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Steps To Take Before Selling A Junk Car

Selling a junk car can seem like a straightforward process. After all, it’s junk, right? However, to make the most out of the deal and to ensure everything is legally sound, there are essential steps every seller should undertake. Following these steps will provide you with peace of mind and potentially enhance the value of your junk car.

Assess The Value

The first step involves assessing the real value of your car. Start by documenting the vehicle's condition, listing all damages, and checking the vehicle’s mileage. This information is pivotal for buyers, giving them an idea of the car’s worth. You may also consider getting a professional appraisal, although this is more common for cars that aren’t classified as “junk.”

Research The Market

Understanding the current market conditions can help you set a realistic price for your junk car. Investigate similar vehicles’ selling prices, considering model, make, condition, and location factors. Online platforms and local junkyards can provide a wealth of information and give you a clearer picture of your vehicle’s market value.

Locate The Title

The car’s title is the most crucial document, proving ownership. Without it, selling your junk car could be more challenging. If you cannot find the title, apply for a duplicate from your local DMV. Be prepared to provide identification and pay a small fee for the replacement.

Remove Personal Belongings

Junk cars often become storage units for personal items. Before selling, thoroughly check the vehicle and remove all personal belongings. This includes documents, clothing, and any other items that might be hiding in the nooks and crannies of the car. Remember, retrieving these items can be nearly impossible once the car is sold.

Cancel Insurance And Remove License Plates

Before finalizing the sale, cancel any insurance policies linked to the vehicle to avoid extra charges. Also, remember to remove the license plates. In many states, returning license plates is necessary to cancel the registration, which is crucial to avoid any future liabilities.

Notify The DMV And Complete A Bill Of Sale

Once the sale is in progress, notify your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and complete any necessary paperwork. A bill of sale should be completed to document the transaction. This document should include the sale price, the car’s condition, and contact information for both the buyer and the seller.

Choose A Reputable Buyer

Whether selling online or to a local junkyard, it is imperative to choose a reputable buyer. Read reviews, ask for recommendations, and compare offers. A trustworthy buyer will ensure a smooth transaction and offer a fair price for your junk car.

Negotiate The Price

Even when selling a junk car, negotiation is key. Armed with your research and appraisal, negotiate a fair price with the buyer. Be honest about the car’s condition, but don’t be afraid to push for a price that reflects its true value.

Arrange For Vehicle Pickup

Once the deal is sealed, arrange for the vehicle to be picked up. Most reputable junk car buyers will offer free towing services. Ensure you and the buyer agree on a convenient pickup time for both parties and confirm all agreements in writing.


Selling a junk car might seem simple, but overlooking crucial steps can cost you. Following these guidelines ensures a seamless transaction, compliance with legal requirements, and the opportunity to receive the best value for your vehicle. So, before you watch your junk car being towed away, ensure you’ve ticked all the boxes, ensuring peace of mind and a pocketful of cash.

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