After years of driving your car, you have decided to get a new one, but do not want to simply throw your old one away. All vehicles have a salvage value at the end of their life, whether it is as little as a few hundred or as much as a few thousand dollars. For this reason, many people choose to call a salvage or junk car removal company to not only remove their car, but to receive cash for it as well. However, there are many junk car scams that take place that you should be aware of in order to avoid falling victim to shady companies.


Bait and Switch

One of the most common scams that occur with selling junk cars is the infamous bait and switch. Typically, you will call a removal company who will give you an estimate based on the information you provide about the junk car’s condition. This estimate should be firm, meaning that when they come to pick up the vehicle, you receive what you were quoted. If a junk car removal company decides to offer you less than your original quoted amount, it is a good idea to look for another company to avoid being scammed. Do not let anyone pressure you into turning your car over for less.




Registration and Title Issues

Make sure that when you transfer the ownership of the vehicle that it is done properly. If the title or registration is not transferred properly, it can result in several offenses such as parking violations being charged to you, even if the car is no longer in your possession. Choosing a reputable car buying company is the best way to avoid this pitfall.


Additionally, if you are buying a junk car rather than selling one, you should never purchase a car without a title, even if the seller offers you a form of written authorization that lets you apply for the title in your name. The claim of a lost title is a popular scam run by some unscrupulous sellers who are looking to make a quick buck off of undisclosed salvage vehicles.


Paying by Certified Check

While check writing has become obsolete in today’s society, a more popular version of a buying junk car scam is when the buyer offers to pay by check. While this in itself isn’t suspicious, if they ask to write the check for more and have you refund the difference this should set off red flags and warning bells. These checks almost never clear your bank and you end up having to pay the funds to cover the cost of the check and any fees associated with the check bouncing. Despite the fact that the check is fraudulent, you will still be held responsible by your banking institution.


There are many scams that are being perpetuated on unsuspecting victims each day in the used car industry. Knowing the warning signs of these scams can help you avoid falling victim and losing money.


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