Is your broken car beyond repair or is it salvageable? Would anyone ever want to buy such a beat-up piece of junk?
If so, who? And how do you sell it to them? Would it be better just to strip it down and sell the parts?
We understand that you have a lot of questions. But the big one is, “What am I supposed to do with this old, broken-down car?”
Fortunately for you, we’ve got the answers listed right here in this guide. Learn what you need to know by reading these step-by-step instructions.
- Assess the Condition
Before we can discuss what to do with your car, you need to assess its condition. Namely, just how broken is it? You see, while the car may be worthless to you, the exact extent of its damage makes an enormous difference to those who might buy it.
The simplest and most comprehensive way to answer this question is to take it to a mechanic for diagnostics. If your car is immobile, you should be able to have one drive out to you.
The mechanic can give you a printed report that you can show to interested buyers. As you’re about to find out, this should make you more money in the long run.
Alternatively, according to cashautosalvage.com, you can use the Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of a car that’s still driveable.
- Repair It
Repairing is only worth it if you plan to keep the car and/or if the repairs are not that expensive. Expensive repairs, like replacing the motor, only make sense if you’re restoring a collector’s item. Otherwise, you get more bang for your buck by selling the car as-is.
As for cheap repairs, these could make it possible to sell the car at a decent price. But a lot of buyers will be turned off by the idea of a broken-and-then-repaired car, anyway.
- Prepare It For Sale
Step one in preparing your broken car for sale is to remove any personal items from the vehicle. It will only take you a few minutes to scour every last crevice for concealed belongings. And you’ll kick yourself later if you leave anything important behind.
Next, it’s illegal to sell a car without the proper documentation. Be sure to collect this list of documents before you continue with your sale.
- Trade It In
If your car’s still driveable or at least somewhat salvageable, you can probably trade it in for a newer vehicle. Despite what you might think, this probably won’t be a rip-off.
On the contrary, car dealerships really want your business—and several years of car payments. They’ll be happy to discount your new car while taking your old car.
With their connections, resources, and experience, they’ll definitely make money reselling your car in some form or another. Plus, they get your car payments.
Most important of all, you get a great deal on a new car. Everyone wins!
- Sell to a Salvager
That said, there are some cars that certain dealers just won’t take. If yours is one of those cars, try the salvage yard next.
Salvagers don’t care what condition your car is in. Either they’ll fix it up and resell it for a profit or they’ll strip it down and sell/use the parts. For these reasons, they’ll offer you a very good deal for your very bad car.
Also, there are a lot of salvagers who will buy your car online. Many will also come to your home to pick up your immobile car.
- Sell It As-Is To a Buyer
Aside from salvagers and scrappers, most buyers are not interested in a non-functional vehicle. But if the car is street-legal and safe to drive, many would pay a discounted “as-is” price.
For this, you’ll want to hire a motor vehicle assessor. This professional individual can provide you with an accurate and (more importantly) documented report of your car’s true value. Believe it or not, this can get your broken car sold pretty fast.
- Sell the Parts
Another option is to do the salvager’s job for them. That is, strip the car down yourself and sell the parts individually.
Most sellers don’t bother with this option. That’s because it does take a lot of time to research part values and then list, sell, and ship the parts. If you don’t mind doing the work, though, this will probably get you the most money possible for a non-functioning vehicle.
- Sell to a Junkyard
Selling to a junkyard should be your absolute last resort. The only amount you will get for your car is its weight in scrap metal. And that won’t be very much.
It’s a far, far better idea to sell to a salvager if possible. Still, if there’s some bizarre reason why you can’t do this, a junkyard might be your only option.
On the plus side, they should be able to pick up the vehicle if you’re unable to transport it. And they won’t care at all about the condition of your car. They’re scrapping it anyway.
Turn Your Broken Car Into Something Beautiful (Cash)
Now that you know what to do about your broken car, spread the word. Share this guide with anyone you know who has a beat-up clunker junking up their front lawn.
Next, get tips on car window tinting, renting a luxury car, boat maintenance, and more! Find all these topics on our Automobile blog.
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