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You know the kind, and maybe it’s the type of car you have. It’s the sedan that needs seven ‘Hail Mary’s before you turn the key in the ignition. You need to hold your tongue just right and blink rapidly to hopefully have it start. Perhaps it’s no longer running at all.

Will Local Scrap Yards Buy My Non-Running Junk Car?

hand holding a wrench on the background of the car in the workshopIt’s up to the dealership whether they want to accept your car on trade. It all depends on a car’s condition if they’ll take it, and how much they’ll give you for it.

For a decent used car

When your car doesn’t start but it’s in decent condition otherwise, that’s one thing. Dealers usually don’t have too many problems accepting that type of vehicle on trade. They’re able to diagnose the problem and decide whether they’ll fix it and retail it or wholesale it.

Since a car that doesn’t start could be like opening a can of worms for them, the dealership will play it safe on the appraisal. Typically they’ll account for the most expensive repair required, dock it from the appraisal value, and make you an offer. They’re taking a risk by buying a car that won’t run, so you can’t really blame them for low-balling you, even if it’s a good car with low mileage and great options otherwise.

For a rough car

man standing in front of the car with the bonnet openNow, if your car has more problems than a Hollywood star, it’s a different story. Instead of a dealer saying ‘yes’ to accepting it on trade, it could very well depend what kinds of concerns it has. There could be dents and dings – they look bad but they’re fairly inexpensive for a dealer to repair. If there’s a Check Engine light on, it could be a money pit to fix or a simple scan. Most dealers will still take it on trade.

But if the engine isn’t running along with all that other stuff, it changes the story. A used car manager could weigh the car’s condition and required repairs and decide that it’s going to cost more than it’s worth to get rid of it. Or, he could see it as a diamond-in-the-rough and take a chance on its potential. It’s a toss-up.


Our expert evaluators can help you get an accurate estimate for your car's value, FAST!

For a junk car

You need to find a special kind of dealer to take a junk car that doesn’t run on trade. First, a vehicle with a title designated as junk or salvage doesn’t have much use – if any – for a dealer. They’re near impossible to retail, even in good condition. Their book value is significantly lower than the same type of vehicle with a clear title. And if it’s been labeled junk, there’s a high probability that it’s going to have obvious and underlying problems.

Most dealers shy away from taking junk cars on trade, especially ones that don’t run. If you find a dealer that will take it, expect an offer with between one and three digits – from $0 to $250 probably.

Is It Worth It to Fix a Junk Car’s Engine? - Get Cash for your Non Working Car, Instead.

If the goal is to sell a junk car for more money, or to get more on trade from the dealership, it would absolutely help to have the engine running. Proportionally, it probably doesn’t make sense.

Here’s what I mean. Your trashed, scrap car doesn’t run and is appraised by a dealership at $100. You’re not happy with that price (no kidding), so you decide to have a mechanic get it going. If you’re lucky, a simple fix will cost $300 to $500. But when you go back to the dealership, it may only bump up the value to $300. In addition, you’ll have spent a bunch of time on it, plus probably paid for a two truck or two.

It would make much more difference if it was a good used car that needed a simple engine repair. But for a junk car? Odds are very high that it’s just not worth it.

Where Can I Scrap an Old Car?

handing over the keys on the background of the carWhen a dealer won’t take your car on trade or you aren’t getting the value you think you should, it’s frustrating. But there are places that buy cars for cash near you, and without the hassle of an appraisal. At, you can sell your junk car, scrap car, or any vehicle in less-than-perfect condition from the comfort of your La-Z-Boy recliner.

Fill out the request form at to get a guaranteed, no-obligation offer for your vehicle as it sits right now, running or not. Think it’s a fair price? Accept it. You’ll have the amount from your guaranteed offer in hand within just a couple days. Then, within about a week, your car will be taken away from where it sits, and at no charge to you.

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