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JUNK CARS IN HOUSTON – SELLING, BUYING AND GIVING AWAY

If you look around the streets and freeways of Houston you’ll see plenty of sleek luxury automobiles and big hunky SUVs but you’ll also find that the Space City has its fair share of junk cars cruising or clunking down the road.
Maybe you’re driving one.
Now the definition of junk car or clunker will vary depending on the opinion of the driver. One man’s bucket of bolts may be seen as cheap reliable transportation by another. Ironically, the owner of the “worthless bucket of bolts” with the body damage and busted AC will try to get a premium price when he goes to sell it while the driver who considers it “reliable transportation” will want to pay as little as possible to enhance the “cheap” feature.
While horse trading is a proud part of the Texas culture many folks would prefer to avoid it altogether because they don’t like to haggle or they simply don’t have the time that it takes. If you are one of those folks, keep reading and we will give you some tips on how to sell or buy a clunker with minimum hassle.
Then there are the cars and trucks that are true “junkers.” These are the vehicles that have given up the ghost and there is no reasonable way to get them running again. If you own one of these beauties and you want the complaints from the neighbors to stop or redo the décor of your driveway you’ll be happy to learn that your junk car still has some value.

How to Sell, Buy, Tear Apart or Give Away a Junk Car in Houston

The big fear for both buyers and sellers is financially
driven; they worry that they will sell too cheap or pay too much. While “selling too cheap or paying too much” is a subjective issue, there are things you can do that will instill some self-confidence and minimize the risk of not getting or paying what the vehicle is worth.

Selling A Clunker

Believe it or not, selling a clunker is the easiest of the three “junk car” transactions. It starts with educating yourself on the value of your make and model in your (Houston’s) marketplace. Kelly Blue Book, Autobytel, and Edmunds are three of the better online resources (providing you are honest in your evaluation of the car’s condition) to find a ballpark price.
Once you have that you have the choice to use the car as a trade in or sell it outright to a used car dealer. If you go the trade in route, get a firm quote on both the trade in and new car price and then see what you can get for your car at a used car dealer. New car dealers tend to play with trade in values.
All used car dealers are not the same and you’ll need to shop your car around a bit. Of course we encourage you to send in a quote to BrokenVehicles.com, and we’ll get you the best offer for your clunker.

Buying A Cheap Car

This one is trickier because the Texas Lemon Law doesn’t apply to used vehicles. Just like selling a clunker, you want to use the online resources to learn the value of the make and model you are interested in. You are also going to want to use at least two services like CarFax and Auto Check to get the history of the car you are interested in. You’ll also want to use the NHTSA’s safercar.gov site to see if the vehicle has any outstanding recall repairs which is particularly important given the massive Takata air bag and GM ignition problems of recent years.
The more you know the better deal you can make.

Goodbye Bucket of Bolts

The key to getting rid of a junker is to make sure it has four inflated tires. It doesn’t have to run but it does have to be towable. If you have a flat tire get it repaired otherwise that bucket is going nowhere.
Junk yards, now mostly called automotive recycling centers, will buy your car for parts. Some will come and pick up your car, others will require you to have it towed. Sometimes the higher price offer made by the “on site” buyer more than offsets the cost of the tow.
If you can use a tax deduction for a charitable contribution there are several charities in the Houston area that will happily pick up your clunker (with four inflated tires) and give you a receipt for the donation (minimum is $500).
If you’re in the selling market for a car worth $10,000 or less and you have questions, give us a call today or fill out our “free quote” form and we will be happy to help you out.

SELLING YOUR USED OR DAMAGED MOTORCYCLE CAN BE A CHALLENGE

Is it time to sell your motorcycle? Did you run into something and bang it up or are you just over the whole motorcycle thing and want to move on. Surprisingly, many people buy motorcycles because “it seemed like a cool thing to do” only to learn that riding exposed to the elements and dodging semis on the freeway really wasn’t the “Low Rider” experience they thought it would be.

