Lien Sales for Abandoned Vehicles

Here’s an interesting story about the lien sales issue when the economy is down.

First and foremost, send the clunker to someone else – chances are that 1986 Toyota Corolla that was towed in, sitting for 6 years because it had a “small radiator leak”and the customer parked it will end up needing significant work. After diagnosing it, writing up an estimate, chances are you won’t see the customer again – after all, why pay your labor fee for the diagnostic when they just gave you a free car!

You don’t need the hassle, send the junk to the junkyard. If you are stuck with someone’s junk, write up a simple contract, i.e., in consideration of the diagnostic service performed, I release any and all interest in on 19XX Manf. Model, VIN #…

This will save a lot of hassle later down the road. Seek out junkyards or scrap metal places – this might be a whole lot easier than trying to sell the thing. Think about it, if you spend an hour listing the car with Autotrader, then spend 2 hours answering phone calls and showing it to tire kickers, assuming your hourly labor rate is $100 an hour, include the cost to store the thing, etc…

It’s not pretty, but get rid of the thing. At least a junkyard will probably allow you to recover your diagnostic fee. Chalk it up to a learning experience, and move on – you’re more valuable in the shop.


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