How are Junk Cars Sold at Auction?
Written by : Ray Pierce
Last Updated: 12/04/2023

How are Junk Cars Sold at Auction?

People at an auto auction

Junk cars are sold through auctions in most cases by insurance companies. When a car is deemed a total loss, your insurance carrier will send you a check and then take possession of the car. Have you wondered what your insurance company does with that car? They sell it through a salvage auction, typically Copart or IAA. These are salvage auctions that cater to damaged vehicles. In other cases, if you sell your junk car to a online car buying company, chances are they will either sell that car to a local recycler or sell it through an auction like Copart or IAA. The reason for this is simple, there aren’t many options when selling a junk car and so a salvage auction is usually a better option.

Why Sell a Junk Car at Auction?

Selling a junk car at auction has several advantages. Selling at auction provides an opportunity to reach a wide audience of potential buyers who are specifically interested in purchasing used vehicles. This increases the chances of getting a good price for your junk car. Auctions create a competitive bidding environment, which can drive up the price even further. This means that you have the potential to earn more money from the sale compared to selling it privately or to a junkyard. Many of these auctions are global platforms which means bidders around the world can buy your vehicle which can drive up the price of junk cars.

Is a Salvage Auction better than a Junkyard?

In some cases, salvage auctions are better than junkyards because they typically will get a higher price. Junkyards typically dismantle cars to sell the parts and crush the remaining metal which will net you a few hundred dollars. Depending on the year, make, model and condition of the car, junkyards may be the only option as older, damaged vehicles won’t do well at an auction and so those typically go to a salvage auction. Junk car buyers will evaluate all of the options and determine where is the best destination for the vehicle.

Can Anyone Sell a Junk Car Through an Auction?

No, not anyone can sell a car through an auction. Typically, you need a dealer’s license to sell a car through an auction. The best option is to deal with a 3rd party like a junk car buyer that will give you an offer and sell it through the auction. These junk car buyers will typically pay you a few hundred less than what they think the car will sell for in order to make a profit after their fees.

If you have a junk car you’re looking to sell, give us a call today or fill out our online form to get an instant offer on your car. It takes less than 2 minutes to get a price and less than 24 hours to get your car picked up. We have a friendly team of agents who are ready to assist you!

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Written by : Ray Pierce

Ray Pierce founded Zippy Cash for Cars in 2001 and has been in the automotive industry buying cars ever since. Starting off with 2 employees, Ray is proud to now have over 50 employees buying cars coast to coast.