How to Sell a Damaged Car

by Emilia Lamberto

When cars are damaged, it can be a difficult task to find a potential buyer. The worst mistake that owners make when selling a car is not letting the buyer know all of the defects before they come to see the vehicle in person. Selling a damaged car may be tough, but it can be done if all of the correct steps are taken.

Assess the damage on the car. Get an estimate if possible to determine how much it will cost to repair the car so that it is in proper working order. If the cost of repairs is more than the value of the car, you will need to lower your price substantially and be reasonable with negotiations if you expect the car to sell.

Contact a junk yard. Sometimes junk yards are the best route to go when a vehicle is damaged beyond repair or totaled. Junk yards or scrap yards usually purchase the vehicle for the metals as opposed to commuting so it's likely that you'll get a better deal if the damage of the vehicle is substantial.

Make a list of all of the repairs that need to be made to the car and take pictures of all of the items on the list. If desired, you may make some of the repairs yourself to improve the quality of the car.

Set a price on the vehicle while keeping in mind the cost of repairs. Place a "For Sale" sign on the vehicle with a number where potential buyers can contact you for more details about the damage.

Create an ad on a site like Craigslist (see references) or place one in your local newspaper. Be sure to include a list of all of the damage, as well as details if possible, the estimate for the repairs, the cost for the car itself, as well as contact information so that the buyer can call for more detail.

Consider looking into websites that purchase damaged cars. You can receive a quote for the car you wish to sell and talk to someone in further detail later on. Check out Damaged Cars for more detail (see references).

Tip

  • check Have an estimate ready when someone comes to look at the car so that they can assess the cost of the damage based on a professional's opinion.

Warning

  • close Never sell a damaged car to someone without explaining to them first everything that is wrong with it. This is fraud and could potentially injure or kill someone driving the car without knowing the defects.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.