Places that Offer Cash for Used Cars
What do you do if you have an old used car you want to dispose of and get a little money for? How about a late model used car you need to sell quickly because you’re in need of cash? Thankfully, there are several different options for places that pay cash for used cars.
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The reason you are selling your used car will play a big role in the person to whom you choose to sell it and how much money you get out of it. Just be forewarned that those who purchase your car for cash may need to make money off it themselves. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be offered as high an amount as you’re thinking.
Just because your vehicle is worth a certain amount to you, doesn’t mean it’s worth the same to a company or individual hoping to buy it from you.
Selling a Junker
Perhaps the most common reason for seeking a cash buyer for a used vehicle is a simple desire to dispose of an old junker. This may be a vehicle that no longer runs, one that has turned into a rolling mountain of rust, or one with repair bills slowly getting more expensive. For these types of vehicles, the best bet is a salvage yard.
Salvage yards, like Tampa Bay’s All Auto Recycling, purchase both wrecks and junkers for recycling. Usable parts will be pulled out and sold on the used part market, while the rest of the vehicle will be crushed and sold for scrap metal.
It’s a great way to recycle vehicles so they don’t take up space in a junkyard or your backyard. Salvage yards can be found in just about every community.
When selling to a salvage yard, don’t expect to get much.
Depending on the seller’s market where you live, you could get an offer as low as $50 or $100. In some locales, salvage yards don’t offer anything but free towing because their services are in such high demand.
This is common in more northern parts of the country where the road salt used during the winter months wreaks havoc on car bodies and frames. There are just so many junkers to get rid of that salvage yards don’t have to offer any money.
Selling a Late Model Vehicle
There are people who have late model vehicles they want to sell but don’t want to go through the trade-in hassle with a dealer. For these folks, there are several dozen services around the country willing to pay cash without haggling. California’s Trade-In Solutions is just one example.
In the strictest sense of the definition, companies like Trade-In Solutions are actually car dealers. Yet, rather than maintaining a local lot and hiring a fleet of aggressive salespeople, they act more like a large brokerage than anything else.
These companies purchase late-model used cars for cash and then turn around and resell them to buyers specifically looking for that type of vehicle. Though many of them maintain a running inventory, it’s constantly turning over.
How It Works
If you’re dealing with a reputable company, the process will begin with them doing a thorough inspection and evaluation of your car. They will do a visual inspection of the exterior, interior, engine, and safety components, and then follow up with a test drive to make sure the vehicle runs properly. After that, they will thoroughly research the value of your car using industry tools such as the Kelley Blue Book and the NADA (National Auto Dealers Association) used car guide.
Once your vehicle is properly evaluated, the company will most likely provide you with a written quote. If not, insist on one. If you still owe money on your vehicle, the company will most likely make arrangements with your bank to pay it off on your behalf.
If they value your car at less than what you owe, you’ll have to pay the difference. If the value is more than what you owe, the company will either write you a check or offer you credit toward a vehicle you purchase from them.
Selling to a Charitable Organization
Although harder to come by, there are some charitable organizations willing to purchase good-quality used vehicles for cash. Those that do will sell the vehicles for profit as a means of fundraising for the organization. Keep in mind in this type of situation that you’re unlikely to get top dollar for your used car. Otherwise, it would not be worth the time and effort for a charitable organization to offer such a service.
It’s actually more common for charitable organizations to accept vehicle donations rather than paying cash for used cars.
The reason some agree to purchase is because donated cars tend to be of very little value in most cases. By offering to pay cash an organization can be more choosey so as to ensure they only have good quality vehicles to resell. Too many of them become junk dealers when they only accept donations.
In order to protect themselves, some charitable organizations that pay cash for used cars will use a local dealer or broker to act on their behalf.
Since these types of businesses make their money buying and selling used cars, their employees will know what to look for when purchasing your vehicle. Don’t think you’ll be able to pull the wool over their eyes by trying to sell them a piece of junk for more money than it’s worth.
What You Will Need to Sell Your Vehicle for Cash
The most important thing you’ll need, regardless of who you sell your car to, is its title. Though there are a few exceptions to the rule, most states are like Pennsylvania in that transfer of a vehicle from one party to the next can only be done by signing over the title. If you plan to sell your vehicle but don’t have a title, you’ll need to either request a duplicate copy from your state department of motor vehicles or meet the legal requirements for selling without a title.
Next, you will need a copy of your vehicle’s registration if your state requires the registration to be transferred to the new owner. Arizona and Texas are but two examples of this type of arrangement. When a vehicle registration is transferred to a new owner, the plates stay on that vehicle when it’s sold. In states where registration is not transferred, such as New York, the plates come off the vehicle and are surrendered to the DMV when the vehicle is sold.
Finally, if you still own money on your vehicle, you will also need to produce a copy of the loan agreement so that the purchaser can satisfy the loan for you. If there are any lien holders with claims against your vehicle, other than your bank, you’ll have to provide that information to the purchaser as well, so the lien holders can be notified of the sale.
Things You Can Do to Get More Money
If you think you might be selling your car for cash in the future there are some things you can do now to help ensure you get the most money down the road.
First and foremost is to take good care of your vehicle throughout your ownership. This includes regular oil changes and tune-ups; purchasing new tires rather than used ones; regularly washing, waxing, and vacuuming your car; and immediately taking care of any scratches, dings, dents, and rust spots.
Next, it’s always a great idea to save all of your service and repair records. This provides a complete and accurate representation of the mechanical condition of your vehicle for the new purchaser. In other words, it’s one thing to say you’ve replaced the transmission with a brand-new unit; it’s entirely different to produce the paperwork proving your claim to be true. Service records go a long way to putting the purchaser’s mind at ease regarding the condition of your car.
Third, you can use the Kelley Blue Book or the NADA guide to find out the current value of your car and how quickly it depreciates. Why do this? Because you’ll find that your car loses value more quickly within the first few years of ownership. After that, the rate of annual depreciation decreases with every passing calendar year.
By simply observing depreciation rates, you should be able to tell the best time to sell in relation to how much value you want to get out of your car.
At the end of the day, the most important thing for you to remember is that selling a used vehicle is very much a supply and demand venture.
No matter how much money you put into your car it is only worth what others are willing to pay for it.
One of the common misconceptions among car owners is the idea that, because they put several thousand dollars worth of repairs into their vehicles, those vehicles are somehow worth more money. They aren’t.
Be realistic in your expectations. At the same time be willing to negotiate with purchasers, as they will usually offer you less than what they are willing to spend. Most of the time, when purchasers and sellers go back and forth in negotiations, the eventual price is somewhere between what both sides initially offered.
Until you sell your used car you’ll need insurance, so enter your ZIP code into our FREE search tool right now for multiple online auto insurance quotes!