The Best Way to Salvage Your Old Sports Car
Letting go of an old sports car can be tough. Not only does the vehicle have a history of its own, but there could also be a lot of associated family history. Even so, some old vehicles just have to go, even if they used to be the hottest cars in town.
Say you’ve decided to salvage an old sports car of your own – what’s the first step? Getting cash for cars is easy, but getting the most cash possible takes a bit of know-how.
You’ll need to confirm that the vehicle is totaled.
Let’s say that the car in question is insured. In the case of an antique sports car that’s due to become a junk car, you probably wouldn’t have much trouble guessing whether or not it’s totaled; most of the value at this point is probably sentimental value, and if a major part breaks down, that may actually total the car. Just to be sure, though, the car insurance company will have to officially confirm that the cost of repairs is more than 75% of the value of the vehicle if it were in perfect condition.
What if the vehicle isn’t insured, though? Many old sports cars are just showpieces or passion projects, and aren’t intended for driving on the open road – meaning an insurance policy isn’t necessary. If that’s the case, it’s safe to say that you aren’t willing to spend whatever money it would take to get it running again.
What could total a car besides a traffic accident?
Older vehicles may be a lot closer to breaking down for good compared to their newer counterparts, but some old cars get totaled from circumstances other than crashes or old age.
Theft is one surprising thing that could result in a car being declared totaled. If a car (of any age or condition) is stolen and remains unrecovered for long enough, the insurance company will eventually declare the vehicle a loss. If it’s found, though, it’ll get a salvage title from the DMV – no matter what condition it’s in. The title can be restored as long as the car passes inspection, but the process is complicated and expensive. For some, a better option is simply to salvage the car and get something with a clear title.
Natural disasters can also total a vehicle; Mother Nature apparently has no respect for classic sports cars. Damage caused by hail, flooding, smoke, earthquakes, or high winds can total a car just as quickly as a head-on collision.
And of course, old age happens even to the best of sports cars; something like widespread rust could prevent a car from passing inspection, and in order to make it roadworthy, you’d have to spend a lot more than its value on repairs and restoration.
So you’re going to salvage your sports car – what’s next?
- If you want to do things the quick and easy way, you can always just call a company that buys vehicles in any condition. They generally make it simple for you to transfer the title to them, and some of these companies will even cover the cost of towing. The drawback, of course, is that you probably won’t get as much money as you could with other options. The advantage is that you’ll have gotten rid of an inoperable vehicle with very little hassle, and you even got paid for it.
- If you’re willing to put in more effort for more money, finding online buyers is probably the best way to go. As mentioned above, sports cars are popular as passion projects; they have an allure for certain collectors that regular vehicles lack. Depending on the make and model of your sports car, it might get a pretty decent price from someone who’s been looking for a deal on their dream car. Since it’s totaled, they would be paying well under the normal price for that type of vehicle. But since it’s a sports car, you’d be able to ask for more than the average junk car could get. Assuming you aren’t in a huge rush to get rid of the vehicle, it wouldn’t hurt to take your time to find someone who’s willing to give you a good price.
- Say you wanted to get the most money, but you’d also be spending the most effort – and you’d need the skills to take apart your car on your own. Since cars and all their parts are going at a premium right now, your sports car’s main value is probably in the spare parts. If you could take these parts out, determine which ones are still viable, and then sell them online one by one, you’d make the most money by far. Obviously, the trade-off is that you’re investing a lot of time not only taking the car apart, but also finding buyers, taking bids, and arranging for shipping or transport of each part.
- Of course, if nobody else will take your car, scrapyards are usually a safe bet. Unless the vehicle has literally rusted to pieces, they should be interested in the scrap metal, if not the spare parts that can be salvaged. You won’t get much cash from a scrapyard, but if your car is in such bad shape that nobody else wants it, you probably wouldn’t have gotten much anyway.
- Charities may also be interested in your sports car, so if your main goal is to get the vehicle off your property and out of your hair, you can make a few calls and see if any non-profit organizations would tow your car away for free. If you use a registered charity, you might even be able to get a tax exemption for your donation.
Getting cash for your old sports car doesn’t have to be complicated.
As long as you know what your options are, the biggest challenge is to make sure you’re choosing the right one for your vehicle. After that, it’s just a matter of time before you’ve successfully salvaged your old sports car.