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Thread: Junk Cars

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Junk Cars

    I will Try to keep this short. My sister has 3 junk cars on her property that she wants to get rid of and maybe make a few $$$ as scrap. She lives in NJ and know maybe laws are different in other states but trying to get a feeling of what to do. She has the titles to 2 of them but not the third. If you are selling for scrap do you need the titles and if so do you need to sign them over?? What are other pitfalls to watch out for such as scams or future legal things. Do not want any followup to come back to her. Thanks. Any questions I will try to answer.
    John T.

  2. #2
    I wouldn't get my hopes up if I were her. You do need the titles and you do need to sign them over.

    I work in auto repair and fairly often we have vehicles come through the shop that people junk rather than fix. Usually they call a scrap yard from a neighboring town that comes and picks the cars up. When scrap prices were really high a few years back they were paying up to $250/vehicle but the last few I've seen have been about $115. Maybe prices are higher elsewhere and maybe you can get more if you can deliver. They do operate a salvage yard as well but from what I've seen have a set price they pay based on scrap value. Maybe if you had something newer with low miles with in-demand parts they'd be willing to pay more but from what I've seen the price is the same whether it's a nice Cadillac or crappy Cavalier.

    South of town there is an old school junkyard where about anything goes. If you don't have a title you can probably make it disappear there but you're going to get less money.

    I'm sure there are people in the scrap business who can make things disappear as well. If I had a junk vehicle with no title I'd look for someone like that and be happy to have it go away without costing me anything.

    Alan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Bartlesville, OK
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    The catalytic converters alone can be worth up to two hundred dollars each due to the precious metals. Don't sell them with the car bodies! Same thing with the lead batteries, sell them separately. The scrap value of the steel might surprise you right now. Steel and cast iron commodity prices are quite high again. Of course that does not guarantee the buyers are yet passing that along.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwayne Watt View Post
    The catalytic converters alone can be worth up to two hundred dollars each due to the precious metals. Don't sell them with the car bodies! Same thing with the lead batteries, sell them separately. The scrap value of the steel might surprise you right now. Steel and cast iron commodity prices are quite high again. Of course that does not guarantee the buyers are yet passing that along.
    I agree, pull the cats before you “sell” them, that’s where the money is. Do this before the cars are hauled away, you might need documentation. Then give the cars away as scrap (unless there’s anything else valuable still on them.)

    This can be difficult sometimes. Always be closing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    SE South Dakota
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    When I bought my acreage I had a junk car and pickup that I had no titles/registration to.
    Junk man came and picked them up, no problems at all.
    Also had him haul away old farm implements ie. elevator, manure spreader, tons of wire, running gears.........
    Took me my first 2 years of retirement to clean this dump out!

    Bruce
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Northern Florida
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    It was several years ago and on the other side of the country but at 2 different times in 2 different cities I had cars abandoned on property I owned. Both times I called a junkyard and said the vehicles were there and had been there a long time, Said I didn't know anything about them but if they disappeared I sure wasn't going to complain to anybody. They disappeared.

  7. #7
    "we" recently had to get rid of the FIL's old '77 Tbird and beat up Chev van, both rustbuckets sitting for years. One of the inlaws found a guy who picked them up and paid $175 each I think it was. There was NO paperwork to the Tbird whatsoever, the guy didn't care...

    As to pulling cat converters, I'm at the age where the money they may be worth ain't equal to what my time's worth and the hassle of removing the things
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  8. #8
    Recently in this burg ,there have been thefts of catalytic converters. Good running licensed cars in daylight hours. I think the perp is a skinny
    guy. But that’s just a hunch.

  9. #9
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    If she is concerned about legality, my advice would be to sell the two she has papers for, and while the tow truck is there have him tow the other to the street, then call police about the abandoned car. They will remove it, and government gets the money if any.

    I own an auto shop, and when the tenant leaves, I occasionally have to deal with this. Police will not take abandoned cars on private property, and say it is a civil matter.

    Of course my experience is not in a rural area.
    Rick Potter

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  10. #10
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    Theft of Prius cats is a thriving business. They have extraordinary amounts of precious metals and a thief with a friend can remove them in less than 2 minutes. That’s from pulling up along side to driving off. Currently they get 1500 to 1800 dollars per. It’s mainly the rhodium at $29000.00 per ounce but others as well. Some owners build or buy “cat shields” to cover theirs but only slows the thieves down if they’re determined.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Weber View Post
    Theft of Prius cats is a thriving business. They have extraordinary amounts of precious metals and a thief with a friend can remove them in less than 2 minutes. That’s from pulling up along side to driving off. Currently they get 1500 to 1800 dollars per. It’s mainly the rhodium at $29000.00 per ounce but others as well. Some owners build or buy “cat shields” to cover theirs but only slows the thieves down if they’re determined.
    The Honda Element is also a favorite target, or any vehicle with a lot of ground clearance (pickups etc.)

    The theory behind the shields is that when the thief sees it, he’ll move on to an easier target (say the Prius up the block.)

    You don’t have to run faster than the bear, you just have to run faster than the other guy. Etc.

  12. #12
    The salvage yards around here pay less if the vehicle has had the converter or battery removed.

    That's not to say you can't make more money by parting it out yourself. Depends on how involved you want to get.

    The most we've ever been paid from converter buyers is about $80. Usually less. Again, not to say we couldn't get more if we went out looking for somewhere to give us more money but it's not worth our time and hassle to do so for the few converters we replace. We just wait for them to come around and pick them up.

    Alan

    Alan

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gage View Post
    The salvage yards around here pay less if the vehicle has had the converter or battery removed.

    That's not to say you can't make more money by parting it out yourself. Depends on how involved you want to get.

    The most we've ever been paid from converter buyers is about $80. Usually less. Again, not to say we couldn't get more if we went out looking for somewhere to give us more money but it's not worth our time and hassle to do so for the few converters we replace. We just wait for them to come around and pick them up.

    Alan

    Alan
    When a junk yard gets a car to be junked what do they do with the titles??? My concerns are if that car does not make it to the scrap heap and gets stolen and is involved in some shady happenings can it come back to original owner??
    John T.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gage View Post
    The salvage yards around here pay less if the vehicle has had the converter or battery removed.

    That's not to say you can't make more money by parting it out yourself. Depends on how involved you want to get.

    The most we've ever been paid from converter buyers is about $80. Usually less. Again, not to say we couldn't get more if we went out looking for somewhere to give us more money but it's not worth our time and hassle to do so for the few converters we replace. We just wait for them to come around and pick them up.
    Some older cars (70’s say) had a lot of gelt in the cats. Five minutes with a jack and a Hackzall is good pay, if you’re slow and methodical, even better if you’re not. FWIW, no salvage yard in my area has ever asked if the cat was still there. If they lowball me, it most assuredly will not be. ;^)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    San Antonio, TX
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    412
    Some of this depends on how old the junk cars are (old enough cars may not have/need a title). Some folks I know who used to restore cars have run into this . Most states have a procedure for getting a title for a car abandoned on a property. New Jersey's is here https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/vehicletopics/abandoned.htm
    There is a different procedure for a vehicle abandoned on private vs public property.

    I know of some guys who threw away a rusty MG parts car. (the unibody was rusted so badly it was not recoverable). Trick is small enough pieces to put a part in the trash can each week until it was gone. (this was in the 70s)

    The more advanced version of this (circa 80s) is get a Plasma Cutter and slice and dice into small bits. I think that one was a Studebaker.
    Though if it looks like scrap metal not recognizable as being from a car...

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