How to Junk a Car: Follow These 9 Steps to Sell a Junk Car

Junking a car is the process of selling a junk car for cash. Junking a car means selling a junk car whole to a junk car buyer. Selling a junk car is the easiest and fastest way to get rid of a junk car.

The process for junking and selling a car is listed below.

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    Step-By-Step Process to Junking a Car

    Here is a step-by-step process on how to junk a car.

    Graphic detailing the first three steps of junking a car

    1. Locate The Vehicle Title

    The first thing to do before junking your car is to locate your vehicle's title. The vehicle's title and registration are the documents proving that you legally own the car.

    While there are a few junkyards that will potentially buy your vehicle even if you don't have a title, they will likely offer you a lower amount of money for the car. Generally, not having a title will lower the average offer for a junked car by $109, according to data from Junk Car Medics.

    If you can not locate the vehicle title then get a replacement title from the DMV. This takes a little bit of time but is not too complex. You can usually fill out a few forms at your local DMV office and get a replacement title in a matter of days, if not hours.

    2. Remove Your Personal Belongings From The Vehicle

    The second step to junk a car involves taking a few moments to remove your stuff from it. Check over the entire car to see if any of your personal items remain.  If you don't want them it won't hurt you to just leave in the vehicle. That goes for trash too. Junk car buyers do not care if your car is dirty on the outside or filthy on the inside.  A few places to check for items before you junk a car include:

    • The glovebox
    • The trunk
    • The center console
    • Under the seats
    • The door and seat pockets
    • In your visors

    Remember, there's absolutely no value in leaving things in your car before you junk it. Car junkers do not care about the items you leave in your car. When you give a car to a junkyard, they usually just drive it to the disposal site or a car compactor without looking too hard inside.

    If you junk a car and then remember you left something behind the car could already be crushed. walk away, Because you legally sold your car to the junkyard, they are under no obligation to let you find your car and look inside it again.

    3. Research Junk Car Buyers

    The next step to junking a car is finding a licensed junk car buyer. There are many companies that buy junk but they are not all licensed. You need to do your research when you are junking a car. You can find a licensed junk car buyer by searching online, in the yellow pages, or by asking for recommendations. Another good way is to read online reviews of junk car buyers.

    Graphic detailing steps 4 to 6 of junking a car

    4. Get Offers to Junk a Car

    After you find a junk car buyer to contact you will want to request a free quote for your junk car. A quote for your junk vehicle is an offer from a junk car buyer for how much they will pay for your vehicle.  Most junk car quotes are valid for 3-7 days.

    The best way to get a quote is online which will accurately determine how much your junk car is worth.  You will enter information about the year, make, model, and condition of the car into a form and get an instant quote back. You will also be able to contact the salvage dealer or junk car buyer to give them the information about your car over the phone to request a quote.

    Junk Car Medics makes the entire process of getting a quote for your junk car quick, easy, and painless.  We use industry-leading methods to accurately quote your junk car over the phone or online.

    5. Compare Offers and Accept One

    Once you have received offers to junk a car you can choose the buyer that is offering the most money and accept their offer. If you received your offers online you can usually accept the offer by providing your contact information.

    6. Schedule Junk Car Removal

    Setting a time for pickup means scheduling the junk car removal at a time that is convenient for you and the buyer. The buyer will remove your junk car from its location by sending out a driver with a tow truck or a flatbed.  At pickup, you will need to have the keys and title for the vehicle and you will get paid.

    The driver will do a quick walk around your car to make sure everything matches up with what you supplied when you requested a quote. Junk car buyers usually pick up vehicles within 24 to 48 hours. Depending on who you are junking the car with, arrangements can be made by email, text, or over the phone.

    If your vehicle is located in a weird spot, or there are any issues you think may arise please state them at this time.  The junk car removal service will need to know if any issues may arise.

    Graphic detailing steps 7 to 9 of junking a car

    7. Remove The License Plates

    When junking a car, you'll need to remove the license plates. You can turn the license plates into the DMV and even use them on your new car if you want some license plate continuity.

    Regardless, you can remove the license plates by:

    • Unscrewing the license plate bolts by turning them counterclockwise or to the left
    • Removing the license plate cover and sliding the license plate out from the cover
    • Don't forget to replace the license plate bolts since they may go with the vehicle itself

    In addition to removing your license plate, you’ll need to remove the registration and insurance card from your vehicle if you haven’t already. If you don’t know where these items are, take a look in the glove compartment or the center console, both of which are common areas for these small items to hide.

    Should you choose to destroy the license plates, you must do so according to state-mandated practices.

    For instance, in Colorado, you can only legally dispose of license plates by:

    • Bending the license plates
    • Removing and destroying the stickers on the license plates
    • Recycling the license plates responsibly by putting them in a recycling bin

    In many cases, it’s just easier to surrender your license plates to the DMV, which will make sure they are disposed of correctly and without any issues. If you just throw your license plates away, you could be in legal trouble and face major fines!

