How Vehicle Title Impacts The Value of a Junk Car

A title of ownership is a document that indicates the ownership of a particular car. Titles are transferred between owners after a sale has been completed, thus leaving a paper trail of whose name the vehicle has been bought and sold under. Titles also include other helpful information, such as a vehicle's VIN, the latest odometer reading, and the address of the owner or information of the lienholder if the vehicle was financed.

There are various reasons why a junk car owner may not have a title. These documents may have gotten lost or stolen or suffered water or fire damage. Abandoned vehicles often don't have their title of ownership in the console, thus requiring anybody who wishes to claim these vehicles with the job of securing a replacement title at a small fee.

Depending on what type of vehicle a junk car has, such as a clean, rebuilt, or salvage title, junk car buyers will weigh how much they can offer. Vehicles with no titles take a hit on valuation, which can be well over $100 less than a comparable vehicle with a title of ownership. At the end of the day, junk car buyers will help you to sell your vehicle so long as they can ensure it's not stolen and that the state doesn't make it illegal to transfer ownership of a car without a title.

The vehicle title is one of the 7 factors that determine a junk car's value.

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    The Role a Title Plays in Determining Junk Car Prices

    A title of ownership can play an important part in a junk car buyer's valuation of the vehicle. Without a title, some states don't allow a sale to be processed at all. This effectively places the value of a junk car without a title at zero until a replacement title is procured. Other times, there is room for negotiations on scrap cars without a title, such as when local laws allow junk cars to be sold to licensed junk yards without a title.

    Without a title, there is the possibility that a car has been stolen. Junk car buyers or scrap yards don't want to face the legal responsibility of purchasing stolen vehicles, as this can affect their license and ability to do business. Professional services will do their due diligence to ensure they're buying from the legal owner of the junk car. When possible, buyers can purchase vehicles without a title in place while still staying within the legal requirements of the state.

    Value of Junk Cars Based on Title Status

    Junking a vehicle with no title becomes more difficult but not impossible in most cases. Junk Car Medics is happy to buy junk cars with no titles when allowed by state and local rules and regulations around the buying and selling of cars. When selling privately, vehicles with rebuilt titles are often worth much less than similar makes and models that have a clean title. Rebuilt titles indicate that the vehicle was at one point totaled by insurance, though it has since been repaired and considered roadworthy once again.

    In the eyes of a junk car buyer, a rebuilt title means that all main components are in working condition. Oftentimes, the transmission and engine may be in better shape than the original depending on when they were replaced.

    Type of Title Average  Junk Value at Pickup
    Clean Title $742.07
    Rebuilt Title $712.90
    Missing Title $262.42

    The chart above shows how drastically the value of a junk car drops when it has no title. Whenever possible, requesting a replacement title, even if it's a junk or salvage title, will noticeably increase the cash offer for a junk car. Replacement fees are generally around the $10 range, if not cheaper.

    Title Requirements in Different States

    Not all states view vehicles without a title in the same way, though most prefer to see a valid title of ownership in place before a vehicle can be sold. In states such as Florida, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin, owners are legally allowed to junk a car without a title. In Wisconsin, the documentation needed sans a title of ownership is a certificate of vehicle registration and a signature on a junk bill of sale.

    If the junk car is more than a decade old, states will oftentimes lessen their restrictions on junking without a title. Other states, such as Tennessee, permit the sale of a junk vehicle without a title so long as their substitution title form is filled out.

    In Rhode Island, a title is only required on private sales of vehicles from 2000 or newer. For older cars, owners can use a bill of sale. As you can see, each state sets forth its own rules and regulations surrounding junking a car without a title. To get the most accurate information on what your state has to say on the matter, reach out to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

    Are Cars Worth More With a Salvage Title Than No Title?

    Any title is better than having no title. This provides proof of ownership, and many junk car buyers prefer to buy vehicles when they know exactly who owns them, as this keeps the sale above board and doesn't complicate the legalities of the process. Some states allow junk cars to be scrapped whether they have a title or not.

    Salvage titles are often an indicator that they would cost significantly more to repair than they would be to scrap for parts. The insurance company deems the vehicle as a total loss. Many insurance companies will no longer provide policy coverage for vehicles that have been branded with a salvage title. This no longer matters once a vehicle is sold to a junk car buyer, as it won't be driven on the road anymore.

    When Will Junkyards Buy Vehicles Without a Title?

    Following the local and state stipulations for buying a junk car with no title, junkyards will often want to see the following documentation.

