If you want to know some of the best tips for getting cash for junk cars, this comprehensive article is certainly going to help.

It reveals a lot about making money with junk cars and some of the best tips to really help you.


Can You Really Get Cash for Junk Cars?

Of course you can!

As the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

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A prime example of the truth to this statement is the popularity of garage sales.

These clearance sales, roughly 95,000 listed weekly on Craig’s List alone, are sales of unused items found in the home, possibly junk, and are purchased by others.

The average selling price of an item is .85 cents.

Another prime example of one man’s junk is the selling of dilapidated cars to salvage yards.

Not only does the owner of the vehicle receive money for their junk car, but the salvage dealer does as well.

Their revenue is realized by selling parts of the cars to others as well as being paid by the pound for the scrap metal.

Everyone makes money off this transaction and the environment is better off as well through this recycling process.


Personal Story

Whether it is technology, cars, or ourselves, everything has a shelf life.

I had bought a used car when I relocated to another state due to a job change.

The car was purchased for $1,000. The purpose of the car was to get me back and forth from work with some odd trips in between.

Long story short, two years and 5000 miles later, my used car and I rode together for the last time to a junk car dealer.

The offer was $200 for a vehicle that had gone through two engines, experiencing major transmission problems, broken speedometer cable, power steering challenges, and one working headlight.

I took the deal.

My junked car had served me well.


15 Best Tips for Turning Junked Cars to Cash


1. Assessment 

The primary step to take before considering the salvage or junkyard for your vehicle is to first take a candid look at your vehicle and assess its state of being.

In other words, the important question to ask is how far gone is the car or how many wheels are in the junk graveyard?

If the assessment is as such that it is on its last tire and to invest more money in the car to keep it operating is not worth the money or the effort.

Then yes, it’s time for the junkyard.

As part of your evaluation of your vehicle, you should assess whether it is operable or not, note any areas of internal and external damage, and whether any of the car parts are operational.

Examples of those car parts that still may be operational include the alternator, GPS, etc.

Once your decision has been made to move forward with junking the vehicle, then maintain that information if you choose to deal with a local junkyard.


2. Kelley Blue Book

The next step in the possible junkyard process is to get an approximation of what your car may be worth.

One such site that you can utilize to assess the worth of your vehicle is Kelly Blue Book.

On this site, you can type in the make, model, year, and condition of the vehicle.

Of course, it is important to give an honest and fair assessment of the vehicle’s condition.

The Kelly Blue Book price may return an amount based on the car’s operable condition.

If your car is deemed as inoperable then the use of this approximate value will give you a ballpark figure of the potential worth of your car.

To get an even closer approximation of its value, you could subtract the repairs needed or the parts that need to be replaced, etc. from the value of the search returned on the website.


3. Paperwork 

To sell the vehicle, there are certain documents that you will need to provide to the potential buyer of the car or truck.

Therefore, you must have the title of the car so that you can prove that you are the owner.

If you proceed with the selling of the vehicle, that title will be signed which indicates that the title and the ownership of the vehicle are being handed off to the buyer.


4. Search the Car 

It’s also important to do a thorough search of your vehicle before handing over the ownership to a new owner.

Looking in the various compartments within the car will ensure that no personal items are left behind when the ownership is transferred.

Those compartments include the glove compartment, underneath the seats, thoroughly checking the trunk, the sun visors, etc.

Check out the following related articles for more tips on driving and getting paid:


5. Comparing Offers 

Rather than just going with one junkyard or salvage facility, it is important to shop around and ensure that you get the best bid for the purchase of your vehicle.

This can be accomplished by making a few phone calls or visiting salvage dealers through their Internet presence.

By doing a quick search utilizing the keyword salvage yard, a return will be provided for these companies in your area. The page should allow for you to put in the year make and model of your vehicle and receive an offer.

To get the best deal it would be prudent for the individual to do this with several companies.

Also, there may be websites that will, in essence, do this for you.

By entering the vehicle information, these websites will reach out to the various salvage yards to obtain the best deal for you.


6. Towing 

Also, if your vehicle is inoperable, an important aspect of getting the car to the salvage yard may require the vehicle to be towed.

Therefore, a tip to help you maximize your cash deal is to make sure that there are no hidden charges or that any towing is either free or at least you as the customer know what that towing is going to cost.

It is always important to ask if there are any other fees associated with the deal and make sure that the agreement is in writing with all of those disclosures.


7. Remove Valuable Accessories 

Of importance is to remember that your vehicle is not just steel and possibly plastic. There are other valuable aspects or parts to your vehicle.

With this in mind, it may be profitable that you identify and remove any parts that may have value outside of the attachment to the car.

You can take off these items yourself or solicit the help of a mechanic.

Some of those items could include wheels, batteries, starter motors, alternators, stereo systems, etc.

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8. Paperwork 

In addition to the title, the seller or owner of the vehicle needs to make sure that they are familiar with the local laws regarding the selling of junk cars.

Also, if any paperwork is necessary for the transaction to occur as required by the DMV, it is important to get that paperwork and make sure that it is filed correctly.

The salvage junk dealer may be able to help with this process.

Also, as an added caveat, some junk cars may not require the individual or owner to show title or any proof of ownership due to the car’s age.

In some states, this proof is not required if the car is over 15 years old.


9. License Plates 

Although the junk or salvage yard may remove your license plates and return them to you, it would be wise for you as the owner to do that yourself.

