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

There are many ways to sell your car when it’s in good condition and running, but what if it doesn’t run? A busted engine, a broken transmission, or some other catastrophic failure can easily turn your car into a brick on four wheels. If you find that fixing it just isn’t worth the value of the car, then getting rid of it could be your only option. Here is the best way to sell a car that doesn’t run.

Selling a broken car that doesn’t run

A man is seen working on a car in Warsaw, Poland.
A man is seen working on a car in Warsaw, Poland. | Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto

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Unfortunately, if you plan to sell a car that doesn’t run, then you won’t be able to sell it or trade it in at a dealership. Since dealerships are in the business of buying and selling running cars, they won’t take a car that can’t drive on its own power. As such, your best course of action would be to sell it to a private party.

Doing so is not unlike selling a running car to a private party. You’ll need to place an ad online – Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are good sites – and label it as “For Parts Only” to ward off any confusion from buyers. How much you should post the car for depends on the condition of the car. If it has been in an accident that resulted in crushed body panels, then you may not be able to get much out of it. On the other hand, if the exterior and interior are in good shape, then it could be worth more to any potential buyers.

Parting out the car yourself is a good idea

Scrap metal car on the side of the road.
Scrap metal car on the side of the road. | Getty Images

If you have the time, tools, and energy to take apart the car yourself, then you can likely make even more money when getting rid of a non-running car. For example, most Honda Accord models are worth more apart than they are when they’re put together, so you can easily see a nice return by selling its parts yourself. Keep in mind that this method will take a lot more time and effort since you’ll need to uninstall parts from the car, take pictures of them, and then post them up for sale. However, it can also yield the most profit.

Sell it to a junkyard

Pile of Cars
A pile of junked cars in a wrecking yard | Getty

Another option for getting rid of your non-running car is to sell it to a junkyard or scrapyard. Cars Direct notes that many junkyards will buy your car and part it out to sell to customers in need. However, just note that some junkyards may not buy your car if they don’t think they can make a profit from it. In that case, you may not get top dollar for your non-running ride.

Donate the car

As a last resort, or if you don’t care to make any money when getting rid of the car, you can always donate it. Donating your broken car won’t put any extra cash in your pocket, but you can deduct the value of the car on your taxes later, which can give you extra cash on your tax return.

Repairing the car is an option as well

At the end of the day, if you decide that you don’t want to get rid of the car or if you’re unable to part it out, then you can always repair it. By repairing, either by doing it yourself or taking it to a qualified mechanic, you will then be able to sell the car for a higher price. A dealership might even take it at that point.

No matter which option you decide, it’s definitely possible to offload a busted car that’s taking up much-needed space in your backyard or driveway. Just remember that could take a little time, effort, and money to do it.

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