Cash for cars? 17 places where you can sell a car for cash in 2022

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Need extra cash right now for yourself, your kids, or an unexpected emergency? Selling your car for cash can be a good way to make money quickly, even if your car isn’t in pristine condition. 

According to Carfax, new and used car inventories are at record lows, pushing car prices to record highs. What does that mean for you? Now is a great time to sell your car for cash. 

Many places will give you cash for your car, and some will even accept your car if it’s no longer running. We’ve put together two lists of cash for car buyers:

9 places where you can get cash for cars

If you want to sell your car for cash and it’s still in decent condition, a number of options exist: 

AutoTrader

How to sell your car for cash: AutoTrader is an online marketplace to sell your car to private buyers. Enter your license plate number and state, and Autotrader will automatically populate information about your vehicle and provide an estimated market value based on recent sales of similar vehicles. 

Once you set your listing price, write a vehicle description, and upload photos, Autotrader will review your listing and (if approved) post it to its online marketplace. Interested buyers (including dealerships) can reach out to you and request information about your car and set up a time to see it/make an offer. You’ll remain anonymous except for your first name and last initial until you decide to make contact. 

You can also try Autotrader’s “Instant Cash” option to get an immediate cash offer from participating dealers in your area. 

Cost: It costs ​​$49 to list your vehicle on Autotrader, with free ad renewals for up to a year if your car doesn't sell in 30 days.

Reviews: Autotrader has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (not accredited) but only 1.6/5 stars on Trustpilot. Customer reviews complain about numerous scam buyers and difficulty reaching Autotrader’s customer service department. 

CarGurus

How to sell your car for cash: CarGurus offers two selling options: to dealers or to private buyers. Plug in your car’s VIN or license plate/state, then wait for dealers to contact you with an offer. You can also create your own listing on the site for $5 and sift through offers from private buyers.

Cost: Free to get offers from dealers, $5 to list online

Reviews: A+ Better Business Bureau rating (accredited) and 2.3/5 stars on Trustpilot, with some complaints about spammy ads and too much fine print.

CarMax

How to sell your car for cash: Upload either your VIN or plate/state info, and Carmax will send you an offer for a direct purchase of your car within minutes. You have seven days to accept their offer, after which you’ll schedule a drop-off at one of CarMax’s hundreds of nationwide locations and get paid. 

Cost: Free to get an offer

Reviews: A+ BBB rating (not accredited), 1.7/5 stars on Trustpilot, with many customers warning that final payout was lower than promised after in-person inspection.

Cars.com

How to sell your car for cash: Cars.com is the second-largest classifieds website for cars. To sell a vehicle on this site, plug in your plate/state or VIN, and Cars.com will list your car on its online marketplace. You can also choose to get an instant offer from dealers in your area, though this option is not available in all areas.

Cost: Free to list and get an instant offer

Reviews: A+ BBB rating (accredited) and 2.8/5 stars on TrustPilot, with several customers complaining about a lack of response to ads. 

Carvana

How to sell your car for cash: Carvana is famous for its multi-story car vending machines. To sell a car directly to Carvana, input your VIN or plate/state, and you’ll receive an offer in minutes. The company picks up your car at a time that works for you and pays you upon pickup. 

Cost: Free to get an offer 

Reviews: Carvana is not rated on the BBB website and has 2.8/5 stars on Trustpilot, with most complaints coming from buyers. 

Craigslist

How to sell your car for cash: Craigslist is a great option if you want to sell a car the “old-fashioned” way (via classified ad). To post your car on Craigslist, go to the “Create a Posting” page, follow the steps to “Post by Owner” in your area, then craft an ad with your car’s information and photos. Inquires from private buyers will come to your email or phone, depending on which option you choose.

Cost: $5 per listing

Reviews: F Better Business Bureau Rating (not accredited) and 1.3/5 stars on Trustpilot, with most customers complaining about individual issues with buyers/sellers and listings being flagged/taken down.

eBay

How to sell your car for cash: eBay is synonymous with buying and selling and claims a car or truck is sold “every three minutes” on its Vehicle Seller Center. To list on eBay, pay the selling fee (see below), add details about your vehicle, and set your location. Your listing will be visible on eBay for a number of days — until your listing expires or you accept an offer. 

Cost: The basic selling package is $19 per vehicle, which includes a 7-day auction listing, 12 photos and an AutoCheck profile of your car’s history. 

Reviews: A+ Better Business Bureau rating (accredited) and 1.2 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, with customers complaining about fees and poor customer service. 

Edmunds.com

How to sell your car for cash: Visit the Edmunds.com appraisal page and input your VIN or plate/state to get an appraised value for your car based on comparable vehicles. Once you have your appraisal, you can use it to set a price and sell privately, or you can accept a cash offer through CarMax, owner of Edmunds since 2021. You'll have seven days to accept the cash offer, then you drop your car off at the closest CarMax and get a check. 

Cost: Free to get an appraisal or an offer

Reviews: A+ on Better Business Bureau (accredited) and 3.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot. 

Local dealerships

You can always choose to sell your car to a local dealer, but it’s smart to know what your car is worth before you go — Edmunds.com or Kelly Blue Book are good resources. Also, check reviews for the dealership to see if others in your community are satisfied with their experiences — or better yet, ask friends and family for reliable dealers in your area.

