Selling an old clunker to a junkyard is all about extracting those last few dollars from your (previously) reliable vehicle. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to make a few basic mistakes that can end up turning this process from a payday into a lousy day. Junking your car is much easier than selling it on the private market, but you still need to treat the process with a proper amount of care.
Junking your car doesn't need to be difficult, however! Avoid these three common (and costly) pitfalls, and you'll be well on your way to turning a rusty hulk into a bank account boon.
1. Forgetting to Cancel Your Insurance
Canceling an old car's insurance comes with more caveats than you might expect. If you stop paying on a policy that you're no longer using, your insurance may report you to your state motor vehicle department. This report can come with harsh penalties for operating an uninsured vehicle, even if you aren't driving your car anymore.
To avoid extra payments, fines, and other penalties, always cancel your insurance before you junk your old car. Although it may seem like overkill, it's a good idea to request a notice of cancellation in writing. Your insurance company should send you this document by mail, providing you with potentially valuable proof that you canceled your previous coverage.
2. Losing Critical Documentation
Depending on your vehicle's age, you'll likely need to provide the junkyard with a title and a signed bill of sale. Junk car buyers want to make the sales process as convenient as possible, so any documentation they request is the bare minimum. Without this paperwork, they will not be able to collect your car or pay you.
Always check and confirm that you have appropriate documentation before the tow truck driver arrives. If you're missing documentation, the tow truck driver will not be able to take your car, and you may even forfeit the previously agreed upon price. Ensuring that your documentation is valid is the most important thing you can do to save yourself money and time.
3. Leaving Items Behind
If you were driving your car up until recently, then you may still have personal belongings inside. There's no guarantee that you'll be able to collect personal effects once your vehicle leaves your property, so always thoroughly check your interior. Typical places to forget small items include the glove box, door pockets, and underneath the seats.
Junking your car can quickly turn a pile of scrap metal into hundreds or even thousands of dollars. By avoiding these three costly mistakes, you'll get to enjoy your windfall free of any unnecessary stress.