peddle logo

Peddle

peddle logo

Wheelzy

peddle logo

Carbrain

How to Sell?

How to Sell a Car That Won’t Start?

Photo of author
Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

DollarBreak is reader-supported, when you sign up through links on this post, we may receive compensation. Disclosure.

Quick Answer:

To successfully sell a non-starting car, first determine the underlying issue and the associated repair costs. This knowledge will help you decide whether to repair the vehicle before selling it or to sell it in its current state.

Online platforms like Peddle, Wheelzy, or CarBrain are optimal choices for selling a car that doesn’t start. These companies purchase vehicles regardless of their condition, offering payment typically within 24 to 48 hours.

While this route may yield a slightly lower price compared to a private sale, it offers convenience.

Key Takeaways:

  • Evaluate and Use Online Platforms: Determine the car’s condition and utilize online services like Peddle, Wheelzy, or CarBrain for an efficient sale.
  • Consider Various Selling Options: Explore selling to junkyards, private listings, or dealership trade-ins based on potential profit and convenience.
  • Prepare and Price Realistically: Clean the car, be transparent about its condition, and set a competitive price based on market research.
  • Be Ready for Negotiations: Anticipate and engage in price negotiations, maintaining a balance between firmness and flexibility.

Best for Older & Damaged Cars

Peddle logo

Buys used, damaged or junk cars

Free tow and no hidden fees

Pays by ACH trasfer or check

Top Pick for Junk Cars

Wheelzy logo

Free, no-obligation cash offers

Offers free paperwork service

Pays on the spot upon pick up

Highly Rated by Customers

CarBrain logo

Excellent customer service ratings

Honors guaranteed offer for 7 days

Can pick up a car within 48 hours

Great for Low-Mileage Cars

Carvana logo

Gives a real offer in 2 minutes

100% hassle-free online process

Free car’s Value Tracker available

Where to Sell a Car That Won’t Start?


If you have a car that won’t start, you have a few options for selling it:

1. Car Buying Websites


Get quotes from car-buying websites like Peddle, CarBrain or Wheelzy. These websites specialize in buying cars that are in less-than-perfect condition, including cars that don’t start.

To get a quote, simply enter some basic information about your car, such as the make, model, and mileage. The website will then send you a quote. If you accept the quote, the website will send a tow truck to pick up your car for free.

who buys used cars running or not

2. Private Listing


List your car as-is on private listing websites like CarGurus. This is a good option if you’re willing to sell the car yourself.

You’ll need to take good photos of the car and write a detailed description, and you’ll also need to be prepared to answer questions from potential buyers. Be sure to disclose the fact that the car doesn’t start in your ad, and be realistic about your asking price.

3. Sell it to a junkyard


Sometimes, the car’s value may be higher in scrap metal and spare parts than in a whole unit. Junkyards purchase old cars primarily for parts and recycling.

You might not get as much money as selling it to a private party or repair shop, but it’s a quick and easy solution, and they often pick up the vehicle for free.

4. Repair Shop


Bring your car to a repair shop to identify precisely what is wrong with it. This will give you an accurate idea of how much it would cost to fix the car and whether or not it’s worth fixing.

If the car is relatively new and the repairs are minor, it may be worth fixing it up and selling it as a used car. However, if the car is older or the repairs are extensive, it may be more cost-effective to sell the car as-is.

5. Trade it in


Some dealerships might offer a trade-in value even for cars that don’t start. The amount you get can be put towards purchasing a new or used vehicle from them.

While the trade-in value for a non-running car will be significantly lower, it’s a hassle-free way to offload your old vehicle and get a discount on a new one.

6. Sell it as parts


If you have the time, space, and know-how, you can dismantle your car and sell the parts individually. This can be a profitable approach, especially if specific vehicle components are still in good condition.

Engines, transmissions, tires, and electronics can fetch a reasonable price. However, this method requires significant effort, and you’ll need to have a plan for disposing of the parts of the car you can’t sell.

7. Donate the car


If you’re not particularly interested in making money and would rather see your old vehicle go to a good cause, you can donate it.

Many charitable organizations accept car donations, and while you might not get a cash payout, you can often claim a tax deduction. Plus, it’s a great way to help a needy charity.

12 Companies That Will Buy Your Non-Starting Car


Peddle


Peddle Summary

  • Sell used, damaged or junk car nationwide
  • Free towing within 48 hours after offer
  • Receive payment upon car collection
  • Get free online quote – offer valid 7 days
  • Instant quote available on (855) 925 4302
  • No obligation to accept the offer

Peddle is one of the best car-buying companies in the United States. Peddle purchases all kinds of cars, including junk and damaged cars, as well as cars that no longer start or run. With Peddle, you can get an instant online quote for your vehicle that is valid for 7 days.

