Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Best way to sell a new car that was in an accident because I do not have insurance coverage

Does anyone know how and where I can sell my 2011 VW Jetta that was in an accident and unfortunately, I do not have full insurance coverage on it? I was too confident of my driving skills (safe driver for more than a decade now) but I lost focus for a few seconds and that was it. I had state liability only. All the damage is in the front and airbags were deployed. I know that the most important part on the car is broken. The engine has a crack and the tranmission is broken. The question I have is:

  1. Who will give me the most value of this damaged car?
  2. What are some of the options if I want to maximize the value from selling it, maybe part by part or to a salvage company or to someone who has been hit from behind and can use the rest of the car parts?

I would appreciate if no one made fun of the stupid mistake I made here … :slight_smile:


Honestly, cut your losses, sell it to the junkyard. Yes, you can get more money out of it if you part it out. But that money will come in a trickle, and after you’ve sold all the good stuff, you’re going to be left with hundreds of parts that few people ever buy (who ever needs a new steering column?) and that you either have to pay someone to haul off or you have to hold on to them for the next 20 years hoping someone will buy them.

You’re also facing trying to sell used parts to people with 3 year old cars. If they need parts due to a wreck, their insurance company is going to buy the parts for them, and they won’t be shopping at your store, unfortunately. Parting a car out is more lucrative when you have a 10+ year old car that people are repairing themselves.

You’re up the creek in a number of ways. The front end damage and bag deployment along with a cracked engine and transmission makes this car essentially scrap metal.

You can call a salvage yard and get a quote but don’t expect much.
Scrap metal prices vary by area. Around here it’s 180 dollars a ton.
Run an ad on Craigslist with a Make an Offer option.
Piecing it out on Craigslist. There can be some substantial time and aggravation involved in this.

Wild guessing, I’d say the car would bring 500 as is from someone who really wanted and needed it.
Just wondering, but roughly how much are you looking to get out of it?

I agree, for the most part, with @shadowfax. sell it to a recycler. Parting out a car is only an option if you have lots of space to disassemble and store the car parts, lots of time and very tolerant (or no) neighbors. While used parts for a 3 year old car don’t have lots of demand, most better junkyards don’t keep parts around for over 10 year old cars. That leaves you with the 6-10 year old liability-insurance-only car crowd looking to save a buck or the 10+ crowd looking for bolt-on upgrades. This is a PITA. Sell it to the junkyard for as high a price as you can get.

Junk yard


There are guys who’ll tow junkers away for free. IMHO that’s your best option.

Yep, that’s what auto salvage companies do. They buy wrecked cars and part them out or melt them down. The only other option is advertising it as a repairable but the lack of an engine makes that unprofitable.

The salvage yard ideas above are the most practical.

If you have plenty of time on your hands and space to store the wrecked car – you are retired say – selling it part by part will bring the most $$. By far. I wouldn’t be surprised if you recouped 10 -20 times the dollar amount selling it part by part vs selling it to a recycler. You’d advertise on the internet or the local newspaper and eventually your ad would be noticed and you’d have calls left on your answering machine like “Is the O2 sensor still available? What about the fuel pump relay? etc”. You could determine the new cost of each part, and sell it used for 1/4 to 1/2 the new price or something like that. But it might take several years to sell all the parts, then you’d have the part-less carcass trucked to the recycler, where you might get another $100 or so for that, which might pay the trucking fee.

One other idea, you could drive to a few inde repair shops around town, bring some photos, and ask the mechanics there if they would be interested in buying it. Someone at the shop may have a kid or girlfriend who’d like a nice sporty car like that, and a mechanic might be willing to put the time and effort needed to get it back on the road.

In some respects it is good you didn’t have insurance, as if you did, the insurance company would own the car and you wouldn’t get this opportunity to figure out a way to make a few dollars. You might decide owning your own business is your thing based on this experience.

At least seems like you are fine yourself.

A body shop might want it because they could make some money on it.

You should check your states laws, many have laws in place where you cannot sell a car for anything other than scrap if it is missing it’s airbags.

Try listing it on Craigslist as a “Parts Car” Do not sell individual parts, you sell the entire car to a single buyer…I would try $600-$700 and see what happens. If nothing happens, call the local scrapper and take what he offers…

You might not see the value in the car, but it’s there to the right person…The fuel injection system, the interior parts…the gas tank / EVAP system, side windows and back-light…window regulators, rear suspension and brakes…Somebody wants that stuff…

if only you had rear ended a 2011 jetta…

oh sorry, you did not want be made fun of… :slight_smile:

I assume this vehicle does not have a current loan against it. If it did and was paid for before wreck you will need to pay for a lien release before you can sell it.

Actually if he/she had a loan and no insurance, it would be a good thing. Banks have general coverage for folks that lapse their insurance to protect their investment. The rates are sky high but at least it would cover the loss.