Ditching an old car can be a painful process, but it can also be cathartic. If you've got an old beater that's turned into a rotting lawn ornament, then getting it off of your property is often a huge relief. Making a few dollars by selling it to a scrapyard is even better! Unfortunately, it's easy to overlook a few crucial steps in your rush to get rid of that old hulk.
Forgetting some critical steps can ruin the fun. However, before you say goodbye for good, make sure you take care of these three essential items to ensure a smooth sales process when you junk your car.
1. Cancel Your Car Insurance
In many cases, people cancel their existing insurance by transferring their coverage to a new vehicle. If you've already purchased a new car, or if you're selling a junk car that served as a secondary vehicle, you may not be transferring your insurance at all. In this case, your insurer will not be aware that your car has changed hands and will continue with your existing policy.
To avoid paying extra fees on a vehicle that you no longer own, always contact your insurance company to directly cancel your policy. The salvage yard won't need to take your car for a test drive before buying it from you, so it is unnecessary to keep your policy active on your pick-up day.
2. Turn In Your Plates
Old insurance policies aren't the only way your old car can continue to cost you money after junking it. Your city may rely on motor vehicle department records to determine property taxes, and the state typically bases those records on vehicle registrations. If you still have your old license plates, your motor vehicle department will not inform your town that you have sold your car.
Turning in your old plates is the best way to ensure that you won't find yourself with a property tax bill for a car you junked years ago. If you want to be sure, contact your city hall's tax office to confirm that they have the sale on record.
3. Collect All Documentation
A junkyard won't be able to take your vehicle without certain pieces of documentation. Depending on the vehicle's age, you may need to provide a title or simply to sign a bill of sale. Whatever the case, discuss the documentation requirements with the scrapyard before the tow truck driver arrives. Having all of your documentation on hand ensures that you won't hit any unexpected snags.