How Do You Know That You Have a Junk Car, and When It’s Time to Sell It

So you have a car, and you realize it’s not in its prime condition. Fair enough, every car eventually wears down, and maintenance and repairs are an inevitable aspect of owning a vehicle. And even if your car shows signs of wear and tear but still runs properly, you shouldn’t be alarmed. However, eventually, your car will reach a point where putting money into it is no longer worthwhile. Or, in other words, if repairing it costs more than its value, then your car can be considered junk, and it might be time to get rid of it.

But don’t feel too bad if you have to do it. In the United States alone, over 12 million vehicles reach the end of their useful lives and get scrapped. If you want to know whether you have a junk car and when is the right time to sell it, read on for some useful advice.

Repairs cost more than your car

When you start noticing multiple costly repairs for your car, it may be time to consider getting a new one. Transmission and engine problems can be expensive to fix, and they can leave you with an unusable vehicle if not taken care of in time.

Broken windows, ripped upholstery, faulty door locks, weak brakes, and reclining seats that don’t work anymore—it’s hard to ignore these issues in your vehicle. Individually, each of these repairs may not cost a lot, but when taken as a whole it can be quite an expense. This could mean an unexpected and inconvenient hole in your wallet.

Deciding if it’s the right time to part ways with your vehicle is basically a matter of accepting reality. If you live in Philadelphia, PA, and you think your car has reached its end, then find the best company to sell your junk car in Philadelphia for cash. This decision will save you money in the long run and help you get rid of your junk car while still earning you some cash.

It meets the legal definition of a junk car

In the United States, a junk car is an inoperable vehicle in simple terms. This regulation specifies two cases in which a vehicle may qualify as a junk car: it can’t be driven on public streets, roads, or highways, and it has no value other than as a source of used parts.

You can always get your car back to a working condition that complies with the many federal, state, and city regulations on motor vehicle safety. But as mentioned previously, you need to put your options on a scale and decide which one is more worth it.

Your safety rating is not up to par with modern vehicle standards

If your vehicle’s safety rating is below the bare minimum and its condition is beyond repair, it’s probably best to get rid of it. Driving around in an old car with no airbags puts you at risk of a serious accident. It’s time to junk your stone-age car and get something new and reliable.

Cars from the ’80s, ’90s and early ’00s are not as safe as modern vehicles and can often be a hazard on the roads. The safety features in these older models are usually too outdated to compare with modern vehicles. If you’re looking for a car that’s safe and reliable, the latest models featuring side airbags are your best bet.

Your car is totaled

Junk cars can also include totaled vehicles, which means they cannot be operated any longer and require repairs that are more expensive than their worth. Some states even have laws that define specifically when a car is considered to be totaled.

In Pennsylvania, for instance, the total loss formula takes into account the resale value of a car before a crash and then compares it to the fix-up costs plus scrap worth. If these combined figures exceed the value of your vehicle, it is deemed totaled. If your vehicle is worth around $10,000 and all of these points cost more than that when combined, then it would be classified as totaled.


Though it may be difficult to accept, the car that has served you so diligently and been a part of your biggest moments could be treated like scrap to somebody else. You have taken great care of the car, but it has not asked for anything in return. If you’re looking to get rid of your car, it’s important to keep in mind the practical factors that will let you know if it is still worth your time, or if it’s time to accept that it’s a junk car.

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