9 Things To Do Before Junking Your Car
Written by : Ray Pierce
Last Updated: 12/06/2023

9 Things To Do Before Junking Your Car

Old Junk Car sitting under tree

Junking your car is a process that requires careful planning and consideration. Before parting ways with your vehicle, there are several important steps to take to ensure a smooth transition. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that nothing of value is left behind and that you are well-prepared for the transaction. Here are the nine things to do before junking your car:

1. Assess the Value of Your Car

Assessing the value of your car is essential before making any decisions about junking it. In this section, we’ll dig into the nitty-gritty of determining the market value and considering the emotional value of your vehicle. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed choice and ensure you get the most out of your car, both financially and emotionally. So let’s dive in and explore how to assess the true worth of your beloved wheels!

Determine the Market Value

To determine the market value of your car there are several factors that need to be considered.
These include the make, model, year, mileage, condition, and any additional features or modifications. By researching similar vehicles for sale in your area, you can get an idea of the average market price.
Websites such as Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds can provide valuable information regarding the market value of your car based on its specific details.

Here is a table showcasing the market value of different car models:

Car Model Year Mileage Condition Market Value
Toyota Camry 2018 50,000 miles Excellent $15,000
Honda Civic 2016 60,000 miles Good $10,000
Ford Mustang 2015 70,000 miles Fair $12,000

Determining the market value of your car is essential to ensure you are getting a fair price when selling it. Remember to take into account any factors that may positively or negatively impact the value, such as recent repairs or cosmetic damages.

It is also beneficial to consult with a trusted mechanic or car appraiser to get a professional opinion on the market value of your car.
In a similar vein, my friend recently wanted to sell his car and was unsure about its market value. He did thorough research online, comparing similar vehicles and considering their conditions and mileage. Using this information, he determined that his car’s market value was around $8,000. With this knowledge, he was able to confidently negotiate a fair price when selling his car.

2. Get Your Personal Belongings Out

Before saying goodbye to your car, don’t forget to take care of one crucial aspect – retrieving your personal belongings.

In this section, we’ll guide you on how to ensure that you leave no valuable items behind. From checking hidden compartments to safely removing all your personal items, we’ll provide you with the necessary tips to make this process as smooth as possible.

Let’s get your personal belongings out before saying farewell to your beloved vehicle!

Remove All Valuables

  • Make sure to remove all valuables from the glove compartment and center console.
  • Take out any cash, jewelry, or electronics from the car to prevent theft.
  • Ensure that personal documents like passports, social security cards, or identification cards are not left behind.
  • Remember to remove any garage door openers or house keys stored in the car.
  • Thoroughly check under the seats and in the trunk for any forgotten hidden valuables.
  • Do not forget to remove sentimental items such as photographs or personal mementos.
  • Double-check all compartments and pockets to ensure nothing of value is left behind.
  • Consider using a checklist to guarantee that you have not missed any important items.
  • After removing all valuables, securely lock the car before handing it over.

3. Gather Your Important Documents

Before saying goodbye to your beloved car, there are a few crucial steps you need to take. Let’s start by gathering your important documents. In this section, we’ll dive into the significance of your vehicle title, service and maintenance records, and insurance information. From ensuring a smooth transition of ownership to safeguarding your legal rights, these documents play a vital role in the car junking process. So, let’s get organized and tackle this necessary step with confidence and peace of mind.

Vehicle Title

When junking your car, the vehicle title is a crucial document that must be taken into consideration.

  1. Locate your vehicle title and ensure it is in your possession.
  2. Check if the title is in your name or if it is jointly owned with someone else.
  3. If the title is in your name, proceed to the next steps. If it is jointly owned, consult with the co-owner on the next course of action.
  4. Contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles to inquire about the specific requirements for transferring the title in your area.
  5. Gather any additional documents or forms that may be needed for the transfer process.
  6. Complete all necessary paperwork accurately and in a timely manner.
  7. Submit the required documents to the appropriate authorities to transfer the title to the new owner.
  8. Retain a copy of the transferred title and any other relevant documentation for your records.
  9. Notify your insurance company and the DMV that you have sold or disposed of your vehicle. This will ensure that you are no longer held liable for any future incidents involving the car.

