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It finally happened. Your car wheezed its last breath. Before you call someone to have it towed, however, you should know that you might be able to squeeze a few dollars out of it. Here are just five ways that old cars can be converted into cash.
Break It Down into Parts
Battered cars can still have salvageable parts. For example, even if your clunker is covered in rust on the outside, it might have a perfectly functional or recyclable battery on the inside. Even if the engine has become a lump of concrete, you can still take apart things like brakes, mirrors, speakers, windshield wipers and steering columns.
Sell It to a Junkyard
This is a viable option if you don't want to deal with breaking down specific parts and pieces. Instead, you can sell the whole car to a junkyard and let them take what they need and scrap what can’t be salvaged. They might be interested in big-ticket items like wheels and window glass just as much as smaller things like seat belts and gear shifts. Keep in mind, however, that you may not get as good of a price as if you sold individual parts or the scrap metal separately.
Offer It "As Is"
Some people like a restoration project, especially if the car is of a special make or model. You won't lose anything by sitting it on your lawn or making a listing with an online auction site. The worst case scenario is that you just don't get any takers, but the best case scenario is that someone decides to buy your old car as a fixer-upper.
Find a Junk Car Buyer
There are companies that will buy your junk car from you. Some of them are interested in the raw materials while others simply flip them like real estate with new engines and fresh paint jobs. Regardless of their plans, they'll take your broken-down vehicle and give you a check for it, so it's an easy way to get rid of your clunker. As with the junkyard option, though, you still may not be able to negotiate for the same higher prices that you could get selling the car parts and scrap metal individually, so keep in mind how much time you’re willing to put into taking it apart yourself and how much of it is salvageable before deciding to how to sell.
Sell It for Scrap Metal
If there's nothing left of your vehicle but metal pieces that have seen better days, scrap metal is in high demand and can still earn you a decent amount of cash. There's a big market for things like copper, chrome, steel and aluminum, and your car might have usable portions of everything, especially when you consider that it would be melted down anyway. Contact your local scrap metal buyers and see what they can do for you and remember to compare prices between buyers to get the best sale. Don’t expect to make a fortune, but always do your research to make sure you’re at least getting the proper value for your materials.
All cars have value, even old and ugly ones. Use these tips to get the greatest benefit out of your vehicle even after it can no longer be driven. It won't make you rich, but it can pad your pockets as you search for a newer and better model.