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How To Trade In A Car That’s Not Working

nonrunning car being towed

If you have a car that doesn’t work, trading it in can be difficult. At CarBrain, we know all about “less-than-perfect cars” and this article is here to help you get the most understanding (and money) for your vehicle.

Oftentimes, non-running cars have engine problems or transmission problems that make little financial sense to fix. These repairs can be extremely expensive, and likely cost more than the value of your car. You can find out how much your car is worth as-is with our instant value calculator.

Dealerships specialize in selling cars as quickly as possible so trading in a non-running car is not only a hassle, but also a surefire way to get a low trade-in value.

Continue reading to find out how you can maximize trading in a non-running vehicle.

Do Dealerships Buy Cars That Don’t Run?

There are dealerships that do buy cars that don’t run. However, that isn’t what dealerships specialize in. They want cars that can be turned around and resold as quickly as possible.

Cars that don’t work get the lowest kind of trade-in value from dealerships. They’re factoring in the cost of repairs necessary to get that car back to a roadworthy condition.

Furthermore, non-running vehicles have to be towed to their lot and, assuming they provide the tow, that’s another cost to be accounted for in the trade-in price.

What Are My Options With A Non-Running Car?

Selling a dead car is a headache. Most car buyers are typically looking to purchase a roadworthy vehicle.

car engine

However, there are options available for anyone selling a non-running car. Some of them are quick, but less profitable solutions. Others can yield a hefty profit, but take a long time to accomplish.

They are as follows:

Repair A Non-Running Car - Fixing a broken down car is always an option, especially if the car is a necessity you cannot go without.

However, repair costs can often outweigh the value of the vehicle. If you can afford to move on, it’s best to check out other options instead of sinking money into an old or broken-down car.

Scrap A Non-Running Car - Selling your car to a junkyard or scrap yard is also a viable option.

They specialize in finding use out of the things people don’t use anymore and your car is no exception. They’ll tow the car to the yard for you, but the cost of that will likely get taken out of your payout.

Sell A Non-Running Car - You’ve got the option of selling your car to a dealership (known as trading it in) or to a private buyer.

Dealerships will lowball your non-running vehicle, while private buyers will try to haggle you lower than your asking price.

Part Out A Non-Running Car - If you’ve got the time, space, and mechanical know-how, then parting out your broken down car and selling the individual components is an option.

Keep in mind, this is a time-intensive process that requires haggling and car parts taking up space in your garage.

Why Selling A Non-Running Car Online Makes The Most Sense

selling a car for parts

Whether your car is showing symptoms of a blown engine or it died on you completely one day when you were trying to get to work, it's usually not a good idea to try to fix it. 

The cost of the repairs of non-running cars usually far outweighs what the car is actually worth. Even used parts and discount mechanics may cost more than anticipated.

Major issues like a blown transmission or a seized engine are serious safety hazards that may even put the driver and/or the passengers in danger.

So, rather than repairing or trading in a car with engine problems, you should sell it online.

It makes sense to sell your car to someone who specializes in buying cars that don't run, cars with mechanical problems, and broken cars, like CarBrain. Makes Selling Your Car that Doesn’t Run Easy

CarBrain is an online platform that specializes in buying cars that are “less-than-perfect," which means when you want cash for nonrunning cars, we're the solution for you.

Whatever condition your car is in, CarBrain will give you an offer for it. No hassle, no fuss. We accept brands like:

With just a few pieces of information, you can get a quote for your vehicle within 90 seconds. If you like the offer and accept it, you’ll get cash value in hand within 24 to 48 hours.

Plus, CarBrain understands your car won’t drive away like a normal vehicle would, so it will be towed away at no charge to you.

CarBrain is in the market to buy totaled and non-driving cars, and we make it as simple as possible for our customers to sell to us.

No research, no repairs, no paying for tow trucks: we make it easy to sell your non-running car online without the fuss.

How To Sell Your Non-Running Car To CarBrain

  • Step 1: Receive a quote for your vehicle.
  • Step 2: Accept your offer within 7 days.
  • Step 3: Schedule a time for pick-up & payment!

At CarBrain, you never have to worry about haggling. We want to earn your business, and we want to give you a fair-market offer for the worth of your vehicle.

Additionally, when you use, your offer is locked in for seven days — giving you time to think it over, even if the market is changing!

get a check for your nonrunning car

You can also upload pictures and/or add more details if you think something isn't right, and want to provide more context. This could improve your chances of receiving a higher offer.

When you schedule a pick-up, you will receive a call from the tow truck driver within an hour of their arrival.

All you have to do is hand over your car keys along with the title of the car. You will receive the full amount you were quoted, and the driver will haul away the vehicle.

Once it's all done, you will receive a bill of sale, as well as confirmation that the ownership has been transferred. And that's it! Then all you have to do is figure out what you're going to do with that new check.

We’ll Buy Your Car Running Or Not In 24-48 Hrs

We offer free towing in just one to two business days and a no-haggle policy so that you don't have to waste any more time.

Whether your car was crashed in an accident, it has a broken transmission or a bad engine, we make it easy to take your non-running car and turn it into options for tomorrow.

Selling a non-running car to CarBrain also means you're getting the benefit of years of industry experience when it comes to getting the best possible deal. Get your guaranteed offer for your non runner now.

More Information On How To Sell My Undriveable Car

If you want some background on CarBrain and how we help people sell non-running cars fast, you can check out our FAQs page.

You can also take a look at our verified customer reviews and see how we operate as a business. We value being fair with our offers and giving the best possible customer service.

Wondering "who buys nonrunning cars near me?" Well, if you’re in the contiguous United States, we can help you — we operate nationwide, with free towing included in all our offers.

Need answers? Get FREE advice from our client care experts NOW!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is A Non-Running Car Worth?

The value of a non-running car depends on details like the year, make and model. You can usually estimate it to be half the value of a car of the same year, make, and model in perfect working order. Depending on the cause of the car breaking down, the value may be even less and the vehicle would be better off sold as scrap.

Who Will Buy My Non-Drivable Car?

You have a few options when trying to sell a car that is not driveable. These options include selling it to a private buyer, trading it in for a low price at a dealership, selling to a junkyard, or selling it to a buyer who specializes in non-running cars.

Can You Trade In A Nonrunning Car?

You can — but you won’t get the best price for it. Dealerships view accepting a non-running trade-in as doing you a favor. It’ll cost them a lot to try to refurbish it to put it back on their lot, so most of the time they’ll just auction it off. Additionally, they typically will charge you for towing the vehicle there if you can’t drive it to the dealership yourself.

How Do I Get Rid Of A Car That Doesn’t Run?

That depends on the route you choose. If you want to trade it into a dealership, be prepared to have to call up a towing company yourself and arrange for the pickup. Junkyards often offer to pick up the vehicle from wherever it’s located, however they are known to charge for towing services.

What Do You Do With An Old Car That Doesn’t Run?

You can try dismantling it for individual parts then sell those to an interested individual or sell it to a company that buys dead cars. Typically, the fastest and easiest solution is to get an offer from a company like.

Who Buys Non-Running Cars?

There are businesses that specialize in buying damaged, broken and non-running cars — these businesses will take a vehicle that doesn’t run and either auction it off or break it down for its scrap components.

For what it’s worth...

CarBrain is the premiere marketplace for less-than-perfect cars!

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