8 places where you get cash for junk cars

If your car is old and falling apart — and maybe doesn’t even run — there are still plenty of companies that will pay you cash for your car:

1-800 Cash For Junk Cars

With 200 locations nationally, 1-800-Cash for Junk Cars will give you cash for your old, wrecked, or non-running car. Simply call 1-888-865-5597 or fill out the vehicle information form on their website. In most cases, the company will pick up your car the same day, free of charge. But proceed with caution; we had trouble finding consumer reviews for this company. 

Cash for Cars

To sell with Cash for Cars, call 1-888-993-4420 or plug in your car’s information using the form on the website. Once you accept their offer (there’s no time limit on it), the company schedules a time to tow your car for free and deliver your check. Cash for Cars has an A+ Better Business Bureau rating and 4.7/5 stars on Trustpilot. 

Jrop

In addition to towing and roadside maintenance, Jrop will also buy your old car for cash. Call 866-600-5767 or get an offer online. Schedule a time to have your car picked up and receive payment. Jrop has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (unaccredited). We didn’t find consumer reviews, but employee reviews on GlassDoor speak favorably about Jrop.

Junk-A-Car

Visit Junk-A-Car’s website to get a free quote or call 1-844-901-4392. Junk-A-Car will tow your car and pay you cash upon pickup. Junk-A-Car is not rated with the Better Business Bureau and doesn’t have a Trustpilot profile. 

Peddle

You can sell your old car to Peddle using their “get an instant offer page,” where you’ll plug in your car’s information and accept a cash offer within seven days. Peddle will pick up your car, and you get paid. Peddle has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau site (unaccredited) and 4.7 out 5 stars on Trustpilot. 

Get an instant offer from Peddle now >>

Pick-n-Pull

Pick-n-Pull has recycled old cars since 1987. To sell your old car, visit the “we buy cars” page and either call 866-520-9750 or upload your car’s info online to get a quote. Certain locations are eligible for free towing; otherwise, drop your car off at your closest Pick-n-Pull location. Checks are either mailed or picked up/delivered. Pick-n-Pull has a D- rating on the BBB website (unaccredited). The one review on Trustpilot says the company isn’t “what it used to be.”

Recyclers

Recycling companies may purchase your vehicle to recycle its parts. To find recycling companies in your area, try searching keywords like “scrap cars for cash” or “cash for junk cars” and see what comes up. Remember to check local reviews or ask family and friends for companies they’ve used.

Salvage yards

You might also choose to sell your old car to a salvage yard. Call local salvage yards and compare offers to make sure you’re getting a fair deal. Remember to check reviews. 

FAQs about selling a car for cash

Where can I sell my car for the most money?

According to Kelley Blue Book, selling your car privately will typically yield more money than trading in because you’re doing the legwork to sell the car (which a dealer would handle if they bought from you). If you plan to sell privately, AutoTrader, CarGurus, Cars.com, and eBay are all reputable options. 

Where is the best place to sell a car privately?

If you want to sell a car privately, Autotrader, CarGurus, Cars.com, and eBay are some of the best options. All of them boast an A+ Better Business Bureau rating. 

Who will give me the best price for my car?

A private buyer will likely give you the best price for your car over a dealership or a fast-cash buyer. For example, when I priced a 2017 Honda CR-V on Kelley Blue Book, its average trade-in value was $18,368 vs. $20,044 for a private buyer.

To connect with private buyers, check out Cars.com, Craigslist, eBay, Edmunds.com, and AutoTrader.

What is the fastest way to sell your car?

The fastest way to sell your car for cash is to get an instant cash offer from a reputable online car buyer. Most either pick up or have you drop off your car. CarMax, CarGurus, Carvana and AutoTrader all make instant cash offers. 

Bottom line: Best place to sell your car for cash

The best place to sell your car for cash is a reputable car-selling website that will allow you to list your car to private buyers. Some of the top-rated sites are Autotrader, CarGurus, Cars.com, and eBay. Peddle is another great option that takes both running and scrap cars. 

Get an instant cash offer from Peddle today >>

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Where can I sell my car for the most money?

According to Kelley Blue Book, selling your car privately will typically yield more money than trading in because you’re doing the legwork to sell the car (which a dealer would handle if they bought from you). If you plan to sell privately, AutoTrader, CarGurus, Cars.com, and eBay are all reputable options.

Who will give me the best price for my car?

A private buyer will likely give you the best price for your car over a dealership or a fast-cash buyer. For example, when I priced a 2017 Honda CR-V on Kelley Blue Book, its average trade-in value was $18,368 vs. $20,044 for a private buyer.

What is the fastest way to sell your car?

The fastest way to sell your car for cash is to get an instant cash offer from a reputable online car buyer. Most either pick up or have you drop off your car. CarMax, CarGurus, Carvana and AutoTrader all make instant cash offers.

Denise K. James is an independent writer and editor based in the Southeast. She holds a master's degree in English from the College of Charleston and has lived in multiple Southern cities, with Atlanta as her current home. Denise has written for a variety of websites and publications, including Homelight, Celebrate Hilton Head, Grand Strand Magazine, Birmingham Lifestyle, Edible Northeast Florida, Southern Flavor and many others. In her spare time, Denise enjoys exploring Atlanta, taking road trips, watching the birds and squirrels out of her window and reading great works of literature.

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