Over the span of my 15-year experience in the automotive industry, I’ve encountered and sold numerous junk vehicles. Recently, I successfully sold three such cars: a 1998 Nissan Maxima, a 2001 Volkswagen Jetta, and a 2002 Subaru Impreza. Each of these vehicles had significant damage and did not pass safety inspections.
For example, at 145,000 miles, the Subaru Impreza was kept outside all year round for quite a few years, the undercarriage was completely rusted, and the Jetta, with mileage of 110,000 miles, had serious brake issues, ignition problems and body damage on the right side.
Aiming to get cash quickly, I chose to sell them through Peddle. The efficiency of their process was impressive – acquiring a quote for each car took merely 5 minutes, and their representative arranged for the pickup of these vehicles directly from my specified location within just 48 hours.
Best Places that Buy Junk Cars
Get your free offer instantly via online form or call on (855) 925 4302
$0 fees + you don’t have to pay for towing – Peddle will take care of it
Get paid in check during the pick up for any car (damaged, junk, wrecked)
Quick car evaluation without the hassle – sell your car within 30 min
Choose a convenient date and time for free pick-up, as soon as next day
Get cash in hand the same day the Wheelzy agent picks up your car
3 Best Ways to Sell Junk Cars
To get a cash offer for your junk car, fill out an online form, provide your car details, such as the car’s make, model, year, and mileage, and answer questions to describe its condition. The whole process will take you no more than five minutes, and Peddle’s offer will be valid for 7 days.
After you accept the quote, Peddle will arrange the car’s pickup within 48 hours, free of charge, and you will be paid right on the spot by check.
Types of junk cars you can sell to Peddle:
- Non-running accident-damaged cars
- Old vehicles with rust or body damage
- Cars with water or fire damage
- Cars with extensively high mileage
- Cars with missing parts (engine, transmission or battery)
Recent Peddle Offers
|Ford (Explorer Sport Trac)||2004||145,000||$1,170|
Wheelzy is another place you can sell junk cars for top dollar. Similarly to Peddle, Wheelzy also provides an instant quote free of charge. The offer will be valid for 7 days and the car will be towed away within 48 hours.
Wheelzy offer two payment options: either cash or check at the time of the car’s pickup.
Types of junk cars you can sell to Wheelzy:
- Running and non-running vehicles
- Car’s with missing parts
- Car’s with body damage
- Accident-damaged, wrecked cars
- Car with fire or flood damage
Recent Wheelzy Offers
|Hyundai (Tucson)||2006||200,000||Doesn’t start||$400|
|Mercury (Sable Sedan)||2003||150,000||Doesn’t start||$225|
|Ford (Edge)||2010||200,000||Doesn’t start||$1,200|
|Lexus (RX)||2002||300,000||Doesn’t start||$750|
|Chevrolet (Cobalt Sedan)||2007||200,000||Doesn’t start||$200|
CarBrain also buys vehicles with any damage, including non-running and complete junk cars. The biggest advantage of CarBrain is that you can sell a car without a title.
Requesting a quote from CarBrain is as easy as submitting an online application. The CarBrain representative will contact you with the deal within a few minutes, which you can accept or reject within 7 days.
If you accept the offer, the CarBrain contractor will arrive to tow away the car free of charge, and you will be paid by check.
Types of junk cars you can sell to CarBrain:
- Broken cars
- Parts cars
- Non-running, junk or scrap cars
- Cars with mechanical problems
- Cars with falling objects
Other Ways to Sell Junk Cars
In most cases, these methods will take much longer and do not guarantee more cash for your junk car.
Sell Junk Car to Dealerships
Dealerships typically do not offer as much money as online car-buying companies. This is because dealerships are typically looking for cars they can resell and are not interested in junk cars.
If you are considering selling your junk car to a dealership, you should be prepared to get a lower offer; moreover, you should also be prepared to pay for the car’s tow to the dealership, as most dealerships do not offer free towing.
Sell Junk Car to Salvage Yard
Salvage yards specialize in buying vehicles mainly for their scrap metal and component parts. They offer a swift way to dispose of a junk car by offering cash upfront, taking care of dismantling the vehicle, and selling off valuable parts while recycling the residual metal.
