How Much Cash Can I Expect to get for My Junk Car?
A surge in the online car buying business has allowed vehicle owners to get cash for junk cars for a sizable incentive. The casual web surfer stumbles across marketing campaigns with statements, such as “Cash for Junk Cars”, written across an alluring advertisement. Most people refer to “junk cars” as inoperable or unsafe vehicles damaged due to neglect, automobile accidents, or repair demands far exceeding the cost of the car itself. Some commercial and individual buyers will repair these damages and then sell the previous junk car for cash.
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There is no easy method to value a junk car because there are significant degrees of junk. The make and model often can have a huge effect on the value of a junk car. For example a 2002 Ford Taurus has little value above its salvage price unless it is a very good drivable car with relatively low miles, whereas a 2002 Toyota Camry is worth significantly more even with a host of mechanical and cosmetic problems. This is due to the supply and demand of Camrys versus Taurus’ in the used car marketplace. The automobile industry assesses the value of new and used cars with the Kelley Blue Book, especially for interested parties looking to sell a car. As an industry standard, the Kelley Blue Book offers an estimate on all car models based on condition at the time of evaluation. But to qualify for a Kelley Blue Book value the car must be running and driving and without significant body damage. You can use it to see that a 2002 Toyota Camry is worth more than a 2002 Ford Taurus but it won’t give you any idea how much these cars are worth if they don’t run and/or need major mechanical or body repairs.
Some vehicle owners will automatically ask themselves, “Should I donate or junk my car?”. The easiest answer to that question depends on the seller’s motive, time frame, and overall condition of the clunker. A minority may consider donating the junk car, instead of going through the arduous task of selling and receiving cash for junk cars. Charitable donations often allow junk car owners to take a tax deduction for their donated vehicle on their federal income tax form. Itemizing deductions can exceed how much a seller would make on a “Sell Car for Cash” transaction as advertised by many online car buying businesses.
In order to sell cars of a questionable condition, car owners can seek out online cash for junk cars businesses that will purchase their junk cars for quick cash. Most of these businesses pay for their own towing expenses. “Car for Cash” programs allow the cities to expedite the junk car removal process by cleaning the streets, alleyways, and Interstates of unwanted cars. Many junk car owners believe that nobody will buy their heap of metal, which discourages them from even trying to get rid of it. As the old adage foretells, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Junk car owners simply fill out a short form that indicates the make, model, and condition of the junk car for cash. The online car buying businesses usually have a computerized system that will offer buy-outs with a decent monetary incentive. Car buying businesses usually consist of or work with used car dealers, automobile parts dealers, and scrap metal yards. Sellers usually have their junk cars removed and have cash placed into their hands within 48 hours of finalizing the transaction.
Follow these links to learn more about “Car for Cash” programs:
- The Effect of “Cash for Clunkers” Program on the Overall Fuel Economy of Purchased New Vehicles (PDF): An educational analysis of the 2009 economic stimulus package focused on upselling new vehicles by exchanging junk cars for a trade-in credit off the sticker price of fuel efficient vehicles.
- Kelley Blue Book: A free resource guide providing estimates on all new and used vehicles based on their overall condition.
- Do You Know Where Your Junk Car Goes? (PDF): A fact sheet about where junk cars go after they are bought, traded in, or repoed from a financial institution.
- Corporate Raiders and Junk-Car Dealers: Economics and Politics of the Merger Controversy (PDF): An abstract essay providing statistical data regarding the corporate takeover of the used car sales industry.
- Edmunds: Another free resource similar to Kelley Blue Book that allows you to appraise the value of your vehicle, also features tips and advice.