Auto Junkyard Scams to Watch For

Junkyard scams are plentiful — countless dishonest scrapyards take advantage of unsuspecting car owners.

Your goal?


Don’t become the victim of one of these common junkyard scams. Make sure you know what to watch for the next time you need cash for an older car, and how to protect yourself against common traps.

The Disappearing Price Quote

One of the oldest junkyard scams around — the disappearing price quote — starts when a car owner calls up a junkyard to get a quote. They honestly describe the vehicle’s condition, and the junkyard worker gives them a price. They like what they hear, so they have the vehicle towed to that company.

Once the car arrives, the second price they hear is drastically lower than what they were told over the phone. But since the car has already been towed there, they feel pressured to give in and “take what they can get.”

You should never bring your car to a scrapyard without first getting quotes from multiple companies. If possible, get these quotes in writing. That way, if one company tries to lowball you once you arrive, you have alternate options and solid proof that they’re in the wrong.

The “No Value” Lie

What’s worse than a lowball offer? Having your car towed to a scrapyard only to have them tell you it’s worth nothing.

Don’t fall for this trick — it’s clearly a lie. Every car is worth something, even if it’s just for parts. Never do business with a company that tells you your car isn’t worth a dime, but offers to “take it for you anyway.”

The Double Towing Charge

Another junkyard scam involves charging twice for vehicle towing.

Unbeknownst to many car owners, the towing charge is deducted from the junkyard’s price quote for their vehicle, then paid to the towing company. But the tow person may ask the car owner for payment anyway, forcing them to essentially pay twice for the same service. Find out up front if towing is included in the payout for your car.

The Delayed Payment Scam

Never trust a company that tells you your payment is “in the mail.” Never walk away from a junkyard without the full value of your car in hand. Otherwise, you may have a difficult time getting the money you’re owed.

False Registration Promises

Other junkyard scams involve your car’s registration. If you don’t make sure the tags are removed and the registration is canceled because you believed the scrapyard was taking care of it, you’re putting yourself at risk.

They may later try to charge you for “storage,” since the car was towed to their lot, and you may not have any legal recourse.

Honesty Is Essential

As you can see, junkyard scams can leave you broke, upset and stressed. Avoid all of that by working with an auto recycling yard that puts the customer first — Western Auto Wrecking. We treat you with the utmost respect and stand by our straightforward, honest policies. Call today to find out how you can sell your car for cash.