Service and Maintenance Records

When preparing to junk your car, it is crucial to gather and include the necessary service and maintenance records. These records furnish valuable information regarding the history of your vehicle and have the potential to enhance its value.

  • Keep a record of regular maintenance: Service and maintenance records demonstrate that you have diligently cared for your car and can elevate its resale value. This encompasses tasks such as oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine maintenance.
  • Document repairs: Ensure that you also include records of any significant repairs or replacements undertaken on your car. This encompasses tasks such as engine repairs, transmission replacements, or any other noteworthy repairs.
  • Include receipts: In addition to the records, it is crucial to possess receipts for all the work done. This serves as evidence of the work performed and adds credibility to the maintenance and repairs conducted.

Having service and maintenance records demonstrates to potential buyers that your car has been meticulously maintained, providing them with peace of mind about its condition. It also enables them to make an informed decision when considering purchasing your car, as they are aware of its history and upkeep.

By furnishing these records, you are exemplifying your proactive approach to maintaining your car and showcasing its excellent condition. This can lead to a higher resale value for your car and a smoother transaction when selling it.

4. Cancel Your Insurance and Registration

Steps to Cancel Your Insurance and Registration

When junking your car, it’s crucial to cancel your insurance and registration to prevent unnecessary expenses and legal complications. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Contact your insurance provider and notify them about your intention to junk your car. Ask for instructions to cancel your insurance policy and any specific steps you need to take.
  2. Submit your license plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or follow your local DMV’s guidelines for surrendering them. This will ensure that you don’t incur future registration fees or penalties.

Now, let me share a true story about the importance of canceling insurance and registration:

A close friend of mine recently made the decision to junk his old car after it became completely inoperable. Unfortunately, he forgot to cancel his insurance policy prior to getting rid of the car. As a result, he ended up paying several extra months of insurance premiums unnecessarily. Moreover, he received a notice from the DMV stating that he owed registration fees for the car, even though he no longer owned it. This oversight proved to be quite costly, but it could have easily been avoided had he promptly canceled the insurance and surrendered the license plates before disposing of the vehicle.

5. Clear Your Personal Data

Before parting ways with your beloved car, there’s one crucial task that should not be overlooked. It’s time to clear your personal data from the vehicle. In this section, we’ll explore two essential sub-sections that will guide you through this process effortlessly. First, we’ll learn how to delete your personal information from the infotainment system, ensuring that your sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Next, we’ll discuss how to remove personal data from GPS devices, guaranteeing that any location history or saved addresses are wiped clean. Let’s dive in and safeguard your privacy before saying goodbye to your trusted four-wheeler.

Delete Personal Information from Infotainment System

When disposing of your car, it is crucial to remove all personal information from the infotainment system in order to safeguard your privacy. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Access the infotainment system’s settings menu.
  2. Locate the option for deleting personal information.
  3. Choose the option and confirm the deletion.
  4. Make sure to erase all personal contacts, call logs, and messages.
  5. Delete any saved navigation destinations or home addresses.
  6. Erase any stored Wi-Fi network information.
  7. Clear the Bluetooth device Pairing history.
  8. Reset any personalized settings, such as seat positions or favorite radio stations.
  9. Double-check that all personal data has been successfully erased.

By adhering to these instructions, you can be certain that your personal information is eliminated from the infotainment system, safeguarding your privacy when disposing of your car.

Remove Personal Data from GPS Devices

When junking your car, it is important to remove personal data from GPS devices to protect your privacy and security. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Delete personal information stored in the GPS device’s memory.
  2. Access the settings menu on the GPS device.
  3. Look for an option related to privacy or personal data.
  4. Select the option to delete all personal data or reset the device.
  5. Follow any prompts or instructions provided by the GPS device.
  6. Ensure that all personal data, including previous destinations, addresses, and saved locations, are removed.
  7. Double-check that the GPS device is completely cleared of personal information.
  8. If necessary, consult the GPS device’s user manual for specific instructions on removing personal data.
  9. Once the personal data has been successfully removed, the GPS device is safe to be sold or discarded.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your personal information is not accessible to others when disposing of your car.

