How to Know When Junking Your Car Is the Smart Thing to Do

How to Know When Junking Your Car Is the Smart Thing to Do

According to industry estimates, the auto industry, one of the biggest in the United States, sold 14.9 million light vehicles in 2021. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sales, it meant that there were around 300 million cars in the country. As you can imagine, many owners junk their vehicles due to bad accidents, expensive repairs, clocking too much mileage, cost of fuel and maintenance is unaffordable, and a growing tendency among the new generation to move away from car ownership. Since the recycling industry is quite lucrative, they offer prices that can be attractive for owners of junk cars. However, you need to know when it is the best time to junk your car for cash. Some insights:

Frequent Repairs Required by Your Car 

As you will know, new cars or cars in good condition do not require many repairs apart from routine maintenance. However, when you do not maintain your car well or if the car is old, it is liable to require frequent and costly repairs. Sometimes you will find the vehicle not starting without a jumpstart; loud noises from the engine, excessive smoke from the tailpipe, windows not rolling up, poor mileage, less acceleration, and many more issues. If you find that your car is continually having problems and you need to keep visiting a workshop to set them right, it can take up too much of your time, prove very costly, and leave you to deal with an unreliable car. In such as case, it may not be worthwhile to spend more money on repairing the vehicle, and instead, you should junk it.

Your Family is Too Big for Your Existing Car

You may have bought your first car when in college and stuck with it because you were dealing with your student loans and did not have enough money to buy a new one subsequently. However, once you get married, and a little one arrives, the existing vehicle may not be big enough to accommodate a baby seat, baby care paraphernalia, etc., especially if you have a pet dog who loves to go on a drive with you. If the car is in good condition, you can trade it in, but if the cost of repairs has been mounting up, it can be wiser to junk it. Additionally, you may not want to expose your family to danger since old cars are generally less safe than modern cars.

Advanced Stage of Rust in the Vehicle

Since cars are, by and large, made of steel, they start to rust quite quickly, especially if you live in a maritime climate or in a place where they spray salt on iced-up roads. Generally, the first signs of rust in the car appear near the wheels, under the fenders, on the suspension, and at the bottom of the doors. Unless you take care to remove the rust and undertake a rust-prevention treatment, you will find the car rusting badly and looking unsightly. If your car has rusted badly, it can take a lot of effort, time, and money to restore it, which may not always be worth it. In such cases, it is sensible to junk the car. According to Auto Guide, advanced rusting in a car often signals that is useful life is over.

The Vehicle Has Clocked Up More Than 150,000 Miles

Modern cars are generally mechanically sound and built well. If you take good care of them, they can last for a long time. However, if you have run the vehicle for more than 150,000 miles, you will find the expense of maintaining it rising disproportionately. The resale value of the car also dips drastically. Even if the car is in running condition, you will not get a good trade-in value because nobody is interested in buying an old car. It may be a good idea to junk the vehicle, which otherwise can break down suddenly and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere, says, a leading salvage car buyer.

You Want Better Safety 

As everyone knows, there is always the likelihood of meeting with an accident on the road even if you are a good and safe driver because others on the road may be rash or careless, or the weather and road conditions may be hazardous. A car with a good safety rating can ensure you and your family escape unscathed even after a bad accident, which is why it is advisable to pay more for a safe car. Many of the older cars, especially the cheap ones, may not be very safe due to poor engineering. The rules are now more stringent, and modern cars are generally far safer than before. If you are worried about driving an unsafe older-generation car, it can make sense for you to junk your existing car, and buy a new and safer model. Modern vehicles are specially engineered to minimize injuries to the car’s occupants.

You Don’t Have a Title to the Car

You may have bought or inherited a car and discovered that it does not have proper documentation. Without documentation, you have no title to the car, and you cannot sell it to anyone without getting the proper documentation. Unfortunately, the process of getting proper documentation is so tedious that it can mean too much effort. It can be far better to sell you it to a junkyard. Not all of them will buy a car without proper papers, but a few will be ready as long as the car is not stolen and you can prove your identity. Some salvage yards promise to give anything up to $10,000 for a car even without papers.


While all of the above reasons are perfectly valid for junking your car, more often than not, the decision to sell your car to a junkyard is a combination of the facts that the car is old, the condition is poor, the repair costs are mounting, and above all, you have moved ahead and can afford a better, larger, and safer vehicle. Rather than spending effort to locate a buyer, it is more often than not easier to junk your car for a new one that suits your status better.