The Best Way to Make Money With Your Car When it’s Time for an Upgrade

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

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The average price of brand-new light vehicles is now over $40,000. As a result, car shoppers are taking out larger auto loans and making bigger down payments. In the last quarter of 2020 alone, car loan amounts averaged a staggering $35,373.

With all that money on the line, it’s no wonder more consumers are going used.

Indeed, around 41 million used cars get sold in the US each year, which experts estimate applies to 2020, as well.

So, if you’re looking for ways to make money with your car, selling it is no doubt one of your best options.

One of the biggest issues here would be choosing the type of buyer to sell your car to. For starters, this would impact how much you can sell it for and how long it would take for you to get that check.

To that end, we created this guide on liquidating your vehicle by selling it to a cash-for-cars company. Read on to discover why this can be the best method, how it works, and what you need for the process.

A Quick Rundown of Traditional Used Car Buyer Options

Traditional options for selling used cars include used car dealerships and private individuals. Before you go with these options, though, it’s best you know why they’re not always the ideal buyers.

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of these two.

Used Car Dealerships

Many dealers nowadays no longer implement the buy-to-sell or trade-in method. Meaning, you won’t need to buy another vehicle from their lot just so you can sell your old one. Many of them won’t require you to trade-in your ride, either.

However, almost all dealerships still have mileage, make, model, and year requirements. If you have an older or flawed vehicle, you’ll likely have a hard time selling it to a dealership. That’s because they only take vehicles that other used car shoppers will be quick to buy, too.

Moreover, you can expect your car to fetch a lower price at dealerships since they need to make money off of it, too. As such, they’d have to buy your vehicle for as low as they could to raise their potential profits. If there are parts in your ride that need replacement, that would further lower the sales price.

Private Buyers

One of the chief benefits of selling your car to a private buyer is the ability to get the most cash out of the sale. However, this only applies to legit buyers and if your car doesn’t have any major issues.

Otherwise, you’d have to shell out hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair your car first. The other option is to sell your ride as-is and let potential buyers know all about your ride’s issues. This, of course, would make them negotiate a lower price, as they’d have to spend more on fixing these flaws.

Moreover, there’s the possibility that potential buyers would ghost you. You can expect to encounter a few that would give you a low-ball offer you should never consider. There’s also the off chance that a buyer is a crook in disguise who would hand you a dud check.

Top Reasons To Sell Your Car To a Car Buying Business

Cash-for-cars businesses are usually automotive salvage yards that purchase all sorts of vehicles. Unlike dealerships, they purchase cars regardless of age, mileage, or overall condition. You can sell your junk, old, or even two-year-old sedan or SUV to these reputable businesses.

Unlike private buyers, these are businesses licensed to buy cars in your state and city. As established car buyers in your area, it’ll be easy for you to look up where exactly they are. That also means you don’t have to worry about them failing to materialize on the day of the potential sale.

With that said, here are some of the top reasons these businesses offer you the best way to make money with your car.

No Need To Worry About Repair Costs

Each year, car owners shell out more than $300 to over $400 for check engine light-related repairs. Location plays a huge role here, seeing as labor rates are higher in some states, such as California.

Either way, three to four Benjamins is a lot, and that’s only for check engine woes. If you need a full engine rebuild, you can expect it to cost you anywhere from $2,500 to $4,000. Brake line repairs can be a bit cheaper, but they still average $1,000.

Aside from repair costs, there’s also the value of the time you’d end up using toward fixing your ride. For example, a windshield or bumper replacement and most other minor auto body jobs take about a day or two. More extensive, multiple repairs can take at least a week to finish.

All these are expenses associated with selling a car either to a dealership or a private buyer. Remember: these parties are in the market to buy safe, ready-to-use vehicles.

By contrast, these are repairs you won’t have to worry about if you sell your ride to an automotive salvage yard. Whatever flaw your vehicle may have at the moment, you can sell it as-is to these cash-for-cars buyers.

They Buy All Vehicles Regardless of Age or Condition

In 2020, the age of light vehicles in the nation averaged a staggering 11.9 years. That’s only a slight increase of one month from 2019, but it still means folks are holding on to their wheels longer.

Some say it’s eco-friendlier, citing the high carbon footprint of new car production. However, the older a vehicle is, the greater its carbon footprint can be.

