Frequently Asked Questions about how cash for junk cars works

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common questions we receive on a daily basis. If your specific question is not answered here, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer for you!

What is The Clunker Junker?

The Clunker Junker is a Nationwide junk car removal and junk car buying service. We have partnered with thousands of local car buyers across the country to get you the highest offers possible for your vehicle. We also often purchase newer vehicles directly rather than sending them to an auto salvage yard which means we can sometimes pay even more than a junk yard!

How do I get an offer for my junk car?

It’s very simple. Fill out the easy to use quote request form on our homepage. First tell us the year, make, and model of your vehicle. Next, tell us where the vehicle is located and what condition it’s in. In most cases we’ll give you an instant offer right now. If we can’t give you an instant cash offer on your junk car, we will reach out to as soon as we possibly can.

For how long is my offer valid?

The scrap, salvage, and wholesale vehicle markets are extremely volitile and unfortuantely our offers can change at any time until they are both accepted and all required information is provided. Once that information is provided the offer is locked in and guaranteed. Sometimes offers can be good for weeks and months, and sometimes they can change within minutes as our valuation systems often pull in real time market data.

How long does it take to for you to pick up my junk car?

The Clunker Junker is not directly involved with scheduling or pickup, and so we can never guarantee any specific day, time, or window of time for pickup. Our carriers and local junk car buyers manage all of their own scheduling, and we’ll put you in touch with them to arrange a time and day. Most vehicles are picked up within 1 to 3 business days from the time everything is finalized. Some can be picked up on the same day, and some may take longer due to unforseen circumstances such as weather, holidays, or other major events.

Disclaimer: We do not guarantee same day pickup or any specific time for pickup under any circumstance!

When will I receive payment for my vehicle?

In almost all cases payment will be issued in the form of either cash or check at the time of pickup. Payment is not usually issued by The Clunker Junker directly, instead it is issued by either the local junk car buyer or our carrier. In some cases we can arrange to have payment mailed to you if you cannot be present for pickup, but this will need to be arranged prior to the sale.

Will I be paid in cash or check for my junk car?

While we would love to pay for every vehicle in cold hard cash, the reality is that it is often not possible. When we advertise “cash for cars” we are using the dictionary definition of cash, which is legal tender or cash equivalent such as a check. This is opposed to something like a voucher or tax credit. Cash payments are very difficult to track and can pose a safety hazard for the tow driver, so many companies have moved to using checks. The Clunker Junker does 100% guarantee all checks from our local buyers and carriers, and if a check bounces for any reason The Clunker Junker will cover the payment in full. We are proud to say we have never, ever had an unresolved payment issue!

Do I need my title in order to sell the car?

This one is hard to give a single answer for because it depends on so many factors such as the vehicle’s location, age, and what kind of other documentation you have to prove ownership. We encourage you to check out our service locations, find your state, and look for the section regarding titles. In any case you do not have a title, you will still need some form of proof of ownership.

Someone else’s name is on the title instead of mine. Can I sell my junk car to The Clunker Junker?

In general we always pay the legal owner of the vehicle. In almost all cases, that is the name that is printed on the front in the owner’s section. There are exceptions for things like decseased owners, but that requires additional paperwork proving that you are legally authorized to sell the vehicle.

If you purchased the car from someone and the previous owner’s name is still on the title, but you have signed it as a “buyer”, you will not be able to legally sell that vehicle until you have a new title issued in your name. This is called a “title jump” and is illegal in all 50 states as a form of tax evasion. Each state will collect any applicable sales tax between the sale of each vehicle, unless it is to a licensed auto dealer.

My title is issued by a different state than where my vehicle is located.

This is fairly common and is not a problem at all. For example, maybe the title for your car was issued by the state of California, but the vehicle is currently localed in Arizona. Our buyers should have no problem handling this.

How do I obtain a replacement and/or how do I sign my title?

Please review our document guide on each of our state specific pages to see how to obtain and sign a title in your state. Visit our home page and select your state at the bottom for information on duplicate titles Once you have obtained a title you can re-apply for a higher quote.

Can you purchase my junk car if I have a lien on my title?

Unfortunately not. We cannot purchase vehicles with liens under any circumstance. All liens would need to be satisfied in full prior to the sale. If your title shows a lien, you’ll either need to have that lien signed/stamped on the title itself, or obtain a separate lien release document from the issuing bank. You’ll need to include an original signed and or stamped version of the release at the time of pickup, a copy will not suffice.

Do I need to be present when the car is removed?

In general you do not necessarily need to be present, but we strongly recommend it. If you can’t be present, you can sign your title before hand and have a friend or family member manage the transaction on your behalf. In some cases, though not all, we can offer an option to mail in your title to a local carrier branch and they will mail payment back to you. Note that payment can never be issued unless the title (or equivalent documentation) is received.

