How to Negotiate Totaled Car Value

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

Table of Contents

When you have an old or inoperable car sitting around, you may be considering junking the vehicle.  If you want to junk your old vehicle, there are some things to keep in mind to make sure that you get the best price for the value of your vehicle.

How is Your Car’s Value Determined?

Totalled Car
Totaled Car

When you are junking your old car, you need to know how the auto salvage yard comes up with an offer.  While it may seem that there is little value in your vehicle, this is not the case.  Most junk cars are purchased based on the weight of the vehicle, but there are other considerations that are involved in the process.

When you make the decision to junk your car, it will either be junked for its weight, or it will be parted out to those who need parts for their own vehicles.  Either way, there is actually quite a bit of value in your old vehicle, even when others are trying to tell you otherwise.

Getting the Best Price

One of the best ways to make sure that you get a fair price for your vehicle is to take the time to write down a detailed description of the car.  If possible, note any parts that you know are working, as well as those that are not.  You also need to note the condition of the car, including the body, interior, tires, and paint.  You will also want to note any damaged or rusted areas.   Being able to provide this information will help you negotiate the best possible price for your totaled car, and will ensure that you get a fair quote.


If your vehicle is still drivable, you should take the time to assess the condition of the car using a car valuation site.  You will want to enter as much information as possible to ensure that you get an accurate valuation of the vehicle.

Salvage Value

Another method that will help you to get the best value for your totaled car is to contact your insurance company to find out what percentage they use to determine the value of your car.  This percentage varies from one insurance company to another, but this will give you a good idea of what you should be able to expect when you junk your vehicle.

Shop Around

It is always a good idea to contact different salvage yards to determine what options you have available.  Some salvage yards will offer you the lowest possible pricing, while others, such as Cash Auto Salvage will give you a fair price for your vehicle.  Once you have contacted a few different salvage yards, you will then be able to choose the one that will pay you the most for your vehicle.  You can also use this information to negotiate with salvage yards, so that they know you have done your homework and know the actual value of the car you are trying to get rid of.

Share this!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on linkedin
Share on email

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.

maximize cash offer on car

We'll buy your vehicle!

Wait! We REALLY Want Your Vehicle!

We pay up to $20,000 for cars, trucks, & SUV’s – no matter the condition. Get paid on the spot + free towing!

Or Call... 1-855-540-4649

There is no obligation to accept an offer.

Unable to verify mileage

Selecting “unable to verify” may decrease your offer and should only be selected if you cannot visually confirm the mileage of the vehicle upon inspection of the odometer.