Selling 101: How Junk Cars Are Sold at Auctions

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

Car accidents happen. When they do, it is important to know what your next steps as the owner of the vehicle are. If your car is like one of the 27 million others who have reached the end of their use or have significant accident damage, you may be looking for scrap prices for cars. Keep in mind that cars are the most recycled item in the U.S., with 12 million recycled each year. Yet most people have no idea how these junk cars make it to the auction. If you have questions about the junk car auction process (or just want to get cash for cars), then here is what you need to know about how auto salvage auctions work.

From the Insurance Company to the Auction House
After a major car accident happens, insurance companies typically take ownership of the vehicle if it has been confirmed totaled. In most cases, the insurance company has already established a relationship with a particular salvage yard and will use them to get cash for cars that are damaged beyond repair.

Analysis, Reporting, and Information
Before a car is sold at an auction, it is fully analyzed and a report is generated by the auction. The report itself includes images, VIN information, as well as major and minor defects. The more information that is included in the report, the better the salvage yard will be able to assess the value of the vehicle. After analyzing the car and getting information on all its used parts, the vehicle is placed on a lot and the auction’s website.

Let the Bidding Begin
Here in upstate New York, many salvage yards that give cash for junk cars Buffalo NY residents put up for sale use “proxy bids” to determine their bid amount. These types of bids allow someone to enter a bid without being an active participant in the live auction itself. If the proxy bid remains the highest bid after all bids have been placed and the auction ends, that bidder wins the vehicle and it is towed to the salvage yard.

Many of the cars auto salvage yards sell at auctions are often stripped and recycled for metal materials. In fact, every year the U.S. and Canada recycle enough steel to make 13 million new vehicles. If you are considering getting cash for cars you are no longer using, choose a salvage yard and place your cars in an auction.

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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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