Every car has a limited life span. Unless you take immaculate care of your vehicle and drive it as little as possible, it will eventually give up the ghost.

Once you’ve decided to invest in a new car, you have a few options for what to do with the old one. This includes trading it in, selling it, or junking it.

This article takes a look at things to consider before junking a car. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.

  • Remove Your Personal Documentation and Other Belongings

The first thing you should do before scrapping a car is to remove anything of value. This includes any important documentation in your glove compartments such as your registration, insurance forms, service records, and any receipts for repairs. Keep in mind that you should never leave these documents in the car so that no one can attempt to falsify them for use with other vehicles.

It’s almost important to remove valuables such as jewelry, music CDs, umbrellas, and anything else you might want to keep. Be sure to check under the seat as well as the truck. This is especially important if you’ve owned the car for a few years. After all, you never know what might have rolled around back there that you’ll want to keep.

  • Organize Your Documentation

Next, be sure to organize your motor vehicle documentation. This includes the documents listed above as well as your car title.

When a car is being junked, these documents can be destroyed most of the time, although you’d be wise to keep them for a year or two just in case you might need them for tax purchases. But if you plan to sell the junk car having used car batteries, tires, etc. the junk dealer will need those documents before taking possession of the vehicle.

Thus you’d be wise to go ahead and collect everything in one place and keep them in an envelope for an easy transfer as the transaction is complete.

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  • Remove the License Plate

It’s also important to remove the license plate(s) prior to having your car crushed. But why does this matter if the car is just going to be turned into scrap metal?

Well, the simple truth is that just because a car is scrapped doesn’t void your tag.

For example, your tag could easily be illegally mounted on another car. This is especially dangerous if your tag is current. This could lead to potential issues down the road if your tag is used for criminal activity.

Another thing to consider is the fact that your tag could be transferred to your next vehicle. As long as your tag is current, there’s really no reason to pay for a new tag for your new car. In most states, the DMV office will simply ask for the old plate when you submit the application to have your car title canceled. Thus you’d be wise to hold onto it.

  • Cancel Your Insurance 

What about your current auto insurance policy on the junk car?

Well, if the junk car no longer runs, it might have been sitting idle for a period of time. When this is the case, it’s likely that you haven’t maintained the auto policy. But if the policy is current, you’ll definitely want to call your insurance company to have the policy canceled prior to having the car junked.

Otherwise, you’ll continue to be charged even after you no longer have possession of the car. Plus, if you’ve already paid the policy in full, you’ll be entitled to a refund if you’re getting rid of it. That’s because you’re only required to pay for coverage during the period when you actually own the car.

Keep in mind that you should cancel your auto policy the moment you decide to no longer drive the car. After all, you’re just wasting money while the car sits idle. Plus, insurance companies like to know when a car is no longer on the road because they will no there’s no risk of having to pay out on a claim.

  • Remove Valuable Parts

Regardless of the age of the junk car, there might be valuable parts that you can sell. This is especially important when the car no longer runs but has good parts.

For example, you could remove the entertainment system, starter motor, alternator, or other functioning parts that are worth salvaging to sell separately.

And don’t forget about the wheels, tires, and battery. You could always list these items on social media and make a few extra bucks. In fact, the more you can pull off the car, the better.

  • Make Sure Know the Value of the Car

Before selling your car for scrap, make sure that you know the actual value of the car. That’s because the car might be in good enough condition for repair. Or it might be worth more than a junk car company is willing to offer.

Look at websites like Kelly Blue Book, and then list the car on social media or eBay, just to make sure you’re getting every dollar possible.

Then once you’re satisfied that it’s only worth a few hundred dollars, a scrap metal company will be more than happy to take it off your hands.

  • Remove Any Gas From the Tank

Keep in mind that it’s a really bad idea to leak gasoline in the tank of your junk car.

There are two reasons for this. The first is the fact that leaving gas in the tank is a waste of money. The second is a safety issue. After all, if the car is crushed without first emptying the tank, there’s a very real possibility of an explosion occurring.

If possible, run the engine until the gas is used up. Otherwise, you’ll need to manually siphon out as much of the fuel as possible.

A Guide to What to Do Before Junking a Car That No Longer Runs

Getting rid of your old vehicle is easy. Just be sure to follow these tips before junking a car for cash.

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