3 ways to tell if you have a junk car

Are you the owner of a vehicle that’s in questionable condition? All of us have to repair our cars from time to time. It’s completely normal: as time goes on, things start to break down and fall apart on any vehicle, and it’s necessary to put in the time, effort, and money to repair and maintain it. Up to a certain point, there’s really nothing wrong with this. But, eventually, you cross a line in the sand.

You probably know what we’re talking about. After you’ve already spent a ton of money on trying to keep your clunker running, you start to feel like it’s just not worth it anymore. You start to think about the possibility of selling it, but you’re not sure how that would work. Will anyone actually want to buy it? And, how would you even refer to it when discussing it with a potential buyer?

In other words, you might be asking yourself: “Is my car a junk car?”

If you’re in this position, don’t worry: a lot of people end up asking themselves the same question. Read on to find out whether your vehicle is a junk car, and what to do with it if so.

Can you drive it?

The first test of whether or not your vehicle is a junk car should be related to its operating capacity. In other words: is it drive-able?

We’re not talking hypothetically here. We’ve seen some junk cars over the years that technically start up when you turn the key in the ignition, and the owners insisted that they were in “driving condition.” However, this isn’t always the case. When a car has suffered major body damage, has flat tires, or is so covered in rust that you’re worried it could fall apart on the road, that vehicle doesn’t qualify as drive-able.

If your car can’t be driven, it’s almost certainly a junk car.

What’s its cosmetic condition?

This is a little less straightforward than assessing whether or not your car is drive-able. However, it’s just as important.

The Kelley Blue Book offers a vehicle condition quiz that can help you assess the state of your car. It’s important to be completely honest when making these determinations: don’t exaggerate or try to cover up issues that exist. It’ll only hurt your chances of finding the right buyer for your vehicle in the long run.

What’s the cost of repairs vs. the car’s value?


This is the kicker. How much is your car worth, and how much is it costing you to maintain it? First off, try to calculate the value of your car using the Kelley Blue Book. If your car is too beat up for the KBB to be useful, you can search your local Craigslist for vehicles in similar condition to get a sense of its value.

Next, add up the costs of maintenance for your vehicle. It’s important to take into account how much you’ve already spent this year, in addition to any upcoming repairs.

If your car is worth less than the combined cost of repairs, it’s officially reached junk car status.

Sell your junk car today

Don’t despair, though: you can get cash for your junk car right now by calling Junk Car Traders. We pay top dollar for junk cars nationwide. To learn more, give us a call at: 855-959-1325. We make selling junk cars easy in New Mexico, as long as you have your title and registration we can give you cash for your junk car. 

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