Understanding Auto Part Numbers

3 Things You Must Do Before Selling Your Car To A Salvage Yard

by Gwendolyn Anderson

What do you do with a car that you can no longer drive? Trading it in is one option; selling it privately is another. But if your car is particularly damaged or old, it may not be worth anything as a trade-in, and finding someone who wants to buy it for parts can take a long time – in the meantime, you'll be stuck storing it on your property. Selling it to a salvage yard like City Auto Wreckers can be the perfect solution. However, if you're going to sell your car for scrap, there are some important things that you'll need to do before you finalize the sale. Take a look at the steps you must take before salvaging your car.

Have Your Title Ready

When you sell your car to a scrap yard, you have to transfer ownership of the car to the scrap yard, and that means that you need to sign over your title. If you don't transfer ownership, and somebody later buys your car and puts it back on the road, you could be liable for anything that happens with that car, because technically, you still own it.

It's possible to sell a car for salvage without a title, but it's more difficult, and you'll get less money. Furthermore, you should be wary of a salvage yard that doesn't care about the title – the sale may not be legal without it. The only exception is if you live in a state that allows sales without a title over a certain age. Some states have laws that allow an older car to be sold without a title because the car may have been sitting abandoned on a property for years with no paperwork to be found. Check your state laws and make sure that your title paperwork is in order. Remember that you'll also need to remove and return your license plates and cancel your insurance on that car.

Remove Personal Items

It's essential that remove all personal items from your car before selling it for scrap. Failing to do so can result in more than just an inconvenience when you can't find something later on down the road. If you leave items or documents that contain personal information in a car that you're selling to a scrap yard, you could be opening yourself up to identity theft.

In just a few hours in a salvage yard, investigators were able to find dozens of sensitive documents in salvaged cars that could leave the former vehicle owners vulnerable to identity theft. Among the documents were bank statements, traffic citations, medical records, debit cards, and checkbooks. Once equipped with the information on these kinds of documents, all that identity thieves need is a quick search of social media to find a picture, and they have what they need to get an ID in your name. Identity thieves are aware that salvage yards can be a treasure trove of unattended documents, so make sure that you don't help them out by leaving your personal info for them to find.

Check For Valuable Items You Can Sell Separately

If you're selling the car for scrap value, it's possible that you may be able to make some extra money if you have parts on your car with some value that you could remove and sell separately. For example, if you recently put a new battery in the car, you might want to take that out and sell it privately, because a fairly new battery has more resale value than you'd probably get from the salvage yard. Or, if your salvage car has relatively new tires with plenty of tread, you may want to replace them with old, bald tires and sell the new tires on your own.

If you have a mostly full gas tank, you may want to use it up before selling it, either by driving the car around, if it's drivable, or by siphoning it out and storing it. (Always use a pipe to siphon gas, not your mouth.) The salvage yard will have to drain all the fluids from your car anyway, so you'll be saving them a step.

Salvaging your car is a good way to get rid of a car easily and make a little bit of money in the process. These tips will help you sell it legally and safely and get the most out of your car and its parts.