What to Do When Your Car Stops Working

A Comprehensive Guide to Selling

When faced with a non-functional vehicle, deciding to sell it can be a practical choice.

Selling a car that no longer works not only frees up space but also provides an opportunity to recoup some value. In this guide, we'll walk you through the step-by-step process of selling a car that has stopped working.

1. Assess the Situation:

Determine the extent of the damage: Identify the specific issue causing the car to stop working, whether it's a mechanical, electrical, or other problem.

Estimate repair costs: Obtain quotes from reputable mechanics to understand the potential costs of fixing the vehicle.

2. Research and Set a Realistic Price:

Research similar cars: Look for similar make, model, and condition listings to get an idea of the market value.

Adjust for non-working condition: Factor in the repair costs and price your car competitively, taking into account its non-functional state.

3. Gather Documentation:

Title and ownership: Ensure you have the vehicle's title and any necessary paperwork proving your ownership.

Maintenance records: Compile any service and repair records to provide potential buyers with an accurate history of the vehicle.

4. Choose Your Selling Platform:

Online platforms: Consider using online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or specialized car-selling websites.

Local options: Advertise in community bulletin boards, newspapers, or local car dealerships.

5. Create an Attractive Listing:

Detailed description: Provide an honest description of the car's condition, including the issue that caused it to stop working.

High-quality photos: Take clear photos from various angles, highlighting both the car's exterior and interior.

6. Be Transparent with Buyers:

Disclose the issue: Clearly state in your listing that the car is not in working condition and describe the problem.

Answer questions honestly: Be prepared to provide additional information about the car's history and condition to potential buyers.

7. Negotiate and Finalize the Sale:

Price negotiation: Be open to negotiating the price with interested buyers while keeping your minimum acceptable amount in mind.

Finalize the deal: Once an agreement is reached, complete the necessary paperwork for the sale, including transferring the title.

8. Arrange for Transportation:

Towing options: If the car is not driveable, research local towing services and arrange for transportation to the buyer's location.

9. Understand Legal Obligations:

Bill of Sale: Provide the buyer with a bill of sale to officially transfer ownership.

Release of liability: Notify your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the sale to release liability for the vehicle.

10. Consider Selling for Parts:

Salvage yards: If the repair costs are prohibitively high, you can sell the car to a salvage yard for its parts and scrap metal.

Selling to Scrap Car Buyers:

Regardless of its condition: Scrap car buyers are often interested in purchasing vehicles in any state, including those that are no longer operational.

Get a quote: Contact local scrap car buyers to receive a quote for the value of your vehicle based on its weight and recyclable materials.

Get A Quote


Selling a non-working car may seem daunting, but with careful planning and transparency, you can find a buyer willing to take it off your hands.

By following these steps and being upfront about the car's condition, you can navigate the process of selling a non-functional vehicle with confidence.

Whether you choose to sell it for parts, find a buyer willing to repair it, or opt for a scrap car buyer, your non-working car can still find a new purpose and contribute to your financial goals.