How to Know it’s Time to Junk Your Car

There will come a time in every vehicle owners’ life that they will have to junk a well-loved old car. It could be a sad moment or a relief, depending on the relationship with that vehicle. If it is in terrible condition and giving you fits every other day, it could be a weight lifted off of your shoulders to finally send the clunker to the junkyard. But if you love the car and had dreams of passing it onto your only son, you may have to shed a few tears as you see it hauled off on the tow truck. Regardless of the emotional attachment, here is how to know it’s time to junk your car.

High Repair Cost

At some point in the life of a vehicle, a high ticket repair will come along. Even at 100,000 miles or sooner, repair costs can come along that will cost anywhere from five hundred to two thousand dollars!

The timing of these repairs will determine if you consider scrapping your car or fixing it. Imagine the transmission goes out on your 20-year-old Ford Taurus with 289K on the odometer. The cost to replace the transmission could be a few thousand dollars. This is more money than that old vehicle is worth! It would be irrational to spend the money to repair instead of looking for a new car.

In this situation, the most common decision is to skip the repair shop and send the vehicle to the junkyard. You might make a couple of hundred dollars off of it for its scrap metal and avoid the high repair cost to fix it.

Totaled in an Accident

Another situation that warrants sending a vehicle to the scrapyard is when it is involved in an accident. After an accident, your vehicle will be sent to a body shop or storage yard. An insurance adjuster will be sent to its location to write an estimate and determine the cost of repair. If parts and labor cost more than the value of the vehicle, it is considered totaled. Only the value of the vehicle will be paid to you. In this situation, the insurance will have it hauled off and it will end up in a junkyard .

Car crashes are how some of the new, expensive cars end up in an auto salvage yard. Many vehicle parts can be damaged in an accident with another vehicle, tree, or deer. Big body parts, fluids, new airbags, and fasteners quickly add money to the price of the vehicle repair. Hourly labor is then factored in, which can often be much more than the price of parts.

If a new vehicle with low mileage ends up totaled, all of the salvageable car parts will be taken out of the car before it reaches its final resting place. If a brand new Lexus with only 20,000 miles ends up totaled, and the engine is undamaged in the wreck, it will be a valuable part that can be resold for a profit.

Can’t Sell or Trade In a Junk Car

This usually occurs due to one of the previously mentioned issues. If you can’t drive it to the dealership, it is hard to trade it in for a new vehicle. Many problems with the car can make it difficult to sell. While these are options for your automobile, they are not always the best option for you.

Car dealerships offer the lowest amount of money possible for a vehicle. They give you a trade-in value with the intention of reselling at a much higher price. If your vehicle is wrecked or needs major repairs, its resale value takes a hit and they will be unable to make a good profit from your car. When this happens, they may not offer you anything, or a very low offer that can be less than scrap value. If you were able to drive it to the dealership, you may have better luck driving it to the nearest junkyard.

Selling a used car or truck can be time-consuming and requires a lot of effort. You have to let people know it is for sale, haggle car prices, and explain the issues to a potential buyer. While it may only take a few minutes to list it for sale on Craigslist, having the same conversation about your car needing a new catalytic converter can get old. Potential car buyers are going to haggle prices as they shop for the best deal, and take up even more time and energy.

Sometimes the best course of action is to scrap your car. You can drive or tow the vehicle to a scrapyard and get a fair price based on the condition of the car. There are also some companies that will pick up and take the vehicle off of your hands! This prevents all of the hassles of trying to sell it on your own. It also gets you the best price for your vehicle from a professional scrap service.

Scroll to Top