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4 Mistakes To Avoid When Junking Your Car

When you want to sell your car for scrap, it’s a fairly straightforward process, but there are a few mistakes that people sometimes make when they get rid of their vehicle. If you plan to scrap an old car, avoid these four common mistakes and the sale should go smoothly for you.

1. Failing to Clean Out the Car

Before going to the junkyard, take a few moments to clean out the car. You don’t need to restore it to perfect condition like you might for a private-party or trade-in sale, but you should remove any personal or valuable items. Such items may include:

  • Electronics in the center console or glove box
  • Belongings in the trunk or backseat
  • Mementos on the front or rear dash
  • Books, clothes or other items under the seats
  • Loose change between the seat cushions

Even if everything else is already removed from your car, loose change alone could make searching through the vehicle worthwhile. The average scrapped vehicle has $1.65 in change somewhere inside it.

2. Neglecting to Ask for a Complimentary Tow

If your car still runs and is safe to drive, you can bring it to the junkyard yourself at a time that’s convenient for you. There’s no need to worry about a tow because you just need to have a family member or friend come along in another vehicle to give you a ride back home after you drop the scrapped car off.

If your car no longer runs or isn’t safe to drive, however, you’ll need to get it towed to a junkyard.

While you could pay a wrecker to tow the car for you, this will likely set you back financially. Even a short tow when you use a towing company can cost you a fair amount of money.

The more economical option is to ask the junkyard that you want to sell the car to if they’re able to tow the vehicle. Many junkyards offer towing services, and they often tow vehicles that they plan to buy for free so long as the vehicles are somewhere in the vicinity.

3. Forgetting to Bring the Proof of Ownership

Don’t forget to have proof of ownership and all other documents required for selling a vehicle on hand when you hand over your car. Even though the car is being scrapped, the transaction still involves the sale of a motor vehicle and must meet all requirements for such a sale.

The exact documents you need will depend on your state’s laws. You’ll have to have your title, and your state likely has a few other requirements. In Illinois, drivers selling cars should have the following:

  • The vehicle’s title
  • A completed Notice of Sale form
  • A completed Seller’s Report of Sale
  • A bill of sale for the buyer
  • A bill of sale for themselves

Illinois doesn’t have a formal bill of sale form, so you can write up your own.

4. Leaving the License Plates On

When a vehicle is sold, the license plates on the vehicle must be removed and turned into the state’s department of motor vehicles. If you leave your car’s license plates on, that could create administrative, legal and insurance problems for you.

The license plates to your car should be removed once the car is no longer being driven. Take them off before a tow truck arrives if you’re having the car towed to a junkyard. If you drive to the junkyard yourself, bring a wrench to remove the license plates with once you arrive there. Just make sure the wrench you bring fits the bolts on the plates before you leave your house.

If you want to junk a car, contact City Auto Wreckers about selling it for scrap. We can help you get rid of your junk car and give you some cash in return.

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