Selling wrecked or salvaged vehicles can be a difficult, cumbersome process. There’s lots of additional work that goes with attempting to sell damaged cars, and it’s important to check state laws and regulations before seeking to sell, as you don’t want to create any legal problems for yourself. If the vehicle is completely totaled, and repairs cost more than the value of the car itself, selling it for parts or scrap metal may be the best way to go. Some junkyards or damaged vehicle auctions are willing to pay for wrecked vehicles. Going this route instead of selling to a single buyer will save a lot of effort and legal trouble.
Selling to a Single Buyer
Before you can legally sell a wrecked vehicle, you must get a salvage certificate from an insurance company. Before doing so, make sure that the car is actually totaled. When a car is totaled, repairs will cost more than the value of the car, and only then will an insurance company deem it salvaged.
Once you have made sure the car is totaled, you can sell it to an insurance company. By doing so, the vehicle has now become a salvaged vehicle. Keep in mind that some insurance companies will salvage the car themselves, as they usually pay the owner (giving them the legal rights to the car) and you will no longer have the option of selling it. Be sure to know the guidelines and rules that the company go by. There are paying insurance companies that will still allow the resale of the salvaged vehicle by the original owner.
After an insurance company has deemed a vehicle salvaged, you must take it to the DMV (or DOL) to acquire a new title. This new title will be a salvage certificate instead of an actual title.
Now that the vehicle is officially a salvage vehicle, it can legally be sold to another buyer, granted, if the insurance company isn’t going to salvage it themselves. Prices for a salvaged vehicle should be very cheap (for a car) as most people will not be willing to pay much for a car with that sort of title. Be sure to disclose all accident and damage information accurately to avoid legal trouble.
Selling to Junkyards, Dealerships, or Auctions
The single easiest way to get rid of a salvaged vehicle is selling it to a junkyard. Junkyards will almost pay for salvaged vehicles, though it should be noted that they do not pay very much. Ask any local car junkyards if they will buy salvaged vehicles, and their answer will usually be yes.
The same goes for car dealership. Dealerships usually buy junk cars for a number of reasons. Just go down and explain that it is a salvage car, and most likely they will offer a decent amount of cash to take it off your hands.
Some people make a living by buying salvaged cars from auctions, fixing them back to rebuilt status, and selling them again for a profit. These auctions are usually willing to take any vehicle that has a chance at being sold, though they are not extremely common. Finding one within a reasonable distance may be the hardest part of selling to auctions.