6. Find a Reliable Junkyard or Car Removal Service

When it comes to finding a reliable junkyard or car removal service, here are some steps to help you find a reliable junkyard or car removal service:

  1. Research: Start by researching junkyards and car removal services in your area. Look for reliable and reputable options.
  2. Read reviews: Check online reviews and ratings to get an idea of the experiences other people have had with different junkyards or car removal services.
  3. Ask for recommendations: Reach out to friends, family, or colleagues who may have used a junkyard or car removal service before. Getting recommendations from people you trust can be helpful.
  4. Contact multiple options: Reach out to several junkyards or car removal services to compare prices and terms. Get quotes and ask about their process and any additional fees.
  5. Check licenses and certifications: Ensure that the junkyard or car removal service you choose is licensed and certified to operate in your area. This will give you peace of mind and assurance of their legitimacy.
  6. Ask about towing: If your car is no longer in working condition, ask if the junkyard or car removal service provides towing services. It is important to clarify this beforehand to avoid any surprises.
  7. Inquire about recycling practices: If environmental sustainability is important to you, ask about the junkyard or car removal service’s recycling practices. Ensure that they dispose of the car in an environmentally responsible manner.
  8. Consider customer service: Take into account the customer service provided by the junkyard or car removal service. A friendly and responsive team can make the process smoother and more pleasant.
  9. Read and understand the contract: Before finalizing any agreement, carefully read and understand the contract terms. Pay attention to any conditions or requirements stated in the contract.

7. Get Multiple Quotations

When preparing to junk your car, it’s essential to obtain multiple quotations from different scrap yards or salvage yards. This will enable you to get a better understanding of your car’s value and ensure that you receive a fair price for it.

  • Reach out to at least three different junkyards or salvage yards in your area to get multiple quotations. This will allow you to compare their offers and select the best one.
  • Provide each yard with accurate and detailed information about your car, including its make, model, year, and condition, to obtain multiple quotations. This will assist them in providing you with a more precise quote.
  • Request a written quotation from each yard. This will provide you with a record of the offers, making it easier to compare them and choose the most favorable one.
  • Consider factors other than price when evaluating the quotations. Take into account the junkyard or salvage yard’s reputation, reliability, and any additional services they may offer, such as free towing.
  • Be prepared to negotiate. In case you receive a lower offer than expected, you can try to negotiate with the yard to see if they are willing to increase their quotation.
  • Remember that the highest offer may not always be the best option. Evaluate the overall value and convenience provided by each yard.
  • Make sure to inform each yard that you are obtaining multiple quotations. This may encourage them to offer you a more competitive deal.
  • Take your time to evaluate the quotations and make an informed decision. Avoid rushing into accepting the first offer you receive.
  • Once you have made a decision, contact the selected yard and make arrangements for the junking of your car.

8. Prepare Your Car for Pick-up

Get your car ready for pick-up like a pro! In this section, we’ll cover essential steps to prepare your car, such as removing license plates and getting your paperwork in order. Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered with all the tips and tricks to ensure a smooth and hassle-free process. So, let’s dive right in and make sure you’re fully prepared to say goodbye to your old ride.

Remove License Plates

  1. To remove license plates from your car before junking it, carefully follow these steps:
  2. Firstly, locate the license plates on the front and back of your car.
  3. Next, use a screwdriver or wrench to easily remove the screws or bolts that are holding the license plates in place.
  4. Once the screws or bolts are removed, gently take off the license plates from the car.
  5. It is essential to inspect the license plates for any damage or wear as you may need to return them to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  6. If the license plates are in good condition, it’s advisable to clean them before returning them to the DMV.
  7. Store the license plates in a secure place until you are ready to return them.

Remember to always abide by your local regulations concerning the proper disposal or return of license plates. Removing the license plates before handing over the car to the junkyard or car removal service is crucial. By doing so, you ensure that the plates do not get lost or misused and also help prevent any potential liability issues. Removing the license plates is an important step towards the proper disposal of your car.

