How to Get the Most Money for Your Junk Car

Forget trading, parting out, or doing anything else with your junk car. Just scrap it! Turning your old, unreliable vehicle into a scrap is usually the best option. It sounds wasteful but it’s the complete opposite. Why? For many reasons!

One reason is for the environment. In the past, auto manufacturers weren’t as earth-conscious as they are today. Scrapping an old car can give you means to buy a modern car that’s easy on the environment. You may even qualify for rebates and tax savings for doing so.

Junking an old car may also be necessary if its paperwork gets lost. It’s illegal to resell a car to a new owner to drive without all the proper documents. Lastly, the vehicle may be damaged beyond repair. Thus, scrapping is the only sensible option.

Since this post (and this website) is about money, let’s talk primarily about the money aspect of junking a car. Here are the many reasons a person should junk an old, unreliable car rather than do anything else. Let’s get started.

Why Scrapping an Old Car Makes the Most Sense

sell your car that doesn't runLet’s face it. Most cars won’t become classics. Even if your car were to become a classic, the return on investment would be terrible. Imagine this… instead of scrapping the car, you keep it. The most you could ever dream of getting in your lifetime is probably double what the car cost new (taking into account inflation). If history is any indication of the future, that double MSRP price will likely come about 50 years later. A $20,000 car may fetch $40,000 in 50 years. Simply terrible.

Let’s say instead you took $1,000 for your scrap car. Had you invested that $1,000 in stocks within the S&P 500, that money in 50 years would be worth $184,565.69 (using the S&P 500’s historical rate of return at about 11%). Of course there will be taxes, inflation, and fees to consider. But that’s true of any investment. $184,565.69 looks a lot better than $40,000. Especially since a car needs to be stored, insured, restored, and maintained! Keeping your car in hopes it’ll become a classic is an unwise gamble. Moving on.

You could try to trade-in the car at a dealership. But keep in mind, the dealer needs to make a profit as well. That means a dealership can never give you what the car is worth. There’s no chance. Whereas, with a junk dealer, they can give you just under its actual value. Since there’s no reselling, a junk dealer has little overhead. Trading in a worn out car is never the best option for getting the most money.

One potentially enticing option on the route to junking your car is to part it out. It’s a shame to junk an entire car if there are some good parts left, right? That’s an attitude which your depression-era ancestors would be proud of. However, time is money in the 21st century. And parting out a car takes a lot of it!

First, you have to assess the car to see what parts are of value. Next, you have to take off said parts without causing further damage. After that you need to clean, photograph, find a place to store them, and determine where to sell the mountain of parts. Sure, Craigslist is easy but will that bring the most money? eBay is okay but there are lots of fees. A specialist forum, perhaps? Decisions, decisions…

Once you decide where to sell the parts, you will have to write a convincing sales ad for each item. You have to be able to expertly describe the parts you’re selling in order to earn top dollar. You’ll also need to post accurate prices and negotiate with buyers. Shipping may also be necessary. In short, parting out a car is a multi-week project in most cases. Are you willing to take time away from your job to complete this project? That doesn’t really make sense. Your time is better spent making more money elsewhere. Even if you don’t have a job, it would make more sense to go get one than to part out a car.

Let’s junk the thing instead.

Although junking your car is your most lucrative and easiest option, it still takes some effort. The process for junking a vehicle varies greatly from one company to the next, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, here’s what you can expect:

Here Are a Few Questions to Ask Any Scrap Yard:

  • Will stripping the car of its nonmetal parts increase your offer price?
  • How do I get paid?
  • How much will I get paid?
  • Do you charge for pickup?

Most Common Questions Junk Car Owners Receive:

  • Is the vehicle operable?
  • If any major parts are damaged, what are they?
  • Do you have the title and registration for the vehicle?

Remember to Look Online for Scrap Buyers!!!

sell your carSelling a scrap car online sounds crazy, doesn’t it? It’s not. Although you may be wondering about shipping and logistics, it’s easier than it sounds. In fact, scrapping your car through an online program is likely the easiest, fastest, and most profitable avenue for scrapping.

Think of scrapping a car as being like opening a checking account. Which will give you better interest and lower fees – an online bank or a brick-and-mortar bank? Almost always the online bank. Reason being, an online bank runs a more efficient operation. Online banks can offer higher interest and lower fees because they have less overhead. These institutions don’t need money to pay their tellers and landscapers. The same theory holds true with online scrappers.

Online scrappers often have a very automated way of doing things. This is convenient because it’s typically just plain easy. I’ve also noticed that online scrappers have FAR superior customer service than offline scrappers. It makes the whole experience of getting rid of your car a lot friendlier.

Online junkers are also big enough companies that their quality control is much better than at local scrapyards. What I mean is the price you receive is fair and accurate. There’s none of that… “You better catch Billy on a good day if you want a good price.”

You gotta love doing business in the 21st century.

Final Thoughts about How to Get the Most Money for Your Junk Car:

Selling a car for scrap is usually the best option for people. It’s easy. It nets the most money. However, selling to local scrap yards can be a hassle. I recommend seeking out online scrappers. They offer fair prices, a simples step-by-step process, instant payment, and some will even give you a tow.

Good luck selling your junk car.

Now… what will be its replacement?

Leave a Comment