How is my Offer calculated?
Your offer is calculated with tools developed by several of the largest automotive buyers in North America. We account for fluctuating used car prices which may vary from day to day, like home or stock prices. To give you an even more accurate offer, our calculations include multiple sources that affect used car pricing such as:

  • Your vehicle details.
Our tools factor in details that are specific to your vehicle and critical to its evaluation, including mechanical condition, options, interior and exterior, mileage, year, make and model.

  • Supply and demand.
Consumers have a large role in determining a car's value. When more buyers demand a particular vehicle, and its inventory is down, its value goes up. For example, fuel-efficient vehicles are in higher demand, and sell for higher prices, when gas prices are at a premium.

  • Historical trends.
Historically some cars hold their value and are in higher demand than others. Similarly, sometimes transaction prices for vehicles steadily increase over time, making those cars a more sought after commodity.

  • Regional differences.
Buyers may be willing to pay sellers higher prices for the same vehicle depending on regional differences. For example, buyers in rural areas may consider large trucks more valuable than buyers in a city where parking spaces are tight.

  • Local market influences.
We also take into account comparable vehicle sales in your area - this information may include dealer sales data, auction prices, and private seller prices from local advertisements.

Why is your written offer different from retail prices?
Our appraisal offers vary from retail prices for several reasons. Due to the costs associated with reconditioning and applying guarantees and warranties on the cars we purchase for retail sale, we must purchase a car at a lesser amount than what we will sell it for.
All cars that we purchase for retail sale, regardless of the condition, must undergo a thorough 165-point inspection and be reconditioned to meet our high-quality standards.

Will making modifications to my car affect the offer?
Supply and demand ultimately determines the desirability of any car or feature in the marketplace. A feature sometimes could improve the offer, and other times it could have a negative impact depending on the feature/modification. Sometimes, an aftermarket modification may void the factory warranty, thus reducing the offer.

Will regular maintenance/repairs affect the offer?
Your car's overall physical and mechanical condition will have an impact on your appraisal offer.

How much does it cost to receive an offer?
It's free! You'll never be charged a fee to sell us your car.

Do I have to purchase a car with my offer?
The choice is yours. You can walk away with the check or trade it in.

How long is my offer valid?
Your Offer is valid for 7 days.

How long do I have to accept the offer after inspection?
You'll have 7 days after inspection to redeem your Offer. If your car's condition changes or you add more than 50 miles from the time of inspection, your offer may be recalculated.

How long will it take to receive my offer?
During normal business hours, you'll typically receive an offer within 30 minutes. It may take longer during periods of heavy volume.

Can I get my car appraised online?
You must bring your car to a Bob Penkhus store to receive an appraisal. To determine your offer, one of our appraisers will need to inspect and test drive your car. When we're done, we'll give you a written offer good for seven days.

What kind of cars do you buy?
We are interested in purchasing almost any vehicle no matter how old it is.

Will you still take my car even if it isn't running?
Absolutely! We purchase cars running or not.

What if my car was in an accident?
We buy wrecked cars also.

My car isn't in perfect condition. Can I still get an offer?
Any car manufactured after 1997 is eligible for an Offer.

Can I sell my vehicle if it's financed or leased?
Yes. We will process the necessary paperwork for you to pay off your vehicle. Any remaining equity is yours to cash in or use for a trade-in. If your car is financed, bring your lienholder information. If your car is leased, check with your leasing company to find out what paperwork they require.

What if I have a lien on my car?
We will need to contact your lien holder during business hours to get a 15-day payoff. To pay off the lien, we will need your lien holder's name and phone number, the name(s) on the account, and your lien holder's account number and social security number. If a previously paid-off lien is listed on the title, you'll need both the title and the lien release from the lien holder before we can purchase your car.

My car isn't paid off yet.
We are fully equipped to purchase the car from you even in this circumstance. Of course, the car must be worth more than the balance still due on it.

