Best Ways to Sell a Car That's Not Running: 6 Options to Consider

January 27, 2012

If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you want to sell a car that is not running, then you know you are left with only a few real options. Selling a junk car is an inaccurate science and prices may vary wildly, depending on what method you use and how persistent you are. Even if you do manage to sell your car, one thing is for certain: you will not be able to take in as much money as if the car was in excellent shape. No matter what method you choose, make sure you are honest about exactly what is wrong with the car. So what options do you have?

  1. The most basic option when selling any car is to place an ad in the paper or online, offering to sell the car for parts. You may be surprised by the interest this generates, and you should expect to hear some extremely low offers from people that want the car for additional parts, or those that wish to turn it over for scrap in hopes of making a profit. Craigslist, Ebay and classified ads are all good places to consider posting your ad.
  2. A second option is to potentially repair the car. You may find that the cost to repair the vehicle is well worth the additional profit you would make by selling a functional car.
  3. Scrap yards are another option for you to consider. Many junk yards will buy your car and tear it apart to sell the parts back to auto repair stations and to private parties. Know this, all junkyards want to make a profit and they will not buy your car if they don't think they can do so. You probably will not fetch top dollar in this manner, but most junk yards will tow the car for you. If you can drive it in yourself, you will fetch far more cash for it.
  4. Donating your car is another idea to think about. While this doesn't put any cash directly in your pocket, it does allow you to deduct the value of the vehicle on your taxes at a later date, which can earn you some additional cash on your return.
  5. Talk to your local auto dealers. Some dealers will buy a car that needs some repairs if they think they can fix it up and turn it over for profit. Older vehicles are less likely to be candidates for this type of sale.
  6. Another idea is to part out the vehicle yourself, removing all functioning parts with the intent of selling them piecemeal. This requires a lot of effort and a place to store the car and any parts. Selling your car in this manner may generate the most amount of profit, but also the most amount of work, as you will eventually have to sell metal to scrap yards to make it worth your time.
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