Selling A Wrecked Car For The Most Money [How To]

green selling wrecked car

Many people have wrecked cars and are unsure of what to do with them. Rather than leaving the totaled vehicle in your backyard, selling the wrecked car may be your best bet. A damaged vehicle has decreased value, but it is still possible to sell it for good money.

You can take the money offered by your insurance company, or if you did not have insurance when your vehicle was damaged, you could keep your wrecked vehicle.

You will not have an obligation to repair the vehicle, but instead, you can choose to sell it for top dollar. 

To achieve this, there are several factors to consider to get the best deal. Do not get stuck with that damaged car rotting on your property; it still has value. This detailed article will guide you on how to sell your damaged automobile for the most money.

What Is A Wrecked Car?

what is a wrecked car

A wrecked car is a car that has been damaged, usually beyond repair. For a vehicle to be considered “totaled,” it means it is so damaged that the amount of money required to repair it would be more than the vehicle’s worth.

A car can be destroyed due to a tragic accident or other nefarious means. The level of damage to a vehicle can range from a small dent or scrape to a completely totaled and unusable car. No matter the level of damage, you can still sell your vehicle for a reasonable amount – depending on its condition.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Damaged Vehicle?

cost to fix a damaged vehicle

The price for fixing a damaged car is determined based on various factors. The following factors are highly considered in this process, and the repair services needed may require a different mechanic or body shop depending on the issues.

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    The model and brand of the vehicle

    Depending on your automobile’s model, the price of spare parts and labor can vary greatly. If your vehicle is older, finding replacement parts can be problematic. Older vehicles generally have outdated parts that are no longer manufactured. Because of this, you may be required to pay much more for the rare spare parts and the cost may not be worth it.

    If your damaged car is a luxury vehicle, the cost of repair will also be high.

    The extent of the damage

    When fixing a wrecked vehicle, a more damaged car costs more to repair. When the vehicle is totaled or completely wrecked, the cost of having it fixed usually is more than the value of the vehicle itself.

    Such expenses lead many to prefer selling damaged cars instead of repairing them. This is because minor damages such as a scrape or ding can easily be fixed for a few dollars. On the other hand, significant damages cost a lot of money to fix.

    *It is important to note that repairing a damaged vehicle can affect the car’s safety when it is finally fit to be driven again. 

    When your vehicle suffers severe damage, such as a broken engine or damaged axels, the repair cost may be too high, even more than the actual value of your automobile. If you face this situation, an insurance adjuster can declare your vehicle as totaled or a total loss.

    An insurance company prefers to offer you money equivalent to the automobile’s value, as per Kelley Blue Book’s recommendation. Insurance companies usually avoid repairing a vehicle if the repair cost is more than the vehicle’s value.

    The decision to declare your vehicle as totaled and offer you a lump sum payout usually saves the insurance company money. This only applies when your vehicle is totaled and the cost of repair is more than the car’s value.

    Selling A Damaged Or Wrecked Car

    woman calls service standing by red car Selling A Wrecked Car For The Most Money [How To]

    You might be unsure what to do with your damaged car, especially when repairing it is not an easy option. The good thing is you may dispose of your damaged vehicle just as it is, without any repairs.

    Begin by comparing the cost of repairing it versus selling it. Is selling it “as is” more convenient than repairing your automobile? If your vehicle is too damaged or not worth fixing, you should consider selling it. 

    Selling a wrecked car can be a relief, primarily when you quickly sell it after being stuck with it for a while. It is a good way of getting instant cash instead of investing more money and time to have it repaired. It’s possible to earn top dollar for a damaged car, and the money could be enough to purchase a new vehicle. 

    Determining The Value Of Your Damaged Car

    First, you must find out if your vehicle has a chance to run again. The car will earn you more money if the vehicle can be repaired instead of sold for parts or scrap metal. 

    The make and model of your damaged car also determine the overall value. If your vehicle is a newer or high-end model, you will get more when you sell it. If the model is a bit older, even 20 years older, the amount you receive will probably be less.

    Newer vehicles are usually more easily repaired because spare parts are readily available. For older vehicle models, it can be challenging to find the parts to repair the vehicle. Because of this, you may get less for your vehicle. 

    If your vehicle cannot be fixed, the value is in the parts that can be salvaged. If your damaged car is a high-end, luxury, or newer model, the parts have more value than if your vehicle was an older model. This is because spare parts of a new vehicle are worth more. 

    By considering the above information, when you sell your wrecked car, you can be prepared to push back on low ball offers.

    Selling Your Wrecked Car To A Used Car Dealer

    selling wrecked car to a used car dealer

    Lots of car dealers purchase damaged vehicles. They mainly repair the cars for resale while others use them for spare parts. Selling your damaged car to a preferred dealer is one way you can earn money.

    This process is usually quick and easy since dealerships are used to buying and dealing with damaged cars. There is less negotiating involved, and they will offer you a set price to take the car off your hands.

