Selling A Junk Car

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Back in the day when most people would buy or lease a new car every three years, there were not many cars being sold as junk.

However, in recent years people have been holding on to their cars for longer periods of time. Today, it is not unusual for someone to want to sell a car that is 15 to 20 years old or even older.

If you own a very old car then economics becomes an issue in deciding whether or not to fix it. A car that is 15 years old or older and has out used its value is obviously not covered by any manufacturer’s warranty. Odds are an owner will not want to pay the money to get a warranty from one of the many private car warranty companies that are around today. So paying the cost of repairing a transmission, an air conditioner, or even replacing the engine just isn’t feasible.

Then there are very old cars that have had owners who do not run up the mileage. These days it may be possible to find a 20-year old car with low mileage in the range of 58,000 miles. This car could be a possible candidate for sale in the used car market. However, if it needs a repair and it looks its age, then no one is going to want to buy it.

If you find yourself in this situation and have no idea how to sell your car, take heart. There are alternatives. For example, whenever you leave your car in your driveway, put a for sale sign on it. You can also list it in weekly car trader publications or Craigslist or you can sell it to a junk or auto salvage yard.
An auto salvage yard manager considers six things when deciding how much to pay for your car. They include:

  • Year, Make and Model. If the car is common, if it’s particularly rare, or if the demand for its parts is high, then the value of the car will be high.
  • Current price of scrap metal.
  • Condition of the vehicle.. If the car in question has some problems that prevents it from running smoothly, you may get more cash than if it is totally useless. This is true especially if the current market value of the car is high. If the cost of repairing the issues is not high, then the buyer may be inclined to pay more. However, if the car is in terrible condition, then the junk car buyer will just want the parts or the scrap.
  • Demand for parts. Regardless of the condition of the car, there are parts that still have value that can be removed and sold. Demand for those parts determines the value of the parts. The higher the demand, the higher the value. In addition, certain parts are more valued than others. Working tires, suspension parts in good condition, lights and other exterior parts may have higher value.
  • Location of the vehicle. The price of scrap metal varies from region to region, the car may be popular in the region, and the distance of the salvage yard determines how much money the owner has to spend to transport the car back to the yard.
  • Weight of the vehicle. An average car has 2,400 pounds of steel and 300 pounds of aluminum. So its weight contributes to how much it is worth.

Who Buys Junk Cars?

There are a number of online businesses that will buy your car as junk. And, of course, there are junkyards in your vicinity that will pay cash for a car. These businesses will salvage some parts for sale and then pulverize what remains into scrap metal and sell what’s left to be recycled.

If you go the junkyard route, then check out the yellow pages or the Internet for the location of these yards. You will have to take the time to drive your car to a number of junkyards to get a quote. You will also have to negotiate with junkyard managers to achieve the best price for your car.

Driving from junkyard to junkyard to junkyard may not sound like a worthwhile endeavor to you. Finding an online business that will buy your junk car is a whole lot easier and can be achieved sitting down at the terminal of your computer.

Use Google, Bing, AOL, or other search engines to explore the Internet for an online business that will buy your junk car. Successful searches can be achieved using key word phrases like “sell my junk car for cash near me,” “sell my junk car for $500,” “Cash for junk cars (in your city).”

You can also check out social media sites and search using hashtags along with a key word or two. Possible keywords and hashtag combinations could include #junkcar, #junkcarsforsale.

How Much Is Your Car Worth?

Assess the value of your car before you contact a buyer. Mileage, the exterior and interior condition of the car, and the Kelley Blue Book value of the car should be considered.

Another fact to consider when determining the value of your junk car is that there are businesses out there that want your car. The automobile recycling industry in the United States earns more than $32 billion a year in sales.

You probably don’t realize that an average car has 2,400 pounds of steel. That only accounts for a little more than half the car’s total weight. Other parts of the car including the aluminum, copper, and plastic also have value to a junkyard or online business.

In addition, supply and demand effects the money you can receive for your junk car. If you sell your car at a time when demand exceeds supply, then you will receive more money for your car. On the other hand, if supply exceeds demand than you should expect to get less for your car.

Influences Beyond Your Control

The ups and downs of the export and import markets, the value of the U.S. dollar, whether Canada is importing less or more steel, the condition of the Chinese steel industry, tariffs, the import and export of steel, and more effects how much money you receive for your car.

There was a time when the United States exported as much as 20 million metric tons of scrap metal a year. However, we aren’t exporting as much now. That’s because other countries like China are offering more for a lower price. The result is demand is low and prices are too.

When the value of the dollar is up, American made products including scrap metal is more expensive. Foreign markets are less inclined to buy and the result is that you get less money for your junk car. When the value of the U.S. dollar is down, foreign markets are more inclined to buy U.S. goods and that means more money for you when you sell your car.

Canada is a major exporter of steel and these days they have more to sell in the U.S. If the Canadian scrap metal is coming from cities that are closer to the American cities than American steel manufacturers are located, then it costs less to transport the Canadian scrap than it costs to transport American steel. And when the value of the Canadian dollar is weaker than the American dollar, then the cost of the steel from Canada is much more attractive. That means less money for you when selling your junk car to American junkyards. When Canada is exporting less steel to the U.S. and the value of the Canadian dollar is high, then the cost of Canadian steel is higher. The result is more money to you for your car.

The point is that factors beyond your control influence how much money you can expect when selling your junk car.

What To Do Before Selling Your Junk Car For Cash

Before you sell your car, clear out all the stuff that has accumulated in it during the years. Inspect under and between the seats, inside the glove box and in the nooks and crannies and gather up what you find. Whether or not you keep something or throw it out depends on its nostalgic value.

Make sure that you have the title to the car. You won’t be able to sell the car without it. Be aware that you are responsible for the car until the title transfer.

Familiarize yourself with the scrapping laws in your area. If you don’t have the necessary paperwork in hand, the buyer could renege on the deal and charge you for the tow or transportation.
Monitor market trends on steel to determine if prices are going up or down at

the time you plan to sell the car. If the price of steel is not advantageous, then wait if you can until it is.
Gather estimates from a number of junkyards and online sites and then consider them all before settling on the price.

Driving the car to the various junkyards may help when negotiating a price. It shows that the vehicle is in working order.

Negotiating is a strategy that should not be ignored. Consider what you have and the value of it to a junkyard or online business. For example, if your car’s model year is one in which finding usable parts is an issue, then the car has more value to the junkyard manager or online business. If the car has relatively low mileage, then the wear of the parts are not as extreme as they would be on a car that has recorded hundreds of thousands of miles. That is another selling point.

When making the rounds of potential buyers, be sure to get a hard quote locked in so you won’t be subject to a change when you deliver the car for purchase.

If your car is not drivable, then assure that the yard that buys it will pay for the tow. Make sure the buyer pays you in full before he tows or takes the car. This is essential because there are buyers that delay payment.

One online company that definitely wants your car is Whether your car is running or not, we want to buy it. We will pay a fair price and there is no need to visit junkyard to junkyard to junkyard to get quotes. The process is easy and fast with no hassles to you. Simply click the link.

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