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How To Cash in On Your Clunker

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If you own an outdated vehicle that has few, if any, redeeming qualities, don’t drop it off at the junk yard, sell its parts one-by-one or let it rust in your garage. You can get a decent wad of cash for your clunker. Here is how to do it.


Cash for Clunkers Programs

The Federal government used to compensate owners of old automobiles with cash for their “clunkers”. This legislation provided owners of vehicles with a fuel economy of 18 miles per gallon or less with money for their old “beater”. The vehicle owner traded in his old ride for cash that was used for the purchase of a new vehicle with much better fuel efficiency. Though this program has ended, many states still offer cash for clunker programs of their own. Check with your state government to determine if a similar program exists in your part of the country.

Appearance Matters

Though your old vehicle might not run at the current moment, it will be much easier to sell if you improve its appearance. Clean the vehicle, polish it, have it detailed and you will stand a much better chance of selling it for a decent amount of money. The bottom line is that an egregiously ugly vehicle will make prospective buyers awfully nervous. Simply detailing the vehicle can add upwards of $500 to its value.

Fix the Glaring Flaws

If possible, have the most obvious problems remedied before you try to sell. Don’t shell out thousands of dollars to fix every single thing that is wrong with the vehicle. Take care of the major problems if you can afford to do so. Also, change the oil as buyers who know their stuff will be on the lookout for burnt oil. You can also save money on gas while you are still driving it.

Collect the Paperwork

Gathering all of the vehicle’s records in terms of its servicing, maintenance and repairs will certainly make it more marketable. This paperwork will put potential buyers at ease as they will be able to gain a full understanding as to how the vehicle has been cared for and what it has gone through. Also, shell out the little bit of money required for a Carfax report to show that the vehicle has not been involved in any accidents.

Don’t ask Too Much

Do not lose sight of the fact that you are trying to sell a clunker! Ask for a realistic price on your clunker and you’ll stand a better chance of getting a respectable bid. When in doubt, consult with the Kelley Blue book or the NADA Guide to pinpoint a general range of what your vehicle is worth. You can also gauge the market by consulting with websites where vehicles are sold on a daily basis. Examples are Craigslist, eBay Motors and

Ask for Assistance

If you find it difficult to sell your clunker on your own, don’t rush right out to trade it in at a used car dealership. There are car repair businesses that sell old vehicles. Sure, you won’t get as much for your clunker if you have a Car Repair Service sell it on your behalf yet this also means you won’t have expend the time and effort necessary to meet with potential buyers and negotiate a price.

Scrapping is the Last Option

Don’t hesitate to ask everyone you know if they are interested in buying a used vehicle. Even someone attending a FL traffic school class might be interested in buying your clunker. You never know until you ask. The last resort is to use a car scrapping site or sell its parts. These avenues should only be explored if all else fails.

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