We buy damaged cars nationwide.
Fixing your car may not always be the best option. Get an Instant Quote for Your Car.
Get An Offer

Can You Trade In A Non-Running Car?

Can You Trade In a Non-Running Car?

Trading in a car may seem like a simple enough option. You get to take your old car and basically flip it for something far nicer just by driving into a dealership. But what if driving to the dealership is impossible because your car won't run at all?

What if your car has a blown motor, blown engine, or bad transmission that doesn't make financial sense to fix? Can you trade in a car with a busted engine? What if your car needs work, has hail damage, or the check engine light is on? Will the dealer still be able to 'make a deal'? 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 offer online.

In the majority of cases, you won't be able to trade in a non-running car. The real answer to this question depends on the specific dealer you take it to, but most wanted cars that they can easily resell. A car is usually considered 'non-running' if it's unable (or unreliable) to both start and drive.

Dealerships are in the business of used cars, not cars that are unable to get from Point A to Point B. This usually means that if a dealer does choose to accept your non-running car, it will likely be for a very small amount of money.

It also means that you're under obligation to purchase or finance a new (or new-to-you) car from the dealer. This makes the prospect of trading in a car that doesn't run unappealing and begs the question of what to do with a car that doesn’t run?

Selling an inoperable car isn't as simple as some dealers would have you believe. Trying to trade in a broken car is even more complicated. Traditionally, it's up to you to do the research about the actual worth of the car, which means checking multiple sources as well as determining the value of the car in your neighborhood.

A salesperson at the dealership will need to go through a visual inspection, run reports on the numbers, and check the records of the car. The service department will also need to do their own inspection, meaning that you'll need to tow your car into the dealership without a guarantee that they'll even make you an offer.

The Best Way To Sell A Car That Doesn’t Run

  • Step 1: Receive a quote for your vehicle.
  • Step 2: Take time to consider your offer.
  • Step 3: Accept your offer within 7 days.
  • Step 4: Schedule a time for pick-up & payment!

Haggling for low-ball prices is not something we believe in. 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 CarBrain.com, you get up to seven days of your offer being locked in and not subject to any changes in evaluation. 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 a check on the spot, for the full amount you agreed to, 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.

Do Dealerships Buy Cars That Don’t Run?

To sell a car in poor condition is a difficult task. To trade in a salvage car is even harder. Used car dealerships won't be able to accurately assess the exact value of your vehicle, so they will default to a lower price to offset their risk.

So how much is a car without an engine worth? When you sell your car that doesn't run, you have to factor in towing costs, since you can't drive it to the dealer.

The value of your non-working car will also depend on what mechanical problems or damage are causing it not to run. This makes calculating the best price for non-running cars extremely complex.

However, CarBrain has decades of broken car buying experience, and we have a formula for calculating the fair-market prices we offer you. We’re happy to pay money for non-working cars, no matter what’s wrong with them.

How Do I Sell A Non-Working Car?

Should I Fix My Non-Running Car?

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 you think.

Major issues like a blown transmission or a seized engine are serious safety hazards that need to be handled with the utmost care. It may even put the driver and/or the passengers in danger if the repairs aren't done correctly.

So rather than repairing your car with mechanical problems, or trading in a car with engine problems, you should sell it. From here you will have to figure out the best ways to sell a non-running car.

When your car first breaks down you will have to ask "who buys non-working cars?" Not only do you have the option to sell your car as-is, but it's usually recommended.

If a dealership is making you a fantastic deal on your non-running car, you can bet that only because they're going to bake in additional fees to the next car you buy.

When you trade-in a car to the dealer, they're going to make up for the lack of demand for your vehicle by increasing the prices on their next car sale.

A dealership is generally in the business of used cars, so 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.

What Are My Options for Trading in A Dead Car?

What Are My Other Options?

So wondering how to sell a dead car? Your options are limited for places and people that want to buy broken, non-running cars. You probably thought “I just want to find places that buy cars that don’t run near me.” Well, if you're going the traditional routes you may be searching for a bit.

You’re talking about finding a DIY mechanic with some time on his hands or a used car dealer that tries to fix it on the cheap and flip it for profit. In both cases, the buyers that are interested in a car like yours don’t want to pay much for it. And that’s fair – after all, they have no idea how much money they’ll need to spend before it’s roadworthy again.

The other option is a scrapyard. These are places where cars come to die. You’ll need to tow your car to the scrapyard and accept the penance they offer you.

It’s all based on your car’s weight, and you’re paid a certain price per ton. There’s no consideration for its make or model, if it has fancy add-ons, or if the miles are low on the odometer. The price is the price, no matter what.

On the other hand, if you have a bunch of time on your hands, you could sell broken car parts on your own. No, not car parts that are broken, but you can part out your broken down car and sell it yourself. The upside is that you’ll get more money for it than either trading it in or selling it to the scrapyard or a low-baller.

There’s a big downside though. If you say to yourself, “I'm going to sell my wrecked car,” you have to commit to it. There’s a huge time investment in dismantling your car, posting the parts for sale online, then haggling for a fair buck, and meeting the buyer for the exchange.

It’s going to take hours upon hours of your time – time you could be spending with your family or on something more profitable.

CarBrain.com Makes Selling Your Car that Doesn’t Run Easy

Trade in a Car for Cash

Selling a non-running car whole is the no-nonsense, logical way to go, of that there’s no question. But finding the right buyer on your own is an uphill battle.

Instead, you could find someone that’s going to make you an offer for your car, pick it up from your location, and pay you cash, no questions asked. That’s CarBrain. We buy broken cars every day.

CarBrain accepts brands such as Jeep, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Toyota, Ford, as well as, SUVs, sedans, trucks, coupes, and more. Whatever condition your car is in, CarBrain will give you an offer for it. No hassle, no fuss.

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. Can any other car buyer say that?

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.

Sell a Broken Down Car

After your car breaks down you may be initially thinking about repairs, but if they are too high, you will next ask how to dispose of a damaged car. Trying to get cash for a broken-down car can be the best response to the question “How to get out of paying for a broken car's repairs?”

If you’re struggling to find companies that buy non-running cars, it may be because you’re looking in the wrong place. Dealerships can’t help you — but CarBrain can.

Look, if repairing your car isn’t working, you could try to sell it. It’s easier said than done because most people want to drive the cars they buy. Obviously, broken-down cars will either need hundreds of dollars in repairs to get them to that point or they’ll need to be dealt with another way.

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 process so that you don't have to waste any more time. Whether your car was crashed in an accident, it has a seized 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

Trade in a Car for Cash

If you want some background on CarBrain and how we help people sell non-running cars fast, you can check out our FAQ's 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. You can also read a few more popular articles below.

Additional Resources for Trading in Non-Working Cars

  • Can I get more money out of my car if I part it out? Of course, that’s a possibility but, unless you have the same resources as a well-established junkyard, you may be in for a bumpy ride.
  • Sell your car from the comfort of your home! Your vehicle is eligible for a FREE online evaluation. For most cars it only takes 90 seconds, We’ll deliver the payment and tow the vehicle for FREE in under 2 business days.
  • Avoid overspending on expensive repairs and sell your car AS-IS. There are a few issues your car can have that could cost you more money to fix than what your car is worth. It's important to know what issues are worth fixing and which are not.
  • Free Online Evaluation for Your Car

Get a Cash Offer for Your Non Running Car

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.