Getting a quoteFew minutes after submitting the application
Offer validity7 days
Fees0
Turnaround time48 hours
Car pickupFree

Other benefits of selling your car to  Peddle include:

  • Provides same-day payment 
  • Hands you the check on the same day of making your sale
  • Accepts vehicles in all kinds of condition

Wheelzy


Wheelzy Summary

  • Wheelzy stores are open 7 days a week
  • Get offer in minutes – (855) 510-1108
  • Free towing of your car from your location
  • Instant payment via cash or check

Wheelzy is a reliable car-buying company with locations all across the United States. With Wheelzy, you can sell your old, new, or junk car quickly and easily. Wheelzy buys vehicles in all kinds of conditions and is a great place to sell a car that won’t start. You can also get an instant price quote for free online.

Other benefits of using Wheelzy include:

  • Free car pick-up service
  • Same-day payment
  • No fees
  • No expiry date on the price offer

CarBrain


CarBrain Summary

  • Call for a free quote – (844) 407-2200
  • Get cash for your car in under 48 hours
  • CarBrain buys cars in over 7 conditions
  • Up to 7 days to accept CarBrain’s offer
carbrain points

CarBrain is a highly rated car-buying company where you can sell your used car that won’t start online. Once you provide information about your vehicle on CarBrain’s application form, you can receive a free online quote for your car.

Once you accept the offer, CarBrain will arrange to pick up your car for free and pay you within 48 hours of accepting your offer.

Other benefits of using CarBrain include:

  • Free online quote
  • Free car pick-up
  • Easy selling process

The Clunker Junker


The Clunker Junker Summary

  • Get an online offer within 5 minutes
  • 100% payment guarantee for your junk car
  • A free towing service is provided
  • Receive payment on the spot via check

The Clunker Junker is a car-buying company where you can sell your used car. With the Clunker Junker, you can get an instant cash quote on their website. You can sell a car that won’t start with The Clunker Junker, as they accept vehicles in all conditions.

After accepting the price offer, The Clunker Junker will arrange for a representative to pick up your car for free. Once they evaluate the condition of your vehicle, you will receive payment.

Other benefits of using The Clunker Junker include:

  • Free car pick-up
  • No fees or charges
  • Same day payment

US Junk Cars


USJunkCars Summary

  • Speedy transactions
  • Same-day pickup available
  • Free pickups
  • Get cash immediately upon pickup

US Junk Cars is a car-buying company that buys cars in various kinds of conditions. With US Junk Cars, you can sell your car that won’t start easily online and for free. US Junk Cars will provide you with an instant online quote for your car after you provide the year, make and model of your car. Once you accept the offer, a representative will pick up your car for free.

You will receive payment in cash on the same day that the representative picks up your car.

Other benefits of using US Junk Cars include:

  • Cash payment
  • Free online price offer
  • Free car pick-up or tow

We Buy Any Car USA


We Buy Any Car Summary

  • Instant offers within minutes
  • Buys almost any vehicle
  • No fees if you have no finance on the vehicle
  • A+ BBB platform rating

We Buy Any Car USA is a car-buying company that will buy your car that won’t start. We Buy Any Car USA buys cars in all kinds of conditions and will provide you with a free price quote on their website.

Once you accept the offer, you will have to book an appointment to sell your car and arrange for your car to be towed or dropped off at one of We Buy Any Car USA’s locations. A branch manager will then perform a quick vehicle inspection and test drive. Once everything checks out, you get paid with a check within an hour.

Other benefits of using We Buy Any Car USA include:

  • Same-day payment
  • Payment in check
  • Free price quote

Junk My Car


Junk My Car Summary

  • Powered by Peddle
  • You get an instant offer
  • Towing your car is completely free
  • Cash when the tow truck arrives

Junk My Car is a trusted car-buying company where you can sell your car that won’t start easily online. Junk My Car accepts cars in various types of conditions and provides you with a free instant quote online after you provide the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Once you accept the offer, a representative will arrange a time to come and tow or remove your vehicle.

You will get paid the same day a representative arrives to pick up your car.

Other benefits of using Junk My Car include:

  • Free online quote
  • Free car pick-up or tow
  • The straightforward online selling process

Damaged Cars


DamagedCars.com Summary

  • Get paid within 24 to 48 hours
  • No need to go junkyard & negotiate deals
  • Higher pay than any other local junkyard
  • Offer within 90 seconds

Damaged Cars is a car-buying company where you can sell your car that won’t start quickly and easily. Once you enter your vehicle details on the website, Damaged Cars will give you an instant price offer. After accepting the offer, Damaged Cars will arrange to tow your car for free and pay you that same day.

Other benefits of using Damaged Cars include:

  • Turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours
  • Same-day payment
  • Free car pick-up
  • Easy selling process

Pick-n-Pull


Pick-n-Pull Summary

  • Fast selling process
  • Recycles parts and scrap metal
  • Accepts vehicles in all conditions
  • Vehicle removed for free

Pick-n-pull is a car-buying company with locations all across the US and Canada where you can sell your car that won’t start. The company buys used cars, crossovers, minivans, SUVs, and trucks.

Pick-n-pull accepts cars that are:

  • Any make and model
  • Domestic and foreign
  • Running or not

Once you submit your vehicle information, Pick-n-Pull will instantly send you a Cash for Junk Car offer. After you accept the offer, you will be asked to provide proof of ownership and a few other details. Then, Pick-n-Pull will set up a time to come and tow your car, paying you on the same day as your car gets towed.

