If your car has kicked the bucket, you can still make some money from it – you just have to find the right buyer. The selling price might just be a couple hundred bucks, or it could be a good bit more than that. Depending on the condition the vehicle is in, as well as the make, model, and which parts are in need of repair, you could end up selling the car to a scrapyard, a car dealership, or an online buyer who’s looking for their next passion project. You might even decide to donate it, although the most you’d get from that option is a tax exemption. What you decide to do is up to you, but first it might help to learn some of the basics about selling cars that don’t run anymore.
It’s actually surprisingly easy to get cash for cars, even if they’ve spent the last several years rusting to pieces in the back lot; the real question is, how much cash can you get for that car? Once you’ve read the information below, you might realize that your junk car is worth more than you thought.
First you should find out whether or not your car is actually dead
Getting cash for your junk car is great, but should you go that route, or should you try to fix it up and sell it as a second-hand car? Here are some of the questions you should ask while figuring this out:
- Does it have any value as a “passion project” car? If you’re trying to sell a classic muscle car, you’d go about that a lot differently than if it were a ranch vehicle that was made in the 1980s. Even if the car needs some heavy-duty repairs, you could still find a buyer that sees value in the car because of its make and model, not simply because it has four wheels and an engine.
- Could the resale value be enhanced by repairs? If you’re talking about a car that would run again with a couple hundred dollars’ worth of work, that’s a no-brainer. If you’re dealing with a car that got completely wrecked in a traffic accident, that would entail the type of expense that you’d never make back by selling the vehicle. In the first case, you could either fix the car and sell it, or find someone who’d buy it as-is to fix themselves. In the second case, the car is probably destined to be sold as scrap metal, unless you want to take it apart and salvage usable parts to sell separately.
- How would repairs affect your profit? Along the same vein, it might be in your financial interest to sell a vehicle without repairing it first – or it might not. Sometimes a car is so messed up that it would actually cost less to buy another one, rather than repairing the one you have. Then again, sometimes only small, strategic repairs are needed in order to boost your asking price. If you aren’t sure, get a quote from a mechanic.
- What would it take to make your car run again? There are all kinds of reasons why a car would stop running, but if you don’t know what the problem is, you might get rid of it before you really need to.
What are the best ways to make money from inoperable cars?
Once you’ve made the decision to get rid of your car, it’s time to find a buyer. If you’re like most people, you just want to get a good price; you don’t really care what happens to it afterwards. Unless you have a really special vehicle on your hands, this is definitely the most common-sense approach.
- Dealerships sometimes buy non-running cars. The advantage to this is that you’ll be getting money for your inoperable car. The disadvantages are that you’ll have to comply with strict inspections and requirements, and you’ll probably get less than the vehicle is actually worth, even considering that it’s currently unusable. You might get lucky if your vehicle is one of the few that would have a high resale value once repaired, but that’s the exception rather than the rule.
- Strip the car for parts yourself and sell them separately. This will mean a lot more work, but you’ll also get a lot more money. This is what happens to most inoperable cars when they’re sold, but the difference is that you’re keeping all of the profits. If you have the time to not only take the car apart, but also find buyers and arrange for shipping or transport, you could make a fair amount of money.
- Find a buyer online. Your car might be a few thousand dollars away from working, but just because you don’t want to repair it doesn’t mean that nobody else does. In fact, given the current high prices of used vehicles, some people have started looking for “junk vehicles” that can be repaired. You’ll get a better price from this type of buyer, since they won’t be worrying about their own bottom line. It’s a seller’s market as far as cars are concerned, and if you can cut out the middle-man, you’ll make an even bigger profit.
- Scrapyards will take vehicles in almost any condition. Even if there aren’t any salvageable parts, they can still make money from the scrap metal – which is why you’ll get paid by the ton, not based on the make, model, or condition of the vehicle. This is a great option if you just want to get rid of your car, and don’t particularly care about getting the best price for it.
- Consider donating the car. If the main goal is to find someone who’ll dispose of your car for you rather than making money from it, there are plenty of non-profit organizations that would accept it as a donation.
Getting cash for a junk car is easy, but if you want to get the best price for your car as well, all it takes is a little planning.