laws to Abide
When it comes to trying to sell a junk car stock to consumers, there are laws that you have to abide by. The country has set what are referred to as Lemon Laws to protect consumers from unfair treatment. Some of these laws aren't too much of an issue, but many can come back to haunt you. Here are some that you should definitely abide.

  • State lemon laws.The first thing you should do is research the lemon laws for the state where you plan to sell your vehicle, to make sure that you are covered. Many state lemon laws do not extend protection to those who buy used vehicles, or vehicles that come "as is." Find out what your state has to say. Most states do allow you to sell salvaged car title cars with a different set of laws, so this may help as well
  • Mileage tampering laws.Mileage roll back is mentioned in most Lemon Law documents and is one of the widest known ways for a seller to deceive a buyer. You are not allowed to tamper with the mileage on a vehicle at all. Doing so is punishable by law. If the odometer stops working through no fault of your own, which has been known to happen, you must notify the buyer and it must be indicated on the title
  • Private seller laws.In most states, used car lemon laws are enacted differently on private owners who sell their own vehicle versus dealers. It is important to know what defines a dealer in your state. In the state of Massachusetts for example, anyone who has sold four vehicles within a 12 month time period is considered a dealer. This person is held to the same laws as a dealer, which can be slightly harsher than those directed at private parties
  • Price maximums. Many times state lemon laws can be avoided by staying within a certain price range. Many states will only issue refunds under lemon laws if a vehicle is sold for more than $700. Similar limitations are used for mileage and age of the vehicle
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