How to Junk a Car: The Best Guide of 2023

When the time comes to part ways with your beloved car and send it to the junkyard, several essential tasks must be considered before handing over the keys. Whether your vehicle is no longer roadworthy, has a locked-up engine, or has reached the end of its life, taking care of some issues can ensure a smooth transition and maximize your return. Here are twenty essential things to do before junking your car.


Remove All Personal Items

Ensure you have taken everything of value out of your car before leaving it. Ensure you haven’t forgotten anything by checking the floor, the glove box, and the trunk.


Gather Important Documents

Collect all necessary paperwork for your vehicle, including the title, registration, maintenance records, and any warranties or service contracts. These documents will be required during the junking process.


Transfer or Cancel Insurance

Contact your insurance company to either switch your coverage to your new ride or terminate your old policy. This will ensure that you meet all legal standards and save you money.


Remove License Plates

License plates must be surrendered or transferred to another vehicle in many jurisdictions. Remove your license plates before junking your car according to the regulations in your area.


Cancel or Transfer Toll Transponders

If your car has a toll transponder, deactivate or transfer it to a new vehicle. This will prevent any future charges on your account.


Clear Personal Data

If your car has a built-in navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity, or stored personal data, clear it before junking it. Resetting the system to its factory settings will protect your privacy.


Cancel Service Subscriptions

If you have active service subscriptions linked to your vehicle, such as satellite radio or telematics services, cancel them to avoid unnecessary charges.


Settle Outstanding Traffic Tickets

Before junking your car, ensure all outstanding traffic tickets and violations associated with the vehicle are resolved. Unresolved tickets can cause complications and additional fees.


Notify the DMV

Inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the relevant motor vehicle agency in your area about your intention to junk the car. Follow their guidelines for proper notification and disposal.


Check for Unredeemed Rebates

If you have purchased a car with a manufacturer rebate or incentive, check for any unredeemed rebate checks or cards. Make sure to claim them before junking the car.


Cancel Parking Permits

If your car has any parking permits or decals, cancel them and return them to the issuing authority. This will prevent misuse and potential fines.


Remove Aftermarket Accessories

If you have added aftermarket accessories to your car, such as custom rims, spoilers, or stereo systems, consider removing them before junking the vehicle. These accessories can be sold separately or used in your next vehicle.


Sell Valuable Parts

Before sending your car to the junkyard, identify valuable components that can be sold separately. Items like tires, batteries, catalytic converters, or high-demand parts can fetch a better price if sold independently.


Transfer Warranties

If your car has extended warranties or service contracts, check if they can be transferred to a new owner. This can add value to the vehicle and potentially increase its selling price.


Take Photos for Documentation

Before parting ways with your car, take detailed photographs for documentation purposes. This will help with any potential disputes or claims in the future.

How to Junk a Car Guide

Notify Your Local Authority

In some areas, you may need to inform the local authorities or neighborhood association about the removal of your car. Check if there are any specific regulations or procedures to follow.



Get Offers from Different Junk Car Buyers or Salvage Yards

Contact multiple junkyards or scrap buyers to compare offers for your car. Consider towing services, payment terms, and the buyer’s reputation. Choose the offer that provides the best overall value.


Remove Valuable Non-Car Items

Be sure to take anything of value out of your car that isn’t a part of it before sending it to the junkyard. This includes high-priced stereo systems, GPS systems, and bespoke car seat covers. You can either put them to good use again or sell them individually.


Cancel Automatic Payments

If you have any automatic payments or subscriptions linked to your car, such as parking fees or car wash memberships, cancel them to avoid unnecessary charges. Review your bank statements to identify any recurring payments associated with your vehicle.


Notify Your State’s Motor Vehicle Department

Contact your state’s motor vehicle department to inform them about the disposal of your car. They may require you to submit additional paperwork, such as a Notice of Vehicle Disposal or a Release of Liability form, to transfer ownership and avoid any future liabilities officially.


Settle Outstanding Loans or Liens

If you have an outstanding auto loan or a lien on your car, contact your lender to discuss the next steps. You may need to settle the remaining balance or work out an agreement with the lender before junking the vehicle.


Research Tax Deduction Opportunities

If you donate your car to a charitable organization, research the tax deduction opportunities available. Depending on the organization and your jurisdiction, you may be eligible for a tax deduction based on the donated vehicle’s value.


Organize Necessary Transportation

If your car is no longer operational, you must arrange transportation to the junkyard. Some junkyards provide towing services, while others may require you to hire a towing company independently. Plan and coordinate the logistics to ensure a hassle-free process.


Clean the Car

Although it may seem counterintuitive to clean a car that’s headed for the junkyard, it can help you identify and remove any personal items you may have missed earlier. It also presents a more professional and organized impression when dealing with potential buyers or junkyard representatives.


Plan for Alternative Transportation

Before parting ways with your car, make sure you have a plan for alternative transportation. Whether purchasing a new vehicle, using public transportation, or relying on car-sharing services, having a transportation plan will ensure a smooth transition without disrupting your daily routines.


Research and Choose a Reputable Junkyard

Spend time researching and identifying a reputable junkyard or salvage yard to sell your car. Look for established businesses with positive reviews and fair pricing.

Call Hercules today, and we’ll give you the best offer for top cash for junk cars. And what’s more, you get free junk car pickup service once we’ve agreed to terms on the phone. Call us today!