Selling a car for parts

I have my mother’s '91 Cavalier taking up space in my driveway. It hasn’t been driven in about 4 years. I don’t even remember what the mileage is, but it’s definitely low. The last time it was driven everything worked except for the AC. I’m not interested in trying to get it running again, I just want to get rid of it. So I’ll be selling it for parts, for cash only. But what about the title? Do I have to go with the buyer to get it transfered?

If you have the title, and you’re selling for cash only, on a practical level you can just hand over the keys and take the money. However, if the car is driveable, and you’re selling it to a person, this is a questionable move because you will likely be on the hook for anything that person then does with your car- runs over old ladies, robs a bank, etc.

To transfer the title you usually just have to sign a form.

No matter what you do, make sure you tell your local DMV/MVD/whatever that you no longer own the car.

State laws vary on this.

The car is not driveable, as is. At minimum, it needs a new battery and tires, plus whatever damage caused by four years of disuse, parked outside.

Ask the title bureau about something called a “salvage title.” I know they have that here in Ohio. I don’t know the specific rules, but I think it may be for cars that are intact but not in running condition.

Don’t give the title. Send it in as a scrapped out car along with the plates.
If the buyer wants title, charge more and make the transfer. You shouldn’t have to appear in person with a buyer, that would be awful risky for that to be mandatory IMHO

The safest method is to take the buyer to your local licensing agency and transfer the title. Sell the car to a wrecking yard and you won’t have to do that, they take care of it. About half the states require sellers of vehicles to file a report of sale with the state. This covers the seller’s butt if the buyer does not transfer the title. Your biggest issue should not be the title, it should be a proper bill of sale. You must state that the vehicle is sold “as-is, no warranty implied”. Do not make any claims as to the condition of anything. State that the vehicle is in non running condition (this is very important in states that have emission testing). Both parties get signed and dated copies.

Only insurance companies can total a car and have a salvage title issued. It would be foolish for the OP to do this if he could, the value of a car with a salvage title is squat compared to a car with a clean title.

Bad advice. No one will buy a car without a valid title. It will be a hassle and a half for someone to try to get the title reissued. Again, the OP wouldn’t get squat for the car without the title.