If you're a gearhead or maybe just a bargain hunter, then you've probably come across your fair share of beat up, salvaged title, or just plain non-running cars on various online classified sites. Often, these cars are being listed for exceptionally low prices. If you check up on them regularly, you'll usually find that these listings will usually remain in place for months despite bargain basement prices. Some sellers eventually opt to simply junk their car rather than continue to look for a buyer while the car occupies space on their property.
For many people, this comes as a huge surprise. Cars are valuable items, so surely even a trashed car still has some value. Unfortunately, this isn't necessarily the case. If you are faced with trying to offload a car with serious issues, there are many reasons why it may make sense to save yourself the time and trouble and simply junk your car instead.
Most Junk Cars Are Common
Truly rare cars will not usually end up in scrapyards, and often they won't end up in a position where junking makes sense in the first place. These unusual and valuable vehicles tend to be prized by their owners, so damage is fixed. Instead, the cars that are usually good candidates for junking are mainstream models that are extremely common. This means that it's easy for buyers to find the car they are looking for in running condition with a clean title rather than resorting to a branded salvage vehicle.
The average junk car being a common model generally means that buyers have a wide spectrum of conditions and prices to choose from as well. Buyers on a tight budget can probably find a similar car that's a little beat up with a few issues for only slightly more than one that barely runs or that doesn't run at all. Once the cost of restoring the car to running condition is taken into account, many buyers realize that it's better go with the vehicle that costs a bit more upfront.
It May Be Hard to Determine the True Cost of Restoration
A car that's been in a serious accident may have a huge host of potential issues. A car with a blown motor or failed transmission may have been sitting unused for months, and this can often be detrimental to many of a vehicle's other components. For this reason, it is often difficult for even mechanically inclined buyers to determine just how expensive it will be to restore the vehicle to a running state. It may be possible to come with a good estimate after a thorough inspection, but detailed inspections are rarely worth it on very cheap cars.
The Parts Are Often More Valuable Than the Car Itself
Many wrecked cars still have valuable parts on them. Everything from intact bodywork to functional mechanical parts have value to someone. Unfortunately, individual parts are rarely worth more than the scrap value of the car and many sellers do not want to go through the hassle of parting a vehicle out and waiting for each piece to find the right buyer. This means that it's possible that many wrecked cars have value to a large number of buyers, but it is simply too difficult for the average seller to actually extract that value.
For these reasons and more, selling an old, wrecked car can often be a long and painstaking process that is unlikely to be financial rewarding. While it may still be worth the time and effort in some cases, working with a scrap yard to sell a vehicle as junk is often faster and much easier.