Cars are an intimate part of the American experience. It is almost impossible to comfortably go around in an urban American city if you do not own a car. The importance of owning a car in American culture is undeniable. For teenagers, their car is what they want the most – perhaps more than even good grades. Consequently, American teenagers’ sense of achievement when they have their car is so significant in American culture that it has often been referred to in the entertainment industry. One of the biggest songs of 2021 was ‘Driver’s License,’ which was centered around a teenager getting their car license for the first time.
This attachment American car owners feel towards their cars explains why they struggle to let go of their vehicles. Every time their trusty old vehicle breaks down, they prefer repairing it, even in scenarios where repairing the car might not be the economical choice.
While being attached to your car is understandable, sometimes junking your car is the better decision instead of repairing it.
What is junking?
Junking refers to the entire process of recycling an old car and salvaging its usable parts by a junkyard. You can get some monetary returns on your car by selling your old car. While the mental image of the word ‘junk’ is rusty, broken-down metal, most junk cars do not look very battered. If a vehicle constantly needs new and new repairs, it is time to junk it.
Cars can be recycled in the shape of spare parts. Even 10-year-old cars have running and reusable parts like side mirrors and metal components. Otherwise, their metal body is melted for reuse in other industries.
While junking a car gives you some monetary benefit which you can invest in your new vehicle, it is also good for the planet. Car debris is a big culprit of land pollution, and by recycling your car, you are being eco-friendly and playing a role in saving the world.
Where do I junk my car?
Cars could be junked to any licensed junkyard. However, junking a vehicle out of state is not generally legal and requires paperwork. You could also junk your cars to online junkyards, where the process is made very convenient and is a game of just a few clicks.
If you are selling your car to a physical junkyard, you need to be very careful – scams are not unheard of in the junkyard business. Ensure that you transfer the car’s title to the junkyard you are selling to, as the title certifies who the car owner is. If you do not transfer the car’s title, you would be considered the car’s legal owner, and if the vehicle has been used for nefarious purposes, the law will hold you responsible.
Another way of junking your car is selling it to an online junkyard. Selling junk cars online is convenient – all you have to do is upload a few photos of the car and enter the required details, such as its VIN.
How do I know if I should repair my car or junk it?
It is often difficult to determine if you should sell your car to a junkyard or not. This is a complex question that may have different answers for different people.
If your car has been declared a total loss by the insurance company, selling it would be the most intelligent decision. The insurance would give a small payout, but it would not be enough to get a new car. The missing money can be obtained by junking your car. You could get your desired car by combining your insurance money with the profit from junking your old car.
For cars that could be repaired, it is tricky to decide which repair is not worth it. A good trick for such a scenario is to put yourself in the shoes of an insurance company. Compare the costs of rehabilitation with the market value of your car, and if the repairs exceed 50% of your car’s market value, the repairs are not worth it, and you would prefer junking the vehicle.
In cases where the repairs are not 50% of your car’s market value, it is essential to consider how they would affect your car’s future performance. Wear and tear in vehicles happens with time, and no number of repairs will fix the tide of time. If you notice that your engine’s fuel consumption is increased or the acceleration rate has been altered, they might be the signs that your car’s internal systems are getting worse. Repairs might extend the lifetime of your vehicle by some time but is the cost worth it when you can junk it and use the money to buy yourself a new car?
What to do if I am out of state when my car breaks down?
If you are out of state and your car is broken down, you might find yourself in a tough spot if junking is on your mind. Junking your vehicle out of state is illegal. This is to prevent the illicit use of cars. Stolen vehicles could be junked out of state for a profit by criminal enterprises, and making out-of-state junking illegal prevents this issue. However, there can be cases where you are on an across-the-states road trip, your car gets damaged beyond repair, and junking the vehicle is your preferred decision.
Luckily, states have different regulations that make it possible to junk your car in such a scenario, but the exact protocol varies with each condition. Finding out about the precise procedure might not be feasible for an ordinary person. Using an online junkyard could be helpful in such a case as they help you out in the legal transfer of the junk car. Most junkyards also offer to pay for the towing costs, which can be convenient when you are out of state.