    8. Sign Over The Vehicle Title

    When you sell your junk car you need to sign over the vehicle title to the junk car buyer making them the registered owner of the vehicle. Failing to transfer the paperwork when you sell a junk car means you will still be the owner of it.  Problems can then arise with the Department of Motor Vehicles.  Make sure you transfer the title when junking a car.

    If you do not have the title the buyer may still be able to pick up the car, however, you will not be paid as much money. The vehicle title says who is the legal owner of the vehicle.

    9. Junk Your Car and Get Paid On The Spot

    The last step in the process is to junk the car for cash. The buyer will inspect the vehicle to make sure it is as described and then pay you in cash or by check. Do not let the buyer leave with your junk car unless they have paid you. When you get paid for your junk car make sure that the check is written for the correct amount. Make sure it is also properly dated and signed.

    Junking a car is a simple process that does not take a lot of effort. Just remember to find a licensed junk car buyer, get offers, accept an offer, and then get paid. The rest of the steps to junk a car will fall into place.

    Frequently Asked Questions When Junking a Car

    The most commonly asked questions regarding junking a car are listed below.

    What Do I Need to Junk a Car?

    When you junk a car you need to have the title to the vehicle and a photo ID. If you do not have the title to the vehicle you can still junk the car, however, you will not get as much money for the car. If you do not have the title you will need the bill of sale to junk a car. It is best to sort this all out before junking a car.

    What to do before junking a car

    Things to do before you sell your junk car are:

      1. Collect and remove all of your personal belongings from the car and its compartments.
      2. Remove the license plates from the junk car.
      3. Cancel the vehicle's insurance.
      4. Shop around for the best quote from a reputable junk car buyer.

    Things to Do Before Selling Your Junk Car


    How much can I sell a junk car for?

    The main factor that determines how much you can sell a junk car for is its weight in metal.  The vehicle weight will have the greatest impact. Learn more about the factors that determine how much you can sell a junk car for.

    What Is The Difference Between Scrapping And Junking A Car?

    Scrapping a car and junking a car a different. Scrapping a car means dismantling it and selling it's parts. Junking a car means selling the vehicle to a junk car buyer.

    Scrapping a car is usually done by mechanics or people that know what they are doing. They then scrap the remaining shell and hulk.  Junking a car is the most common way to sell a junk car. 

    That said, the two terms are often used interchangeably. 

    Junking a car is usually used to refer to getting rid of vehicles at the end of their life spans in the US. “Scrapping a car” is more commonly heard in the UK.

    How do I know if I should junk my car?

    Here are 3 common signs that it is time to junk a car:

    1. The Car Is No Longer Running
    2. The Car is Unsafe
    3. The Car is Unreliable

    These are 3 of the many signs you should junk a car.

    What are the benefits to junk a car?

    The main benefit to junk a car is you will not have to deal with it anymore. Read this article to learn about all the benefits to junk a car.

    How Long Does it Take to Junk a Car?

    The answer to this question is that it depends on the buyer and the car. Some online junk car buyers can pick up a car within 24 hours. Others may take a few days to pick up the car. The time it takes to junk a car also depends on the car. Some cars can be towed away quickly while others may need to be dismantled before they can be removed.

    If you are in a hurry to junk a car make sure to find out how long it takes with the buyer you choose.

    What is the Best Way to Sell My Junk Car for Cash

    The best way to sell your junk car for cash is by using Junk Car Medics. Junk Car Medics works with the top junk car buyers in your area and nationwide.  Junk Car Medics gets them to compete to make the best offer for your junk car.  The service is completely free for you to use.

    What Is The Fastest Way to Sell My Junk Car for Cash?

    The fastest way to sell a junk car for cash is by calling Junk Car Medics at 1-855-587-0227. Calling Junk Car Medics is faster than getting an online offer because you can speak to a team member. A team member can help you sell your junk car as fast as possible by communicating with our junk car buyers on their availability.

    Is It Legal to Sell Junk Car Without a Title?

    Yes, most states will allow you to sell your junk car without a title.  You can sell your junk car without a title by proving ownership of the vehicle.  You can prove ownership of the vehicle by having the registration in your name, insurance in your name, and/or the bill of sale.

    Other states will require that you have the title no matter the condition of the vehicle.

    No matter what state you are in we don't advise you to sell your junk car without a title. If you do not have the vehicle title see what the process is for getting a replacement in your state.  Getting a replacement vehicle title is usually pretty easy and only costs about $30-$50.  A replacement title can be received the same day or it may take up to a few weeks depending on your state.

    Junk cars with titles sell for $137 more on average than comparable junk cars without a title.

    What is the Importance of Selling Junk Car to a Registered Salvage Dealer?

    The importance of selling a junk car to a registered salvage dealer or junk car buyer is to make sure the paperwork is properly handled.  When you are junking a car you sign over the vehicle title to the buyer. If the buyer doesn't properly file the paperwork you can run into issues down the road.  Without properly filing the paperwork the vehicle ownership will remain in your name.

    You will also want to sell your junk car to the registered dealer to ensure you do not get swindled. Most registered dealers are reputable buyers. They will make you fair offers for your vehicle.

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