With motorcycles you either love them or you dump them there is rarely any middle ground.
But it doesn’t matter which camp you belong to, selling a used motorcycle, particularly if it is damaged can be a time consuming and confusing exercise.

Bring In the Usual Suspects

Let’s assume for a moment your bike runs and you are just looking to recoup part of your investment in it. You have a number of marketing channels available to you and each has its pros and cons. If you are going to try and sell it yourself you can use:
CraigsList where strangers come to your house, want to take it for a test ride and then pay you with a check.
eBay where the process is more secure but where you have to figure out how to handle out of state paperwork not to mention how to ship the thing.
Social media contacts like followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook where you not only have all the problems of CraigsList and eBay but your selling to somebody you know and more importantly they know how to reach you.
Hang a sign on the bike and park it outside your house. This one has all the problems of CraigsList plus strangers start showing up unannounced.
If your bike has dings but the engine runs and the frame and forks are not bent you can try all the options above but you are going to need a good story to go with a low price to get the bike sold. If the bike has more than dings and is truly wrecked your options are pretty much limited to selling parts.
The problem with selling a bike for parts is the competition. Almost all wrecked motorcycles have damage to the front end which means the salvageable parts are from the back end…just like everyone else that’s trying to part out their bike.

A Faster Way to Sell Your Motorcycle With Minimum Hassle

If your bike is undamaged or even if it has a few dings there is a faster, simpler way to sell it. Go to a dealer like Broken vehicles that specializes in buying (not selling) used motorcycles. Eliminate the need to advertise your bike. Eliminate dealing with potential buyers and lookie-loos. Don’t sweat getting paid and don’t worry about local DMV forms and submissions.
At Broken Vehicles we give you a written offer and if you accept it you are out the door in 30 minutes with the money in your pocket. All you need to bring is the bike and the title, we do all the rest. Get your bike sold today rather than waiting weeks or maybe months.
Even if your bike has some damage we will take a look at it and let you know what we think it’s worth. Depending on the popularity of the model we have taken in bikes with damage provided the damage didn’t make the bike unworthy for the road.
If you are looking to sell your motorcycle, give one of our locations a call today or complete the form for a free quote.

THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK – HAIL DAMAGED CARS

Somebody really ticked off Mother Nature this year and she has graced us with torrential rains, floods and of course, driving hail. We’re not talking about that little ping of ice that bounces off your hood; we’re talking about golf ball to softball chunks of ice that crack windshields and make your car look like it was loaned out to a piñata party.

Serious hail can seriously trash your ride.

And it’s expensive to repair.

Now if you have comprehensive coverage you’ll be out the deductible but at least you’ll be able to get your vehicle back to almost new condition. But if you have an older car, with no comprehensive, you are either out a fortune repairing the dents or you have to drive a major eyesore. If your older car has other issues like iffy brakes, vibrations that tell you an alignment is in order or tires that are just about shot you are likely going to be torn between investing deeply to get the car road worthy or selling it and cutting your losses.

But who is going to buy a car with extensive hail damage?

Welcome to the World of Broken Cars

Technically your car isn’t salvage unless the windshield or widows are broken. In other words in most states you won’t have to get a salvage title. But who is going to buy a banged up body that also has other problems? Surprisingly there are a lot of people.

You obviously will not get as much as you would without the damage but a quick look at sites like CraigsList will show you what your market values hail damaged cars at. Enthusiasts, restorers, “flippers”, charities, and used parts dealers looking for bargains.

Hail damage comes with another problem. When those ice balls were falling from the sky they didn’t just hit your car, they pummeled every other vehicle on the road as well. Most will be repaired but many will be in the same boat as you meaning that the inventory of hail damaged cars and trucks will be glutted. If you can afford to hold off for a month or two do it. Let the inventory get back to normal and you’ll increase your odds of getting a better price.

Of course when you advertise your car you are opening yourself up to the sometimes frustrating tasks of dealing with lookers, cheapskates, missed appointments and other annoyances before you find someone who is a legit buyer. You can avoid all that if you sell directly to a dealer like Broken Vehicles who specializes in cars just like yours.

