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How to Sell a Junk Car for Cash: A Step-By-Step Guide

By Staff Reporter , Dec 09, 2019 02:04 PM EST
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At the moment, almost 100 percent of automobiles in the United States get recycled.

In fact, the automobile is the most recycled consumer product in America.

If the time to part ways with your vehicle has finally come, you may wonder how to go about the process. Don't worry. We've prepared a friendly guide on how to sell a junk car.

This guide is divided into various sections, from the factors that affect the offer a junkyard will offer you, to how you can prepare your junk car ahead of time and get the best offer for it.

Read on to learn more.

Factors That Affect a Junkyard's Offer

Before junking a car, it helps to know what general factors are likely to affect the offer you're likely to get for it.

Here are four things a junkyard looks at when determining the value of your car.

1. The Prevailing Market Price of Scrap Metal

When you sell a junk car to a junkyard, the junkyard takes aluminum, steel, copper, and other valuable metals from it and sells it to metal dealers.

The metal dealers then sell the metal to recyclers.

The price metal recyclers pay for scrap metal depends on the prevailing market rate, which in turn determines the price the scrap metal dealers will pay the junkyard for your car.

In the end, the current market price of scrap metal affects the offer the junkyard will give you.

2. Labor Costs

After you're done selling your car to salvage yard, the junkyard strips, dismantles, and crushes your vehicle.

That takes labor, time, and other resources. The junkyard factors these costs before giving you an offer for your junk vehicle.

3. The Cost of Transporting the Car

What's the current working condition of your vehicle?

Usually, junk cars aren't in working condition, so junkyards have specialized equipment like flatbeds to transport them to their facility.

Most junkyards will charge for the cost of removal of your vehicle.

4. The Condition of Your Vehicle

Many junk car owners assume that since the junkyard will strip the car and crush it, its condition doesn't matter.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Since about 80% of your vehicle can be recycled, almost every part has potential value.

The better the condition of the exterior and interior of your vehicle, the better the offer you're likely to get for it.

How to Assess the Value of Your Car Ahead of Time

Research is your best weapon when learning how to junk a car.

The more information you have ahead of time, the more prepared you'll be when you receive the first offer.

Here are a few tips on getting a sense of the value of your junk car.

1. Learn the Weight of Your Car

Most of your car's material is steel, so it's possible to estimate its weight by finding out its weight and the market value of steel at the moment.

How do you go about determining the weight of your car?

Check out resources online that give the weight of a vehicle based on make and model. You can also check the label on the side of the driver's door that gives the weight of your car.

2. Check Out Current Scrap Metal Prices

The prices of scrap metal keep fluctuating, but it's possible to get a good idea of local scrap metal prices using applications that you can download online.

Of course, if parts like the tires, alternator, on-board GPS system, and starter motor are in good condition, you can expect a better price for your car, even if the prices of scrap metal are low in your area.

3. Learn the Importance of Timing

The season in which you try to sell your car can affect its value.

A convertible in the winter, for instance, is not as appealing to junkyards as an SUV. When the cost of gas is down, you're likely to get more for your car.

That said, don't wait for the right season to sell your car since doing so causes more deterioration to your vehicle.

Preparing Your Car to Maximize Cash Offer

In this section, we'll show you a few quick and inexpensive things you can do to increase the value of your junk vehicle.

Before you start calling for quotes, consider doing the following:

1. Drive or Tow the Vehicle Yourself

If there's a way you can get your junk vehicle to the junkyard by either driving or towing it, do it.

That spares you the transport costs that the junkyard would have charged you, and you end up with a better offer for your car.

2. Clean Out the Vehicle's Interior

Just about every part of your vehicle is potentially valuable.

The more time a junkyard employee has to spend cleaning your vehicle to strip it, the more it will cost you.

Before bringing your car to the junkyard, it's thus advisable to clean it.

3. Remove as Much Rust as Possible

Steel is susceptible to rust when left in the natural environment.

If you notice any rust on the surface of your vehicle, take the time to remove it. You should be able to get simple rust fixes in the local store.

The less rusted your car is, the better the offer you're likely to get.

4. Establish Ownership of the Car

Never make a trip to the junkyard with your vehicle without the title.

It'll be a waste of time. Junkyards cannot legally buy a car unless they can first prove the seller is the legal owner of the vehicle.

5. Get Multiple Quotes

Selling your car to the first junkyard you call is never advisable.

Call at least two or three junkyards and compare their offers before deciding on the best deal. At Cash Cars Buyer, we buy junk cars Wichita KS has some of the best prices.

Sell Your Junk Car Easily and for the Best Prices

Hopefully, you now have all the answers to the question, how does junking a car work?

As you've seen, the best way to prepare yourself when you intend to sell a junk car is to do your research ahead of time, evaluate the value of your vehicle, prepare your car for delivery, and get multiple offers.

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