How to Sell an Inoperative Car Online

Be completely honest about the condition of your car.

Be completely honest about the condition of your car.

Offloading an inoperative car online isn't much different than selling a vehicle that's in perfect working order. You'll just need to make sure you flag exactly what's wrong with your car and price it appropriately. You'll be more likely to get a good price for your damaged car if you can go into precise detail about the problems you've had and how these affect its performance.

Car Information

Gather as much information as you can about your damaged car. You'll need to include the make, model and age of your vehicle, along with its mileage, color and general condition when you post an ad online. You should also include your motor's Vehicle Identification Number. You'll usually be able to find this on your car's dashboard on the driver's side. Try to dig out your car's service history if you have it. Adding information from this to your ad will reassure prospective buyers about your vehicle's background.

Damage And Value

Have your car looked over by a mechanic if you don't know exactly what's wrong with it. Prospective buyers will be less likely to respond your ad if it just says your car is inoperative. This might cost you a few dollars, but will help you put together a detailed ad that will be more likely to attract interest. Ask your mechanic what he thinks your damaged car might be worth. You can also use second-hand car appraisal sites to help you get an idea of what your vehicle could sell for. These have options you can select if your car is damaged.

Pictures And Description

Take a good selection of pictures of your car with a digital camera. Make sure you get detailed shots of any visible damage to your vehicle. You should then write a description of your car including the information you've gathered and a detailed outline of the problem that's made it inoperative.


Create ads for your vehicle on car sales sites. You may have to be selective with your pictures and edit your description on some sites, but make sure you stress the fact that your car is inoperative and include a description of the problem. Pay for options to highlight your ad or push it to the top of searches. You'll usually have to pay for this, but doing so will get your inoperative car in front of a lot more people.

Classic Cars

An inoperative classic car might be of particular interest to car collectors. Motoring enthusiasts often buy inoperative older cars with a view to renovating them or using their parts as spares. If your vehicle has been out of production for some time, there'll be a good chance a collector might be willing to take it off your hands. Any aftermarket parts you've added to your car such as rims or a specific transmission system could add to its value. Post your ad on sites dedicated classic vehicles if you're trying to offload an older motor.


About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images