A run down of the dangers of driving a junk car

Share article:

4 min read

At some point, driving around an older car may get, well, old. While having an older-looking model can be an annoyance, what do you do when your vehicle is becoming a hazard (to yourself and others) rather than a source of transportation?

Below, we compiled four potential risks to consider before getting back on the road with that good ‘ol four-wheel drive. (If you’ve reached a point where you don’t feel comfortable putting your car back out on the road, Peddle can help with that too.)

risk of a roadside breakdown

No one wants to have to deal with car issues, especially while you’re driving. According to a 2018 AAA article, cars 10 years or older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road, and make up 81% of roadside assistance calls––that’s a lot! The three biggest causes of breakdowns are battery and electrical system problems, engine cooling system failures, and major tire damage. No need to panic, though. This is simply a reminder to hit up your mechanic for a proper diagnosis. Better safe than sorry!

risk of mechanical failure and accident

With an older car, there may be warning signs of mechanical failure, or worse, accidents that happen as a consequence. In a Consumer Reports article, the top three mechanical features to give out are the alternator ($271–$649), the power-steering pump ($204–$409), and the steering rack ($410–$904)––that’s before the cost of labor. These parts are vital to not only the longevity of the car, but also the ability to avoid an accident.

lack of safety features

The government utilizes the Fatality Analysis Reporting System to determine fatalities during fatal car crashes. The good news is that over the last 30+ years, this percentage has significantly decreased. The bad news? According to the study, cars with a model year of 1984 or older had a 55% fatality rate, compared to 26% for cars with a model year of 2013–2017. While driving a specific car comes down to individual lifestyle, budget and daily commuting needs, technology is on the side of newer cars simply because timely enhancements allow for innovative safety technology and features.


Sunlight shines on your car and, over time, thins the paint, which causes it to come off. In the grand scheme of things, there are bigger issues, right? Eh, wrong. Paint protects the steel from rusting, so once it’s gone, the vehicle starts to rust, which can cause major issues for your car both on and off the road. There are three types of rust problems, created over time––surface rust, scale rust, and lastly, penetrating rust.

Penetrative rust will eat through your car’s metal and cause issues to parts like fenders, frames, and suspension components. These holes can leave the structure of your car unsafe for driving at all. Fortunately, preventing rust (and repairing rust if already formed) is relatively easy. It’s still best to have a mechanic run a proper diagnosis to ensure there isn’t rust hidden away, putting you in harm’s way.

If you’ve decided that driving your clunker junker car is no longer an option, it’s not wrong to question whether there’s any value left in it–. Did you know that in a car’s first year, it loses about 20% of its original value––and 60% within the first five years?! Now, while that data is speaking to cars coming straight off the lot, think about the depreciation of a car that’s been used for over a decade.

It’s important to understand that there are options that can rid you of your clunker while putting cash––or check––in your pocket. Let us introduce you to Peddle (that’s us!), the company that gives its customers cash for used, worn out, broken down, or junk cars. Sometimes, good things must come to an end, and that includes your car. When that time comes, we’ll be here, ready.

junk my carsell my car online

Finally retiring old-trusty? Get an offer in minutes-it's easy as pie