So, you’ve sorted through all your options and have decided that bringing your car to the junkyard is the best choice for making a return on your initial investment. You know there is still value in the parts of the vehicle even if it doesn’t run, so you’re probably more focused on getting the best scrap price at the lot.
It’s not easy to let go of a vehicle you’ve either cared for or spent a lot of money fixing and you may be in a rush to just get it over with. But before you haul your junk car to the scrapyard, there are a few things you will need to take care of first.
1. Remove All Your Belongings
Like a lot of car owners, you may have some personal possessions hiding away inside your vehicle. There’s also the high chance of smaller items becoming lost within the crevices of your vehicle’s interior. Wouldn’t it be a little hard to move on without those items if you knew you could have taken them out first?
Once you have given your vehicle up to the junkyard, the vehicle and any possessions still inside become the property of the junkyard. It is your responsibility as the owner of the vehicle to remove all of your stuff before handing the keys over. Some items you may want or need to take out include:
- Clothing or jewelry
- Music CDs
- Electronic devices
- Important documents
- Tools or jacks
- Spare Tires
You should not expect the scrapyard to accept your vehicle if there is excess trash inside; the scrapyard is not your personal dumpster. Check every point of your vehicle for items such as:
- Visors and sunglasses compartment
- Under, behind, or between seats
- Door panel sleeves
- Middle console and glove compartment
- Trunk or spare tire compartment
- Under floor mats
Make sure you take CDs out of the vehicle’s built-in CD player if you have them inside it still. Don’t be afraid to vacuum the carpet and clean out the ashtrays of the vehicle as well.
2. Find the Title of the Car
You can’t transfer the ownership of the vehicle over to the junkyard without the valid title of the vehicle. Never bring your car to a junkyard that doesn’t accept or require the title of the car. Whatever happens to the vehicle while it isn’t in your possession at that point would technically be your responsibility if you still have the title.
If you live in a state that doesn’t require a title for vehicles manufactured within a certain year range, then you may not need to present a title. This rule mainly applies to cases where an old car was left on the lot of someone’s home. Nonetheless, you will still need to bring a valid ID along to make the transaction legal. If you are unsure of state regulations for junking a car, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles for more information.
Also, don’t forget to cancel your insurance and return the license plates.
3. Sell the Valuable Components
Before you begin wagering a price on the vehicle with the junkyard you will want to remove valuable components from it. The price you agree on will be for everything currently inside or on the vehicle, so don’t change them after you’ve agreed on a price.
However, if you would like to make some extra cash on the components before you go to sell it, it is completely acceptable by most junkyards’ standards if you take them out first. For example, you may have recently replaced a part in the vehicle which happened to be valuable. You could take those parts out before you junk the vehicle if you think you can resell them.
A few parts you may want to take out include:
- Batteries: Most newer car batteries can be resold easily. Some places may even buy old batteries simply for the lead inside of them.
- MP3/CD Players: If you replaced the stock stereo system in your vehicle with a newer or more valuable system, you may want to take it out.
- Tires: Consider taking newer tires off the vehicle and putting old or balding tires on it instead. As long as it goes in with inflated tires, you’ll be fine.
- Other Parts: Special hoods, fenders, or spoilers on cars may fetch a decent resale price from the right buyer. Older cars with exceptional quality parts on them may also be very valuable since they may be harder to find.
4. Remove the License Plate
Whenever a car is sold, you will want to send the plates back to the Department of Motor Vehicles, which can usually be located at your country courthouse. There they will cancel your registration and revoke your ownership of the plate numbers. After you’ve sent the plates back in it may take a few business days for the cancellation to process. If it has been processed, then you may proceed in canceling your insurance. Sometimes insurance can’t be cancelled unless your registration is as well.
If you will be using the junkyard towing service, make sure you have the plates off before they arrive. They may not take the vehicle unless the plates are off and ready to go. If you send a tow truck to get your car and it’s not ready to be picked up, you could be towing a new bill instead of them towing the car. Almost all tow truck drivers are paid for their time in addition to their services so keep this in mind.
5. Use Up the Gas
When a vehicle is taken by a junkyard it can sit in place for years holding the old fluids and gas that you leave inside it. Over time, the fuel and fluids go bad or become unusable, so the junkyard will often drain them before placing them in the lot. Old fluids often require an extensive process on the junkyard’s part to recycle and become a hassle many junkyards do not like dealing with. It would be a great idea to siphon or use the gas in the vehicle before bringing it in. There’s an odd chance that this will give you a bit of negotiating room when you go to discuss a price.
If your vehicle still runs, go ahead and use up the gas. After all, you did pay for it. On the other hand, you may need to siphon the gas out of the tank yourself. If you are not adept at this, then have someone else that knows what they are doing do it. However, if you’d like to give it a try, do so carefully and use an approved container to hold the gasoline. Some vehicles may have an anti-siphon barrier, so you may not be able to without a screwdriver to hold it open. Don’t try to start the siphon with your mouth.
If you have a junk old car that you’d love to get rid of then please, by all means, give this guide a try. It will save you trouble, time, and maybe even some money in the process.