Do you have an old, beaten up car sitting in your yard or garage? Maybe it's a previous car that you just never got around to selling, or maybe it's a project that just doesn't seem to be going anywhere anymore. Whatever the case, dilapidated old cars can be a serious eyesore that have the potential to negatively affect your property values and the property values of your neighbors. In some places, having old cars sitting around may even be against local ordinances.
If you are finally ready to part with that old pile of bolts, you may be wondering whether it's best to use a cars-for-cash service or to go through the hassle of listing and selling the car yourself. This isn't always the easiest decision to make, but this simple checklist of questions will help you to get started.
Have You Asked for Estimates and Done Your Homework?
Before going any farther, it's time to get a rough idea of what your car is worth. If it's a car that you've left sitting in your yard, odds are that isn't exactly in flawless condition. That's fine! When you're researching values, just assume that your vehicle is somewhere near the bottom of the range that you find. Once you've got that value in hand, start calling around to junk car services to get an idea of what they're offering. Remember that although their price will be lower, you won't have to deal with the trouble of towing the car or negotiating with buyers.
Does it Run?
A running car is almost always worth more than its scrap value, especially if it's not suffering from any major engine or transmission troubles. Since you should already have a rough idea of what your car is worth is at this point, it's time to estimate how much work it needs to put it back into running shape. If the work required exceeds the value of the car, then it's a good bet that you won't find too many eager buyers. You can try to hold out for that one unique buyer that just really wants your particular car, but it will usually be easier and less frustrating to simply junk your car.
Is it Special?
Every car is special in its own way to its owner, but to most people, it's just a car. Now is the time to look at that old beater and decide whether there's actually anything about it that makes it particularly unique or desirable. Does it have unusual trim or is it a special edition? Does it have a particularly rare color or options? Is it a manual transmission version of a car that was only common with an automatic? An old, base model Toyota Camry isn't likely to make many must-have lists, but a Lexus ES250 with a manual transmission isn't something that you see every day.
If you make an honest evaluation and determine that your car is special in some way, then it may be worth selling it privately. It will likely take you a while to find the buyer who wants your unique ride, but there's a good chance they'll pay a premium to get just what they want. If, on the other hand, there's nothing special about your car? Time to have it junked.
Are You Planning on Purchasing a New Car Soon?
One final consideration is whether you are in the market for a new car and don't have a more valuable vehicle to trade-in. Many dealerships will offer special deals from time to time where they will accept any trade-in (even if you have tow it in!) for some minimum value. This is often far more than an old, beat-up car in non-running condition is worth, so this may be an option worth considering if it fits your particular situation.
Contact a company, like Pick-A-Part Jalopy Jungle, for more help in selling your old car.