Also, the DMV may request that these license plates with the tag be returned to them so that they can remove your liability as to the owner and being the registered owner.

This will probably be a good question to ask the DMV when inquiring about other paperwork.


10. Insurance 

Another aspect of maximizing your cash return on the salvaging of your used vehicle is to make sure that you cancel your insurance policy that covers the use of this vehicle.

The context of the conversation should be that you are canceling your policy, that the car is being junked, and that you no longer need coverage on that vehicle.

This may or may not, once canceled, entitle you to a refund on your insurance policy.


11. Check the Junk Dealer Out 

To maximize your cash received for junking your vehicle, it is important that you do your homework and conducts your research on the various salvage yards or junk dealers in your area.

It is important to read reviews that may be posted regarding their service and professionalism and if any bait and switch actions were taken.

Also, there are sites available that will rate the business dealings of this company as reflected through the Better Business Bureau.


12. Process On How Paid 

To understand the value of your junk car it is important to know how the money that will be exchanged is realized.

The process for paying a customer who junks their vehicle is through a weight scale.

The vehicle is weighed and a formula for paying per ton is calculated.

Therefore, depending upon the current price of junk metal, the dealer will weigh your vehicle, utilize the tonnage and then multiply that number by the price per ton.

As an example, if the dealer offers $300 per ton and you have a 4000-pound vehicle, you could be offered $1,200.

Although this is a standard way of calculating the amount that will be paid it is not necessarily used by all salvage yards.

Therefore, when investigating these various companies that should be one of your questions as to how they calculate the paying of money.


13. Mechanic 

If not an expert in the field of cars and estimating their junk value, it would be also a good strategy to utilize a trusted mechanic.

Perhaps, for a small fee, the mechanic would give a qualified guess on what they would estimate the value of the car, as is, to be.

Additionally, the qualified mechanic may have other suggestions and tips that can be utilized due to their experience with all aspects of the car and their various conditions.

Speaking of mechanics, it may be advisable to ask the professional mechanic if they have any recommendations on the car that you are planning on junking.

Perhaps they are interested in any of the parts within the vehicle or also may know of any potential individuals or companies who would be willing to pay top dollar for one of your vehicles.


14. Get Rid Fluids 

Before a junk car can be compacted, the salvage dealer must ensure that all of the fluids are removed from the vehicle.

These fluids include brake fluid, transmission oil, motor oil, gasoline, etc.

If this is part of the charge or fee in doing so, perhaps it is better done by the owner or the mechanic rather than being assessed this fee at the salvage dealer’s location.

If this is an added expense tacked on by the salvage dealer, you would certainly want to do this on your own or have a qualified mechanic do the fluid drainage.


15. Tires

Another added component of the vehicle is the tires.

Specifically, if the tires are in good shape, they should be removed and sold apart from the salvage transaction.

If the tires do not have many miles on them or the tread is still good, it would be beneficial to the individual to have those tires removed.

Check out the following companies that help with buying/selling cars:


Money for Junk Cars FAQs


How Much Money Can I Expect From Junking My Car?

In most instances, a car that is sold as junk will provide money for the seller.

The money offered to you will depend upon where the vehicle is its make, model and year, condition, and the current price of scrap metal.

All that to say the amount offered by the buyer can be anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars.

However, the average range for the purchase of a junked vehicle is $100 to $500.


What Happens to Junked Cars?

Answer: At the salvage yard, any useful parts are removed from the vehicle. This can be accomplished by the customer before turning the vehicle in.

Also, car fluids such as transmission fluid, oil, antifreeze are removed.

Other items that are removed from the car include tires and batteries. These items can be recycled if they are not removed prior.

The remaining stripped-down version of the vehicle is then further processed, crushed, and then recycled.


You Can Do It

Deciding on junk one’s old car and selling it to a salvage or junkyard dealer can be a stressful experience.

This experience can be negative in two ways.

One way is that is probably a new experience for you and seems that there are several considerations to take place.

Secondly, sometimes our cars can be like old friends with considerable memories tied up with the valuable service that these autos rendered.

However, it’s important to stay focused, concentrate on the transaction, and for the benefit of all involved follow these tips and more to realize the maximum amount of cash for your junk vehicle.



As it relates to selling a junk car there are 3 payoffs.

The payoff is to the salvage dealer in being able to get paid for the scrap metal and there is a payoff to the owner who gets paid by the salvage dealer.

Finally, there is a payoff to the environment by being responsible for liquidating your used car.

Again, this company has paid $25+ million to members:

SurveyJunkie (only USA, Canada, Australia residents allowed). You can earn money sharing your thoughts. They have already paid $25+ million to their 20+ million members just for sharing their thoughts and opinions. Click here to join SurveyJunkie for FREE

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Apart from being a seasoned Personal Finance expert who has written for top publications around the world, I bring significant personal financial experience. Long story short... through bad financial choices... I found myself $100,000 plus in debt. I was able to dissolve this indebtedness and regain financial solvency. This financial turn around was accomplished through reading, studying and implementing a financial plan. My financial plan included paying down my debt through budgeting, being cognizant of where my financial resources were being spent, changing my attitude about money and understanding the binding chains of the improper use of credit. Today, and for 10 years, I have been debt free and have invested wisely to enjoy my current retirement. This is allowing me to write to help others make, save and grow money wisely!