Why You Should Not Sell a Junk Car to a Dealership

Don't trade in your junk car at the dealership.

We all know car dealerships for what they do—deal cars. Dealerships sell new or gently used vehicles, but they are in the business of buying them, too. You might be thinking you'll be hitting two birds with one stone by selling off your junk car to the dealer for a new one, but don't. We're here to tell you why you shouldn't sell your junk car to the dealership and should use a junk car service instead.

Not All Dealerships Buy Junk Cars

So first, of all, can you even sell your clunker to a dealership? While dealerships buy used cars, not all of them buy junk vehicles. Most people don't know that dealerships actually earn more profit from used car sales, more so than from new car sales. When they buy cars, they're mainly looking for those they can resell.

If you're trying to sell your junk car to a dealership, you may find that they may not make an offer on a car that does not run, as they cannot make much profit or gain much from it in some way.

Every dealership, however, is different. You need to contact a nearby dealership in order to find out the specifics.

They'll Buy Your Junk Car with Strings Attached

Since buying junkers isn't a profitable thing for dealerships to do, they may only make an offer if you agree to trade in your junk car for a newer vehicle. It’s unlikely that they would offer you anything for your junk car otherwise.

A common tactic that a dealership may use is trying to convince you that your junk car has a higher trade-in value, so you think you’re getting a better deal on a newer car. They may offer you a certain amount off of a new car if you agree to trade in your junk car. They do it as a way to get you to purchase a new car from their dealership.

Don't trade in your junk car at the dealership.

In short, they may not offer to buy your junk car with no strings attached. You should be wary of selling to dealerships, as they may have ulterior motives—if you are not looking to purchase a new vehicle, do not agree to a trade-in promotion.

Their Offers Will Be Low

If you are getting an offer on a junk car, it is most likely coming with strings attached, such as a trade-in. If you’re given an offer without any other stipulations, you should not expect top dollar. A dealerships pays wholesale prices for used vehicles in general, so for a junk car, you can expect even lower offers.

If you have a drivable and still usable vehicle, you can expect a little more. Many factors go into how much you may receive from a dealership, including your car's condition and whether there are stipulations from the dealership.

You should never rely on one single estimate, either. If you feel a dealership may be purposefully lowballing you to make some money, consider getting a second opinion. This way, you can ensure you are getting the best price for your vehicle and aren’t being taken advantage of.

They Won't Pay What Your Vehicle is Worth

In an ideal scenario, car dealerships will refurbish your used or junk car, if possible, and resell it. That way, they can make a profit off of the car you gave them. This scenario works in the dealership's favor—they most likely received your car for little to no money on their part and are now able to sell it for much more.

In most cases, your car is a junk car for a reason, and therefore cannot be salvaged. In that case, car dealers sell junk car trade-ins at auctions. Since they may be able to make only a small profit on a junk car trade-in, they'll try to lowball you. By pricing your junk car lower than what it may actually sell for, they can make a profit at the auction.

They may only agree to purchase your junk car if you agree to enter a contract with them as well.

Is It Worth Selling Your Car to a Dealership?

In the end, it really is not worth it to sell your car to a dealership. In general, you are more likely to get a better dear by going elsewhere. Selling your car to a car dealership may actually prove to be more work than it's worth.

What's more, a car dealership is very unlikely to offer to pick up your car. So, you will need to arrange a towing service to come and get your car moved to the dealership if it’s undrivable. This adds another expense to your plate. If you’re lucky enough to find a dealership that does buy junk cars, you will most likely be making very little profit, if any.

Cons of Selling Your Junk Car to a Dealership

To sum up, here are the reasons you shouldn't sell your junk car to the dealership:

  • Very little profit comes from selling junk cars to dealerships.
  • They may try to lowball you and give you a lower price.
  • You may get roped into buying a newer car from the dealership when you trade in.
  • Many dealerships may not even offer to buy junk cars.
  • If they do buy, dealerships are not likely to offer junk car removal as part of the deal.

Better Options

Now, you must be wondering, "where can I sell my car that doesn't run?" If you have junk car and don’t know what to do with it, there are other options besides selling to a dealership.

Many sellers have found that using alternatives to car dealerships is the best option, both price and time-wise. Doing that extra research and finding options outside of car dealerships can help you earn a little more money for your used or junk car.

Private Buyers

Selling to a private buyer means you are selling to an individual, not a large corporation. This can be beneficial, as it means that the individual most likely has less stake in the game and won’t go out of their way to manipulate you. It is also more personal, and you are able to discuss your expectations with the seller.

Selling privately also means that you have more opportunity to find someone that is looking for what you have to offer. While a dealership is never necessarily looking for a junk car for any reason, there may be private junk car buyers who are looking for parts of old cars, etc. Selling privately can really lean in your favor if you play your cards the right way. Although, it can also go the opposite way if you don't pick the right buyer.

Auto Salvage Yards

An auto salvage yard is a great alternative for selling a junk car. Salvage yards can sell individual parts and scrap metal from old vehicles, so they are likely to offer better prices for cars that are salvageable. You can be sure to get a fair price when selling to an auto junkyard, compared to a dealership that may not have as much to gain from a junk car.

Junk Car Medics

Junk Car Medics is a great option for those looking to sell a junk car quickly and efficiently. All you need to do is fill out a small questionnaire about your vehicle, and we will give you a free quote.

You will receive an estimate almost instantly, and from there, you can schedule a pick-up where we will come and get your junk car. The process is quick and hassle-free, guaranteed to leave you satisfied.

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