How to Sell a Car to a Junkyard: Tips for Getting the Most Money Possible

January 27, 2012

If you need to sell a car to a junkyard, you will want to get as much for the damaged vehicle as possible. Regardless if you are selling a vehicle that has been damaged in a wreck or simply one that has worn out, there are a few things you can do in order to maximize the amount you receive. If your vehicle is a very popular model, you may be able to sell it to a junkyard for used car or truck parts.

In addition to the cash you receive, you may be eligible for a junkyard tax deduction - if you can show you sold the vehicle at a considerable loss. Here's a how-to guide on getting the most from a junkyard for your old clunker or wreck.

What You Will Need

  • Original car title
  • Local phone directory
  • Personal and driver's license information
  • Good research skills
  • Some negotiating skills

Step 1: Contact Junkyards in Your Area

Look under junkyards and salvage yards in your local Yellow Pages. Find all of the local junkyard or salvage yards that are in your vicinity or located close enough so that you can deliver the vehicle there without considerable difficulty or expense.

Contact each junkyard and tell them that you have a vehicle you are interested in selling. Give them all the particulars of the vehicle, such as the make and model, and the type of damage that the vehicle has. The person at the junkyard may ask you quite a few questions about the vehicle. You should try to answer all the questions as truthfully and accurately as possible in order to get the most accurate offer for your vehicle.

Step 2: Receive Buy Offers

If your vehicle is something that the junkyards are interested in, they will probably make you an offer over the phone. Try to avoid doing business with junkyards that insist that you bring in the vehicle for an estimate. This may simply add to your costs of selling the vehicle.

Step 3: Compare Offers and Costs

After you contact all of the junkyards, compare the offers you received along with the amount that you expect it will cost you to deliver it to the junkyard. If the vehicle is still drivable, this is not much of an issue. If you need to rent a truck or tow vehicle, the distance traveled will definitely be something to consider.

Step 4: Prepare the Vehicle

Remove all personal belongings or added accessories you wish to keep before taking the car to the junkyard.

Step 5: Deliver the Vehicle

Drive or tow your vehicle to the junkyard you want to do business with.

Step 6: Sell the Vehicle

Allow the personnel at the junkyard to inspect your vehicle. If the vehicle is indeed as you described, the junkyard should give you the amount they offered you on the phone. If you left anything out while on the phone, now is a good time to mention it and try to negotiate a higher selling price. Sign over the title and receive the payment in cash or get a business check.

Step 7: Check on Title Transfer

After about a week, contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles and ensure that the title has been transferred. Don't allow the junkyard to delay the transfer of the title too long, as you may be liable for any event or mishap that might be associated with the vehicle.

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