Junk in the Trunk: 10 Tips for Selling Your Car to a Junkyard

Junk in the Trunk: 10 Tips for Selling Your Car to a Junkyard

Most of us love our vehicles until the very end of the relationship and the end may mean the junkyard.

Vehicles that are no longer salvageable can be sold for parts to help realize some of the value that you are losing by junking the car.

How can you know whether or not you are selling a car to a salvage yard that is reputable?

If you are planning on selling your car to a junkyard, check out our 10 tips to make sure that you do it correctly!

10 Tips for Selling Your Car to a Junkyard

It may seem simple to just sell your car to the junkyard, but there are actually steps you need to take to be sure that you aren’t going to mess it up. Selling your car is a big step, so you want to do it right.

1. Sign a Release of Liability

Each state has different rules, but the DMV in your state should have a tear off portion on your title. You can fill this out to send to the DMV when you are selling your vehicle to a junkyard.

It helps you if the junkyard somehow resells the car after you give it to them. You can call or check online to see what the rules are for your state to make sure you are covered for the future.

2. Check if Towing is Covered by the Junkyard

A lot of junkyards will provide free towing if you need it. If you are being asked to pay, you might as well see if you can get it cheaper somewhere else.

You want to make sure that you know the hard price of the tow before you let anyone tow the vehicle though! Never pay too much for a tow, especially if the car isn’t running at all and isn’t worth much anyway.

Remember that if they provide towing to you, however, they may want to pay less for the car. If you can get it there yourself, it may help you get a higher price, but this is not always the case.

3. Sign the Title Over AFTER You Receive Payment

You should never accept an excuse to not get your payment as soon as you are handing over the vehicle to the junkyard. Don’t sign the title until you receive payment in full.

The reason for this is that the junkyard may try to give you the run around if they feel they can get away with it. This may mean delaying payment for a long period of time, trying to change the amount they pay or something else to make it a better deal for them.

Don’t let this happen to you! Refuse to sign the title over until you have cash or check in hand. Otherwise, walk away and find a different buyer.

4. The Buyer Should Follow Their Original Quoted Price

Make sure that the buyer has all of the information they need on the vehicle before they give you a quote. This will make it less likely that they will try to change it later because they already new all of the flaws before they made their initial offer.

After this, they should stick with the price that they gave you. If not, it may be wise to find a better buyer.

5. Get a Second Opinion if Needed

If your car is currently at a repair shop and you’re being charged for keeping it there, you need to move it quickly. This doesn’t mean you should always take the first buyer’s price, however, because it may be way lower than what is fair.

Always get at least two or maybe three quoted prices before choosing a buyer. In addition, you may want to look at both local and national companies to see if the price may change.

Also note that if you car is newer than the year 2000, you should definitely be getting some cash from it no matter what. Your car has some value, so don’t let the junkyards tell you otherwise.

6. Get All of Your Stuff Out

You need to get everything out of your vehicle before you hand it over. Check under the seats, behind the seats, in your glove compartments, in the doors, and in the trunk. You also might have a center console or other storage compartments that you need to be sure are cleaned out. 

7. Take Your Custom Accessories

If you installed anything that was customized, you can take it out before you sell the car.

The junkyard probably doesn’t want it and you might be able to sell it to a different buyer to get more money. You may even be able to use them in your next vehicle instead!

8. Remove Your Plates

When you sell a car to a private buyer to keep driving, the rules are a little different than if you are selling a car that no longer works. You probably are going to sell the car as quickly as you can and the car may be towed if it doesn’t run.

Don’t overlook important details when you are selling your vehicle to a junkyard, even if everything is feeling rushed. Take your old license plates from the car before you have it towed.

The rules are different in each state, but you will likely need to return the plates to the DMV before your car registration is canceled. You also likely will not have the option to cancel your car insurance until they are returned either, so this is important.

9. Use The Gasoline You’ve Bought (If Possible)

If your vehicle still runs, you should consider using up the gasoline you have bought. The junkyard will just drain it if you don’t. Some vehicles have a really large tank so you may consider the value of the gasoline as being part of your vehicle’s total value.

You could also siphon the gas out, but be sure that you are careful when doing this. Only use containers that are approved for gasoline and don’t ever siphon with your mouth if you can help it.

10. Check the Title Transfer Afterwards

Once a week or two has passed, you should contact your DMV to make sure the title transferred over. You don’t want the junkyard to delay in this transfer. If they do, you may become liable if there is some problematic event or a mishap with your vehicle because it could still be in your name.

Sell Your Car Today

Now that you know more about selling your car to a junkyard, you may be ready to actually do it!

Remember to get a fair price, shop around before you choose a buyer, and take care of all loose ends before you hand it over to the junkyard.

To get a quote on your car, check out our website and see how much we can pay for your junk, used, or damaged vehicle! We would love to help you.