How to Sell a Beat-Up Car

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When you have a beat-up car that you want to sell you may have to get a little creative. A beat-up car may not have much of a resale value and you could experience challenges when attempting to sell it using traditional means, such as in a standard classified advertisement. Still, if you consider the needs and motivations of a possible buyer, you might find success selling the car, no matter how it looks.

  • Consider the cost of repairing the car before you sell it as is. For example, take a car worth $800 in poor condition. If the estimated value of the car in decent condition is $2,500 and it will cost you $1,000 to fix, that nets you $1,500 in a sale. Invest in making the car look better to sell your beat-up car.

  • Explain the car's condition upfront in your listing. For instance, you can write "For Parts" at the end of the listing title. This helps attract buyers specifically interested in cars for parts or "fixer-uppers." Write "Or Best Offer" in the list also so that you can receive bids on the car. Discount the price to account for the visual condition of the car---search the Kelley Blue Book database to make an educated decision on the selling price.

  • Sell the car to a junkyard for parts. This could net you more than if you attempt to sell the car in poor or nonworking condition to a private seller. Some car parts might be in better condition than the exterior of the beat-up car. Some parts are in high demand and could net you more than the car itself.

  • Remove the car parts from the vehicle yourself if you're very familiar with cars. Again, the parts sold individually may net even more than the entire package. Clean and list each used part on an online auction website. Car parts stores and recycling centers might also take the parts and reimburse you for a portion of the value.

  • Donate your beat-up car to a charity. While it may not exactly classify as a sale, you can deduct the amount as a charitable expense on your tax return the following year, which benefits you financially.

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