Kelly Car Buyer, Auto Dealers  Used Cars, Frankfort, IL

Get The Best Cash for Car Deals This Way!

Options can be limited when you're stuck trying to sell a truck, or car that won't run. After all, who buys cars that don't run, right? With no one to love them, America's tired old workhorses end up sitting in fields, rotting away in barns, and becoming the neighborhood eyesore.

So, what is the best way to get cash for a car that doesn't start? Why, the junkyard, of course!

When we think of junkyards we're not exactly met with images that make us feel all warm and fuzzy. Shrouded in secrecy behind barbed-wire fences, stereotypically guarded by a vicious dog, or two, Hollywood has used sinister-looking scrap yards as breeding grounds for all sorts of distasteful dramas.

But, dealing with real-life salvage business owners is nothing like you see in the movies. With literally billions of parts to keep track of, junkyard owners know what it means to be organized and professional. Providing trustworthy services and honest advice is the only way they can protect their reputations and stay in business.

With that being said, the purpose of this article is to inform you on how you can get the most out of your cash for car deal. While it is expected that everyone in business be a professional, there is always the risk of running into less-than-ethical salvage workers.

Don't Go Into Negotiations Unarmed!

When you go sell a truck, or car that has outlived its usefulness you are likely doing it for the first time. That leaves you at a slight disadvantage, as the person you will be dealing with probably knows everything there is to know about the salvage car industry.

Armed with all the knowledge, these guys have the advantage. Do a bit of brushing up on the local and state laws regarding the transfer of non-working vehicles. Boning up on the law, and learning more about who buys cars that don't run and why will only help you get a better deal.

Remember that you are not dealing with a used car dealer. Junkyards play by a different set of rules and its good to know beforehand what those rules are. A salvage dealer will try to convince you that your car is worth less than it really is because that improves his ROI.

Since many consumers wouldn't know much about the value of a junk vehicle, it's easy for them to be misled. The ruse is often called the "Reverse Lemon". It is designed to get you to take less when you sell a truck, or car in bad shape.

Use the Best Parts to Leverage a Better Deal

You don't have to be a top-notch negotiator to get a fair deal from a salvage dealer. All you need to have is just a bit of knowledge about why he desires to purchase your car in the first place.

Study this bulleted list and compare it to your ride. Knowing your numbers for the vehicle you're trying to sell will help level the information playing field.


Often times, autos that need minor repairs, or ones that can be restored will be sold at auction. Auctions buyers look for machines that can be revamped and put back on the road for a small profit. If you want to sell a running truck you're best bet is to go to auction where you will likely get at least more than the scrap value.

Use the fact that the auto still runs as a bargaining chip.


Unless you're a seasoned mechanic, it doesn't make much sense to try to strip down and sell your junk parts by yourself. The process can be labor intensive, and take a good deal of your time. Plus, you need to know what each part is worth, list it, deal with buyers etc., and so on. Who needs that?

But, you should still try to learn what those parts are worth on the current market. Even if you're not really car-smart, having a good idea of the value of the parts and relaying that to the junkyard dealer will tell him that you came prepared and it might not be a good idea to try to low-ball his price.

Use this short list of parts that will likely be worth more than scrap to negotiate for a higher sale price:

  • Any parts from late model cars that have been destroyed in an accident. Hoods, doors, quarter-panels etc.
  • Catalytic converters can be recycled and are filled with precious metals worth good money.
  • Air bag components are one of the most sought after after-market items around.
  • Any parts made from copper will be more valuable than steel pieces. Parts like alternators and starters contain high amounts of copper.
  • Good tires with lots of tread left can be re-sold for more money. Conversely, bad tires cost money to dispose of.
  • Any electronic, or computer-based components such as GPS units and expensive stereos can easily be resold at a profit.
  • Batteries can be worth a bit more if they are new. But, even a dead battery has lead value, just not much.
  • Air conditioning goes out in automobiles all the time and is costly to replace new. Replacing with a used compressor saves tons of money and makes this a highly coveted item.


Even if your car was smash by a rogue meteorite that left it flat as a pancake and scorched by the heat of the sun, if it can be put on the back of a lowboy, you can get paid for the value of the metal alone.

But please, if a meteorite smashes your car don't call the junkyard. A meteor struck a 1980 Chevy Malibu in 1992 piercing a baseball-sized hole through the roof and out the bottom. The lucky owner of that unlucky junk car sold it for $10,000. Not a bad deal.

The bottom line is, recycled scrap metal is the way to go when there is nowhere else to go. All negotiations have ended, there is nothing useful to it, and no one wants it. Just find out the weight of the car, and the current value of scrap steel. There is never any reason to go below the market value of the steel when negotiating a price.


A Kelley Blue Book value is considered the industry standard when evaluating the worth of any vehicle, in most any condition. The website gives you access to important information like what your car might be worth at auction, or, if you are considering donating the vehicle, you can lean how much of your car price can be deducted.

Never wanting to miss out on a good deal, if you mention that you are considering donating to charity, a dealer may try harder to close the deal.


If you really want to come off like you know what's going on in the salvage world, take lots of photos of your car and send it to them. Make sure that you take shots of important details like engine condition, and interior shots to show the state of the seats. Most are shy about asking a junkyard for a quote because they don't know how to go about it.

Just outline the valuable components, then attach clear photos, and offer to send them copies. See, dealers are subject to seller scams just like we are, so they have to protect themselves. One way they do this is to make the lowest offer possible for a vehicle they haven't seen. So, be a good seller and get a better deal by making their decision easier with images. If your car is worth what you say it is and you prove it, better offers will come.


It's always a good idea to do some comparison-shopping before dealing with a group who buys cars. Call around until you have at least three reasonable offers. That way you go into negotiations with a price range in mind.

If the person you speak to offers something much lower than your best 3 offers you know you should probably just move along. You should also stand your ground when closing a deal. Don't accept less from the tow truck driver than was quoted on the phone. This is a trick used sometimes to pay less after a price has been negotiated already.

If the driver tries to assess any hidden fees, or charges, (like trying to make you pay for the tow, which is usually free with the deal) call the dealer immediately to sort things out before you allow the vehicle to be hooked up, or loaded.

These days the competition for salvageable automobiles is so tough that it would be surprising to find a company exercising in unethical scams, or other illicit behaviors. Don't be intimidated by the big fence, the loud machines, and the grease smeared guy running the copier.

Most salvage yards are owned and operated by honest, hard-working Americans like you and I. If you take the time to educate yourself even a tiny bit, like you've done by reading this article, then you have closed the gap between you and cash for a car you want gone.

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