This can be a quick solution for getting rid of a non-running vehicle; however, the price they offer is usually based on the fluctuating market value of scrap metal, which could be considerably less than what you might receive through other avenues.
Moreover, if you decide to sell a junk car to a salvage yard, you will need to go through multiple locations to find out the one that offers the best deal for you, which will require additional time and effort.
Sell Junk Car Privately
Selling privately, you can expect to get the best cash offer but it can be more time-consuming and more complex than selling a car online or at a salvage yard.
It is estimated that the average time to sell a car privately is 52 days, and people spend up to 18 additional hours to advertise the vehicle, find a buyer, negotiate a price and take care of all the paperwork.
If, after all, you decide to sell a junk car privately, you should find out the market value estimates via Kelley Blue Book, clean your car’s exterior and interior, take good photos and list your car on multiple car buying sites.
Most popular websites for selling cars privately:
- eBay Motors
Sell Junk Car Parts
If you have experience and in-depth mechanical knowledge, you could also consider dismantling and selling the car for parts. This method can be profitable if your vehicle has high-value components that are in good condition.
This process can take a significant amount of time and effort. You must disassemble the car, clean and inspect the parts, and then list them for sale online or sell them in person to a salvage yard.
How long it can take:
- Disassembling the car: 20-40 hours
- Cleaning and inspecting the parts: 10-20 hours
- Listing the parts for sale: 5-10 hours
Who Gives the Most Cash for Junk Cars?
Generally, selling a car privately or dismantling it and selling individual parts might seem a more profitable option; it requires compares a significant amount of time, effort and experience.
Pro tip: Request a quote from all 3 car buying companies on this list to compare their deals and take the best one.
Signs That You Need To Sell Your Junk Car
Junk cars are often perceived as non-functioning, significantly damaged or too expensive to fix. In most cases, such cars are left out and deteriorating in the driveway or garage.
There are a few factors that determine when it is time to sell a junk car:
- Expensive repairs – when a vehicle starts to demand frequent, severe, and high-priced repairs, it might be time to weigh its age and market value against these costs. Continually investing in a deteriorating car can prove to be a financially unwise decision. In such instances, selling the vehicle is often the more prudent choice.
- Cars safety – wear and tear can cause significant safety issues, such as faulty brakes, worn-out tires, or non-functioning headlights or airbags. If these issues are not addressed promptly, they can put you and others on the road at risk. If your vehicle is unsafe to drive, it’s time to consider selling it.
- Extensive mileage – while some cars can run well over 200,000 miles, high mileage is often a trigger for many problems, particularly if routine maintenance has been neglected. High-mileage cars are more likely to have worn-out components and could be on the brink of major systemic failures. Such cars lose value rapidly and will be hard to sell at a reasonable price as time passes.
- Condition – similarly, as for cars with high mileage, the value of the car with poor condition drops significantly. If your car was in flood, has fire damage or has extensive rest issues selling it as junk might be the only option.
Paperwork Required to Sell Junk Car
The list of required paperwork depends on how you decide to sell your car and specific state laws. There is much less hassle selling it online to Peddle, Wheelzy or Carbrain compared to selling privately, for example, as you only need to provide a Certificate of Title and your ID.
|Paperwork||Peddle||Private sales||Salvage yards|
|Owner’s ID card||Required||Required||Usually Required|
|Certificate of Title||Required||Required||Often Required|
|Odometer Reading||Required||Required||Often Required|
|Release of Liability||Required, provided by Peddle||Required||Required|
|Bill of Sale||Provided by Peddle||Recommended||Recommended|
|Registration Tag||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law|
|Emissions Test||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law|
|VIN Check||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law|
|Return License Plates||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law||Depends on the State Law|
|Service Records||Not Required||Not Required but may increase offer||Not Required|
|Owner’s Manual||Not Required||Not Required but may increase offer||Not Required|
How to Sell Junk Car with a Loan?
Having a lien means you owe money, and the legal owner of the vehicle is a lienholder, not you. You won’t have a legal claim on the car until the debt is fully paid off, meaning selling it is complicated.
The main thing to know is that you need to pay off the loan to be able to transfer the car’s certificate of Title to the new owner.
Steps to selling junk car with a loan:
- Find out the outstanding loan balance – contact your lender and determine your pay-off amount.
