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  • Writer's pictureBilly Deputy

How to junk your car in Washington Safely without future liability

Junking your car seems too easy but watch out for scams! I know how it goes, just get on your search engine of choice and type in "junk car removal" or "cash for junk cars" maybe "auto recycling" right? then find someone with a good review history or click an ad and shop for the fastest turnaround time or best price.

Well, there is a catch!

You can't always trust the ad or listing you run across even if the reviews are great!


Let's get into this, it will be the best 5 minute read before you move forward with junking a car in Washington state.

It is all too easy to get on google Bing yelp or pay for an ad. there is NO business license verification system in fact many of the online car buyers like pedle, wheelzy, Us car buys and more are not located in Washington state and only act as a middle man, in a lot of instances misleading you into believing you are selling your car to them, when in fact it's just a local person they found searching online themself who will come take the car.. that doesn't seem too bad, and maybe you are ok with them making money off the top the tow company was willing to give you but hold on! Here is the catch!

Under Wa state law, when you file the vehicle report of sale, that you need to file to protect yourself from liability in the event your car gets a ticket or impounded, and you are responsible to know the identity of the transferee (the buyer) because if you report it to anyone other than who you sold your car to you are guilty of Fraudulent filing! that's right. if you report you sold your car to wheelzy, the company you called who offered you a price for your car and acted as if they were sending out a truck to purchase it, you have committed fraud under state law.

so now you not only have zero recourse and a impound fee but if that impound fee gets sent to someone other than who you sold your car to because you filed the report fraudulently, they could then sue you.

not just the national middlemen you have to worry about, some local listings are not properly licensed business's either.

one instance i delt with personally was a guy running a chop shop, he had a nice cash for cars ad , a burner phone number and would come out tow your car gives you money take your title and give you my business information and claimed to be my company. then he would steel a parts car fix your car out of stolen parts and resell it without a title transfer.

3 years he ran his operation, and I received random tickets for cars I never owned and some bad reviews indicating I would get you tickets or tow bills.. ( NOT ever True!). One day a lady left me a bad review and called me screaming I was going to pay her 1700$ tow bill or she would sue me, I got her to calm down and explain what happened, i ran the vin number through my records never had the car in my inventory and she described a "short stalky Mexican" as the driver that left her my information, and claimed he used a different phone number then mine. despite all the red flags she still believed it was my company she delt with, so I got her to give me the number and date of sale. after doing my own investigating and found the guy I sent Department of licensing a complaint, they went in with state patrol officers and broke up his operation in south park Seattle. apparently, he parked her car somewhere for sale and someone stole the car from him, and he called the police to report it stolen hoping to get it back lol, so he admitted he bought the car in the police report, he had a giant stack of papers with my business information on them in his tow truck he was giving out to customers and in the end he was busted....


I asked the detective this

" I am Sueing him in Seattle municipal court for fraud and I have the evidence because of the admission he made during the police report, but what about the years I've gotten tickets and bad reviews from cars I never owned, how do I sue him for those if I can't prove it" the detective said " you don't have to, you would just sue the person who reported that they sold you the car when in fact they sold it to someone else" and then he pointed out the RCW at the bottom of the report of sale slip you get from the DOL.

the moral of this story is, always check an I.D. when you sell a car, or be dang sure you are dealing with a licensed and insured Local company, find their brick and motor location if their driver doesn't want you to use their driver's license for the report of sale. There are a dozen ways it can backfire on you if you get the wrong company sometimes, they can pay 20 or 50 bucks more, maybe they are a little faster but in the long run you want a licensed and insured junk car company because the peace of mind is priceless.

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