Who Buys Junk Cars?

Many Americans have junk cars that are taking up space on their property for various reasons. Whether it’s an old thug that you can’t seem to get rid of or the project car that you just haven’t been able to move to, you may need someone to take a junk car out of your hands . Where are you turning Who buys junk cars?

Believe it or not, many people (and organizations) buy junk cars. However, you can’t just take your junk car to a regular dealer and exchange it for cash or credit. How do you proceed?

This guide explores some of the places where you can find buyers for junk cars and details how the process works depending on the quality of a particular vehicle and what you are looking for in exchange. Let’s start!

Why buy junk cars at all?

The truth is, there are numerous people and organizations out there in the junk car market. However, it all depends on how you qualify the term “junk”.

For some, junk cars are used vehicles that are past their prime but may still have some use. They are coveted either for their scrap metal or as a replacement vehicle.

Others think a vehicle can only be considered junk when it is no longer functional and literally unable to drive, or when the body seems to be falling apart at the seams. Regardless of its condition, there is always someone ready to buy a used car or a junk car. You just need to know where to look and who is most likely to buy them.

Junk cars are generally classified as cars that can no longer drive or are so worn out that they lack aesthetic value. Vehicles in this condition are only of interest for their raw materials or parts. Junk cars that could be back to work with some repairs will attract a different demographic of potential buyers.

Places / organizations that buy junk cars

Let’s break down some of the places and organizations that you can turn to when looking to sell a junk car.

Classified ads / auction websites

Start by visiting classifieds or auction sites as these are the modern digital equivalents of newspaper sales sites that have been popular over the years. Common examples are Craigslist and eBay as these sites get a lot of traffic and are ideal places to sell just about anything.

While you can sell junk cars for cash on these platforms, these sites require you to independently process the transaction. This includes taking care of the transportation or transportation of the vehicle to the buyer. You will need a little bit of negotiating skills to make sure you get a fair deal. So remember to only close a sale if you communicate with the buyer and trust their intentions.

Auto salvage company

Auto salvage companies are also a great place to start when looking for junk car buyers. These are usually small organizations that take junk or heavily used cars and resell them to scrap companies or other buyers. Alternatively, they can also be a trading company that dismantles junk cars for their valuable parts.

The advantage of contacting a car recovery company is that they are often quick to respond. Typically, after receiving an initial quote, you can have your car picked up in less than 48 hours. When you pick it up, you will also receive a cash payment from the rescue company. Just make sure you turn to a reputable auto salvage company with good reviews to make sure you get a fair deal.

Scrap yards

Of course, junk car owners can start their efforts by turning to a junkyard. These facilities often determine the value of your car based on its weight as they buy end-of-life vehicles designed to completely break down or melt down the raw material components.

Junk yards are quick and efficient ways to get rid of junk cars for at least a little bit of money. Be aware, however, that using different valuation methods (more on this below) can cause you to overestimate the value of your car before deciding on the best option for your vehicle.

Regardless, junkyards are good buyers if you have a heavy vehicle or maybe a junk truck that you want to get rid of – due to their weight-based valuation methodology.

Private buyer

If your junk car is worn out and in heavy use, but it may be a classic or otherwise desired model, you may be able to find a private buyer. Car repair and repairs are a booming hobby that auto enthusiasts practice across the country.

Therefore, you should strongly consider finding a private buyer for your scrapped but previously high quality car, rather than just scrapping it. They often associate more value with the vehicle than a junkyard, but the trick is to find private buyers.

Used car dealer

Used car dealers usually don’t take junk cars. After all, they need functioning, sought-after vehicles to make a profit.

However, some used car dealers do offer some options, and certain have close partnerships with local body shops. They might just be willing to take a junk car off your hands (at a greatly reduced price, mind you) as they can fix it in working order or maybe have a discount from their partner mechanics.

Note, however, that this method will depend on a suitable used car dealer in your area who have these types of relationships with their local partners. Do some research before relying on this approach as a viable sales strategy.

Auto Body Shops

After all, mechanics sometimes buy junk cars … or at least their parts.

When you’re ready to gradually disassemble your car and sell critical parts that are in good shape, body shops and other auto companies are always looking for components to use in their own endeavors. In the right situation, this could be a possible option to unload your junk car.

However, dismantling your car requires some mechanical knowledge and a good old-fashioned elbow grease. With that in mind, this is neither the quickest of the methods listed, nor the easiest in terms of manual labor.

Determining How To Sell A Junk Car

When looking for someone to buy your junk car, the first thing you need to do is pinpoint the value of your car. There are a few important ways to do this:

  • Kelly Blue Book is one such resource. Simply enter in the details of your car, such as the make and model or mileage traveled, and your zip code, and the website’s algorithms will give you an approximate value that can give you an estimate of the ballpark to use when negotiating. Even better, KBB has connections with local auto dealers so you can sometimes use this resource to find a quick cash deal on your junk car.
  • You can also use the NADA instructions. This resource is similar to KBB, but focuses much more on trade-in or retail stores, which can come in very handy for junk car dealerships.

Above all else, use common sense when evaluating your junk car. It is much easier to find a buyer if you rate the vehicle fairly or at a discounted rate, especially if your primary goal is to simply get the car out of your garage or property.


While it may seem overwhelming at first, there are actually many people and numerous organizations in the market that buy junk cars for one reason or another. Similar to any car purchase, the trick is to find the right buyer and the right price. Think about the above resources and ideas outlined in this guide and you are sure to be making a sale in no time.

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