How to Junk a Car That Doesn’t Run


Сars are great when they serve their purpose. But eventually, even the best car will break down, and that’s when it’s best to say goodbye. It’s best to get rid of an old car that you used to depend on if it finally breaks down and the cost of fixing it is too high.

However, scrapping a vehicle, especially the one that doesn’t work, can sometimes seem like a rather challenging process. Fortunately, one can turn to experienced specialists and, at the same time, get ready for the procedure. If you are in NY, look at the list of junkyards in Brooklyn and decide on the best one to go for.

Understanding Your Options

There are several ways to get rid of your car you need to know about before you can run wild in the junkyard negotiations:

  • Junkyards and scrap yards: This is the most recognizable choice. Salvage yards (or scrap yards) are establishments that focus on the breaking of old cars and selling off the remaining metal. It is usually a fast and convenient method of disposing of your vehicle, and you could make some money from it (more on this later).
  • Car donation programs: Feeling charitable? Donating your vehicle to a qualified charity is a win-win. You get a tax deduction, and the charity can either use the car itself or sell it for parts to fund their programs. Just be sure the charity accepts non-running vehicles.
  • Selling parts yourself: If your car has some valuable parts (think newer model, sought-after features), you can try selling them individually online or to mechanics. This can be time-consuming, but it potentially yields the most cash.
  • Cash for car services: These are companies that handle the buying of different types of vehicles, including non-running ones. They dispose of an old vehicle quickly and without great difficulty, but it can be worth less than in a junkyard for the one selling the vehicle.

After reflecting on these, you can proceed to the nitty-gritty of junking your car.


Preparing for the Great Goodbye

Here’s what you need to do before you haul your car off to the junkyard:

  • Gather your paperwork: You will require the car’s title, which is a legal document showing ownership of the vehicle, as well as the registration. If you cannot find some of the documents, you should visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to learn how to obtain duplicates.
  • Take care of fluids: There could also be regulations that require one to properly dispose of car fluids such as oil and antifreeze among others. It is recommended to clarify such details with the local junkyard or an auto mechanic if any apply to the particular vehicle.

Pro Tip: If the paperwork overwhelms you or if you do not have any means of disposing of the car fluids, some junkyards take on this role at a fee.

Junkyard Jubilee: Negotiating and Getting Paid

Now, let’s switch to some tips on negotiation. This is an essential part of any deal:

  • Get quotes: Do not go for the first junkyard that you come across for towing your car. Try and call around and get a couple of quotes from a few different places. Doing so will help you compare the prices and guarantee you that you are paid the optimal price.
  • Know your car’s value: Find out the current price for scrap metals and any usable parts in the vehicle such as the engine, and wheels among others. This knowledge will enable you to be in a better position to negotiate for a better price.
  • Be prepared to haggle: While scrap dealers are interested in buying vehicles, they have businesses that aim at generating profits and, therefore, one can bargain the offered amount. But while dealing with the other party, it is important to remain polite, you should not be soft on the other party; you may also walk out of the negotiating table if you do not like the outcome.

Here’s a handy table to give you an idea of what factors can affect the price you get for your car at a junkyard:

Weight of the car The heavier the car, the more scrap metal it has, which generally translates to a higher payout.
Current scrap metal prices Scrap metal prices fluctuate, so timing your junking adventure can make a difference.
Location Prices can vary depending on your location.
Demand for specific parts



If your car has parts that are in high demand (like a catalytic converter or a specific engine type), you might be able to negotiate a higher price.
Condition of the car While a non-running car won’t fetch top dollar, a vehicle that’s relatively complete and free of major rust will be worth more than a stripped-down shell.

The Farewell

Once you decide that the offer meets your needs, the junkyard will set up towing, which may be included in the offer. To avoid being overcharged, make sure you get a receipt that shows how much the car weighed and the agreed-upon price.