- Check your car’s value – when you know the payoff amount and your car’s value, you can estimate the car’s equity. If equity is negative – the car is worth less than you owe, you will need to cover the difference between the pay-off amount and the sale price out of your pocket.
- Choose the way to sell – you can either sell a financed car online, to scrap yards or privately, though the latter might be difficult due to the buyer’s low interest in such transactions.
Best Time to Sell Junk Car
The best time to sell a junk car is typically in the spring or summer months. The period between March and June, particularly April and May, can be an opportune time to sell your junk car due to tax returns, increased disposable income and willingness to spend on auto parts.
Junkyards, responding to this heightened demand, may offer premium prices for junk cars or their parts during this season.
From June to September, the demand for scrap metal typically rises, in part due to increased construction and development projects and people being more active and pursuing hobbies that may require auto parts. This increased demand can drive up the price you get for your junk car.
Less favorable times to sell include fall and winter seasons because of market saturation, lower demand and declined outdoor activities.
How Scrap Metal Prices Affect Junk Car Offer
Scrap metal prices play a significant role in determining the amount of money you can get for your junk car because junk cars, regardless of their condition, contain valuable metals such as steel, aluminum, copper, and even sometimes precious metals.
Metal prices are not determined by individual junkyards; instead, they’re contingent on industry-wide standards driven by market forces similar to the stock market.
Common factors influencing the variability in scrap metal prices:
- Domestic and global economic changes
- Scrap metal demand and supply relation
- National interest rates
- Cost of logistics
How Much is a Junked Car Worth?
The average car has nearly 2,400 pounds of steel. Steel accounts for over half of a vehicle’s weight and up to 300 pounds of aluminum.
Those materials’ market value will impact your junk car’s overall value. To know the estimated value of your car, you will need to find out the accurate weight of your vehicle. Weight is usually marked on the sticker that can be found on the driver’s side door.
When you have determined the car’s weight, compare this figure with the current metal price per pound. For example, current steel prices range from $0.03 to $0.05 per pound.
A midsize car weighs approximately 3,361 pounds, so you can get up to $168 for a car’s steel alone.
Nevertheless, to earn such an amount, you will need to dismantle your vehicle and sell it in parts, which will be time-consuming and non-effective compared with selling online.
For example, Peddle offers $1,360 for a 2013 Chevrolet Cruze that has damage in the front and isn’t good for daily use.
Can I sell a junk car without a title?
Requirements regarding selling a junk car without a title vary from state to state. In some states, it is possible to sell a car without a title, but you will need to provide other documentation to prove that you own the car.
For example, some states offer exceptions for old cars that surpass 15 or 25 years. In this case, a bill of sale can be used instead of a title.
Exceptions apply in these states:
|Iowa||If the car is 15 years old or older and you have a bill of sale|
|Maine||If the car is 1995 or newer and you have a bill of sale|
|Massachusetts||If the car is 15 years old or older and you have a bill of sale|
|Montana||If the car is 25 years old or older and you have a bill of sale|
|New Hampshire||If the car is 15 years old or older and you have a bill of sale|
|Vermont||If the car is 15 years old or older and you have a bill of sale|
However, in other states, selling a car without the title is illegal, and fines of up to $2,500 or criminal charges with up to 1 year in jail can be applied.
If you have lost the title, you need to request for Title Duplicate or contact the previous owner to transfer it to your name.
Safest payment method when selling the junk car
- Cash – the most superficial and immediate form of payment. It carries no risk of bounced checks or disputed charges, but you should count it carefully at the time of the transaction.
- Cashier’s Check – one of the most secure forms of payment. This is because funds are guaranteed by the issuing bank or institution. However, counterfeit cashier’s checks and money orders are in circulation. Be sure to verify their authenticity with the issuing institution.
- Bank Transfer – this method is considered safe because the money goes directly from the buyer’s bank account into yours.
What happens after I sell my junk car?
What happens with the car itself depends on the buyer, but it is most likely that the vehicle will be dismantled and used for parts.
Regarding your responsibilities as a former owner, you need to make sure to inform your insurance company about the sale and cancel the contract, sign the release of liability form and make sure the transfer of title was completed.