If you go this route the whole process simply involves filling out an online form describing your car and requesting a quote. If the quote is acceptable the dealer will send out an inspector to ensure the car is as you described it, a tow truck and cash. You can complete the whole transaction in your driveway usually the same day you accept the quote.

What makes sense to you?

5 THINGS YOUR DOING THAT BREAK YOUR CAR FASTER

If auto repair bills are building up and you’re thinking about selling your car because it’s on its last leg, you may want to consider why it’s falling apart before you buy a new ride and start a new round of trips to the shop.
Now nobody expects a “new” car to develop problems right away and if it does it’s usually covered by a warranty. However, there are certain driving behaviors that can hasten a mechanical failure, even a catastrophic failure, before you’ve made the last payment.

For a lot of us, “out of sight, out of mind” is our approach to vehicle maintenance. You can see when a tire is flat, or somebody put a new ding in a fender and you can feel when the car is pulling to the right or the brakes are mushy but if there isn’t some kind of physical or monetary stimulus many of us will not consider the health of the car’s components.

Check out the list below and see if you are guilty of a driving style or “auto abuse” that can lead to damaging your car.

  1. Parking Brake. Unless you are parking on a pancake flat surface you should engage the parking brake before you turn the engine off. If you are on any kind of incline you’ll feel the car roll a bit and then go clunk when you turn off the engine. What’s happened is the entire weight of the auto is now being supported by the transmission. Using the parking brake (a simple task) gives the transmission a break allowing it to perform better and longer. Not a big deal but like most of these items it takes its toll over time.
  2. Riding the brake. If you are one of those people that drive with one foot on the brake and one on the accelerator you are not only putting undue pressure, stress and heat on the brake pads and drums but you are dangerously frustrating the people behind you. Don’t be surprised when you hear the squeal of a worn pad and the mechanic says he can’t turn the drums because they are worn out.
  1. Hard stops. Are you the kind of driver who just has to be first in line at the next red light? If you routinely wait until the last possible moment to brake you are doing a number on your braking system, shocks and greatly enhance the opportunity to be rear-ended. Production cars are not designed for extreme performance; that’s what aftermarket products like Big Brake and super stiff suspension systems are for.
  2. Neglecting you fluids. Did you know the average vehicle uses six types of fluids (excluding fuel)? Each of these relatively cheap fluids is essential to the operation of some very expensive components including the engine, transmission, power steering, cooling system, brakes and differential. If the fluid fails the component can fail and that can be a very costly repair. The takeaway is to change the fluids at the recommended mileage intervals.
  3. Tires, poor old tires. You know when they are flat but do you know if they are properly inflated, unevenly worn, suffering from dry rot or the depth of the tread. Unless you are testing the pressure on a regular basis and having a mechanic inspect them at tire rotation time (every other oil change) the answer is probably no. Your tires get enough abuse from Mother Nature, don’t add to it.

If you found these tips helpful be sure to check out the blog at Broken Vehicles for more interesting info on owning an auto.

HOW TO FIND A QUALITY AUTO REPAIR SHOP

The fastest way to turn a car or truck in good condition into a bucket of bolts is to neglect regular maintenance which over time will result in serious, big ticket issues. Sure that $30 oil change may mean no pizza night this week or that $300 tune up means no Starbucks this month. But if you let those maintenance items slide you will ultimately be looking at much bigger repair bills.

So why do people skip maintenance? For some it’s just a penny wise pound foolish way of life but for many it’s a question of trust. The level of service, prices and policies can vary tremendously between shops in the same market. How do you know you are getting qualified service at a fair price?

