What Exactly Happens When You Sell A Junk Car For Cash?

Commercials for cash-for-junk-car companies make the process seem lightning-fast. They hand you cash and tow away your car. There's a little more that goes into these sales, though. They aren't complicated, but the company won't just whisk the car away.

You Go There or They Come to You

You and the junk-car people have to meet somehow. Sometimes they'll come to you as they understand it's difficult to get a non-working car to them. Other times, they'll have a central location that you can drive to if the car is drivable. It's much more convenient for them to come to you, of course, but it's likely more private if you go to them as you won't have your neighbors seeing the entire transaction.

The Car Goes Through an In-person Appraisal

You may have filled out an initial statement of the car's condition online to get a quote, but you'll still have to have the car appraised in person to find out the exact value you'll receive. The car's cosmetic condition as well as whether or not it runs, and what repairs it currently needs, all factor into the final number. A totally junked, non-operating car is going to get you less money than a dented but running car that needs some serious repair to be completely road-worthy. That last car can be fixed and possibly resold, while the first car will pretty much be taken apart for recycling and secondhand parts sales.

You Complete the Paperwork to Transfer Ownership

Next is a fairly tedious part: You will have to fill out several forms to complete the transfer. Some of these may be specific to the junk-car company, such as a form stating the current condition of the car, or what have you. As these are company-specific, of course, you may or may not see the same forms at each company. Then there will be transfer forms required by your state. It's straightforward but can take a lot of signing, depending on how your state wants to do things.

You Get Paid

Then comes the nice part: You get your money. Some cash-for-cars places may offer options like receiving an electronic transfer if you prefer that to physical cash, but you should be able to get that physical paper money if you want.

You Need to Fill out One Last Form for Your State's Motor Vehicle Department

You may have one last step in your quest to sell your junk car: notifying the department that handles motor vehicle registration in your state. Depending on how your state does things, there should be a form where you state that you have transferred ownership of the car and that it is no longer in your possession. You may fill this out along with the other paperwork, or you may fill it out on your own after the transaction is complete (some states allow you to do this online). This form is necessary because it releases you from responsibility for the car or the license plate number should either of those be associated with a legal issue after the date of the sale. If you don't fill out the form, the department will assume that the car is still in your possession and act accordingly if there is a ticket or warrant associated with it after you've sold it.

Contact a junk car buyer to get cash for junk cars today.