Can I sell my leased car?
In most cases, you can sell your leased car in almost the same way as any other financed car. We'll appraise the car or truck, then contact the leasing company for a payoff quote and process any equity you might have. Please note that some leasing companies will not allow you to sell the car prior to the expiration of the lease. Also, be aware that your leased car might not be eligible for the trade-in tax savings described above. Check with your leasing company for complete details.

What if I owe more on my car than the amount of your appraisal offer?
If your pay-off amount is more than the offer for your car, the difference is called "negative equity." In some cases, the negative equity can be included in your financing when you buy a Bob Penkhus car. If not, we'll calculate the difference between your pay-off and our offer to you and you can pay us directly.? We can accept cashier's or certified checks and certified funds. Bob Penkhus stores also accept cash and debit cards.

How can I save on taxes if I buy and sell at with Bob Penkhus?
Lower the amount of taxes you pay when you buy a car, when you sell us your old car at the same time.
Certain situations may disqualify you from receiving a tax break. For example, your name must be on both the paperwork to buy a car and the paperwork to sell a car in order for the tax break to apply. Check with your tax professional for details.

I can't find the Certificate of Title to the car. Will you still buy my car?
??? Our buyers carry all the necessary paperwork to purchase your vehicle, even if the title is lost.

What if all titleholders cannot be present or one is deceased?
??? If all titleholders cannot be present, you must speak to a Business Office Associate before selling your car. In some cases, we may be able to accept a Power of Attorney, allowing someone else to sign on the absent titleholder's behalf. If a titleholder is deceased, you may have to transfer the title into your name before Bob Penkhus can buy your car. This can usually be done by taking the title and supporting papers to the local titling office.

Do I need to get my car smog checked before I sell it to you?
This is just one of the many reasons to sell your car to us. A smog certificate is not needed when selling your car to us.

I want to sell my car to you. When can i come in?
Right now! Just call the hotline and we'll schedule an appointment.

Do I need an appointment for an appraisal?
No appraisal appointment is necessary. Just visit your nearest Bob Penkhus Locations or call for details. Your appraisal takes as little as 30 minutes. If you would like to set up an appointment, contact the nearest Bob Penkhus store.

Do I have to sell my car at the same location that it was appraised?
Yes. If you're within seven days of having the appraisal completed. However, if your appraisal was completed more than seven days ago or more than 50 miles added, We will re-appraise your car.

Is your offer negotiable?
No. We make a written, no-haggle offer on every appraised car.

If I choose to sell my car, could I get it back?
No. All car sales are final.

What happens to the cars Bob Penkhus buys?
Even though we'll buy any car, only about half of those bought will ever be sold to the public.
Each car must pass our rigorous inspection before we'll consider it for our lot, and cars that don't meet our high-quality standards are sold at auctions to other dealers.

Where can I find the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), on my vehicle?
The VIN is on the driver's side of the dashboard by the window, or on the driver's side doorjamb. It is also listed on your auto insurance card, and on your state vehicle registration form.
The letters "I," "O" and "Q" never appear in a VIN.
The VIN must be exactly 17 characters in length.
A VIN is assigned to each car by the manufacturer when the car is built. Each car manufactured after 1980 has a unique VIN.

What information should I bring when I drop off my car?
To finalize the sale, bring the following information:
  • Your offer confirmation
  • Your vehicle title. If you don't have a title because your car is financed, bring your lienholder information. If your car is leased, check with your leasing company to find out what paperwork they require.
  • Your vehicle registration
  • A valid driver's license or other government photo ID
  • All keys, keyless remotes and manuals
  • Service and repair records
  • And don't forget to make arrangements for a ride home and remove all personal items from your vehicle.

What is a bank draft?

A bank draft is a type of check where payment is guaranteed to be available by the issuing bank. It must be deposited and cannot be cashed. Before attempting to draw on the bank draft, consider contacting your bank for information on their hold policy.


Did We Answer Your Questions?
If you have questions we haven't answered about selling your car, call us at 800.363.1156

Contact Information



  • Monday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM-7:00PM
  • Sunday Closed