It’s better to find a good automotive shop before you need one than when you get in the car and it doesn’t start. To help you with that task the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), an organization that tests and certifies shops and technicians offers these tips:

  • Friends and coworkers are excellent resources for learning what shops to go to and just as importantly, which to avoid.
  • When you pull into the parking lot of your grocery store or mall be on the lookout for drivers getting into or out of cars that are the same make and model as yours. Ask the driver where they get their car serviced and would they recommend a shop. Sometimes these candid referrals are the best.
  • If a shop you are considering has a Facebook page, Yelp page or other social media accounts review them to get a feel for their approach and their following. Check the local BBB for outstanding complaints.
  • Check their website and see if their technicians are ASE certified. Better yet, does it have the Blue Seal of Excellence from ASE that is awarded to shops with the best overall service performance from technicians, to service managers, to estimators to business practices.
  • Start small with an oil change or tire rotation. This gives you an opportunity to interact with the service manager and staff and evaluate their attention to customer service.
  • In their waiting room there should be evidence of their proficiency like ASE training certificates, “Manufacturer Authorized Service” plaques and signs of community involvement like the the local Chamber or sponsorship of events.
  • The actual garage won’t be hospital clean but it should look organized and the floor should be free of empty packaging, scraps and other debris.
  • Labor rates, fees for testing and diagnostic work, warranties, methods of payment, etc. should be posted in the front office/waiting room.

These steps may seem like a lot of trouble but trust us, when you find a mechanic that you trust your approach to car maintenance will take a whole new turn. When you are confident that the technician working on your car has your best interest at heart, you will take better care of your car.

If you found this article helpful visit our blog at Broken Vehicles for more of the same.

HOW TO GET THE BEST PRICE SELLING YOUR JUNK CAR

Is it finally time to sell that junk car that’s taking up space in the garage? If you have a car that’s on its last legs and the cost of repairing it exceeds the value of the car, then it is time to let it become someone else’s problem. If you have a junk car that you want sell you have several options. None of the options are going to offer you anything near what your car would be worth if it were in “good” condition but hey, it’s a junker.

So who buys junk cars? Junk yards that deal in scrap metal will obviously be interested in a hunk of steel, aluminum and copper. Salvage yards that sell used car parts are another source. If your car happens to be a popular model you may find an individual looking to restore it. Charities will take it off your hands (providing it has 4 inflated tires) and possibly give you a tax break. If the car runs, you may find a dealer who will take it as a trade in. Lastly there are companies like Broken Vehicles that specialize in buying junk cars.

How to get Top Dollar for Your Junk Car

Before you sell your car make sure you do your homework to get the best possible price.

  1. Proof of ownership. Make it easy for your buyer to buy from you. Have the title available, latest registration and the paperwork required by your DMV for a title transfer. If you are selling to an individual you want to be careful you don’t violate your state’s lemon laws. Generally speaking, lemon laws do not apply to cars sold “as is” or for less than $700.
  2. Establish a value. You are going to get questions about what’s wrong with the car. Do an honest assessment of its condition. The transmission may be shot but don’t forget the poor suspension, iffy brakes and the crack in the dashboard. Use any of the car value tools available online to find your year, make and model. Look to the definition of “poor” condition and then adjust from there to come up with a price.
  3. Will it run? There are junk cars and there are junk cars. If your vehicle can actually run it will be more attractive to buyers. It will also save you the price of a tow as many scrap and salvage yards require you to get the junker to their location. If a small repair can get the vehicle running it may be worth a few hundred dollars difference in the sale price.
  4. Get a price. Start calling the junk and salvage yards in your area and getting quotes. If your car runs (or even if it doesn’t) call yards in nearby cities to see if there is a difference in price. It’s important to be honest about the condition of the car because the buyer is going to want to inspect the car before making a final offer.
  5. Save time and get a fair price. Call a dealer like Broken Vehicle that specializes in buying broken cars. They have their own network of buyers and they know what’s hot and what’s not in the salvage business. Net result is you get a fair price with a single call. At Broken Vehicle they will come to your home, inspect the vehicle, do the paperwork, pay you and haul the junker away often in the same day you call.

Your junk car takes up space, is an eye sore, can become home to critters and is generally a pain to have on your property. Sell it and put some cash in your pocket today.

HOW YOUR JUNK CAR CAN HELP YOU WHEN THE DALLAS ECONOMY HAS YOU DOWN

Oil is big business in Dallas and when the oil industry gets clobbered like it has over the past six years a lot of people in Dallas and elsewhere in Texas get clobbered as well. If you are one of the thousands that have been hit by the downturn then you are probably still waiting for a “recovery” that everyone is talking about.

