Like every business, there are both honest, legit junk car buyers and scammers. The key is to remember that you have the power to pick the junkyard from all available. So, you shall always make a choice backed by research.

Knowing some of the common scams a junkyard might come up with could really help you become an informed seller. You can easily track down the scammers and pick from the most authentic junkyards available in the market.

To help you pick a credible junkyard, this blog post enlists the most common junk car buyer scams that you shall avoid.

Ask Them for the Junkyard’s License

First things first, ask the junkyard for a license. A credible junkyard shall have their license to operate, and a good business owner would happily showcase the license. If they are hesitant to show the license or have got theirs expired, the best option is to walk away. A junkyard operating without a license is itself a red flag.

However, some junkyards would try scamming you by providing vague information about their license. As an informed seller, you shall simply cancel their name as they refuse to show their license – be it for any reason.

Though having a license is crucial, it doesn’t make a junkyard great all alone. You have to track through other factors to finally believe in a particular junk car buyer service and make a deal with them.

Know the Definition of a Ton

As you hand over your junk car to a scrapyard, they’ll estimate your vehicle’s value based on weight. So, you must have adequate knowledge of the units generally used to weigh the vehicles. In general, scrap cars are weighed in tons. The unit ‘net ton’ is equivalent to 2,000 pounds and a long or metric ton is 2,240 pounds.

As an informed seller, you must ask your junk car buyer about which unit they use to determine the value of your car. Junkyards that are credible would love to share that information. However, those with an intention to scam would try not to share the exact information and give away vague answers.

If the junkyard is paying based on long/metric tons, you’re likely to miss some cash. While the case is opposite with the junkyard weighing your vehicle in long/metric tons. So, it’s important that you know which unit of weight your junk car buyer uses to make an informed and profitable decision.

Inquire the Towing Cost Beforehand

When you’re planning to sell a junk car, the most significant question apart from your vehicle’s value is the towing cost. Towing your car, truck, or SUV could be a real hectic thing and cost you fortunes at times. So, the ideal way is to always inquire about the towing cost from your junkyard.  You can do that while investigating the estimated car value.

Some junkyards don’t include the towing cost into the quote, and later, when you receive the cash – it opens up to be much less than what had been quoted. On inquiry, they’d tell you that the towing fee has been deducted.

Reputable and honest junk car buyers don’t do that. They’ll already inform you about the towing cost with transparency, so you know the amount of profit you’re earning. Some of them also offer a free-of-cost towing facility, and that’s one amazing offer to maximize your profit.

As you went on with selling your junk car, ensure dealing with a junkyard that provides you with transparent quotes. Also, the best approach is to pick the one offering free towing services.

Prevent Falling for Cheesy Incentives

Some junkyards may try to flatter you with cheesy incentives along with the quote. Be very cautious of them.

For instance, a junk car buyer may offer you a few dollars less than the actual value of your vehicle and pair that up with non-cash incentives. These incentives may include gift cards, coupons, etc. They will also try to portray that those incentives are more valuable than the amount of cash deducted from your actual car’s value.

However, the truth is – these coupons usually offer minimal discounts at parks, etc. and that too comes with tighter expiry dates and unusual restrictions.

The best approach is to make a deal where you get instant cash against your car’s value and not accept any cheesy incentives and gift coupons.

Know the Medium of Payment

Knowing the medium of payment is essential. Though you can go with other mediums, too, instant cash is always better than others. A check – even if you get that the same day your car has been towed – has the chances of getting bounced. Other payment methods, such as mailing options, might not even arrive.

So, you must ask about the mode of payment from your junk car buyer already, and the best is to prefer instant cash. Also, ensure signing the title only when you’ve received the cash; signing it before getting the cash could mostly end up in a scam.

Some junkyards also come up with installment plans to pay your cash, don’t accept them at all. They’re mostly a scam!

Be Attentive to the Significantly Changed Offers

Credible junkyards come up with an adequate offer and stick to that. If the junk car buyer you’re dealing with continues to swap their offers, there’s certainly a red flag.

Remember that you have the liberty to walk away and cancel the deal at any point in time. So, whenever you feel like your junk car buyer is significantly changing the deal and is much likely to be a scam – simply walk away.

Always Cancel the Registration Yourself

There are some junkyards that offer to cancel your vehicle’s registration on their own. Don’t fall for it – you can end up in a serious problem. The best option is always to cancel the registration yourself.

In the chance of depending on your junkyard to cancel the registration, you might end up in serious legal repercussions. There are possibilities that your car gets involved in some illegal activity without the registration being canceled. This can result in your accountability for a matter you don’t belong to.

Ensure preventing yourself from such a situation and always cancel your registration beforehand.

Pick a Junk Car Buyer Smartly & Save Yourself from the Scams

Though selling a junk car is easier than thought, you can sometimes come across serious scams. The ideal way to save yourself is to stay fully informed of the popular scams that most junkyards are likely to play.

You might also feel overwhelmed by the number of scams found in the market, and it may feel impossible to avoid all of them. But don’t let yourself be discouraged here. Many legitimate and credible junkyards exist in the market, and all it takes is the right eye to find them. Take into consideration all the above-mentioned points when making a deal.

Always remember not to sign the title unless you’ve received the payment. And most of all, compare multiple quotes and dealers before making the final deal.


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