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Beware: Top 5 Junkyard Scams to Watch Out For

Based on 12 Reviews
Updated January 03, 2023

Everybody wants a good deal, even on their old, rusty junk cars.

Selling a junk car is not as easy as people may think. Most sellers will try out online classified sites but this rarely goes as planned. Most buyers on these sites are looking for functional cars – not vehicles that need costly makeovers and servicing.

Car dealerships are not even an option.

In the end, you’ll find yourself selling your car to a junk car dealer. But using this option comes with its fair share of challenges. Junkyard scams are quite common and if you are not careful, you can easily get duped. 

So how do you avoid these scams? One of the best ways is being aware of the common junkyard scams.

5 Ways Auto Junkyards Can Steal from You

1. The “No Value” Scam

There’s nothing as demotivating as a lowball offer. A junkyard will tow your junk car to the scrapyard, and then argue that it is worthless.

Do not fall for this old trick. If the car was worth nothing, they couldn’t go through the trouble of towing it in the first place. No matter how old your car is, it is worth something. Usually, valuable and functional parts are removed before the scrap metal is crashed.

Don’t do business with companies that will tell you your car is worth nothing, but will gladly dispose of it for you.

2. The Changing Price Quote

This is probably one of the most common junkyard scams you’ll come across. It starts when a car owner calls the junk car dealer to get a quote. The owner fully describes the condition of the car, and the company gives them a price – usually, a good price.

After agreeing on the price, the junkyard tows your car to the scrapyard, and here’s where things get interesting. The company gives you a second price which is way lower than the agreed price. Since the car is already towed, many car owners give in and take the little that is offered.

To avoid this, ensure that you get quotes from several junk car dealers. If possible, get a written and stamped price quote. This way, if a junkyard tries to dupe you, you’ll have proof and can even take legal actions.

3. The “We’ll Send a Check to Your Mail” Lie

Waiting for your check after your car is already towed to the scrapyard is a definite red flag. There’s a pretty good chance the check will never arrive. If there is no immediate payment, do not give up your junk car – it’s that simple.

And why, in an age of electronic payments, would a business still cling to checks? There is definitely some scamming potential with that means of payment. If possible, transact with junkyards that are willing to pay cash up front.

4. Costly Freebies and Incentives

Sketchy junk car dealers will do absolutely anything to get the attention of potential junk car sellers. They will offer gift certificates, coupons, and even free items so that you choose them.

While it’s not wrong to receive freebies, you should pay attention to the most important thing – will you be getting a good deal for your junk car? It is very unlikely that these incentives will be of equal value to the amount of money you’ll lose to them.

With or without giveaways, don’t let the junkyard take your car for an amount that’s less than its worth.

5. No Transfer of Auto Title

When selling your car to the junkyard, you have to cancel the registration and sign over the title of the car. If you don’t this, you can still be held liable for anything that happens to the car after it has been towed away.

Dishonest junk car dealers will promise to handle the paperwork after the transaction, but later on, send you a bill for storing your junk car at their yard.  That’s why it’s always recommended to handle the paperwork yourself. Don’t forget to take off the plates of the car.

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How Can You Avoid Junkyard Scams?

To ensure that you are working with a reputable auto salvage center, use the following tips:

  • Ignore any claims that your junk car has no value.
  • Avoid companies that say they don’t need registration cards or titles of the car.
  • Don’t let your car be towed without receiving your money.

While you may be eager to get rid of your junk car and make quick cash, it is always important to take time to identify and avoid junkyard scams.

For reliable, honest, and risk-free car junking, sell your car to US Junk Cars.

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