help me junk my jetta
November 10, 2008 4:07 PM   Subscribe

how much should i ask for when junking my 97 jetta?

97 jetta jazz - it has some body damage (trunk, back bumper from being rear ended and left front panel from being side swiped - crazy texas drivers), when you turn on the A/C the engine dies (shop said it was the compressor, i think - said the age of the car and the price of the repair means that it''d be better to move on), and it's sat for 2 months so the battery is dead. there's some internal issues (headliner coming off the sunroof, damaged front seat) - basically, the inside looks like a 10 year old car...

i'm not looking to part it out, but to just sell the whole thing and let them sort it out. i'm also wanting this to all happen in the next week. what's a reasonable price?
posted by radiosilents to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
I got a tax deduction that was bigger than the actual car's worth by donating it to charity. It wasn't cash in hand but it helped at the end of the year and it got rid of a problem.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 4:13 PM on November 10, 2008

Response by poster: i should have put that in the question - i need cash in hand. i'm not interested in donating it. i'm calling salvage yards and they keep asking what i want for it. i just don't know how best to value the parts that can be pulled and useful.
posted by radiosilents at 4:20 PM on November 10, 2008

Your expectations of a reasonable price are tempered by your time constraints. If you don't need to sell in the next week, you can be much more selective in what you sell for.

A quick CL search shows that most owners and dealers are asking between $2,000 and $4,000 for such a car - though in reality I doubt anyone get's their asking price.

A search of completed auctions on eBay shows that they seems to sell in the $1,000 to $2,000 range with one 65k mile very nice example going for $3,000 with 16 bids. A just okay '97 Jetta went for $1,275 with 40 bids.

In other words, your car is going to be worth somewhere south of $1,000 in its present condition.

In not running shape, you're looking at just a few hundred dollars. If you can jump the car off, keep it running, show that it runs, then you may be able to get closer to $1,000.

Your best bet is to advertise it locally, maybe on Craig's List and hope that a do-it-yourselfer bites. For best results, take lots of pictures, and write up a detailed description of the car and it's problems.
posted by wfrgms at 4:28 PM on November 10, 2008

i just don't know how best to value the parts that can be pulled and useful.

You shouldn't be worried about the parting-out value - you specified that you were not interested in that, so it shouldn't faze you that a junk yard is going to triple their money on the car when they part out the engine, tranny, and body panels.
posted by wfrgms at 4:30 PM on November 10, 2008

Wfrgms has it right. I might add that if you can find a Volkswagen forum, you might be able to squeeze a little more out of someone who's a Volkswagen person. But then again, maybe not.
posted by luckypozzo at 5:01 PM on November 10, 2008

50 -100 dollars.
posted by Max Power at 5:07 PM on November 10, 2008

Couple 'o thoughts: As someone who's junked a few cars in his day (Volkswagens especially) I can tell you it's a buyers market. The whole idea of "junking" a car is of course indicative of your very strong desire to not leave the salvage yard with said vehicle, so you're pretty much at the mercy of whoever's looking it over -

That said - there is a very strong Volkswagen tuner community, and your car may just have some bit on it to complete some VWcrazy-kid's project car - check out the forums at VW Vortex. Failing that, you may (as I did in New Jersey) have a salvage yard near you that specializes in imports and VWs. Search here by zip, you may find a company looking for VW parts in your area that might give you a better price.

Or, to make a long post short: If it's running start at $1000, if not start at $500, and be prepared to go down a few hundred once the bargaining begins. Good luck.
posted by jalexei at 5:22 PM on November 10, 2008

I'd second the notion that if you needed to sell the car today to someone for the express purpose of parting it out or junking it, you'd be lucky to get more than $500.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:42 PM on November 10, 2008

posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:10 AM on November 11, 2008

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