    To find a dealership near you that buys wrecked cars, a simple Google search will point you in the right direction. You can also call the dealership and request a quote for your vehicle rather than waste your time visiting in person. 

    Typically, if the vehicle doesn’t run, the dealership will send an appraiser to your location to evaluate the vehicle. The next step is to fill out the required paperwork and collect your cash.

    Tips On Getting Top Dollar When Selling A Damaged Car

    top dollar when selling wrecked car

    If you need a high-quality purchaser, this section offers excellent tips on making the most for your damaged car. There are different places you can sell your damaged automobile depending on a few factors.

    They include:

    • Used Car dealerships
    • Insurance companies
    • Automotive recycling companies 

    Your car will fall into a specific category that determines how much money you can get for it. Use the following information to inform you about what to expect from the process.

    Late-model cars

    These are vehicles that are no older than ten years and were manufactured in 2011 or later. The value of these vehicles usually is higher, even if the car is damaged. Generally, the newer the model, the more value it has.

    When your wrecked recent model vehicle can be fixed and resold, its value is even higher. Two of the most expensive components are the transmission and engine. If both of these still work or can be repaired, expect to get more money for the vehicle.

    Older model cars

    These types of vehicles are models that have been in existence for 10 to 20 years. When you possess a damaged car that is considered an older model, it will be less valuable, and most potential buyers will offer you less than you may expect.

    In selling an old model vehicle that is damaged, determining the proper selling point will most likely be factored by the vehicle’s weight and spare parts. 

    When referring to old model vehicles, some are also referred to as “junkers.” Junkers are older than 1992, and unless they are classic vehicles, they are only worth the metal in them.

    Niche cars

    Niche vehicles are high-end and a bit older. They include Porsches, older VW bugs, and other similar vehicles. These vehicles have a higher value even if they are older. Having a niche car means you can sell the automobile for more than regular older model cars.

    By understanding the different types of vehicles and categories that help determine the value of a car, you can make a better decision about who to sell your wrecked car to.

    Entities That Purchase Wrecked Cars

    835 Selling A Wrecked Car For The Most Money [How To]

    This section details the pros and cons of the different options available to sell your wrecked car.

    Insurance companies

    If you have an automobile that is totaled, your insurance company is one of the entities you can consider selling it to. Insurance companies will make you an offer to buy the vehicle based on its worth at the time of the collision.

    For cars with collision insurance, this avenue is an excellent method of getting rid of it with a convenient insurance check since it spares you from dealing with repairs or selling it to someone else.

    Salvage vehicle auctions

    A salvage auction is an option to consider when selling your damaged car. These auctions are intermediaries between salvage yards, auto recyclers, and insurance companies. While it is restricted to certain sellers in some states (like dealerships and tow yards), it is quite a simple process in other states.

    The good thing about selling your damaged car at an auction is that you have access to many private buyers. You can consider auctioning your vehicle at an auction house because this may give you more money than selling it to your insurance adjuster. 

    With a salvage title, salvage vehicles can earn a bit more when sold at auctions rather than junkyards. 

    The only issue with an auction is the damaged vehicle must be physically present at the auction. You need to tow the damaged vehicle there and pay the necessary auction fee for a chance to sell.

    You can also consider the services of a company that specializes in junk vehicle auctions to connect you with potential buyers. No matter how you want to auction your motor vehicle, you can be sure these options will get you money for your wrecked car.

    U-Pull-It Salvage Yards

    When selling to salvage yards or scrap yards, you are selling the vehicle for parts. Because of this, there are no middlemen during the sale. Businesses like U-Pull-It Salvage Yards buy wrecked vehicles, and dozens of people dismantle the cars as they look for parts they need.

    The salvage yards sell the valuable parts of the dismantled car individually, which usually earns more money than selling the car. It is the weight of the vehicle that matters most for these buyers.

    They sell the valuable components from the damaged vehicle at discounted prices. However, their customers have to remove the parts. The main advantage of these buyers is they are the end-users, giving you more money, especially if you sell when the metal market is doing well.

    For this reason, this option is better for a quick sale than dealing with an auction. The main setback of a salvage yard is that these buyers will not offer a fair price for high-end or late-model vehicles. This is because these vehicles don’t earn them much due to the readily available parts in the market. To them, these types of cars are usually not worth investing in.

    Full-service salvage yards

    These are also end-user buyers, making them a great option to consider when selling your damaged car. The chances are you will be the only one in the supply chain when selling them your wrecked vehicle, and this will earn you additional cash.

    The scrap recyclers dismantle the damaged car and sell the valuable parts to garages, dealerships, or vehicle body shops. The unique advantage of these recyclers is they disassemble and clean the damaged vehicle themselves. They even offer warranties on the parts they sell.

    This is a good selling point, which nets them plenty of buyers. Full-service salvage yards also have a more reliable inventory, and the draw for buyers is the assistance in finding the particular car parts they are searching for.

