A Brief Guide to Junking a Vehicle


Did you know one in four cars on the road are at least 16 years old? Are you driving an old clunker on its last legs?

Your mechanic gave you the bad news. Your old car needs far more repairs than it’s worth. It happens a lot with older cars. It’s not worth the repairs, and you won’t get anything on the resale market.

It’s time to scrap it.

You don’t know the first thing about junking a vehicle. Can you get good money for it? What’s the best way to do it?

We’ll answer all your questions about the process of scrapping a vehicle and how to get the most cash out of the process. Read on to learn more.

Strip for Parts

You can sell parts from your soon-to-be scrapped car for money. You might get more money for the stripped parts than you will for selling your car to a nearby salvage yard whole.

Mechanics and hobbyists search internet marketplaces for car parts like catalytic converters, power-steering pumps, and radiators. If you don’t sell them, the salvage yard will.

This could mean hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

If you have the mechanical know-how, get to work with a wrench and strip those valuable parts to sell off before you call someone to haul your old car away.

Get Your Paperwork Ready

You ask, “How do I scrap a vehicle?”

Understand this is selling a scrapped vehicle to a salvage yard. It’s a transaction. This means you need your title like you would for any other sale.

It’s possible to scrap your car without a title, but it’s a bit more complicated. When you’re selling a junked vehicle, you want the process to be as easy as possible.

We’re all guilty of losing important paperwork. If you have the time to wait, you can request a title reissue from your state’s DMV.

Clean It Out

We Americans spend so much time in our cars. If your job requires considerable travel, you might spend more time in your car than you do in your home.

Through the years and over the miles, the valuable items in your car piled up. Check every part of your car for these items before the salvage yard tows the car away.

Check the glove compartment for important paperwork, the center console for valuable electronics and/or money, even under the floor mats. Don’t forget the trunk where you keep your tools and jumper cables.

Those items are gone for good once you sign the title over.

Call Around

Not all junkyards are the same. Some work on the fact that you want to get rid of your car fast. These salvage companies pay a flat rate no matter the shape of your vehicle.

When looking for the best place to scrap a vehicle, you want to find the place that will give you the most money.

If you need to unload your car fast, it’s understandable that you go with the service who’ll pick it up the quickest. That being said, your car might be worth more money than they’re willing to offer.

Searching for, “the best place to junk my car” means showing a little patience to get the most money.

Use or Drain Gasoline

If your car still runs, make sure to drive it until you use most, if not all of the gasoline in the tank. You should only do this if your car is completely safe to drive and taking it out on the road isn’t illegal.

Should your vehicle lack inspection or is unsafe to drive, keep it where it is until the tow arrives. Rather than drive your car to ‘E,’ siphon the remaining gas into an approved container.

Cancel Your Insurance

Owning a car means carrying insurance. On the day of the scheduled title transfer, call your insurance company and cancel your insurance.

If you paid your policy in advance or paid your premiums month to month, you will be entitled to a refund if you cancel before your policy needs renewal.

Pull the License Plate

Depending on the laws of your state, you may need the physical license plate to cancel your vehicle registration. You’ll need the number to cancel your insurance policy.

Either way, license plate removal is a good idea. A license plate in the wrong hands could lead to trouble down the road you’d rather not be associated with.

Accept Payment and Say Goodbye

Be wary of scam salvage yards. These places pay paper money and don’t do the important title transfer paperwork. If your car doesn’t run, the company should offer free towing and transfer.

You want an auto salvage company that sticks to its prices and pays with a check on the same day. Scam companies will offer you everything under the sun other than actual money. Accept no substitutes for U.S. currency.

Once you have the payment in your hand, say your final goodbyes. A car you’ve driven for years becomes part of your life. Junking a car can be an emotional experience.

Junking a Vehicle for Money

You might not want to admit it, but it’s time to say goodbye to your beloved old car. If and when the day comes where the repairs cost too much and the car’s worth too little, you have a choice to make.

Do you try to keep it running, or do you get rid of it? Junking a vehicle is a great option for cars that have reached their expiration date. With a little bit of work, you can turn your old car into fast cash.

Did you need more automotive advice? Check out the rest of our blog.

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