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5 Tips to Avoid Junk Car Scams

Sell your wrecked car or truck without being scammed

By Ben Silver - May 25, 2016

When you’re ready to sell a junk car or wrecked vehicle, be armed with these tips to avoid being scammed.  These tips will also help you maximize your dollars when your wrecked car or truck is sold.

  1. Beware of junk car buyers that claim to not need the vehicles title.  Cars, trucks, and SUV’s, whether they’re junk or totally operational, can’t be transferred legally without the vehicles title.  So while there are junk car buyers that will buy vehicles without titles, it is not legal.  If you have lost your title, there is relatively simple process of getting a duplicate from your department of motor vehicles.  Having title in hand will allow you to sell to legitimate junk car buyers and should bring you more cash for your car.
  2. Contact reputable salvage yards for bids on your vehicle.  Generally, salvage yards can pay the most for wrecked car or truck.  We’re the end user of the vehicle, so by selling to salvage yards, you skip the wrecked vehicle haulers, auto auctions, or any other middle man.
  3. Avoid large corporate vehicle purchasers.  There are a number of companies that purchase large amounts of ad space online and market there companies well.  But they don’t process wrecked vehicles or junk cars.  They simply get your vehicle information and send that info out to salvage yards for junk car bids.  While this is not a scam, it is the ultimate middle man for wrecked SUV’s, junk cars, and junk trucks.  They’re only recourse for any vehicle that they buy is to sell to the salvage yards that will process the wrecked vehicles.
  4. Making you pay for the tow.  Some wrecked car buyers will deduct a significant amount of your payment for the tow.  This can be a shady practice because you’ve already agreed on the value of the junk car or junk truck for sale.  They can be charging you in excess for a tow that may cost them next to nothing.  Make sure you work with junk car buyers that include pickup of the vehicle into there bid.  This will give you the most accurate information to make a decision on which salvage yard to sell your junk car, truck, or SUV to.
  5. Giving you a zero dollar estimate.  Some shady wrecked car or junk car haulers will tell you that your car has no value, but they’ll haul it away free of charge.  They attempt to make you think that they are towing your junk car as a favor, but there is almost always money to be made on salvage cars and trucks.  Make sure you get three bids from reputable salvage yards in your area before making a decision.  The extra ten minutes or so should net you some extra cash when you’re selling your junk car or truck.