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Can You Sell A Car With Mechanical Problems?

If you have a car that needs repairs, you are allowed to sell it. There are no laws preventing individuals from selling damaged cars or cars with mechanical problems. In fact, there are many industries that specialize in buying cars that don't work.

However, you should always be honest about the condition of your car and never attempt to misrepresent any vehicle issues.

Disclosing your car's mileage, accident history, sustained damaged, and any repairs needed can help you avoid potential legal headaches while finding the best place to sell your car.

Is It Better To Fix My Car Before Trade-In?

parts of a vehicleYou might think that you can get a better offer on your car that needs repairs by fixing it first before putting it up for sale. However, you may end up losing money by trying to pay for vehicle damage repairs.

If your car only has minor problems that can easily be fixed for under $300, it might be worthwhile to complete the job with a reliable mechanic. This can improve the perceived condition of your car and you might get a return on your investment.

However, if you are selling a car that needs substantial amounts of repair, chances are the cost of performing the repairs will exceed the amount you’ll get back in the sale.

For instance, if you have to perform a $3,000 repair job, that won’t necessarily raise the value of your car by an additional $3,000. In that case, you are spending money on the car that you will not get back. If your car needs a lot of work done, skip it and sell your car for cash to a reputable company that buys cars with issues.

How To Get Rid Of A Car That Needs Repairs

Once you’ve decided that you won’t be repairing any damages your vehicle’s incurred, it’s time to decide what to actually do with it. That, however, comes with its own complication: who actually buys cars that need work?

While it might not seem like there are people in the business of buying less-than-perfect vehicles, the truth is actually quite contrary. When looking for where to sell a car that needs repairs, you’ve got several options:

  1. Sell it to a dealership - Quick, but understand that dealers may not be willing to pay fair market price for your damaged car.

  2. Sell it to a private buyer - Selling it yourself remains an option. Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace exist, as well as posting a good old fashioned ad in the paper. Be prepared to deal with wishy-washy buyers and haggling galore, though.

  3. Trade it in - Trading in your car might give you a little extra cash to put towards a new car. Your trade in offer, however, will be negatively impacted by any mechanical issues.

  4. Donate it - The feel-good option of giving your car to a non-profit is also available. Do your due diligence about what kind of tax breaks you get (if any).

  5. Junk it - If your car needs that many repairs, junking your car for cash might just be the way to go. Find the best company to sell your car with issues by researching their reputation, how long it will take to get paid, and if they tow your car for free.

Let’s explore what you need to do in order to prepare your damaged vehicle for sale and what some of those selling options might look like further.

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How To Sell An Old Car That Needs Work

Selling an old car follows a similar path as selling a car that needs repairs. The same group of buyers on the list above will purchase an old car, but how quickly and how much they buy them for will vary drastically.

When figuring out how to sell a car with problems, it's in your best interest to weigh all of your options and figure out which one is the best fit for your situation.

Best Ways To Sell A Car That Doesn’t Run

man considering his optionsDeciding how to sell a car that needs repairs shouldn't be rocket science. To close a sale on a damaged car effectively, you should take the following steps:

  1. Remove all personal belongings left in the vehicle.

  2. Get a quote from a mechanic for how much it would take to repair your vehicle.

  3. Find the title to your vehicle. If necessary, order a copy from your state DMV.

  4. Clean up your car for showing, if you will be selling the vehicle privately.

  5. Look for estimates by tracking damaged car sales in your area.

The steps above will help speed up the sales process and arm you with the information required to get the best possible quote for your vehicle.

 

Who Buys Used Cars That Need Work?

The most common ways to sell a broken car and get a cash offer are junkyards, dealerships, and private buyers. Each of these options are interested in buying a damaged car and have their pros and cons depending upon how quickly you’re trying to sell your car, how much money you’re trying to make, and how much hassle you’re willing to put up with.

  1. Junkyards — When looking for places that buy old cars that don’t work, junkyards are a common option. They will accept vehicles in virtually any condition. They purchase them quickly, but they make their profit by buying low and reselling the usable parts.

  2. Dealerships — Any dealership that accepts cars “as is” will purchase your junk car. However, dealerships usually won’t trade junk cars for cash. The money offered is likely credit to be applied to buying another vehicle from them. Additionally, they specialize in roadworthy cars, so a junk car that can’t run is likely to get lowballed.

  3. Private Buyers — Private buyers aren’t restricted by pricing or any condition constraints. If your model is popular and in demand, someone will want it. Finding that person, however, can be a massive hassle; vetting serious candidates and haggling being chief amongst the most annoying portions of the process.

How To Sell A Truck That Needs Work?

Whether you want to know how to sell a car that needs engine work or a truck that has frame damage or mechanical issues, the processes all follow a similar roadmap. To close a sale on a damaged truck effectively, you will take the same steps as selling your car with repairs:

  1. Remove all personal belongings left in the vehicle.

  2. Get a quote from a mechanic for how much it would take to repair your vehicle.

  3. Find the title to your vehicle. If necessary, order a copy from your state DMV.

  4. Clean up your truck for showing, if you will be selling the vehicle privately.

  5. Look for estimates by tracking damaged  sales in your area.

The steps above will help speed up the sales process and arm you with the information required to get the best possible quote for your vehicle.

Where Can I Sell My Car With Mechanical Problems?

Selling a car with mechanical problems is dependent on how quickly you want to sell it and how much you're looking to get from its sale.

