Have a car with mechanical problems you want to sell rather than repair? Even with severe mechanical problems, there are buyers out there who are interested in your car. The following is a discussion of resources on how to evaluate your damaged car and where to sell it.
The Clunker with Value
Most of us are ready for a new car after the second or third trip to the mechanic. We assume vehicles have reached their shelf life once we foot the bill for the first big, expensive repair. Unless we are mechanically inclined, the cost of making serially repairs to our cars soon outweighs the value of it. That is usually when most of us decide it is time to trade-in.
But when we calculate the potential problems our current car may have, against the little return we might receive for it in trade, suddenly the car has value – and we want to protect it. After all, we have paid thousands of dollars to own our vehicles and it seems like a waste to just ditch it completely. So how does someone sell a car with mechanical problems, and how do we get the most value from a car that needs big repairs?
First, Know When to Sell
Before you sell a car, know whether it can be fixed. So, assess. If the problem costs more to repair than the car itself, take that next step to sell. Kelley Blue Book’s motto is “Let the dealership come to you.” This means it will offer you a valuation of your car in any given condition. This will give you an impartial assessment of your damaged car’s value.
Here are some standard expensive mechanical issues that create cost-prohibitive repairs. Sometimes the problem that keeps your car from starting isn’t a reason to write it off as a total loss, and a valuation can help you know that. When the following problems arise, you should consider junking your car:
- Blown Transmission. If your car is of a certain age and the transmission acts up, the cost of repair can easily outweigh the value of the car or its potential lifespan. This is a safe indicator to sell your car.
- Timing Belt. The timing belt itself is not an expensive part, but it is labor-intensive to replace and, when it breaks, it often does irreparable damage to the engine. If this repair is needed, it might be prudent to sell the damaged car to a willing buyer.
- A totaled car. Damage to the frame of the car can also damage the mechanisms within. If the car is said to be ‘totaled’ at that point the only value that can be mined from the car is from the remaining parts that were left unscathed.
There are Buyers Out there
It has been said for anything that is for sale, there is a buyer out there, somewhere. So now that you know it is time to sell your car with mechanical problems, how do you find a buyer for something you wouldn’t buy yourself? Your car isn’t just a clunker; it is a collection of hard-to-find parts or parts that can be purchased at a discount. Or it is recyclable scrap metal. Thinking of your car with mechanical issues in other terms can direct you to the right places to look for buyers.
Who Wants a Car that Won’t Run?
Junk Yards/Dealers. Scrapping your car with a junkyard is a pretty accessible option. Junk dealers are in the business of finding value out of our discards. Whether they recycle the metals in your car or sell the car for used parts, they will welcome your car.
Car Repair Shops/Freelance Mechanics. Often when a person takes his or her car to the shop and needs a part, a good mechanic will look for the best possible price for replacement parts. That’s where used parts come into play and your salvage car becomes a useful commodity.
The Car Aficionado. There are individuals who simply are always on the lookout for cars they can repair or use for parts.
Auctions. You can auction off your car. Again, it is important for you to ground your interests and get a valuation you think is fair.
Where to Sell?
Having said all of that, here are some places to look to sell your car with mechanical problems:
- eBay Salvage Cars and Trucks. After getting a valuation, you can list your car on eBay.
- This is an internet operation. They will give you an on the spot valuation and even tow your car for free.
- IAA Auto Auctions. This is an auction site that lets you sell your car on consignment even.