Every year, over 14 million tons of recycled steel get derived from junk cars. Approximately 80 percent of a car can be recycled, and selling junk cars is a great way to keep them out of landfills.
Are you interested in taking this approach with your car? Do you want to maximize the amount of money you can get for it? If so, listed below are 8 critical mistakes you must avoid when selling junk cars.
1. Forgetting to Deal With the DMV
When getting ready to junk a car, you need to take steps to protect yourself. This includes sending in a form to the DMV that releases you from liability for your vehicle if it’s resold. In most states, the title of your car features a tear-off portion that you can fill out and send over to the DMV.
This might seem like a hassle at first. Remember, though, that many people forget this step (or assume that it’s not important) and then find themselves in trouble later. If you want to avoid this, it’s best to follow the proper protocol the first time around.
2. Settling for Less
Before you agree to sell your car to a particular junk buyer, they ought to give you a quote for it.
Most of the time, buyers honor these quotes without any problems. Every once in a while, though, they’ll try to shortchange the seller and claim that the car is worth less money at the last minute.
If this happens to you and you’re suddenly being offered less than the original quote, walk away and find a new buyer. It doesn’t matter if the tow truck has already arrived to take your car. You shouldn’t work with a dishonest buyer.
3. Not Getting Paid First
You should always get paid before your car is taken away. Never let someone take your car until you have cash or a check in-hand. The same goes for handing over the title for your car, even if the buyer offers to leave it until they’ve paid you.
Don’t do anything until you’ve been paid. Lots of junk car sellers have learned this lesson the hard way. There’s no need for you to join them.
4. Paying for Towing
When you sell a junk car, towing is almost always free. Find out what the protocol is for your particular buyer before you agree to work with them.
Ask specifically whether or not they cover the cost of towing. If they don’t, you may want to consider working with another buyer.
You can also use this information as a bargaining chip to try and get more money for your car. If you’re expected to pay to have your car towed, you can also expect a higher payout.
In the event that you do decide to pay for towing, get a firm price for the cost of towing before arranging to have your car picked up. This will save you from dealing with an unpleasant bill later.
5. Forgetting to Remove Personal Items
Always do a double-check of your car before you send it away to a buyer. You’ll be hard-pressed to get your personal belongings back after you’ve sold it to the buyer, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
In addition to removing things like clothes or papers, you also ought to remove high-value accessories that you’ve installed in your car. This includes things like the stereo and seat covers. You can resell these online or at a yard sale to earn additional money.
6. Not Getting Multiple Quotes
Sometimes, if you’re in a hurry and want your car gone right away, it’s fine to take the first offer that comes your way. More often than not, though, it’s better to take your time and get multiple quotes before making a decision.
This helps you to ensure you’re getting the most money for your car. It saves you from potential bad deals (like getting stuck paying for the tow truck), too.
Dedicate a couple of days to reaching out to multiple buyers and getting quotes from each of them. Then, sit down and compare the quotes to figure out who’s made you the best offer. It’ll take more time upfront, but it’ll lead to more money in your pocket later.
7. Junking a 2000 or Later Car
If your car was made in the year 2000 or later, you might be better off trading it in at a dealership than selling it to a junk buyer. This is often the case even if the car isn’t functional or has seen severe damage.
Consider reaching out to a few dealerships in your area to see if they’d be willing to take your car. Compare what they’re willing to give you for it to the quotes you’re getting from junk buyers and choose whichever is offering you a better deal. Remember, there’s no harm in asking.
8. Not Researching Buyers
Finally, do your research on the buyers and focus on more than just the quote they give you. With a simple “junk car buyers near me” search, you can learn about all the buyers in your area and find out about their reputations.
Pay attention to the online reviews they’ve received from other sellers. Are people generally satisfied with the buyer’s service? Would they recommend them to a friend or sell to them again?
Take note of other people’s experiences so you don’t find yourself in a bad situation when the time comes to sell your car.
Start Selling Junk Cars Today
The process of selling junk cars might seem intimidating at first. If you can earn a little extra cash and help the environment at the same time, why not go for it, though?
As long as you avoid the mistakes listed above, you’ll likely have a good experience and will be able to get what you deserve for your car.
Need help finding a new car to replace the one you junked? Want ideas on how to handle future car repairs yourself? We’ve got all the resources you need in the Cars section of our site.