Return To Blog

Don't Get Scammed By Junk Car Buyers!

Tips on how to avoid wrecked vehicle purchasing scams

By Ben Silver - April 22, 2015

When you go to sell your wrecked, junk, or old vehicle, you should be aware of possible scams.  No matter the age or condition of your vehicle, it still has value and you should try to get as much for it as you can.  In doing this, you may solicit bids from many different parties trying to navigate the mine field of organizations that purchase wrecked vehicles.  Here's some things to look out for.

Changing Bids for your Wrecked Vehicle
There is some room for error here, so use your best judgement.  Obviously, if you give the purchasing party bad information, like say the vehicle is clean when it has hail damage, then expect an adjustment in the agreed upon price.  What you wantto watch out for is the classic bait and switch. You contact the purchasing party and give you a great bid, so you're sold.  You're thinking, "Right on, this wrecked car is worth more than those other guys thought." But what may really happen, is a change in bid when the purchaser comes to get the car.  At this point, they figure that they have you right where they want you and you'll take $200, $300, or however much less they can squeeze out of the deal.  This is not a practice that a reputable company and purchaser of cars and trucks will practice.  Tell the company to leave the vehicle, and you'll be working with someone else.  Always make sure you get payment for the vehicle when you deliver the title, and if you have a wrecker service purchasing it, trade the title for payment before they have the vehicle on there truck.

Title and Registration Problems
Do what you can make sure the title is transferred properly.  This will prevent doing double paperwork or other problems down the road.  Selling a wrecked truck or junk vehicle isn't rocket science, but motor vehicle departments are sticklers for details.  The purchaser of a junk car will not buy the vehicle if you do not have the title.  So, first things first, have the title in hand and ready.  Most recyclers are prevy to the scam of selling a vehicle without title and have there radar locked in for this.

Check Swaps or Overpayments
This is  a big time red flag.  If you have a junk vehicle purchaser that is offering to overpay for a vehicle by check, and have you give them a check or cash for the difference, you should head for the hills.  Again, a reputable salvage vehicle purchaser would not do this, but a shady car hauler might.  

Many industries have scams and legal issues that remain problems.  Just look at the mortgage and housing industry, whew.  Automotive salvage yards and vehicle purchasers are no diffferent.  Just beware of these above scams and you should be fine.  Most businesses are above board and are just trying to acquire inventory to keep the machine moving.  Follow these tips and sell with confidence!