No matter how well you take care of your car, there comes a time when it just won’t run anymore, at least not without work that will cost way more than the car is worth. At that point, you have several options, one of which is to sell your car to a scrapyard for cash.
Here are 10 things you need to know before junking your ride.
1. What to Remove From the Car
Don’t bring your car to a scrapyard without first going through it and removing all your belongings. Check the glove compartment, the trunk and under the seats.
You should also be sure to keep any documents you have in the glove compartment, as well as your license plate, before you leave your car at the junkyard. Also, you may want to take out any especially valuable parts, which may include catalytic converters, GPS systems, batteries, radios and bumpers.
2. The Preferences of the Scrapyard
Before bringing your car to the yard, ask about their requirements and preferences for how they like to receive cars. Some buyers are pickier than others.
Some, for example, might only take cars that have been stripped down to the bare metal, which means you’ll have to remove the seats, fluids and all plastic parts. Even if this isn’t required, you may be able to make more money by doing some of this work yourself.
3. What Your Car Is Made Of
Before junking your car, take the time to find out what metals it is made of. That way, you can ensure you’re getting a fair price.
Do your best to determine what alloys your car’s components include, and whether any of them are plated with other metals. Electroless nickel plating, for example, protects parts such as cylinders, pistons and fuel injectors. Some parts may even be gold-plated.
4. The Market Price
Once you know what kinds of metals you have in your car, you should find out what the typical market price for it is. Junkyards may list prices on their website, but do some Internet research and call around to various yards to determine what the average rate is. Remember, prices may vary in different parts of the country.
5. Local Scrap Metal Laws
Legal requirements for scrap yards differ from state to state. Some states require them to have active licenses to operate. Look up the laws in your area and check that the scrapyard you’re thinking of selling to is licensed, if necessary. This can help you ensure you’re working with a reputable business and help you avoid potential legal trouble in the future.
6. The Details of Your Transactions
When the junkyard weighs your scrap metal, ask for its weight in pounds. Some yards will give you this measurement in other standards, which can be confusing if you have no reference for how much they are.
Getting the weight in a measurement you understand will help you ensure you’re getting fair compensation. After the transaction is complete, be sure to ask for a settlement report. This document should list the details of all your transactions.
Thinking of junking your car for cash? It can be a smart option if you have an old car you need to get rid of. Just make sure you’re prepared before you head to the local scrap yard.