Difference Between a Junk Car and a Used Car

By: | Updated: Nov-9, 2022
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If you have been in the business of buying or selling junk cars and used vehicles or you want to sell your old car, you can mention that there are quite a few differences. This is especially notable when you buy junk cars in Birmingham which is the typical city for this type of operations and services. Some of the vehicles that could be purchased range from completely totaled, to almost brand new. If you are looking to sell your vehicle, you have to understand that offers will always be tied to the car’s condition.

You can find lots of ads from different companies like JunkCarsUs that we buy junk cars in Birmingham AL. However, you can be confused by how much you can sell your car and what the real price is. This stems from the fact that you may simply not know the difference between junk and used cars. The company’s experts have to make an estimation first. To prevent any confusion when you reach out to the company, you can check the following tips that will help you out.

Junk Car and a Used Car

Junk cars

To start, let’s look at junk cars and what separates them from the pack. One thing you should note is that for the most part, companies in this business used the term “junk” as their primary selling point. This could be the source of the confusion, but that hasn’t been confirmed. With that out of the way, let’s clearly define what a junk car is.

Junk cars are vehicles that have experienced enough damage that they are practically undrivable. The damage sustained could be a result of many things such as:

  • age
  • non-usage
  • major engine damage
  • major accidents
  • exposure to the elements

Many people think that when it comes to junk cars, their main feature is their aesthetic, but that is wrong. A good number of junk cars look to be in good shape, but a myriad of factors mainly to do with their internal mechanics have made them pretty much undrivable. So, whenever you wish to sell a car to a dealer, know that the keyword is “undrivable” if it is a junk car.

Used cars 

Used automobiles on the other hand all fall on a bit of a scale. They all may have experienced varying degrees of damage, but they have one thing in communication, which is: they can be driven. Said cars are usually kept well and have sustained very little damage.

In fact, through rather muted vetting, one can tell that they have a significant amount of miles left. They can range from a car that has just been recently purchased, to a car that has seen some significant miles. Even cars that were thought to be completely useless, but received some repairs can be put in this category.

For the most part, a car’s aesthetic is a good judge because such vehicles must have had responsible owners. But how vehicles that fall in this category are tested just by firing the engine. When both aspects of a vehicle tick all the boxes, it is easier to buy and sell either privately or at a public dealership.

Main difference between the cars 

Before getting into their differences, maybe we should address their similarities. For starters, both are not fresh out of the factory, which is pretty obvious. Interestingly enough you may find a situation in which both types of cars are the same age, with the only difference being their physical state. They have both seen significant mileage on the road and on a personal level, they probably mean a lot to you. Those are about the only things that these two types of vehicles share.

Their differences for the most part have to do with their state and how this physical condition can affect how they are handled. When comparing the two, it is clear that junk cars are in much worse shape than their counterparts. As you know that despite their physical state, the only thing that matters is that they are undrivable. This makes them infinitely more difficult to buy or sell.

Used cars on the other hand are pretty much in working condition. With only minor issues that are usually cosmetic and can be easily fixed. This ready-to-go nature has the opposite effect that junk cars have when it comes to being bought or sold. 

Buying and selling value differences

Speaking of being bought and sold, if we dive a little deeper we can look at just how difficult junk cars are to sell. Initially, dealers wouldn’t even take them, with the changes only coming fairly recently. The reason they even got the pass is that someone realized that their parts could be quite valuable. Simply put, used cars don’t have this problem as they are sold to customers looking to drive them around.

A key difference lies in their value. Used vehicles are going to be more valuable because, for the most part, nothing is wrong with them. Junk cars, while having value, are seen as less so because they are often too much of a fix to not be sold for scraps.

The final difference is in the way they are transported after a dealer or private citizen purchases them. With junk cars, they are undrivable and this means that they are often towed out to their new home. Used automobiles are easier to handle because they still function. So it is as easy as rolling them out.

Final thoughts 

Because of the new opportunity that junk cars have given to both owners and dealers, they have become as sought out as used cars. That said if you own either or both of these, it is important to understand that there is a spectrum. The more a car descends into being a junk car in the most deplorable shape, the fewer people and dealers are willing to pay for it.

The more a vehicle ascends into being a used car in good shape, the more money will be thrown its way. Fortunately, companies are willing to buy either and they should always be in mind just in case you want a quick buck.

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