Getting Rid of That Old Lemon for Cash: 5 Tips for Selling to Junk Car Buyers

If you need cash and you can’t find a buyer for your old vehicle, it’s time to start looking for junk car buyers. Here’s how to get the best deal.

If you need cash and you can’t find a buyer for your old vehicle, it’s time to start looking for junk car buyers.

You can sell your car as is through Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You can also donate your car. But you’re likely to get the most money from a salvage yard or a business that purchases junk cars.

Keep reading for five important tips to help you get the best deal.

1. Have Proof of Ownership

Salvage lots and junk car buyers may not legally purchase your vehicle unless you can prove you are the owner. Therefore, you must produce the title and legal identification. Make sure you have the proof you need before contacting these establishments.

2. Determine the Vehicle’s Value

Kelley Blue Book is a good starting point to assess the value of your car. You always want to be able to sell a junk car for 500 dollars or more, but  be objective when stating the current condition of the car. If your car will need repairs to make it safe for the road, deduct the cost of repair from your Blue Book value

If the repairs are minor, you may want to fix the car to make it road-safe. Driveable vehicles are usually worth significantly more than non-operational vehicles and some salvage yards charge you to tow the car.

3. Clean the Vehicle

A dirty vehicle may appear more broken down than it actually is. Conversely, a pristine car can look much more valuable than it really is. 

Before you take your car in for a junk car buyer to inspect, remove all your belongings and make it clutter-free. Wash and wax the car and apply some Armor All to the tires. Wipe down the interior and vacuum the floor of the car.

A little elbow grease just may be the ticket to a better offer.

4. Call and Compare Junk Car Buyers

It’s wise to call several businesses that pay cash for junk cars. Many places use different pricing models to determine a vehicle’s value. As such, you may find a wide variety of price quotes in your local area.

These cash buyers will have a lot of questions for you. Simplify the process by gathering as much information as you can about your car ahead of time. Make sure you have a list of all the car’s issues as you’re sure to be asked: what’s wrong with the car?

5. Drive to the Location

Driving the car to the buyer may also earn you a better deal. You won’t be docked for the tow fee that most salvage yards and cash buyers charge to come and pick up the vehicle.

Driving your car to the buyer also provides proof of the value of the vehicle. Cars that still are ready for the road are worth more than “lawn furniture” cars.

The Bottom Line

Of course, you’ll get a better deal from junk car buyers if you are a strong negotiator. Don’t take the first price you are offered. Instead, aim for a better price by highlighting the state of your car.

If the car has never been in an accident, or only had one minor collision, stress that positive accident history to get a higher offer.

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