How to Junk a Car - The Complete Guide to Junking a Car

How to Junk a Car in 7 Steps: The 2023 Guide of What Your Need to Know

Junking a car is a procedure that many vehicle owners may have to consider at some point, particularly for cars that are old or beyond repair. To junk a car it's essential to follow the right steps, understand the legalities, and know your alternatives to ensure you make the most out of the process.

Getting rid of your old, unwanted car is not just about clearing up space in your garage, but also about being responsible for the environment. Properly disposing of a junk car can have a significant positive impact on our planet. In addition, there are financial benefits to be had by recycling or selling salvageable parts. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of junking your car while ensuring you're doing it in an eco-friendly manner and maximizing its value.

The 7 steps to junk a car cover everything a beginner needs to know. The steps to junk a car are listed below.

  1. Evaluate Your Junk Car's Worth:  Consider the condition of your vehicle, make and model, and current market conditions and be reasonable with your expectations.
  2. Prepare The Junk Car For Sale: To prepare to junk your car remove personal belongings, valuable aftermarket components, paperwork, and license plates.
  3. Gather Ownership Documents and Vehicle Details: Ownership documents for a vehicle include the vehicle title and bill of sale. Ownership documents are required to junk a car because you need to prove you own the vehicle.
  4. Get Free Offers to Junk a Car: Get free offers to junk a car from junk car buyers online and by phone. Technology has sped up this process immensely.
  5. Select an Offer and Choose a Junk Car Buyer: Determine which offer you want to choose and which junk car buyer is the right fit.
  6. Accept Your Offer and Schedule Removal: Upon accepting an offer to junk your car you will schedule the removal of your vehicle.
  7. Get Paid Cash to Sell Your Junk Car: On removal day, hand over the keys and paperwork and get paid cash to junk your car on the spot.

1. Evaluate Your Junk Car's Worth

The value of a junk car heavily relies on its condition, make and model, as well as the current market conditions. When it comes to junking a car, one of the first things you'll want to do is assess its value. This will help you determine how much you can expect to get for it and will assist you in making informed decisions throughout the process. A car in better condition or a sought-after make and model will generally have a higher value.

The demand for certain types of vehicles in the current market can influence the price you can expect to receive. It's important to take these factors into account when assessing the value of your junk car.

2. Prepare The Junk Car For Sale

When getting ready to junk your car, it's important to take certain steps to ensure a smooth and hassle-free disposal process. Follow these guidelines to properly prepare your junk car for disposal:

  • Remove personal belongings: Check the glove compartment, trunk, and under the seats.
  • Remove any valuable components: If you have any after-market parts it's best to remove them.
  • Take out any important documents: Locate the registration, insurance papers, and vehicle title and remove them from the vehicle.
  • Detach the license plates: Prior to disposing of your car, you will need to remove the license plates in accordance with local regulations. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the license plate screws and store the plates until you surrender them to the local Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Don't worry about trash: Your car is junk and no one will be driving it again, removing the trash and cleaning the vehicle is not necessary.

3. Gather Ownership Documents and Vehicle Details

Ownership documents for a vehicle include the vehicle title and bill of sale. Ownership documents are required to junk a car because you need to first prove ownership that you own the vehicle. If your vehicle title is not in your glove box then you will need to locate it in order to junk your car.

In some states it may be possible to sell your junk car with no title, however it is best to locate it or get a replacement title if you do not have it.

At this time you will also want to write down your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) as it will be required in the next step to junk your car. The VIN can be located on the registration, inside the door panel, or in the owners manual.

4. Get Free Offers to Junk a Car

Getting free instant offers to junk a car has never been easier. There are online services galore that want to buy your junk car. These online junk car buyers will provide a free offer to junk your car online or by phone. The process is simple - First you'll enter your VIN, then answer a few questions about your vehicle's condition, and then you will be presented with an instant offer to junk your for free junk car removal. Junk car offers usually range between $100 - $500 cash for end-of-life vehicles.

You will want to solicit multiple offers from various junk car dealers and buyers and compare them. But don't just compare the offers, compare the buyers as well.

5. Select an Offer and Choose a Junk Car Buyer

Comparing junk car buyers and there offers is a crucial step in the process of junking a car. Choosing a junk car buyer determines who you will sell your scrap car to. You will want to select one that gives the best offer but also that provides great service. Things to look for include the ease of use, help and assistance, and friendliness of the junk car buyer. Once you choose who you will junk your car with it's time to accept your offer.

6. Accept Your Offer and Schedule Removal

Accepting an offer to junk your car is a commitment between you and the junk car buyer that you will sell your junk car for the agreed-upon price. Accepting an offer can be done online or by phone with most junk car buyers. Once you accept your offer you will schedule the removal of your junk vehicle together. The junk car buyer will provide free towing and removal and pay you at that time.

