Four Steps To Ditching Your Clunker

What's old, rusty, and probably completely incapable of moving under its own power? That old clunker of a car sitting in your driveway! If you're watching an old vehicle waste away before your eyes, then it's time to take action and turn that trash into cash. It might seem like a huge hassle to offload an old piece of junk that barely runs (or doesn't run at all!), but it's a much easier process than you might expect. These four steps will help you junk your car for cash in no time at all.

Step 1: Assess Its Condition

You'll need to be able to answer a few basic questions about your car before you can get ready to ditch it. First, and most importantly, is it mostly intact? This doesn't mean that it can't be missing a few pieces here or there, but most junkyards want cars that are largely in one piece. Assuming the car isn't able to move on its own, you'll also want to determine whether it can be easily loaded onto a flatbed. It can be slightly more difficult to find a yard that's willing to accept something sitting on cinderblocks, so it's best if the car at least has four wheels to roll on.

Step 2: Research Its Value

If your car still looks mostly like a car, then it can be worth your time to do some research on its value. If you happen to have a rare trim level or some special options, then it might be worth trying to sell it through traditional channels. In most cases, however, you'll find that the junk value of your car is better than its sale value. Even if it's close, remember that you'll need to go through the trouble of cleaning it, listing it, and showing it to buyers. This kind of trouble is rarely worth the couple hundred bucks extra that you'll make.

Step 3: Call Around

Once you're ready to part ways, give some local scrappers a call. Prices can vary a bit, so there's no harm in calling around to find the best rate. Be sure to ask whether towing is included, as this can be a significant fraction of the scrap value if it isn't. It's important to have that information about the car's condition at the ready as well, since most junkyards will want to know whether it is largely intact and how easily they'll be able to load it onto a wrecker.

Step 4: Get Your Documents and Get Your Money

After deciding on a scrapper, there's nothing left to do except collect a few documents and enjoy your cash. In most cases, you will need a title as proof of ownership. Junkyards do not expect your old beater to be registered, so don't worry about registration or plates. If your car does happen to be registered, make sure you turn the plates back into your motor vehicle department. After these steps are complete, just sit back and wait for that tow truck to come and trade your old pile of rust for a shiny new check.