Get the Necessary Paperwork Ready

Before junking your car, it’s crucial to get the necessary paperwork ready. Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have gathered your vehicle title, which serves as proof of ownership.
  2. Don’t forget to collect all service and maintenance records to showcase the history and condition of the car.
  3. Also, gather your insurance information, such as the policy number and contact details.

By having these documents prepared, you can ensure a smooth transaction when selling your car.

Were you aware that having all the necessary paperwork ready can significantly streamline the process of junking your car and guarantee that you possess all the required documentation?

9. Hand Over the Car and Complete the Transaction

When junking a car, it is important to hand over the car and complete the transaction by following these steps:

  1. Coordinate a meeting time and location with the scrapyard or salvage yard to hand over the car and complete the transaction.
  2. Make sure to bring all necessary documents, including the vehicle title and any other relevant paperwork, when handing over the car.
  3. Prior to the transaction, ensure that you remove all personal belongings from the car and double-check that nothing important is left behind.
  4. When handing over the car, remember to give the keys and any additional items, such as remote entry fobs or spare tires, to the scrapyard or salvage yard.
  5. Be prepared to answer any questions the scrapyard may have about the car’s condition, features, or history as part of the transaction process.
  6. Provide the scrapyard with the necessary information for payment, such as your bank account details or your preferred method of payment.
  7. Maintain your own records by verifying that the scrapyard has collected all the required documentation and paperwork.
  8. To finalize the transaction, make sure to sign any necessary paperwork or contracts as instructed by the scrapyard.
  9. Lastly, ensure that you receive a receipt or confirmation of the transaction for your own records when handing over your car.

By carefully following these steps, you can effectively hand over your car and successfully complete the transaction when junking it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the top 10 things to do before junking my car?

Before junking your car, it is important to:

  • Choose a licensed scrap yard or junk dealer to ensure you are working with a reputable establishment.
  • Collect all of your personal belongings from the car before handing it over to the junkyard.
  • Remove the license plates from the vehicle, as it is a legal requirement in some provinces and can be returned to Service Ontario in Ontario.
  • Determine if there are any parts of value on your old car that could be worth more to other buyers than to the scrap yard.
  • Remove all garbage from the car, as some junk collectors may want the vehicle completely emptied.
  • Sort out your paperwork to transfer or cancel the title for your vehicle, even though it may not always be required at the junkyard.
  • Cancel your car insurance once the vehicle has been turned in for scrap and you have the necessary paperwork.
  • Shop around for the best deal and consider reaching out to Auto Heaven if local dealerships are not offering a satisfactory price.
  • Ensure that the weight scale used by the dealer is certified to maximize potential earnings.
  • Consider donating your old vehicle to charity, as it can provide financial benefits and a tax deduction.

2. How can I ensure I get the best price for my junk car?

To ensure you get the best price for your junk car, you can:

  • Shop around for the best deal from different junkyards or scrap dealers.
  • Consider reaching out to Auto Heaven if local dealerships are not offering a satisfactory price.
  • Determine if there are any valuable parts on your old car that could be worth more to other buyers than to the scrap yard.
  • Ensure that the weight scale used by the dealer is certified to maximize your potential earnings.

3. Should I remove the gas from my car before junking it?

It is not necessary to remove the gas from your car before junking it. In most cases, the junkyard or scrap dealer will handle draining the gas tank for you.

4. Can I sell nonmetal components of my junk car individually for more money?

Yes, you can sell nonmetal components of your junk car individually for more money. Parts such as starter motors, alternators, and entertainment systems can have value to other buyers.

5. Do I need to have a title for my junk car?

In some cases, a title may not be required at the junkyard. However, it is important to sort out your paperwork and transfer or cancel the title for your vehicle to ensure a smooth transaction.

6. What should I do if I want to donate my old car to charity?

If you want to donate your old car to charity, you should:

  • Ensure the charity is reputable and registered.
  • Contact the charity to understand their donation process.
  • Arrange for the car to be picked up or dropped off, depending on the charity’s requirements.
  • Obtain a receipt or acknowledgment of the donation for tax purposes.

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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.