    If your damaged car is a late model or high-end motor vehicle, the recyclers offer a better price since the parts’ value is higher. 

    Towing companies

    The majority of the buyers who purchase wrecked cars are towing companies. Towing companies are not the vehicles’ end-users, and they do not dismantle the wreck after buying it. The towing companies mostly buy damaged cars and sell them at an auction or car-buying business like a salvage yard.

    Towing companies may be an easy option to dispose of your wrecked vehicle, but they will not offer a fair market appraisal since a wrecked car’s value is not much to them.

    Other Places To Donate Your Wrecked Car

    Other methods to sell your damaged car include non-profit organizations where you can donate your vehicle to a specific charity. These organizations will pick up your vehicle and sell it to a salvage yard. For these organizations, they serve as mere middlemen, and they do not possess the vehicle.

    A quick online search will show the non-profit organizations that will take your wrecked car off your hands.

    A Quick Recap

    You now have a clear idea of the type of entities and people you can sell your damaged vehicle to. As a reminder, if you intend to sell a junker, the parts are of little value. This means a salvage dealer may see no need for it.

    Tow Yards

    In some cases, a towing company may be the best option. Selling a wrecked car is equal to getting rid of something you no longer need. It’s not going to make you rich, but it will eliminate a potential long-term, leaky problem.

    U-Pull-It Scrap Yards

    If your damaged car is an older model and fixing it would not be a good option, you can take it to a U-Pull-It yard. These are end-users who can professionally dismantle the wreck and later dispose of the parts. Consider this yard option as a top choice but if you feel the need for a second option, consider auctioning your wrecked car. 

    Niche Recyclers

    If your damaged car is a niche type, you may find niche recyclers are few and far between. This is good for you because you will usually make more money than with a regular recycler. The good thing about selling to a niche recycler is that the vehicle parts are valuable to them compared to an ordinary recycler.

    A quick Google search can show you the niche recyclers in your area. 

    Late-Model Vehicles

    There are more options to sell late-model vehicles because newer cars are worth more. Even though selling at an auction requires you to pay a fee, you can sell your damaged automobile to the highest bidder. The one who buys the car pays a back-end fee to the auction house, and this fee is deducted from the amount paid for the vehicle.

    Selling late-model vehicles will definitely make you more money.

    Full-Service Salvage Yards

    On the other hand, full-service salvage yards are another option for selling a wrecked late model car. The yards also help you tow the vehicle to their premises, and they dismantle it themselves. These buyers pay a reasonable amount because they do not resell the car in one piece but part it out to increase the value.

    There are many options available to sell your wrecked automobile and get a good income from it.

    Those with no or minimal knowledge about vehicles will be quick to think their car is worthless. However, many businesses thrive from buying and selling wrecked vehicles. In fact, some companies make millions from dealing with wrecked cars.

    Scrap Metal Recyclers

    scrap metal recyclers

    This is where you will find many totaled and worthless old junk cars and dismantled parts. Scrap metal yards are where the majority of the damaged vehicles are sold by middlemen. Instead of selling your wreck to the middlemen who will resell it to the scrapyard, selling directly to the scrap yard will earn you more money.

    Junk Car Auctions and Sellers

    As earlier mentioned, there are many thriving businesses for totaled vehicles. There are salvage yards that deal exclusively with car parts they resell for reasonable prices.

    These auctions and sellers prefer to buy wrecked cars and dismantle them for spare parts. It is easier and cheaper for them to buy whole vehicles than purchasing parts individually and reselling them. These buyers can be found in auctions or on their premises and offer competitive prices for damaged cars.

     Insurance Providers

    Upon getting into an accident and crushing your car, your insurance company may be the first entity you consider reaching out to. Mainly, people consult insurance providers to seek guidance on how to handle the situation.

    Your insurance providing company will offer to buy that wrecked car you think has lost its value. Before you accept their offer, make sure the terms and conditions are clear before you agree to finalize the sale.

    Insurance companies offer a low rate when buying wrecked vehicles, and they later sell them for profit. Buying the wreck saves these companies from paying the cost to cover the repair of the damaged car.

    Repairing wrecked vehicles takes a lot of time and money. A quick and easy solution is to let the insurance company take care of it.

    Junk Car Buyers

    Selling your car at an auction may be tedious since you must have the car towed to the auction for buyers to view. You also have to pay a fee to attend the auction as a seller. Junk car buyers will buy your damaged car at a fair market value price since they are private entities or buyers.

    The buyers usually resell the vehicle mainly when the vehicle can be repaired and resold for profit. When the vehicle cannot be fixed for resale, they sell it to a salvage yard to dismantle and share parts. 

    The value of something is seen by the person who has value for it. While a damaged car has no value to you, it may be of great value to someone else. This should be in your thoughts as you plan to sell your wrecked car.

    The more someone wants your wrecked car, the more they are willing to pay for it.