Sell A Damaged Car: All You Need To Know

Sell a damaged car

Selling a car that’s in mint condition requires no special effort. All you have to do is post an ad or visit a dealership, meet the buyer, negotiate the final price, and all is done.

The real issue arises when you have to sell a damaged car, which no regular person is willing to buy and can’t get a decent cash for your car.

A broken vehicle won’t get anything near the market value, and you are better off looking for someone who wants to spend cash on scrap cars.

But how do you find a buyer like that? Where should you look? Who should you consult?

This article will cover

Questions like that are common, and I intend to answer all of them in this short guide for selling a damaged car.

Legal Requirements To Sell Damaged Car

First, you should ensure that the law allows you to sell a damaged car and what other documents are required in the transaction. In NSW, the rule is simple for damaged vehicles.

  • You can sell a car in NSW if it doesn’t have a roadworthy certificate.
  • You must have your car registered in your name. It is possible to sell it unregistered, but that’s a lot of legal hassle that you don’t necessarily want.
  • If your vehicle is lightly damaged and can still run on the road, it must have a ‘green slip’ or compulsory third-party insurance (CTP). For unregistered vehicles, this is not a requirement.
  • If the car is written off, you cannot usually repair it, except in particular circumstances. If you can’t, you can only sell it to a scrap yard for parts and metal.

Once you have cleared the legal obstacle and you are sure you can sell your car, it’s time to answer the next question.

Which Medium Should You Choose To Sell Damaged Cars?

Converting an old car to cash might sound easy, but that’s only true if you know where to sell your vehicle. You must adopt a targeted approach and use a suitable medium for this job for the best results.

Here are a few you can consider for optimal results.

Sell Online

The best place to sell cars for cash is on the internet. This near-limitless resource allows you to sell your vehicle to people or recyclers located in far-off areas. On top of that, you have local options to increase your chances of successfully selling your car.

You can use the internet to post an ad on Facebook Marketplace, on classified websites, on forums, or take the opportunity to contact car wreckers who love old vehicles directly. The possibilities are endless!

Newspaper Advertisements

One of the conventional ways to sell a vehicle is by posting an ad in a newspaper and waiting for a possible buyer to contact you. Yes, this method is slow, but it allows you to reach serious buyers who usually call to make the purchase and not waste your time.

If you still want a more targeted approach, post ads in car magazines to get a better response.

Through Your Contacts

Your connections can get you a long way, and that’s true even in today’s world. When newspaper ads and the internet weren’t a thing, people relied on their friends, family, and relatives to help them. Basically, I know a guy who knows a guy, but for cars. So, if you have this option, why not avail it? You might be surprised how lucrative this method can be!

Who To Sell Your Damaged Car?

Plenty of options are available to you, from private buyers to car wreckers. So, you must choose the one that suits you and offers you the most money for your broken car. Here are some options you can consider:

Auction House

Auction houses are ideal places to sell an old vehicle, especially if it is heavily damaged or written off. These guys can help you auction your car to a potential buyer, say a collector or a person looking for a donor vehicle for parts. If your car is rare, it can attract a lot of bids, and you can get more money for it than you might have if you sold it to someone else.


  • You can attract high bids for rare cars
  • Multiple auctions throughout the year, so there are more chances
  • The auction house takes care of most legalities


  • If your car is commonly found on Australian roads, you might not get good bids
  • There is a chance of the offers being too low and unprofitable
  • Auctions are time-consuming
  • Delivery of the vehicle, once sold, could be your responsibility

Private Buyers

Nothing can beat selling your car privately to someone you know or found through an ad because you can negotiate for days and get the best price. However, there is a reason not many people use this method to sell damaged vehicles. When selling privately, you can’t be sure that a buyer will turn up and purchase your vehicle. They might waste your time by not showing up or lowballing you into selling the car at an unattractive price.


