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When is the Best Time to Sell Your Junk Car?

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

In the bustling world of vehicle sales, a staggering 40 million used cars exchange hands each year in the United States alone. But what about those not-so-gleaming, not-so-new models sitting in your driveway?

You know, the one that’s seen better days, has perhaps become more of a lawn ornament than a mode of transportation, the one you’ve dubbed as your “junk car.” 

Navigating the used car market can seem like a daunting task, especially when you’ve been telling yourself that “I don’t know when is the right time to sell my junk car.”

However, understanding market trends and capitalizing on the right timing can affect your potential earnings. This blog post will guide you through the ins and outs of pinpointing the best time to list your junk car for sale.

This will ensure that you get the most out of your old four-wheeled friend. Keep reading if you want to find out more. 

The Best Time of Year to Sell

Selling your junk car can be influenced by numerous factors. This includes holidays, special events, economic conditions, and even the car’s mileage and wear and tear.

Careful consideration of these aspects can make the difference between a quick, profitable sale and a lingering listing with minimal interest.

The best time of year to sell a junk car can also vary depending on the region.

For example, in colder climates, 4-wheel drive vehicles might be in higher demand as winter approaches. In contrast, convertibles or sports cars might fetch higher prices in the spring and summer months in warmer regions.

Holidays and Special Events

Holidays and special events are times when potential buyers might be looking for a deal.

For instance, during tax refund season, many people have extra cash to spend, and may be on the lookout for a new (or, in this case, used) vehicle. Similarly, long weekends could attract more buyers.

This is because people have more time to browse listings and consider potential purchases. But if you’re using junk vehicle removal services, keep in mind that these businesses might have varying holiday operating hours. 

The State of the Economy

The state of the economy can also influence when to sell your junk car. In an economic downturn, people are more likely to buy used cars as a cost-saving measure.

As a seller, you can track economic indicators like the employment rate or consumer confidence index to predict economic conditions. If these indicators suggest a downturn, it could be a good time to list your vehicle.

The Best Day to Sell

Even the day of the week can make a difference in selling your junk car. Weekends tend to bring more potential buyers, as people have more free time to search for cars and negotiate deals.

However, listing your car early in the week can give it more visibility when the weekend arrives.

The mileage and wear and tear on your junk car also play a role in when to sell. Typically, the lower the mileage and less wear and tear, the higher the value.

So, if you’re considering selling, it might be wise to do so sooner rather than later to avoid putting more miles or damage on the vehicle.

Selling to a Local Auto Salvage Business

Selling your junk car to a local cash auto salvage business can be beneficial at any time of the year. But these businesses often see an increase in activity during late spring and summer.

This is when people undertake projects that require spare parts. Also, they may adjust their offers based on fluctuations in scrap metal prices, which often peak during periods of economic growth.

Therefore, staying aware of these trends and planning your sale during such peak periods can help you get the most cash for your junk car.

Selling to Private Buyers

If you’re wondering how to sell a junk car to a private buyer, it’s essential to understand their typical buying habits. Most private buyers are active in their search during the weekends when they have free time.

Therefore, listing your car early in the week ensures it’s fresh in the listings come Saturday or Sunday. As for the time of year, tax season often sees an increase in private buyers looking for a deal. 

This is especially true for those seeking parts or vehicles for restoration projects. This includes flood-damaged cars, which can be an intriguing challenge for the right buyer.

Selling to Local Scrap Yards

Local scrap yards might not have the fluctuating buying habits of private buyers. But there’s still a best time to sell my junk car to them.

These businesses typically see an increase in activity in the late spring and summer months, when individuals are more likely to undertake projects that require spare parts.

It’s also worth noting that scrap metal prices can vary throughout the year, often peaking during periods of economic growth. Therefore, tracking these trends could help you time your sale for maximum profit.

Selling to Online Junk Car Buyers

If you’re wondering “where to sell my junk car online?”, you’ll find that online junk car buyers provide a degree of flexibility that private buyers or local scrap yards don’t offer.

Online services operate year-round and aren’t bound by local operating hours. However, like physical scrap yards, they may adjust their offers based on scrap metal prices.

As such, keeping an eye on this market can help determine the best time to sell.

Moreover, online buyers offer a straightforward solution for selling difficult-to-move vehicles, such as flood-damaged cars.

These platforms provide nationwide access to buyers who may be specifically searching for damaged vehicles or unique parts. Therefore, selling my junk car online can be an excellent option, irrespective of the time of year.

How to Sell Your Junk Car 

Once you figure out when is the best time to sell your junk car, you will need to get your car ready to sell. Here are the most important steps that you should follow in order to do this. 

Step 1: Assess the Condition

Start by assessing the condition of your junk car. Detail any damage, noting the make, model, year, and mileage.

If the car still runs, that’s a plus. Non-running cars can still be sold. But their value is primarily in their parts and scrap metal.

If your vehicle is a popular model, its parts may be in higher demand.

Step 2: Gather the Necessary Paperwork

The next step in selling my junk car involves gathering the necessary paperwork. The most important document is the title, which proves ownership.

If you’ve lost it, you can apply for a duplicate from your state’s motor vehicle department. Some buyers may purchase cars without a title, but having one typically makes the process smoother and ensures you get the best price.

Step 3: Determine the Car’s Value

Before listing your car for sale, you need to determine its value. You can do this by looking at the current market value for similar vehicles in similar conditions.

There are online resources, such as Kelley Blue Book, that can provide estimates. Remember, the value of a junk car is often in its parts and scrap metal.

This is why you shouldn’t expect to get the same price as a vehicle that is in good condition.

Step 4: Research Potential Buyers

There are various types of buyers for junk cars. Private buyers might be interested if they’re looking for parts, while scrap yards or auto salvage businesses might want it for the metal.

Online junk car buyers provide another option. This allows you to reach a larger audience. Research each type to determine which one might offer the best deal.

Step 5: Advertise and Negotiate the Price

Whether you’re listing online or offline, a compelling ad can help attract buyers. Include the make, model, year, mileage, condition, and price in your description.

Be honest about any damage or issues. Photos are also helpful, so take clear shots of the interior, exterior, and any significant features or damage.

Potential buyers will likely negotiate the price. Be prepared for this and know your bottom line. Remember, it’s okay to reject lowball offers. Your junk car still has value, and the right buyer will recognize that.

When to Sell My Junk Car

If you’ve been asking yourself “when should I sell my junk car?”, there are several important things that you should be aware of. 

Understand that the time of year will play a significant role in how much money you can get for your car. It is also important to figure out when is the best day of the week to sell your junk car. 

Are you looking for a hassle-free way to sell your junk car? If so, Cash Auto Salvage can help you. We pay up to twenty thousand dollars for cars, trucks, and SUVs. It doesn’t even matter what condition the vehicle is in. 

Don’t hesitate to visit our Cash for Cars page to get started today!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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