By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

June 9, 2022
Who Buys Cars without a Car Title

Are you curious...

Who Buys Cars without a Car Title?

You might be wondering if you can sell your car without a Title or car title pink slip. It is illegal in most states to sell a car that is intended to be used on public roads without a title.

This is to help protect the buyer against future issues like having the car reported as stolen or having a bank lien against it.

A car without a valid title might be seen as a junk car but there are options in obtaining a new title which we will cover in another blog post. 

In spite of the fact that many legitimate and lawful reasons may exist for a car not owning a title (e.g., lost title in a move or it is damaged, a car was registered by somebody else, the lender holds a lien), many prospective purchasers will consider the absence of one suspicious. Additionally, take into account that without proof of ownership, it's illegal in many states to sell a car.

If that is the case, you may be subject to surrender your vehicle since technically you do not own the vehicle and will not be able to register it under your name.

However, if you have a car and need to move it off your lot or property, there are ways to get rid of your car without having a title. 

Who Buys Cars without a Car Title

TIP: If you can apply for a replacement title or apply for a duplicate title, that would be your best bet, especially if the car is semi-running or has some good part on it. Just google how to get a replacement title and it will allow you more options. Having a car title shows that the vehicle is not stolen or obtained via dishonest methods.

If getting a replacement title is not possible, the next best option is to sell it to a recycler or junkyard. There are yards that will take your junk car and part it out. You may be required to provide registration and ID. 

You can also sell your vehicle or junk car for parts only locally on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Here you will have to state that there is no title and it should be used for parts only. As for the legalities, check with your local state on the laws regarding this. 

Can You Sell a Vehicle Without A Car Title?

Yes, but the car buyer will need to ensure that they understand the risks related to the purchase. If there are any issues with the Title such as liens, stolen report or other, there is really no recourse to get their money back. 

Yes, you can sell a car without a title but the value of the car will be dramatically low compared to a private party. This is because the vehicle may be perceived as a junk car since it cannot be registered without a title. This is good for individuals that understand this fact and are ok with it. 

Who Buys Cars without a Car Title

Risks of Selling a Car without a Car Title

Buying a car without a title is illegal in most cases, and you could face serious consequences if you're caught. Here are some of the risks associated with car shopping without a title:

You may not be able to get your money back if the car you buy turns out to be stolen or has a lien on it by a bank.

Will a Junkyard Buy a Car Without the Title or Registration?

Yes, there are junkyards and recyclers that would accept a car without a title. Most would look for registration to indicate that you owned and registered the car at one point in your name. They will also check the car vehicle identification number matches all panels to make sure it is not reported stolen. Again as mentioned, sometimes yards may require you to apply for a duplicate lost title before they can take the vehicle and make an offer.

As for the price, you most likely will not get more than $500 for a car. However, it would be advantageous to remove any valuable parts off the car for resale. 

Most of the time, the junkyards will just scrap the chassis and body for scrap metal prices. 

person standing near metal machien

Here are some valuable parts to remove from junk cars:

  • Catalytic converters
  • Seats
  • Door Cards
  • Headlights and Taillights
  • Wheels
  • Suspension
  • Radio and Dash

I have found that exhaust parts do not fetch too much money. Also body panels like doors and fenders are ok but they can be heavy to store and move around. 

I suggest you check places like ebay and facebook marketplace to market prices of your parts. 

How to Find Junk Yards That Buy Cars Without the Title

One organization that works with picking up cars without titles is Kars4Kids.org. We donated a 2000 Pontiac Bonneville years ago. The process was easy and a quick Google search can provide a quick list of places that will take your car. 

Most of these places are Salvage Yards that house and store salvage titled cars to recycle and part out. A salvage title is a branded title that says the car is not roadworthy. A salvage car that is repaired and passes inspection can be branded as a Rebuilt Title.  

Who Buys Cars without a Car Title

Who Actually Buys Cars without Title

As mentioned earlier in the blog, junkyards and charities can buy cars without a title. They typically have experience dealing with junk cars and can provide insights on why they buy junk cars. You might also gain interests from car enthusiasts or rebuilders that need a parts car to help with their next project. It would be prudent to explicitly note on the bill of sale that it's for parts only and as-is. 

Another step to help protect you as the seller, is to report the sale to your local DMV. This will help ensure that any parking tickets or violations can be recorded that you no longer have possession of the vehicle. 

Sell a Car without a Title

Who Buys Cars without a Car Title

There are some services that will buy your car based on the registration information and your Driver's License. It does vary from state to state but there needs to be enough evidence that you are the rightful owner of the car and have the right to dispose of it. If you do get rid of your car, you should notify your local dmv regarding this. 

Get a Bonded Title

Another option is the look at a bonded title. A bonded title is a secure title that basically says that you are the rightful owner of the vehicle after certain conditions are met. We will cover bonded titles in another blog post. This will require you to obtain a surety bond.

However, in order to get a bonded title, you will need to make sure that it's not considered a junk car or parts only.

If a car is sold without a title, the car buyer is responsible for obtaining a title from the state in which the vehicle was sold. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but most states require the buyer to present some form of documentation showing that they own the car—such as a bill of sale, contract, or other legal document. In some cases, the buyer may be able to use a loan or lease agreement to show ownership.

Despite what is discussed with a sale of a car without a title, its best to take as many precautions as possible to protect yourself as a seller and also fully understand the risks involved as a buyer.

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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