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Advice needed on selling a car for parts

Hi, folks. I have a '96 Chevy Blazer that has gotten to the end of the line. I don’t want to trade it in, since I’m not in the market for another car just yet, so I think selling it for parts is my best bet. Any advice on determining a fair price, where to advertise, legalities, logistics, etc.? Many thanks for your help!

What shape is it in? Does the engine run, is the transmission is working order? Is it 4 wheel drive? is it rusty? All of these items will have an impact on the final sale price.

One thing right off the bat, MAKE SURE you see the title get tranfered. I mean go down with the purchaser to the proper office, and make sure it gets done. This makes certain that if the new owner decides to make it streetable again after taking possession, you won’t be on the hook for any legal problems if said purchaser decides to run up a bunch of parking tickets, gets in an accident, etc. If the prospective purchaser doesn’t want to do that, then don’t sell it to them.

Thanks, DrRocket! The engine runs, the transmission (a replacement, circa 2011) works, and it’s not rusty. The interior is even in good repair. It does have a cracked gasket and a weird electrical problem that drains batteries. Tires are in decent shape. It also has an actual, honest-to-goodness U.S. Cellular car phone with a cord and everything, circa '96. Pretty sure that’s not a selling point, though–unless somebody’s running a Museum of Defunct Technology.

OK, all those things make good selling points for a home mechanic who might just buy it as a project truck to fix up and either flip or drive.

Look on your local Craig’s list listings and see what comparable trucks are going for. You can always start a little higher than you think you might get, and put a “or best offer” caveat at the end. Not knowing what the market is in your area makes it tough to put an actual dollar figure to it.

Want to re-emphasize my advice about the title. My wife works in the state office that handles them, and she hears horror stories EVERY DAY from people who trusted buyers to get the title switched, and find out the hard way it never got done.

“For Sale as is needs repair” $2500.00 or best offer.

Are you wanting to sell it COMPLETE as a parts car, or are you planning to part it out yourself?

If it’s a complete package, then you will need the title as stated above. Also give and keep a copy of the signed title AND a bill of sale. This protects you in the event the buyer doesn’t bother to register and insure the vehicle and wrecks it or it gets impounded for any reason after the sale. (It happened to me once.) I know it’s supposed to be for parts, but anything can happen.


Based on the condition of the Blazer, I suggest you sell it complete, not for parts

In my neck of the woods, there are plenty of Blazers still running around, many of them in awful shape, and some are older than yours

Here’s an idea . . . get it smogged now. A fresh smog makes for good advertising. The prospective buyer will have less worries, because it already passed. Don’t forget to mention it has a recent transmission. And be upfront about the leak and the battery drain.

Complete the DMV release of liability and whatever else applies in your state.

@db4690 & @Afjones There are a lot of states that do not require any kind of smog testing. As long as the wind blows north or south, our small amount of automotive pollution just goes to another state that doesn’t require smog testing either. It almost never blows from the east.

My vote would be for selling it complete and as is with documentation.

What state is this in? I think some states require even private sellers to jump through a few hoops.

In OK it’s a hand the money over, here’s the car, adios forever thing.

Forget selling it for parts. Sell it to somebody who sells the parts as a business. It is worth more in one big piece.

@pleasedodgevan2 it’s a '96, so that may not be true. The problem is finding people to buy the individual parts while it sits at your house. If it were worth more in one piece, why would a salvage yard buy it?

No one who buys a car for parts is going to want to register it at the DMV. In NY you cannot register an uninsured car. It must be insured by the buyer and the registration and plate fee paid.
You then get a temporary registration sticker for you windshield with your new plates that is good for 10 days to get it inspected.

There is also no release of liability waver with the NY DMV.

There is a way to indicate you have junked the car when you go to the DMV and pay the plate surrender fee.

If you don’t surrender the plates you will get a bill for the insurance the state has provided for you because you have let the insurance lapse. At a pricey dailey rate.

You will not be able to renew your license or any registration in your name.

Also if you have a state income tax refund coming, they will take that,

Do not mess with New York State.