  • Possibility to negotiate price
  • Face-to-face contact with the buyer
  • You can stumble upon collectors who want your car for parts


  • It isn’t easy to come across many private buyers
  • The danger of being lowballed
  • In case you sell the car, delivery costs are on you

Tips For Selling A Damaged Car

Naturally, when you sell, you want the most cash for your car. The tips below should help you:

Make Repairs, If Possible

Mechanics are so expensive nowadays that it is uneconomical to get your car repaired. So, when a vehicle gets damaged, most people sell it or trade it for a new one. Ultimately, that’s not ideal because only a tiny part of your car may malfunction, and you are changing the entire car for it and selling it at a loss.

Instead, it would be best to look for easy car repairs. You can put on your DIY hat and look to make some rudimentary repairs yourself. This improves your car’s chances of going at a higher rate.

Assess the Damage & Estimate Car’s Price

You should continually assess your car and craft a list of all the things that might decrease its market value. Then, look for other vehicles in that condition to evaluate your car’s worth. This way, you’ll know if you are being tricked into selling your car for a lower price.

Sell Parts Instead of Whole Car

You can sell spare parts instead of the whole car if you want. You’d have to strip your entire vehicle of valuable components, post ads for them online, find a willing buyer, and sell the parts to them. This whole process is time-consuming and not easy for a first-timer, so most people sell their cars to wreckers and get rid of them completely.

Types of Damaged Cars

A vehicle can be damaged in different ways: Water-damaged, written-off, involved in a fender bender, or more. Here are the most common types of damaged cars people usually sell to convert their cars to cash.

Broken Car

A broken car has reached the end of its life, and it is better off being sold for scrap. Such vehicles are either heavily used, quite old, or not mechanically sound. You can repair them, but the effort is not worth your time or money. And you’ll likely get a reasonable price if you decide to fix and sell it in the market.

Hail-damaged Car

hail damaged car Sell A Damaged Car: All You Need To Know
hail damage to car. damaged hood and windshield

Those vehicles that sustain heavy damage from exposure to a hailstorm are classified as hail-damaged cars. They might be perfectly fine mechanically and from the inside, with their exterior heavily battered and bruised. Such cars can attract a reasonable price because they are all good apart from cosmetic damage.

Accident Car

Cars get into accidents that are usually repairable. But if your vehicle has been in a slightly major accident that is expensive to repair, it is classified as an accident car. You can sell this vehicle to someone who needs it because it’s not worth repairing and driving again.

Water-damaged Car

Cars wholly or partially inundated in water for a long time are water-damaged. Such vehicles become unsafe and expensive to repair, so they are better off being sold to the highest bidder.

Write-off Car

A vehicle in a heavy accident and deemed unsafe to drive on the road by the insurance authorities is termed a write-off car. Such cars are usually sold to recycling yards and turned into scrap metal.

How To Prevent Your Car from Damage?

The best thing you can do to protect your car from damage is to follow the road rules. If you follow the law and do your best, the chances of getting into an accident are more significant. But you can never be 100% certain, which is why, for the times when you are unlucky and someone else hits you, there is insurance.

Insurance coverage makes it easier to repair your car, especially if there is slight damage. However, even after you have coverage from the insurance company, you cannot completely prevent your car from damage. In the worst cases, you must still sell it to a willing buyer.


When you are looking to sell your damaged car, you must complete the legal obligations, collect the proper documents, decide which medium you want to choose, and then decide who you want to sell it to. All such topics are thoroughly covered in this guide, so you can return to it whenever you sell your damaged vehicle.

We buy scrap vehicles

We will happily purchase your scrap & unwanted vehicle for instant cash. Do you have one that you want to get rid of? Contact us now.

Share this article

Recent posts

Sell a damaged car

Got a scrap vehicle?

We purchase unwanted scrap cars, vans, utes, SUVs, 4WDs, trucks, and even buses throughout greater Sydney. We pay up to $9990 cash and free same-day removals. Get a quote to sell today.

Related posts