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Krystal Gullo


6 min read

When it comes to selling your junk car online, you have a wide selection of junkyards to choose from. The problem comes in when you have to make the right choice on which junkyard to sell to, so as to get paid for what your car is worth. 


There are so many scammers out there operating junkyards. You may give all the information on your junk car and even go as far as to supply pictures of your vehicle to a potential buyer and agree on a value. 


But when the said buyers come to pick up the vehicle, they claim that your car is not worth the money they previously agreed to pay.


Getting scammed sucks!


Consumer education is a huge part of protecting yourself. Then you’ll know what red flags to watch for. There are scammers in every industry, so you’ve got to be on your toes.


If you’re in the market to junk your vehicle, it’s important to work with a reputable salvage yard. You don’t want to deal with a fly by night company that tries to take everything it can.

To help you avoid dishonest companies, here are seven warning signs you may be getting scammed.


Junkyard Scam


Bait and Switch


When you arrange to junk your vehicle, you provide honest and accurate information so the junkyard can tell you how much money it’s worth.


Junkyards that pull a bait and switch promise you one price. You think you’re all set, and arrange for a tow truck to come pick up your car.


The tow truck driver arrives with news. It appears your junked vehicle isn’t actually worth what you were quoted. Instead, they have a new offer for you.


If you don’t accept, your car isn’t going anywhere. And you’ll be stuck with the fee for the cancelled towing.


Even worse is when you’ve already signed over the title before talking money with the tow driver. Don’t do that!


Wait to sign anything until you have the full price in hand.


Delayed Payment

Delayed Payments


Waiting for a check in the mail AFTER the tow truck leaves is a definite red flag. If you aren’t given payment, don’t give up your vehicle.


Otherwise, there’s a good chance the check you’re waiting for will never arrive.


Also, who wants to deal with a check at all? There’s definite scamming potential with that form of payment. Instead, do business with a company that pays you cash for your car. It’s the simpler way to get paid!


Lack of Customer Service


Companies that value your business provide good customer service. If the junkyard you call wants to haggle, makes outlandish promises, or treats you like dirt, it’s not a good sign.


Don’t do business with companies that don’t treat you well. Instead, look for one that offers customer service.


Along those same lines, remember that even though your junked car may not run anymore, there’s still value in it.


If the company tells you it’s worth nothing, and wants to take it for free, look somewhere else.


The company isn’t doing you a favor by taking your junk; they’re going to make money from your car.


Charges for Towing



You shouldn’t have any out of pocket expenses for junking your car. If the junkyard you call mentions a fee for towing, keep looking.


You’ll be able to find a reputable place to take your vehicle without charging you a fee.


Another form of this scam is run directly through the towing company. If the tow truck driver insists on payment that wasn’t part of your deal with the junkyard, call the yard immediately. And definitely don’t hand over any unexpected payment.


Offers to Handle All the Paperwork


Never sign your title over to someone and assume they’ll take care of all the paperwork for you. You must notify the Division of Motor Vehicles that you’ve sold the vehicle, and turn in your license plates (unless you’re transferring them to another car.)


Some shady junkyards offer to take care of the paperwork, but never do. Then, they come back later with a bill for “storing” your vehicle.


Avoid undesired surprises, and do the reporting of the sale yourself. It only takes a few minutes and then you’ll have peace of mind that it’s done.


Last Minute Fees


Just like the “price change” scam, some junkyards will start out quoting you a fair price for your vehicle...only to change the price on you at the last second.


However, rather than changing it outright in an obvious way as mentioned above, this method involves tacking on all sorts of extra, last minute, hidden fees to the transaction.


Charging you for towing is a good example of this. Before you know it, you’re getting significantly less for your junk car than you were originally promised.


Checks That Bounce


Some junkyards will try to pay you with a check. We never recommend going along with this. Unfortunately, some consumers have had terrible experiences with junkyards intentionally writing bad checks to customers.


When you try to cash the check, it bounces -- and you’re left without a car or any cash to show for it.


Want to Avoid Scams?

Avoid Scams

If you’re ready to sell your junked vehicle, contact IV Auto today. As the number one auto recycler in Utah, you won’t have to worry about being scammed.


We provide excellent customer service, ensure the paperwork is completed legally, and pay you in cash. There’s no hidden fees or unexpected charges. It’s the scam free way to get cash for your junked car in Utah.