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What to Do After Junking a Car: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve decided to junk your old car, you’re not alone. Many people face the same situation, whether it’s because the car is old, damaged, or no longer running. While the process of junking a car can seem overwhelming, it’s actually quite straightforward if you know what to do. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to do after junking a car.

1. Understand the Reasons for Junking a Car

There are many reasons why someone might decide to junk their car. It could be because the car is old and no longer reliable, or it might be because the car was involved in an accident and is too expensive to repair. Whatever the reason, it’s important to understand why you’re junking the car in the first place. This will help you stay focused and make informed decisions throughout the process.

2. Check Local Regulations and Laws

Before you start the process of junking your car, it’s important to check your local regulations and laws. Depending on where you live, there may be specific rules and requirements that you need to follow when getting rid of a car. For example, some states require that you remove the license plates before you sell the car. Knowing these regulations ahead of time can help you avoid any legal issues down the road.

3. Research Potential Junkyards and Dealers

Once you understand why you’re junking the car and what regulations you need to follow, it’s time to start researching potential junkyards and dealers. Not all junkyards and dealers are created equal, so it’s important to do your research and find a reputable company. Look for companies that have good reviews, are licensed and insured, and offer fair prices.

4. Get Multiple Quotes

When you’re ready to start contacting junkyards and dealers, make sure you get multiple quotes. This will help you compare prices and find the best deal. Don’t just go with the first company you contact, even if they offer a seemingly good price. Take the time to get quotes from multiple companies so you can make an informed decision.

5. Prepare the Vehicle for Pick-up

Once you’ve found a junkyard or dealer that you’re happy with, it’s time to prepare the vehicle for pick-up. This may include removing any personal belongings, cleaning out the car, and draining any fluids. Make sure you follow any specific instructions that the junkyard or dealer gives you.

6. Sign Over the Title

Before the junkyard or dealer can take possession of the car, you’ll need to sign over the title. This is an important step, as it legally transfers ownership of the car to the junkyard or dealer. Make sure you read and understand any paperwork that you’re asked to sign, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is unclear.

7. Cancel the Insurance Policy

Once the junkyard or dealer has taken possession of the car, it’s important to cancel your insurance policy. You don’t want to continue paying insurance on a car that you no longer own

8. Remove Personal Belongings

Before you sign over the title and hand over the keys to the junkyard or dealer, it’s important to remove all personal belongings from the car. This includes things like CDs, GPS devices, and any other items that you may have left in the car. Don’t forget to check the glove compartment, trunk, and any other storage compartments in the car.

9. Notify the DMV

After you’ve junked your car, it’s important to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your state. This will ensure that the car is no longer registered in your name, and you won’t be held responsible for any tickets or accidents that occur after the car has been sold. Make sure you follow any specific instructions that your state’s DMV provides.

10. Get Paid for Your Junk Car

Once you’ve signed over the title and the junkyard or dealer has picked up the car, you should receive payment for your junk car. Make sure you understand how payment will be made (e.g., cash, check, or bank transfer), and don’t be afraid to ask for a receipt. If you feel that you’re not being offered a fair price for your car, don’t be afraid to negotiate or walk away from the deal.

11. Consider Donating the Car

If you’re feeling charitable, you may want to consider donating your junk car to a nonprofit organization. Many charities accept donations of old cars, which they can either sell for scrap or use for parts. Not only will you be helping out a good cause, but you may also be able to take a tax deduction for your donation.

12. Shop for a New Car

Now that you’ve gotten rid of your old car, it’s time to start thinking about a new one. Whether you’re in the market for a brand new car or a used one, make sure you do your research and find a car that meets your needs and budget. Don’t rush into a decision, and don’t be afraid to negotiate on price.

13. Stay Organized Throughout the Process

Junking a car can be a time-consuming and confusing process, so it’s important to stay organized throughout the process. Keep all of your paperwork in a safe place, and make sure you understand all of the steps involved. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends, family, or a professional.

14. Beware of Scams and Fraudulent Practices

Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous junkyards and dealers out there who may try to scam you or engage in fraudulent practices. Make sure you’re working with a reputable company, and don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if something doesn’t feel right. If you suspect that you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it to the appropriate authorities.

15. Conclusion

Junking a car can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can make the process go smoothly and get the most money for your junk car. Remember to stay organized, do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.


  1. Do I need to have the car towed to the junkyard or dealer, or will they pick it up?

Most junkyards and dealers will pick up the car for you, but you should confirm this ahead of time.

  1. How long does the process of junking a car usually take?

The process can vary depending on the junkyard or dealer and your location, but it typically takes a few days to a week.

  1. What should I do if I don’t have the title to the car?

If you don’t have the title to the car, you may still be able to junk it, but it can be more difficult. Contact your state’s DMV to find out what your options are.

  1. Can I sell a car that doesn’t run?

Yes, you can still sell a car that doesn’t run. Many junkyards and dealers specialize in buying non-running cars for scrap or parts.

  1. How can I make sure I’m getting a fair price for my junk car?

Do your research and shop around to get quotes from multiple junkyards or dealers. Don’t be afraid to negotiate and ask for a higher price if you feel that your car is worth more.

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