How to Avoid a Junk Car Scam: 5 Things to Be Aware Of

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

Table of contents

Selling your junk car might seem intimidating in an industry rife with scam artists trying to make a buck. More than just searching “reviews for junk my car services,” this article will help you spot the scams and, more importantly, how to avoid them. 

Sign #1: Putting on the Pressure

Salespeople can be pushy. We all know that. If he or she isn’t, great — you’ve got a trustworthy sales assistant. But if they ARE pushy in trying to get you to sell your car, it’s a good sign you won’t be getting a fair deal. 

Below are some ways you can tell if the person pressuring you is trying to scam you out of a fair deal and things to watch out for to avoid junk car scams.

  • A time limit for their offer. It’s more difficult for humans to make rational decisions under pressure, so if the person gives you their offer “...but only if you take it in the next 5 minutes.” It’s likely you’re being pressured into an unfair deal.
  • They try to confuse you. An honest sales assistant will give you straightforward and clear answers to all of your questions. A salesperson trying to scam you will use vague language, sometimes not answering the question to make it seem like the junk car business is a confusing one. If you feel like you’re getting the runaround, you probably are. 
  • They tell you your car has no value. Anyone who is willing to give money for a junk car knows that your junk car has value. If they tell you your car doesn’t have any value, they’re likely trying to get you to believe that — and then sell your car for less than a fair price. 

Sign #2: They Change Their Offer

Sometimes a junkyard will give you an offer over the phone, only to change it once they see the car. They’ll say things like “it’s in worse condition than you described” or “it’s not the luxury edition of that model” or any other excuse on why this car they’re looking at is somehow worth less than the one you described over the phone.

If ever a salvage yard gives you one quote, then their offer drops at any point; they’re likely trying to involve you in a car salvage scam. This bait-and-switch is quite common (and persuasive!) because they know you’ve already towed the car over to the junkyard and want just to get rid of it rather than pay for a tow back home. Which brings us to our next red flag…

Sign #3: They Don’t Offer To Tow The Car For Free

Another red flag signaling you might be involved in a cash-for-cars scam is if towing isn’t included in their offer. They will often do this because then they can tell you there’s a towing fee — and it comes out of the offer. Any reputable junk car buyers will ALWAYS include free towing within their quote.

And if they make a recommendation for a towing company, run! It’s probably a friend of theirs, and they’re trying to sweeten the deal for everyone but you!

Sign #4: They Don’t Pay Cash

If a junk car buyer tried to pay you by check — or worse, mail you a check — you should definitely be suspicious. You don’t know that you’ll ever receive that check, and if you do, if it will even clear! In the car junking process, you’ll have to sign over the car with all the appropriate paperwork — so if that gets completed, but the check never passes, it’s their car and your payment problem. (Not to mention, you’ll have to foot the bill for your bank’s bounced check fee.) 

Don’t accept any payment for your junk car other than cold, hard cash — in your hand — in the exact amount promised. 

Sign #5: They Don’t Handle All the Paperwork

When you sell your junk car, you have to make sure all the paperwork is done in order to make a legal transfer of ownership. If you don’t make sure this paperwork is complete, the car will still be in your name — which means any ticket, violation, or fees (like “junkyard storage fees”) will be sent to you. This is how some cash for cars scams will cost you money long after your car has been towed away.

Junkcarsus is a Reputable Junk Car Buyer Working for 12 Years

So if I have to look out for junk vehicle buyers, how can I make sure I choose the right one? First, use the internet. Google “cash for cars review” or “we buy junk cars reviews,” and you’ll quickly see which ones have good and bad reviews. It’s fairly obvious to state but only deal with companies that have good junk car removal reviews.

At JunkCarsUS, we have over 12 years experience and are the leading buyers of junk cars all across the USA

So, are cash for cars companies scams? Some of them are, yes. At JunkCarsUS, on the other hand, we:

    • Never pressure anyone into selling. Not only do YOU have to reach out to US to sell your car, but we also will never pressure you into getting rid of your car. We offer same-day service for your convenience, not to try to get you to sell your car quicker! 
    • We NEVER change our offer. Once you have our top dollar instant offer, we will never try to renegotiate the price. The number we give you is the exact amount of cash you’ll have in your pocket at the end of the day.
    • We offer FREE towing. That’s right. One of our trusted and safe tow truck drivers will come to your location at the time of your convenience and pick up your junk car at absolutely no cost to you. 
    • We pay cash. Cold, hard cash. In your hand. No waiting for a check in the mail, no worrying about if that check will bounce. 

  • We handle the paperwork. Our team of experts has done this thousands of times, so we know what information needs to be put on what paperwork. We are happy to show you ALL of the completed paperwork necessary for a legal transfer of ownership and even show you where to sign on the dot. 

So, if you want to avoid one of those “we buy any car” scams, give JunkCarsUS a call at (855) 547-1550 or fill out an online application to get your top dollar instant offer! We take nearly any vehicle — no matter how broken, damaged, or even totaled it is — and make you a cash offer we know you’ll be happy with! 

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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