How to Negotiate Price When Selling a Junk Car: 6 Tips

One fine day you wake up and realize that your car is basically junk. Maybe it’s because it stopped running or because vultures circle it wherever you go. Either way, the time has come to offload the car, but you’ll still need to negotiate the price with the junkyard.

Inventory the Parts

Before you respond to an ad that says “we buy junk cars Houston,” you need to know what you’ve got. It’s like an online vulnerability scanner in reverse. Instead of pointing out what’s wrong with a website, you’re figuring out what’s still right with the car. Knowing what’s still good gives you some leverage to ask for more.

Do Your Research

Between rounds of Overwatch, use the vast power of the Internet to research the value of those parts you inventoried. A little research can tell you what your used car radio, GPS, or transmission sells for people with automotive skills. Showing a list of those parts and prices to the lot owner will make them reevaluate their offer.

Get Pictures

The one nice thing about everyone owning a smartphone is that you can use that built-in 12-megapixel camera for more than funny selfies. You can take pictures of all those parts you just spent your time researching. Taking pictures does two things. One, it tells the guys advertising “we buy junk cars Houston” that you didn’t just pull that parts list off the internet. Two, it shows that the parts are actually in good condition. Both of these help you get a better offer.

Is It Running?

Mind you, we didn’t say running well. Still, a vehicle in running condition or near-running condition commands a better price. A vehicle the junkyard could potentially resell to a desperate college student is worth more than one they’ll sell for scrap. If it’s still running, don’t let any junk cars Houston junkyard tell you it’s not worth anything.

Take a Peek at the Blue Book Value

Sure, sure, Kelly’s Blue Book is all about pricing cars in good condition, but it’s a frame of reference. Let’s say that you inherited a better car and just didn’t want to fix up your old junker. You can take that Blue Book price and deduct the estimated cost of repairs. That gives you a ballpark number for what the junk place might get at auction. You won’t get that much from them. You can probably still get more than they’d offer you otherwise.

Look Up the Price for Scrap Steel

Even a car that’s a train wreck beyond a men’s college dorm bathroom can get sold off for scrap metal by the lowliest of junk cars Houston junkyard. Find out what automotive scrap steel goes for per ton. Most cars are about 50% steel by weight. So cut your car’s weight in half and multiply that by the steel price.

Negotiating a fair price for your junk car is all about knowledge. You must know what parts are still okay, what they go for, or just the price of steel. Having that knowledge positions you to get a fair price.