    • There is no current lienholder — This means that the vehicle is paid off and there is no active claim on the junk car. Junk car buyers cannot purchase cars when the driver does not yet legally own the vehicle. The balance must be paid off for the lien to be released.
    • The vehicle is in your name — The junk car must be registered in the name of the individual selling it. Many junk yards aren't able to purchase on a bill of sale alone.
    • A valid form of state identification — Identification should not be expired and if it is, this should be resolved before trying to sell a junk car.
    • The current form of insurance — In many states, car insurance is required to drive or hold an active license within the state. Bring your proof of insurance to help prove ownership, especially when you don't have access to a title.
    • Vehicle registration — An unexpired registration can be used to prove ownership of a vehicle, but generally not on its own. Bring this document to include with everything else when selling your car.

    Most junkyards and junk car buyers will have a website, where potential sellers can glance at the standards that are needed to sell a vehicle. If you are lost or confused about what you need to do, the buyer can often instruct you and lead you in the right direction. Remember, they buy 100s, if not 1000s, of junk cars each year. For many people, selling a junk car only happens a few times within their lifetime, if that.

    How Do You Transfer a Title Over to a Junk Car Buyer?

    When the tow driver comes to collect the vehicle, they will do a once-over to ensure there was no unmentioned damage or flaws with the vehicle that the seller failed to disclose. Once the vehicle is ready to go, the tow driver will have over the cash or check and both the buyer and seller will sign the title.

    Once the sale is completed, sellers should notify the DMV. Generally, you have a 15-30 day timeframe to complete this step. It's also required that the license plates are turned in or transferred to another vehicle, as this prevents them from being used on a car that they're not registered to. If you're unsure of how to complete this process, our junk car buyers can assist.

    Will You Receive Less Cash for a Junk Car Without a Title?

    Yes, you will receive less cash when junking a car without a title. On average, offers decrease by $132 for junk cars that don't have a title. Considering that a replacement generally costs around the $25 mark, it's a worthwhile fee to pay to get the most cash for a junk car. A title also protects the buyer from unknowingly purchasing a stolen vehicle. A missing title doesn't always indicate something nefarious, such as title skipping or trying to sell a lemon, they often leave a question mark that many buyers are uncomfortable with.

    Junk Yards that Buy Scrap Cars Without a Title Near Me

    Before researching local junkyards and junk car buyers in your area, first, research the rules and regulations within your state and city. If the law disallows vehicles from being junked without a title, you'll have to remedy this first. Begin by heading to the DMV with the required documentation, such as a license, registration number, and any other proof of ownership you may have, as well as the money for the replacement fee. Replacement or duplicate titles may take 1-3 weeks before they arrive via mail.

    If your state allows junk cars to be sold without a title, make sure you read the fine print. In some states, you will need to print extra documentation such as a substitution form. These forms indicate that no title is available. Local junk yards will be well versed in buying cars without a title, as they face this situation daily.

    Junk Car Medics buys scrap cars in all conditions. The process of selling a junk car has never been easier with the quick and straightforward online estimation tool that is available 24/7. We buy your end-of-life vehicles and any unwanted car that you have for cash. We are happy to help sellers collect the required documentation and complete the process of applying for a replacement title when the state requires it.

    How to Prove Ownership of a Vehicle Without a Title to Boost Value

    Junk car dealers want some type of proof of ownership before they consider buying a vehicle. This can be in the form of the following documents when a title is not available.

    • Bill of sale — This acts as evidence that a vehicle was sold and when it was sold. The document should have the buyer and seller's information on it, along with the price the vehicle was sold for.
    • Registration — Vehicle registration indicates that the car is authorized by the state to be driven. The registration includes the VIN, make, model, and the owner's address.
    • Proof of Insurance — This document will have the driver's name on it, along with the vehicle's make and model.

    While these documents can't always replace a title of ownership, they can be helpful to have on hand as backup proof of ownership. According to the law in certain states, junkyards may need a copy of these documents on hand to prove that they did not buy a stolen car.

    Do You Need a Title to Sell to Online Junk Car Buyers?

    Online junk car buyers face the same regulations and laws as local junk yards. They still have to adhere to the requirements set forth by the state concerning when junk cars do and do not need to have a title.

    When possible, Junk Car Medics will buy scrap cars without a title. If the law prohibits vehicles from being sold without a title, the owner will need to seek a replacement title before the sale is made. Junk Car Buyers can provide you with helpful steps for seeking a replacement title on a junk car and we are happy to work with owners of junk cars without a title.

    To receive a fast estimate for your junk car, use the online estimation tool. This requires information about the vehicle, such as make, model, year, odometer reading, condition, and what type of title it has, if any. Junk Car Buyers can complete a cash deal in 1-2 days once an offer is accepted. Many sellers make over $500 for their junk cars, which is a nice chunk of change to have in your pocket for an old clunker.

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