Sometimes people look into selling a junk car because their trusty old commuter car just isn’t trusty anymore. Others realize that the 50-year-old ranch truck that’s been sitting in the backyard for all those years could be worth something. Whatever the case, it’s possible to make quick cash from just about any junk vehicle. At the very least, the vehicle will be worth something due to the value of the scrap metal; however, you may also be able to sell some of the parts individually for even more cash. So, what’s the best way to sell your broken-down vehicle? It could be as simple as getting quotes from websites that buy junk cars, and selecting the best one. You should also make sure that the buyer is willing to tow the vehicle away for you; for example, Cash for Cars offers this as part of their standard service. Since hiring a tow truck can cost nearly as much as the price of a junk car in some instances, this is a good way to make sure you’re maximizing your profits.

What to do before you commit to a buyer

As easy as selling a junk car can be, there are a few steps to take beforehand.

Check that the title can be transferred


Whether you’re selling to an online buyer or a junkyard, the buyer will want to know that the title can be transferred without any issues. If you’re the only person on the title and you have all the relevant paperwork, you’re good to go. However, some car titles have more than one person on them; in that case, you’d have to get the title transferred to just you, and then transfer it to the buyer. If the title has been lost, you’d need to get it replaced before selling the vehicle.

Remove the license plates

This is done for any vehicle that’s sold for scrap; in some states, the license plates also have to be returned to the nearest DMV office.

Clear out the vehicle

While they’re still in use, a lot of cars end up being used as a sort of mobile storage space. It could be cardboard boxes in the trunk, takeout trash in the glove compartment, or an array of random items tossed into the back seat. Whatever extras happen to be residing in your junk vehicle, make sure they’re cleared out before you sell the car. It’s a nice gesture for the buyer, plus you never know what you might find!

Confirm the car’s value


There are junk cars, and there are junk cars. Some of them are ancient rust-buckets, while others are vehicles that get retired after needing one repair too many. In some cases, your junk car could be worth more than just its scrap metal value. It wouldn’t hurt to do a little research on how much your car is worth before selling it.

Options for selling your junk car

There are several different choices if you have a junk car to sell. Some are faster, others are more lucrative; which one is the best option for you will probably depend on how much time you have to spend on the process.

Find an online buyer

This will typically be the easiest and fastest option. Online buyers will purchase junk cars in pretty much any condition, which makes them a good choice for everyone with an old car to sell. It’s also easy to get a quote; simply send them pictures of your vehicle (together with some basic information about the make, model, etc.), and they’ll send you an estimate. You can then get multiple quotes, and choose the highest one. These services will typically tow your vehicle for you once the purchase is finalized, so you don’t have to worry about the logistics or the cost of hiring a tow truck.

Sell individual components

If your junk car is a make and model that’s still in use, its main value is probably in the parts. Buyers will factor in this value when making an offer, but you’ll get a good bit more money if you sell the parts yourself. The drawback is that this approach will take a lot more time, and you’d need a certain amount of skill to evaluate and take out each part. Even so, this can get you a few hundred to a few thousand extra dollars, depending on the worth and condition of the parts you sell.

You could focus on the engine block components, or you could completely strip the vehicle – radio, seats, steering wheel, and anything else that still has some life in it. These can be sold to local mechanics, or listed on sites like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Once the vehicle has been stripped, you can sell what remains to a junkyard for scrap metal.

Bring it directly to a junkyard


Junkyards may not offer the best price, but they will take vehicles that nobody else will buy. Why is this? Because they don’t necessarily care about stripping the car for parts; they can recycle the metals in the car, and sell them to manufacturers at a profit. Unless your junk car is so rusty it’s falling to pieces, there will still be value left in the frame and other components. Car manufacturers actually source a lot of their steel and aluminum from recycled junk cars, as many people take their old vehicles directly to junkyards.

Donate it to charity

This doesn’t quite count as selling, but it can still benefit you financially. This is because donating a junk car could count as a tax write-off. Some charities accept junk cars as donations, provided they’re still worth something. If you mainly just want to get rid of your junk vehicle, this could be a good option.

The takeaway

Getting cash for your junk car could be easier than you thought. There are several ways to sell the vehicle, and some of these services will even go the extra mile to make the process as fast and convenient as possible.