Other benefits of using JunkCarsUS include:

  • Locations in Canada and US
  • Free price offer
  • Same-day payment
  • Free car pick-up or tow

Junk Car Medics


Junk Car Medics Summary

  • Higher potential value due to demand for parts
  • Easy, fast collection within a couple of days
  • Quotes within a few minutes
  • Online quote generator is simple and easy to use

Junk Car Medics is a reputable car-buying company that buys junk cars for scrap. You can sell your vehicle that won’t start With Junk Car Medics quickly and easily. Junk Car Medics provides a free instant price quote for your car that is valid for 7 days. Once you accept the offer, a representative will arrange to pick up or tow your car for free.

After the representative evaluates your car, you will be paid with cash on the spot.

Other benefits of using Junk Car Medics include:

  • Same-day payment
  • Free price offer 
  • Free car pick-up or tow

JunkCarsUS


JunkCarsUs Summary

  • Free pickup service
  • No paperwork
  • No assessment fees
  • Buys vehicle in any condition

JunkCarsUS is a junk car removal service that buys junk cars in any condition where you can sell a car that won’t start.

JunkCarsUS will purchase junk cars that are:

  • Flooded
  • Blown engine
  • Scrap
  • Salvage
  • Totaled
  • Non-running
  • Burned
  • Damaged
  • Wrecked

The company will provide you with an instant online price quote on their website after you fill out the information about your car. Once you accept the offer, a representative will arrange to tow your vehicle and give you your payment on the same day. 

Other benefits of using JunkCarsUS include:

  • Same-day payment
  • Free price offer
  • Free car pick-up or tow

Junk Car Masters


Junk Car Masters Summary

  • You can get an instant quote online
  • It includes a free towing service
  • You can get a quote over phone
  • Selling process takes only 48 hours

Junk Car Masters is a reliable car-buying company where you can sell your junk or damaged car to. You can receive a free online price offer after you provide information about your vehicle and its location. Once you accept the instant offer, a representative will schedule a time to tow or remove the vehicle.

With Junk Car Masters, you will receive payment on the same day of making the sale, which is often within 24-48 hours.

Other benefits of using Junk Car Masters include:

  • Free online quote
  • Free car pick-up or tow
  • Turnaround time of 24-48 hours

How Much a Car that Won’t Start is Worth?


A non-running car’s worth can vary significantly based on its make, model, year, condition, and the demand for its parts. While assigning a fixed value without specifics is challenging, many non-running cars are typically valued at a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. This range primarily comes from their potential value in parts, salvage, or as a fixer-upper project for enthusiasts.

To get a more accurate estimate for a particular non-running vehicle, it’s beneficial to consult various sources. Websites like Peddle, CarBrain or Wheelzy, along with local marketplaces such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, can offer insights into the going rates for similar vehicles.

Should You Sell a Car that Doesn’t Start as Parts?


If your vehicle is non-functional, consider selling its components separately, including the engine, wheels, seats, body, and steering wheel.

Often, the cumulative value of these parts can exceed the amount you’d get from selling the car as is. Be aware, though, that this approach requires time and a variety of tools to dismantle the vehicle.

Additionally, mechanical knowledge is essential for this task. Given these considerations, opting to sell your car as it stands to an online car-buying service could be a more convenient and less labor-intensive alternative.

How to Prepare Your Car That Doesn’t Start for a Sale?


Preparing a car that doesn’t start for sale involves several steps to make it as appealing as possible and to ensure you get the best possible deal. Here are the key steps to consider:

  1. Make the Car Presentable: Clean the car thoroughly, both inside and out. Vacuum the interior, dust the dashboard, and polish the bodywork to make it visually appealing. This can help to create a positive impression despite the mechanical issues.
  2. Be Transparent About Its Condition: Disclose all known issues with the car, including the reasons why it doesn’t start. Share any relevant repair history, service records, and estimates to provide a clear picture of the vehicle’s condition.
  3. Professional Assessment: If possible, get a professional mechanic to assess why the car fails to start. Their expert opinion can add credibility to your description of the car’s condition and may help in pricing it accurately.
  4. Research Pricing: Look at current listings for similar non-running vehicles to set a realistic price. Overpricing can deter potential buyers, so it’s important to be reasonable and open to negotiation.
  5. Effective Marketing: Create compelling, honest ads with quality photos showing the car’s condition. Provide detailed information about the car and its issues. Post your ad on multiple platforms to reach a broader audience of potential buyers.
  6. Transportation Logistics: Since the car doesn’t start, plan how it will be transported to the buyer. This might involve arranging for towing services, which some buyers or services might offer for free.
  7. Expect Negotiations: Be prepared for potential buyers to negotiate the price. While you should avoid accepting lowball offers, some flexibility can help close a deal at a mutually acceptable price.
Photo of author

Michael Becker

Dollarbreak

About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

The content on dollarbreak.com is for informational and educational purposes only and cannot replace any professional financial advice.
Conduct your own research and seek the advice of a licensed financial advisor. Please read the full Terms of use and Privacy Policy.