If you have a broken down or faulty used vehicle on your hands that no longer runs, you may wonder if it is possible to sell — and if so, how much it may be worth.
The good news is that you absolutely can sell faulty cars, though there are some legal barriers to navigate. Australian Consumer Law has strict consumer guarantees to protect buyers and conscientious sellers. For a nominal fee, buyers can even check your vehicle against the Personal Property Securities Register to make sure it’s as advertised.
As a private seller, you’ll be absolutely fine selling your faulty vehicle as long as you’re clear about its state and level of damage.
As for the resale price, you’ll be happy to know that private buyers and car salvaging businesses will pay top dollar for a car in practically any condition, roadworthy or not.
In this quick guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about selling faulty cars for cash.
How to sell a faulty car
Assess the damage
Begin by assessing the damage to your car.
- Minor incidental or accidental damage, such as bumper scuffs, kerbed alloys and stone chips, will only slightly reduce the value of your car.
- Insurance write-offs can be dealt with through your insurance company, or you can organise a private sale with an auction house, car dealer or salvage car buyer. The right buyer may pay above market value, even for cars with flood or hail damage.
- Electrical issues can be fixed or sold in faulty condition, whether roadworthy or unroadworthy.
- Mechanical issues can be challenging and expensive to fix. It may be best to sell your used car to a salvager rather than burdening yourself with the repair cost.
Get a quote and weigh up your options
When considering whether to sell or repair your vehicle, start by weighing your options.
- It is free to get a quote on your faulty car's worth. Whether it is old or new or has mechanical or body damage, getting a quote from a salvage car buyer is the best way to assess your options.
- Next, consider getting a repair quote from a trusted mechanic or vehicle repair service. You can choose to repair some, all, or none of the damage, as a salvage car buyer will purchase the car in any state.
With this information in hand, you can properly assess whether it makes more financial sense to repair and sell, or to sell in a damaged/faulty condition.
Decide on repairing or selling in faulty condition
There are many factors that affect whether or not you should bother repairing your vehicle before selling it.
- If a dealer guarantee or extended warranty covers your car’s damage, you might be able to get them to repair it at no cost to you. Salvage motor dealers will buy higher prices for cars in better condition.
- If you have to cover the repair costs yourself, consider repairing some of the damage rather than all of it. Weigh up various quotes.
- If the car has minor problems that can be easily fixed for less than $500, you may wish to repair it before selling.
- If the repairs exceed the amount you will get back from the sale, consider selling the car to salvage in its current state.
- Consider how much time you have to dedicate to the administrative side of repairing and selling your car. The fastest and easiest way to get rid of your faulty, non-running vehicle is to sell it to a salvage business.