Those beat-up jalopies you see on the road certainly have their charm. They serve their owners gallantly until the time comes for vehicle retirement. For owners of such cars, finding the right way to get rid of their old cars presents challenges.
If you have an old car that serves mostly as an eyesore in your driveway, it’s probably time to dispose of it and move on. Should the car still have any intrinsic value and be operational, you might be able to sell it to a new owner or dealership. It’s even possible you can find a “car guy”, who is looking for parts, that might be interested.
Of all available options, being able to sell the car to a private buyer would be preferable. After haggling over the price, you could probably get a fair deal on the car as it sits now. The biggest problem with this process is it would require time and effort. People won’t come knocking at your door to see if they can buy the old car sitting outside.
The next best alternative would be to see if a car dealership would be interested in buying the car or taking it as a trade-in. Under the right circumstances, it’s possible a trade-in would be the most lucrative way to go. Unfortunately, car dealerships will focus on the car’s potential resale value, making a fair deal less likely.
If the car is so far gone that repair and transport costs for a new owner would exceed the value, it could be time to think outside of the box. That’s the point where you might want to consider selling the car to a salvage yard.
To be clear, the salvage yard option should be your option of last resort. It’s the option you should consider only after realistically assessing the car’s value, plus the time and effort it would take to sell it to a private owner. If the value is not there and you don’t have time to wait, contacting a reputable facility like Tear-a-Part could be the right solution.
The salvage yard approach is a fast solution. If you were busy looking for a place to move and needed to dispose of the car fast, salvage yards don’t say no. You might not get the amount of cash you want, but you can get something.
If you can’t find a guy who is into reconditioning old cars, and you are going the salvage yard route, there’s a process to follow. Here are a few steps you should take to make the process fast and easy.
Remove All Personal Belongings
Prior to heading for the salvage yard, you should give the vehicle a good once over. It’s your responsibility to make sure nothing of value remains in the car. Anything left is the vehicle will become the salvage yard’s property after the sale has concluded.
Remove Valuable Parts
The car is going to the junkyard. You don’t want to leave valuable parts on the car to the benefit of the salvage yard’s ownership. If the car has custom parts you might use on another car or could sell separately, you might as well take them. The salvage yard will not give you any extra value for nice parts.
Remove the Plates
The car’s license plates belong to you. Since the salvage yard has no use for them and given the potential exposure to legal problems, you need to maintain control over the plates. You might actually have a legal obligation to turn them back into the state.
Cancel Car Insurance
If the car is insured, you need to cancel the insurance the second the salvage yard takes control. This would be especially crucial if the car is still operational because of potential legal exposure. Also, you might be due a refund from the insurance company if the insurance coverage was prepaid.
Drain the Gas Tank
The first thing the salvage yard will do upon taking possession of the car is to drain the gas tank. They don’t want a potential fire hazard in the yard. Given the price of gas, you should drive the car until near empty if it’s operational. If it’s not operational, you can secure the gas with a siphoning hose and gas can.