Junk Car Buyers
Buyer Pros & Cons
Junkyards/Scrapyards Selling your damaged car quickly can be done with a junkyard or scrap yard. They typically offer a flat price for vehicles, but many may pay your car's weight in scrap metal.
Dealerships If you're looking to purchase a new car, dealerships will assign a trade in value to your vehicle and apply that to the new car's price. However, dealerships do not specialize in cars with mechanical problems, so you can expect to be lowballed.
Private Buyers Private buyers are likely to give you the price for your car that you're looking for. Unfortunately, it may take much longer than the previous options. Scheduling viewing and finding a buyer are all time consuming endeavors.
CarBrain If you want to sell it fast and for a fair price, sell your car online - to CarBrain. Learn more about the benefits of selling to CarBrain below.

The Best Place To Sell Your Car That Needs Repairs

car in a junkyardThe best place to sell your car in need of repairs depends on how quickly you want to complete the sale, how much you want to get for your car and what your immediate goals are.

If you want to sell your faulty car quickly and just be done with it, a junkyard or scrap yard may be the best choice. Oftentimes, these yards offer a flat fee for your vehicle or will pay you for its scrap metal value only. However, this can be a quick sale since they are not concerned about the condition of the car.

If you want to get a new car fast, trading it in to a dealership may be the right choice. Dealerships will take your car, assign it a trade-in value and put it towards the purchase of a new car. However, you may get a lower price for your car at a dealership since they do not specialize in damaged cars.

If you want to try to get a good price, selling it privately could be the way to go. Depending on your vehicle’s make and model, selling it privately may get you a better price than trying to sell it elsewhere. However, it may take time to schedule viewings and find a buyer.

If you want to sell it fast and for a fair price, sell your car online - to CarBrain. Learn more about the benefits of selling to CarBrain below.

Why You Should Sell Your Car To CarBrain

get paid for your carCarBrain has over a decade of experience buying less-than-perfect cars. Rather than spending time trying to figure out how to sell a car that needs major repairs, you can visit our website and get a quote in just 90 seconds. Our quotes have no obligations, and they’re guaranteed for seven days so you have time to think it over.

Additionally, CarBrain offers FREE towing and FREE title transfer. There are no hidden fees for using our service. There’s no haggling, no fuss and no delay. We can help you schedule a pickup in under 48 business hours.

With CarBrain, you can complete the entire process online. You don’t even have to leave your home!

How To Sell a Car That Needs Work To CarBrain

Selling your damaged car to CarBrain is simple. All you have to do is:

  1. Click “get an offer.”

  2. Fill out the form.

  3. Get your quote!

Upload photos of your vehicle and its VIN to get a guaranteed offer. If you like our price, we can help you schedule a pickup at a time convenient to you.

The tow truck driver will arrive with a check in hand. You hand over the keys, sign the title and get paid on the spot. It’s that easy! Why wait? Contact CarBrain and get started now.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Can I Sell A Car That Needs Work?

You have a few options for your vehicle. The most obvious option is a junkyard, but that's not necessarily the best choice for you. In some cases, a dealership could be a convenient option, allowing you to get rid of your vehicle and get a replacement at the same time. However, not all dealerships will accept cars with problems, and the ones that do often lowball you.

In many cases, it makes most sense to use a service like CarBrain to sell your car. We can help you find the best fair market offer for your vehicle no matter where you are nationwide — free towing always included!

Who Buys Cars That Need Repairs?

Junkyards, some dealerships and online services like CarBrain will buy vehicles with problems, junk cars and more.

How Can You Sell A Car That’s In Bad Condition?

You can sell a car that needs repairs by reaching out to junkyards in your area and requesting a quote. While selling privately or to a dealership can be a challenge, selling a vehicle with problems to a junkyard can be an easy transaction. Using a service like CarBrain makes it even easier — we provide comprehensive customer service, free towing and no fees with all our fair market offers.

Should I Fix Or Sell My Car That Needs Work?

In most cases, it makes more sense to sell it as is than to try and repair it. Typically, the cost of repairs will exceed how much the car will increase in value post-repairs.

Should I Fix A Car Before Selling It?

Minor repairs are perfectly fine to fix before selling your car. Anything major, however, runs the risk of exceeding the actual value of your car. Furthermore, you're cutting into your profits by making major repairs, depending on what they are and what your car is worth.

Should I Fix The Dent In My Car Before Selling?

Dents are considered minor repairs. They aren’t typically expensive and they make your car more aesthetically pleasing to potential buyers.

What Happens If You Trade In A Car With Problems?

Trading in a car with problems is a viable option, but remember: dealerships specialize in selling roadworthy cars. The more problems your car has, the more repairs the dealership will have to pay for. They’ll, ultimately, deduct those repair costs from your trade-in value.

Can I Trade A Car That Doesn't Run?

Trading in a car that doesn’t run is a viable option, however: dealerships specialize in selling roadworthy cars. Repairing your non-running car back to roadworthiness will cost them money. They'll, ultimately, deduct those repair costs from your trade-in value.

What Do I Do With A Car That Doesn't Run?

There are several places that purchase non-running cars. Each of these options are interested in buying a damaged car and have their pros and cons depending upon how quickly you’re trying to sell your car, how much money you’re trying to make, and how much hassle you’re willing to put up with.

  • Junkyards

  • Dealerships

  • Private Buyers

Furthermore, you always have the option of donating your car to charity or repairing it yourself.

For what it’s worth...

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