An older study found that 75% of a car’s emissions come from the fuel it burns, not its manufacture. The researchers also say that only about 6% of a vehicle’s footprint stems from its production.

One reason for that considerable emission is that the older the car, the less fuel-efficient it is. After all, fuel efficiency rates were much lower many years ago than they are today.

Moreover, many modern cars incorporate more recycled materials than those made years ago. There’s even an electric car made completely out of waste materials! Innovations like these make many of today’s vehicles better for the environment.

With all that said, it’s high time to upgrade your older, less fuel-efficient car to a more eco-conscious one. The fastest way to do this is to sell it to a cash-for-cars company so that you don’t have to fix anything on it first. They’ll pay you in cash, and they’ll take care of the needed repairs on your behalf.

Once you have the cash, you can then put that toward buying an eco-friendlier ride.

Few Documents Needed for the Cash Transaction

Dealerships usually require extensive service records and vehicle history documentation. Most private buyers would also request you to give them copies of the same paperwork.

This isn’t an issue if you’re a first-owner, but it’s a big hassle if the car has changed hands multiple times. In either case, you’d spend time gathering the documents to sell your car to a dealership or private buyer.

Don’t forget that the lemon law applies to private sales in some states, too. An example is Massachusetts, which enforces the Lemon Aid Law and Lemon Law. If the car you sell in MA turns out to be a lemon, the buyer can void the sale within seven days from the purchase date.

By contrast, you only need three documents to sell a used vehicle to an automotive yard. That includes your driver’s license, your car title, and the most recent registration. What’s more, these car buying businesses also buy lemon vehicles.

You Can Get a Cash Offer Online

One of the biggest mistakes private car sellers make is having too high an opinion of their ride’s value. That’s because personal emotions get mixed in, such as thinking that good ol’ Betsy runs like a charm.

While your ride may be in good condition, you might still over price it due to personal reasons. Those don’t apply to buyers, though, as the price should reflect a car’s current market value. It should also factor in the age, mileage, and overall condition of the vehicle.

Fortunately, a reputable automotive buyer makes this easy by offering online valuation tools. You only need to provide details like the make, model, year, and mileage of your car. You should also let the company know the status of your title to get a more accurate quotation.

The more details you provide, the more spot-on the cash offer estimate you can get. This then gives you a clearer idea of how much you can expect to get out of your ride.

Speaking of which, it’s a smart idea to provide your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This often yields a 25% higher offer, as the VIN is like an x-ray of your wheels’ history. It’s unique and specific to your car, so it provides the buyer a more in-depth look into your ride.

Do note that dealerships and private buyers use the VIN to do their research, too. They can look it up and find out a vehicle’s unique features, history, and specs. They can also use it to track registration, warranty claims, and potential thefts.

You Can Get the Cash or Check Within a Day or Two

Selling a car to a dealership or private buyer can take a few days to never. Again, private buyers may back out at the last minute. If both sides don’t budge from the sales/purchase price offer, then no transaction will happen.

If you sell your ride to a cash-for-cars buyer, you can expect to get an offer on the same day you request a quote. It’s completely up to you to accept or reject it; there’s no fee to do either. If you agree to the offer, you can then set the most convenient pick-up time, which could be the same or the following day.

The company’s representative will then arrive at your home on the scheduled date. The rep will inspect your car and documents, and if everything is in order, give you the cash or check. From there, they will either tow or drive the vehicle away, but they won’t charge you extra for the pick-up.

So, it can take as little as one to two days from the time you request a quote to the time you get the cash or check for your car. That’s way better than spending days or weeks fixing your car and looking for a buyer who may or may not exist.

This prompt process can also be your saving grace if you’re short on cash. After all, many folks in the US are still dealing with the pandemic’s lingering effects. In fact, about a third of US adults say they’ll continue to be in survival mode this 2021.

If you can’t wait for weeks to beef up your budget, you can make money with your car today by selling it as-is to a cash buyer.

Go Make Money With Your Car Right Now

There you have it, your ultimate guide on how to make money with your car through the help of a cash buyer. As you can see, an automotive yard can be your best option to sell your car fast while still getting a fair price. Plus, so long as you choose a licensed buying company, you won’t have to worry about getting a dud check.

Ready to liquidate your vehicle with the least amount of work on your part? If so, then our team here at Cash Auto Salvage is ready to help! Fill out this short form so that you can get your offer 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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