How to Sell a Nonoperating Vehicle

A non-operating car may not look pretty, but you might still sell it.
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Although your car may not run, it still may have qualities that make it a sound purchase. Whether you market it as a fixer-upper or find someone who wants it for parts, you can sell a non-operating vehicle to make a few bucks. When you consider the choice between a junk car sitting in your driveway and a few extra dollars in your pocket, you won’t have a difficult decision to make.

Step 1

Get a professional assessment or appraisal of the vehicle for advertising and pricing purposes. Tow the vehicle to the necessary location so the professional can inspect the vehicle from top to bottom to deliver a report about everything that doesn’t work on the car. Ask for the value of the car to help you price it.

Step 2

Take digital photographs of the car from all angles, inside and out, so prospective buyers can see the entire car effectively.

Step 3

Write the ad copy for the car. For example, you might place the words “For Sale – Non-Operating Chevrolet Impala” as the heading of an ad to sell an Impala. Place a detailed description in the body of the advertisement, noting every feature or issue with the car. Repeat the fact that the car does not drive two or three times at the top, middle and bottom of the ad to make sure people don’t miss this detail. If you know the specific situation that prevents the car from running, include this information in the ad. Note the mileage in your ad. Place your price in the ad, including whether you will accept offers. Include your contact information – email address or telephone number – to enable people to contact you about the car.

Step 4

Post the ad electronically at websites that list cars on the Internet – Craigslist, for example. Your local newspaper may also have online classified ads available for posting your advertisement. Upload as many photos as possible to allow people to see the car as they look at your ad. List the ad in your local newspaper’s standard print classified ads, also.

Step 5

Take inquiries about the car. Answer questions and provide detailed information when people contact you. Reiterate that the car is non-operating. Discuss the details about the car’s problems with interested parties to ensure that prospective buyers understand exactly what prevents the car from running. Some buyers may have the knowledge and skills necessary to repair the car, others may be willing to take it to a mechanic to get it running and other buyers may just want the car for parts.

Step 6

Make appointments with serious buyers to show the car. Answer questions and provide as much information as you can to help prospective buyers make a purchase decision.

Step 7

Consider offers from buyers. You may need to negotiate back and forth with a counter-offer if you receive an offer that is too low. When you get an offer that is as close to your asking price as consider acceptable, accept the offer and make a deal.

Step 8

Complete the transaction with the buyer. Accept the funds agreed upon, in either cash or a certified check to protect yourself from fraud. Write a basic bill of sale to document the transaction. Include the date; the make, model and year of the car; the selling price, the odometer reading and note the fact that the car is a non-operating vehicle.

Step 9

Copy the unsigned bill of sale. Sign your name on both copies and have the buyer sign both copies of the bill of sale also. Give one to the buyer and keep one for yourself.

Step 10

Sign and date the title and give it to the buyer.

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