How to Make Money from a Car that Doesn’t Run

There are all kinds of ways to make money from a functioning vehicle. You could become an Uber driver, or use it to deliver pizzas. What if your car doesn’t run, though? Believe it or not, you could still be able to make money from it. A lot of people simply let their old vehicles rust to pieces because they don’t know what to do with them, but that’s just the path of least resistance. There’s a better way to do it, and that way involves you making money. The best part is, you may even have several choices when it comes to selling your junk car. You could take it to a company like Cash for Cars for a hassle-free experience, or you could find an online buyer on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Getting cash for cars that don’t run isn’t that complicated; you just have to know what the options are. If you have a junk car of your own to sell, just keep reading – you’ll learn about the five easiest ways to sell a non-running vehicle.

#1: Find an individual buyer

In most cases, your best bet is to sell your junk car to someone who buys them as a business. That being said, selling it to a person rather than a company could net you more cash.

Some junk cars still have plenty of use left in them; it’s just that they’ve stopped running, and the cost of repairs isn’t justified by the total value of the vehicle. Even if you don’t want to fix your car, someone else might want to. New and used cars are in short supply, which has led some people to look for non-running vehicles that they can repair. If your car only needs a few specific repairs before it can be road-worthy, you might be able to find someone who’d take it off your hands. As mentioned above, Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good places to start. 

#2: Sell the vehicle for scrap metal

If your car will definitely never run again, it still has value as scrap metal; unless it’s literally rusted to pieces, a scrapyard should be willing to pay you by weight. Older vehicles are especially suitable for this option, since they tend to be heavier.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that scrapyards don’t typically tow your vehicle away for you; they’ll expect you to do that yourself. They could also take the price down because of how labor-intensive the scrapping process is, which cuts into their profit margin. 

If you’re considering this strategy but you aren’t sure yet, try calling a few scrapyards and asking how much they pay per ton. This should give you an idea of what you could get for your vehicle. If you’re happy with the price, great; if not, that’s your sign to keep looking for a better buyer.

#3: Sell the vehicle to a junkyard

When it comes to old vehicles, junkyards operate differently from scrapyards. Scrapyards are interested in the value of the scrap metal, but junkyards are also after the value of the parts themselves. There’s a lot of money in car parts, even if they’re used; this means that you could potentially make more money by selling your vehicle to a junkyard.

Even better, some junkyards offer to tow away the car for free. That’ll save you some cash, and spare you the trouble of finding a towing service. 

#4: Sell the car parts yourself

Just like with junk cars themselves, there’s plenty of demand for used car parts as well. With shortages affecting every part of the auto industry, a lot of people are opting to repair broken-down cars rather than buying replacements. After all, there’s no certainty that they’ll be able to find a suitable replacement if they have a particular type of vehicle in mind. 

In order for this to work, the majority of your car’s parts should still be operable. You could sell everything from the brake lights to the steering wheel, but the main focus should be on the big parts – the transmission, the axles, and so on. If you have the time and the expertise to take the car apart and find buyers for each piece, this is where you could probably make the most money. 

#5: Sell the vehicle to a car dealership

Some junk cars are actually still in pretty good shape, all things considering. If your vehicle is of a make and model that’s fairly in-demand, you may be able to sell it to a used car dealership. You should be aware, however, that you’ll have to jump through quite a few hoops before they even consider the vehicle, and even then they may not buy it. Even so, it’s one of several options you have for making money from a non-running car.

Pro tip: how to avoid getting scammed

It’s possible to get scammed when you’re selling a junk car, so here’s what to look out for – and how to prevent it from happening to you.

  • Fake personal or cashier’s checks – It’s way too easy to fake a check; a dishonest buyer might even decide to write a hot check, and make sure they get the title and the vehicle before you can cash it. To avoid falling victim to this scam, always insist on confirming that the check went through before handing over the vehicle.
  • Payment plans that never get paid – You might get a couple of payments, but you’d need a lot of trust in order to hand over your car for just a fraction of the selling price. Again, you can prevent this by getting paid in full before giving them the vehicle.
  • Fake escrows – Not all escrow services are legitimate. If a buyer wants to use an escrow service, make sure you’re the one picking it.

It’s actually pretty easy to make money from a car that doesn’t run; all it takes is some time, some know-how, and a little common sense. 


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