7. Get Paid Cash to Sell Your Junk Car

It's time to get paid cash to sell your junk car. On vehicle removal day you will hand over the keys and paperwork and the junk car removal service will hook up your vehicle, pay you on the spot, and be on their way.

The entire process to sell a junk car is quick, easy, and painless.  Let's take a look at more questions about junking a car.

What Do I Need to Junk a Car?

To junk your car you will need the vehicle title, bill of sale, keys, and personal identification.

Everything needed to junk a car is listed below.

  • Vehicle title (in most cases)
  • Bill of sale (in most cases)
  • Vehicle keys (in most cases)
  • Personal identification

It may be possible to junk a car without the vehicle title, bill of sale, or keys. However, you will need to provide identification to prove you are the owner of the scrap vehicle and to create a paper trail of junking the car.

Is it legal to junk a car without a title?

Generally, no. A vehicle title proves ownership of the vehicle. A vehicle title is required to junk a car. However, in some states, it still may be possible to junk a car if your vehicle is going to be dismantled. A bill of sale or a combination of other documents like registration and identification will still be required. It is best to consult with your local Department of Motor Vehicles and attempt to get a replacement title.

A replacement title generally costs between $25 - $40 and makes the process of junking a car a lot easier.

Is it legal to junk a car without registration?

Yes, it is legal to junk a car without registration. An unregistered car can be junked by proving ownership with identification, car insurance and the vehicle title. Otherwise, the process is the same as junking a registered car.

Do I Need to Cancel My Insurance After Junking a Car?

Yes, you will need to cancel your auto insurance after junking your car. This will stop the insurance of your vehicle in your name and remove the vehicle from your insurance policy. You can cancel the insurance by contacting your insurance agent or your local insurance provider. You can find your insurance information on the insurance car. The insurance card is a document that is most often kept in the glove compartment that proves the vehicle is insured.

Who buys junk cars?

When you are looking to sell a junk car you must find a buyer. Places that buy junk cars include junkyards (salvage yards, scrap yards), online junk car buyers, and independent buyers.

Can I junk a car that doesn't run?

Yes, you can junk a car that doesn't run. In fact, a high volume of junk cars do not run and that is why they are considered junk cars. The process of getting rid of a non-running car is no different than junking a running car. Non-running cars often carry their value in their weight of scrap metal. Non running cars often sell for $100 - $500.

How can I avoid common junk car scams?

The best things to do to avoid junk car scams involve getting multiple offers, researching junk car buyers, and being present at the removal. While junk car scams do happen they are often easy to spot. Common scams involve bait-and-switch tactics, false offers, and simply not showing up.

How do I Find a Reputable Junkyard or Junk Car Buyer?

Finding a reputable place to buy your junk car makes the process a lot smoother.  Things you can do to find a trusted junk car buyer include researching buyers by Googling their name and reading reviews. Dive deep into their reviews on Google, TrustPilot, and Yelp.  Are there scams to watch out for with any? If so, avoid them. You can also ask around to find family or friends who previously junked a car.

Junk Car Medics makes the process of getting cash for junk cars quick, easy, and rewarding.

How Can I Sell a Junk Car For The Most Money?

Sell a junk car for the most money by getting and comparing multiple offers from various junk car buyers. Solicit offers from online junk car buyers, and local junkyards, and attempt to scrap your car at salvage yard, or sell it privately.

Negotiating offers is allowed and sometimes all it takes to get a little more money is to simply ask.

What is the Importance of Junking a Car?

When it comes to junking a car, it's important to consider the environmental impact. By taking the necessary steps you can contribute to a cleaner planet. One of the most important environmental considerations in disposing of junk cars is handling and disposing of hazardous materials and fluids. Substances such as oil, gas, coolant, and others, can pose a threat to the environment if not properly disposed of.

Junking a car is important because it also removes valuable parts of a potentially hazardous vehicle from use. Old vehicles and vehicles with mechanical problems may be exhausting more fumes than newer, better running models.

Alternative Ways to Get Rid of a Junk Car

While junking a car to a junkyard or junk car buyer is the most popular method of disposal, there are alternative ways to get rid of an old car. The three other common methods to get rid of an old car include donating the car, scrapping and recycling the car, and selling the car privately.

  • Donating a junk car: To donate a car means you will be gifting it to a charity of choice. When you donate a car, the charity will turn around and junk it and keep the cash. While donating a junk car is common, the better scenario is to junk the car yourself and turn around and donate the profits to the charity.
  • Scrap the car: Scrapping a car is when you remove the valuable components and sell them separately. Once sold and the car is stripped, the remaining shell is then recycled to a scrap yard or junkyard for cash. While scrapping and recycling a car may be more rewarding than junking a car, scrapping a car takes the technical skills of a mechanic in order to be able to remove valuable components such as the engine or catalytic converter.
  • Sell the junk car privately: Selling a car privately involves selling the junk car to a private buyer. You can sell a car privately and find buyers on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and newspaper classifieds. This is the least likely option because it's rare people want to buy junk cars.