It can be a heartbreaking moment when your car reaches junk status. Junk cars are either inoperable or extremely unsafe to drive on the highway. Junking a car is different then selling one, and the process is often unknown to most.
This post will answer the question: how to junk a car?
We'll go over everything needed for first timers car junkers, or seasoned vets, to junk a car in a smooth, fast, rewarding process.
1. Clean It Out
Two weeks after selling your car to a local junkyard is the worst possible time to remember the backdoor key to your house that you left in the glove compartment. Immediately after finding out your car is a junk car and deciding to sell it to a junkyard is the time to clean it out.
Check that thing out from top to bottom and make sure you don’t forget anything that you need or want. Glove compartments, consoles, visors, and under seats are all places to double-check and give a thorough look. You definitely don’t want to leave personal documents with identifying information. Don’t forget your air freshener and CD in the player!
2. Find Junk Car Buyers
After your car is cleaned out and ready to leave your possession, you need to find junk car buyers and get offers. You can find most junkyards that buy cars and everyone else who buys junk cars with a quick search online.
3. Get Offers
You get an offer by contacting the junk car buyers and giving them the information about your car. They will need to know things like:
- The year, make, and model.
- The VIN.
- The odometer.
- The overall condition of the vehicle: mechanical, exterior, and interior.
- Photographs of the vehicle.
- Parts that are missing
After you provide everything they need, the scrap yard or junk car service will extend an offer for the vehicle. They will take into consideration the condition and parts available, but most of the time the offer will be based on the weight of the car for scrap metal. You also need to know if the offer includes transportation of the vehicle, or if you’ll have to pay for it to be moved. It is smart to get offers from different places so that you can get the most out of your junk car.
4. Rank Your Offers
You should rank your offers from the different junkyards or junk car services that you contacted. Things to take into consideration when weighing your options are:
- Overall cash offer
- The reputation of the company
- If transport costs are included
- Timeframe of removal and payment
- Best service and ease of transaction
For example, you might take a lower cash offer if the junk car service will get it out of your way faster. You might also take less money if they will pick it up as opposed to you having to use a truck and trailer. Pick the right company for you, and then it is time to junk your car.
5. Arrange Junk Car Removal
Accept an offer to the junkyard or junk car service, and then carry out the process. You’ll need to arrange for the junk car removal, which might be as simple as scheduling a time for the company to pick it up. They will send a tow truck or flatbed wrecker to pick up the car or truck. You’ll need to make sure they will have access to the car. If it is your responsibility to deliver the car to the scrapyard, you’ll need to hire a wrecker or load it up on a trailer to get the car from your driveway to their yard.
6. Junk Your Car
When the day for removal arrives, it is important to take care of the final parts of junking your car. Make sure you have the proper paperwork such as the title and registration of the car. These last steps will be taken either on site when the wrecker arrives to move the vehicle, or at the junkyard when you deliver the car.
- Sign title and transfer ownership
- Remove license plate(depending on the laws of your state).
- Kiss(or kick) your car goodbye
- Get Paid.
It is important to follow up later with the correct government office to make sure the car is no longer registered to you. Don’t forget to drop any insurance you might still have on the car. In most states, you will take your license plate for your next vehicle or return it to the Department of Motor Vehicles. But as you can see, the process of how to junk a car is pretty simple.
7. Bonus: Part Out The Car
If you don’t have the tools or capabilities to remove parts from a car, this section might not be for you. However, you could potentially make more money from your junk car by selling valuable parts before scrapping the vehicle. Batteries, car seats, catalytic converters, wheels, and tires could make you more money than their weight in scrap metal if you’re willing to take the time and effort to sell them individually. Then you can follow what is listed above to sell what remains of your car. You’ll need to be upfront with the junkyard or junk car service if you remove any parts in case their offer is based on those parts being included, specifically the weight of those parts. Selling a car for parts can be pretty lucrative.
8. Get Paid
The final step is to collect the payment and move on. If you want the fastest, easiest, and best offer for your car, CarScrappers is the place to go. We will handle the hard stuff and even pick up your vehicle. Get your estimate from our website and you will be contacted with the best offer for your junk car.
What do I need to junk my car?
When you junk a car you should have the following items:
- Valid ID
- The Vehicle
Having all of these in hand makes the sale clean, and it may even expedite the process. In addition, these documents have to be in your name. However, if you don’t happen to have these things, you might still be able to junk your car.
What Are the Exceptions?
The rules are a bit squishy on this one, depending on where you live and what you’re doing with the car, but the general thought process is that there’s more leeway if the car is just going to get crushed anyway.
A car that’s being sold for scrap may not require the same amount of paperwork. So if you don’t have the title or the registration, you can still contact us to junk the car. We won’t make you any promises here, but we’ll do our best to help you out.
How much is it to junk a car?
Junking a car does not cost you anything out of pocket. When you junk a car you will get paid for it based on its value. Junk cars will always have value because of their weight in scrap metal so you will never have to pay to junk a car.
What are the ways to junk a car?
The ways to junk a car are as follows:
- Sell your junk car.
- Sell your junk car's parts and then recycle it.
Where to junk a car
If you are selling your junk car you can sell it to:
- An online junk car buyer.
- An auto junkyard / auto salvage yard.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Junk a Car
The amount of money you will get to junk a car depends on factors such as
- Year, make and model
- Vehicle condition
- Vehicle weight in scrap metal
- Current scrap metal prices
- Resellable car parts
- Vehicle location
- Whether you have the vehicle title or not.
Learn more about scrap car prices.
If you want to get the most money possible for your junk car you should get multiple offers from different junk car buyers as well as ask for more money. You also want to make sure you won't be charged for junk car removal as that will cut into your profits. Read more about how to sell a junk car for the best price possible.
We do not recommend selling a junk car without the title. Before you junk a car you should get a duplicate title if you do not have one. Learn more about selling a junk car without a title.
You can not junk a car with a lien. Your car needs to be paid off before you can sell or junk it.
Yes, upon junking your car you should notify the Department of Motor Vehicles in your area as well as turn in your vehicle plates or have them assigned to another car.