Should I Sell My Car or Scrap it? Which Option Is Better and Why


Most cars on the road today are about 12 years old. The average vehicle built should last about 200,000 miles. However, you may not own your vehicle for its entire useful life, or perhaps its useful life has been cut short by an accident.

Many of us are left wondering, should I sell my car or scrap it? Don’t automatically assume that selling your car will yield more money. The value of your vehicle will vary greatly depending on how you decide to get rid of it.

This guide will help you make the best decision for your situation.

Should I Sell My Car?

If you want to sell your used car, you can trade it in or sell it privately. Either way, the car needs to be in good working condition and not require repairs. Otherwise, the cost of the repairs will get deducted from the offer by the buyer.

Consider the cost of repairs. If they’re more than the value of the car, then it isn’t worth fixing them. This makes your car undesirable, and you may not get the offers you want.

Should I Scrap My Car?

The method you choose to scrap your car will depend on how much mechanical experience and patience you have. Consider these options if your car is especially old or in need of repairs.

Part It Out

If you have mechanical experience and plenty of patience, you can take your car apart and sell your car for parts. This is time-consuming as you list each individual part. It also means you have to store the dismantled car while you sell everything.

Sell It to a Cash Buyer

A convenient alternative is to sell the car for cash. There are plenty of buyers that offer cash for junk cars. You can get several instant quotes online based on the make, model, year, and condition of your vehicle.

If the required repairs are worth more than its value, then you may find this to be a better option. These sellers typically part the car out, so they’re looking at the parts value, not the drivability of the car.

Sell It to a Junk Yard

With this option, you sell the car for the straight metal value of the vehicle. This is the best option if the car is in such poor condition that there’s nothing salvageable. You will get an offer purely based on the volume of the metal in your vehicle.

The bigger your vehicle and the more metal there is, the higher your offer will be. Don’t expect it to be more than a couple of hundred dollars, though.

Sell Your Car Today

Now that you know your options, you can evaluate which is the best course of action for selling your car. If you’re asking, should I sell my car? You should consider the current value and condition of your vehicle.

It can help to get quoted offers from dealerships, KBB, cash buyers, and junkyards. Then you can accurately compare your options.

Browse the rest of the financial articles on this site for more advice when it comes to making smart money choices.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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