The term is thrown around quite often, you hear it all the time in conversations or in anger for times when a car is not performing as well as it should, but what is actually considered a junk car? Many people picture an orange rusty old little car sitting on a lawn or in the driveway, I mean that was the first thing that used to come to my mind before I became so fondly familiar with this field. It never occurred to me that anything beyond that mental picture could be called, and let alone considered a junk car. Just some old parted out "thing" that had no purpose for anyone whatsoever, see I still can not get that image out of my head, but in many peoples eyes a car can be considered junk because of numerous different reasons or conditions.
Besides the image ingrained in my mind from way, way back when, a car that simply does not run anymore is considered junk by many as well. You could probably just imagine a person kicking the tire of their car because it just stopped working in the middle of a highway. It's the car on the side of the road because the transmission started grinding and just broke down, or the radiator just blew because something caused the car to overheat, or the car in the driveway for some odd reason that just does not seem to want to start. Also cars that have been in accidents can be considered junk cars too, especially when they appear to be beyond repair.
Generally, any car that has little or no value to its owner is considered a junk car. Whether the car will not run, got wrecked in an accident, or the cost to fix a broken down car exceeds the owners perceived value of the car, it is considered to be a junk or salvage car. Besides peoples perceptions, many states have the power the declare a car junk, salvaged, rebuilt, etc as well. Normally this happens after a car has been in an accident and was sold by an insurance company to a dealer because the total amount of damage and cost for repairs exceeded 75% of the current value of the vehicle. Most people do not know this, but when a car is bought from insurance companies it is considered totaled, and most if not all states will be declared junk and be branded with a junked, salvage, or rebuilt title, and to get a car with this type of title registered in many states requires a separate anti-theft inspection on top of all other state requirements which is not a fun task at all.
I hope you found this article useful and have discovered how many people, businesses, and even states can perceive a vehicle as being junk, salvaged, or rebuilt.