Are there any hidden fees or charges?

Most definitely not! You will never pay us anything, and we never include hidden charges. When you accept an offer for your vehicle, as long as the stated condition is accurate, that is the exact amount you will be paid at the time of pickup, period!

Unfortunately not. Under no circumstance can we ever legally purchase an abandoned vehicle. If you have an abandoned vehicle that needs to be removed, you should contact your local police department at their non-emergency number. Most states require that you document and notify the original owner that the vehicle has been abandoned and place the vehicle in a public auction. Only then can the vehicle legally be sold.

Are you a local company? Do you service my area?

The Clunker Junker’s headquarters are located in West Florida, but we are a national company who services all 50 states. While we may not be local to you, we work with trusted local junk car buyers in your area to provide our service, so you will still be supporting local business owners and contributing to your local economy! It’s a win-win for everyone.

Do you buy all junk cars regardless of condition?

While we reserve the right to refuse to purchase any car for any reason, The Clunker Junker and our partners buy almost all cars in any condition. Whether the vehicle has severe mechanical issues or accident damage does not usually matter. With that said, in some cases such as severe water or fire damage our local buyers will refuse to purchase the vehicle because even the raw materials may not be usable.

Can your buyers remove cars off public roads/highways?

In most cases, yes our buyers can remove a vehicle from highways and public roads. However, some states or localities require the tow truck company to have a special license to remove vehicles from a roadside. We cannot guarantee that all of our carriers hold this specific license.

What steps should I take prior to the sale?

Here are some things you should do before the tow truck arrives to remove your junk car:

  1. Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle. Don’t forget the trunk and under the seats!
  2. Remove your license plates from the vehicle and keep them in a safe place to be returned later.
  3. Prepare, sign, and if required have your title notarized. Our drivers are not notaries.

What steps should I take after the sale to release liability?

This very much depends on what state your vehicle is registered in, but in general you should do the following once the sale is completed and you’ve signed over your title and received payment for your junk car:

  1. Either return your license plates to the DMV and cancel your registration, or legally transfer the registration to a new vehicle.
  2. Contact your insurance company and let them know you have sold the vehicle and to cancel your insurance policy.
  3. Some states require you to submit an official notice of transfer, visit our state specific pages for more information.6

What happens to my vehicle after it is picked-up?

This depends on a number of factors. Here are the most common things that happen to your vehicle after the sale.

  • The vehicle will be re-sold at auction if it still has some value in it beyond parts and materials.
  • The vehicle will be dismantled, the parts added to the salvage yard’s inventory, and the rest of the vehicle will be recycled for raw materials.
  • The vehicle will be crushed and recycled by the auto salvage yard.

Will I receive a “receipt” for the sale?

In short, no. This topic is often confusing for our sellers. In any transaction of an automobile it is the seller (that’s you!) who provides what is called a “bill of sale” to the buyer. This document serves as proof a sale took place and is usually signed by the seller and a copy provided to the buyer. This can seem strange because most of us are used to buying things from companies, not selling things to them.

In most states a bill of sale is not required for vehicles that are older than around 7 years (this varies by state). However, if you would like the local buyer to sign a bill of sale, you should ask them prior to them coming to get the vehicle. Not all tow drivers are authorized to sign on the buyer’s behalf.

How does The Clunker Junker make money?

In many cases The Clunker Junker acts as a liaison or broker between the selling party (you) and our local buyer, and we take a small commission from the buyer directly. We never request money or payment from sellers under any circumstance! The Clunker Junker also often purchases vehicles ourselves as we are a licensed auto dealer, but pickup is handled by our local carriers and sub-contracted tow trucks.

Do you do in person inspections prior to pickup?

No, we do not send anyone to inspect your vehicle prior to pickup, nor do we request you bring the vehicle to our location for an inspection. For vehicles with higher offers, we will often request photo verification of the vehicle prior to the sale to ensure the stated condition is accurate. In all cases, however, your vehicle will be inspected at the time of pickup to verify the stated condition is accurate. If the condition was misrepresented, our buyers reserve the right to either adjust their offer or refuse to purchase the vehicle. Our reputation is very important to us and we have very strict policies for our buyers on changing offers at the time of pickup, so this almost never happens unless the condition of the vehicle is much worse than stated.

Does The Clunker Junker sell cars or parts?

No, The Clunker Junker is not a junkyard or salvage yard and we do not sell cars or parts. All vehicles end up in possession of either our local buyers or our carriers and we do not hold inventory.

Do you purchase other types of motor vehicles such as motorcycles, RVs, or boats?

No, at this time we only purchase standard passenger vehicles such as cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Our carriers are sometimes not equipped to remove larger vehicles such as recreational vehicles, school buses, boats, etc.