You have already cut your expenses to the bone and you are scared to death of an unexpected bill or emergency that will cost money you simply don’t have.

However, you may have an asset that can bring you some help. If you have a car that is so beat up it would cost more to fix it than it would be worth in the “fixed” condition, then you have a junk car and it can be worth dollars. Maybe you were just waiting for things to get better and your financial position improved to make the repairs needed to get the clunker rolling again. But if you need cash…like today…then you should consider getting cash for your car even though it doesn’t run.

There is a Market for Junk Cars in Dallas and Across the Country

It may look like a piece of junk to you but to a scrap yard there is value in the steel, lead, aluminum, copper and other materials that make up your car. For a salvage yard it’s the parts and components particularly if your car is a popular model.

If you are thinking about going the scrap yard, salvage yard route then you’ll want to call all of them in the area to get quotes and to find out if they tow the vehicle for free or charge. Different yards have different customers and there may be a significant difference in quotes particularly with the salvage yards.

There is another market for your junk car. In Dallas and most other major cities in all 50 states there is an outfit called Broken Vehicles that specializes in buying junk cars. They have a nationwide network of salvage buyers and auto auctions that allow them to offer top dollar for your junk car and they make it easy.

It starts with you filling out an online form giving the basics and condition of your car or truck. They are open 7 days a week for your convenience. Once they receive your form they will send you a top dollar quote. If you like what you see the transaction can be completed (cash in your hand and the vehicle removed) typically in the same day.

Stop searching your couch for loose change and find out how much that old junk car is worth today.

WHEN DOES A CAR BECOME A JUNK CAR?

That may sound like a silly question to most Dallas drivers but if you have a borderline clunker the most accepted answer is if the cost of repair exceeds the value of the vehicle in the “restored” condition then it’s a junk car. In other words if you need to spend $3500 in repairs and the car, with repairs, is only worth $2800 then you probably will be better off selling it as junk or salvage than spending the money on restoring it.

That’s a simple answer but it can get more complicated if that “junk car” is not located on your property.

If for example your car is at a repair shop and you can’t afford the repair the owner of the shop may charge you a storage fee for every day it sits on his property. If your car gave out in a parking lot somewhere, the owner of that property can have it towed to a lot where it will start accruing storage fees. If your car is abandoned on the side of the road or any public property, Dallas or the county or the state will eventually use the plates or VIN to track you down and charge you for their cost of towing the junk off public land.

If the car is not on your property it’s best to bite the bullet and get it towed to your place; if you don’t you will be on the hook for higher storage and towing fees.

Who Do You Sell a Junk Car To?

In Dallas, as in most of the rest of the country you have 4 options to sell your junk car and one to give it away. If you are looking for cash from your junk car you will want to do some shopping around to find the best net deal.

  • Salvage yards. These folks are interested in your parts. If your junk car is a popular make and model its undamaged parts are worth some bucks to these folks. Typically you can get a quote over the phone or online but it will be contingent on a physical inspection. There’s also the question of towing. Some yards will tow your junk car away for free others will want to charge.
  • Junk yards. These operations are more interested in the steel in your chassis and the lead in your battery. They quote based on the value of the scrap metals thy can extract from your car. Like salvage yards they may or may not charge for towing.
  • Sell it yourself. This is always an option and you can list your junk car on CraigsList or others in hopes of finding a buyer who wants to restore the car and seek a salvage title. The process is rife with problems and is not recommended.
  • Sell it to a specialist. In Dallas, as well as many major cities nationwide, a company called Broken Vehicles specializes in buying junk cars. It’s as simple as filling out an online form which describes the car and condition and then getting a quote. If you like the price, Broken Vehicles can be at your home, inspect the car and pay you top dollar all in the same day. No more junk car worries and you’ll have dollars in your pocket.
  • Lastly you can give the vehicle to any of a number of charities who will tow it for free and you could end up with a tax deduction at the end of the year.

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