Can you pawn a car for an instant loan in Charleston? The short answer is no. Because of state laws, you can sell your car, truck, motorcycle or RV at a pawn shop, but you can only pawn a boat or ATV and get instant cash.

For many of us, our vehicles are our lifelines for getting from point A to point B, and often, our vehicles are the most valuable thing we own besides our home. So if you need cash quickly for a financial emergency, selling your vehicle may be the most obvious choice.

Before you rush to your nearest pawn shop to sell your car, review our list of helpful tips below so your transaction goes as smoothly as possible.

Tips for Selling Your Car at a Pawn Shop

Find your car title. Make sure you have your original car title when you visit our shop. We cannot accept copies. If you can’t find your car title, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to order one.

Make sure your car title is free and clear, and you’re listed as the legal owner. If you already have a loan on your vehicle, it needs to be paid off before you can sell it. If your original car loan is paid off but you didn’t update your title, you’ll need to bring a letter from the lender that verifies they are released from the car title.

Bring your driver’s license. Presenting your valid driver’s license is the easiest way to prove you are a South Carolina resident.

Clean up your vehicle and get it appraised. Taking the time to wash and detail your car helps you get the best value and loan offer possible. Once your vehicle is clean and looking its best, you can always visit a dealership or used car lot or do some online research to get an idea of what your car is worth before you visit the pawn shop. 

However, make sure you understand the pawn shop will never offer you the full resale value. Instead, your offer will be a percentage of the vehicle’s value based on its condition and how much the shop can resell it for. Remember, vehicle values depreciate over time, and they depreciate even more if the vehicle is in poor condition. If you have an older vehicle and/or one in poor condition, contact the pawn shop directly to see if they are interested in buying it for resale.

Don’t feel obligated. Even after visiting the pawn shop, getting your vehicle valued and finding out what the pawn shop will offer, you are free to change your mind and walk away. You are never under any obligation to sell your car.

Make sure you have a ride. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you decide to sell your car to the pawn shop, you’ll need a ride home.

Pawning a Boat or ATV

Getting a pawn loan is quick and easy, especially compared to selling a boat or ATV yourself or applying for a traditional loan through a bank or credit union. Anyone can qualify for a pawn loan if they are at least 18 years of age, a resident of the state, and have a verifiable source of income and a valid driver’s license.

Bring your employment information and the past few months of pay stubs. These show you have the reliable income necessary to repay your pawn loan. You also may need to provide your supervisor’s name, as well as your employer’s address and phone number.

Bring a list of personal references. Along with your driver’s license and pay stubs, you also may be required to provide the names, addresses, and contact information for three to five personal references.

Know how much you want to make from selling your boat or ATV. The pawn shop will ask you how much you want to borrow for your pawn loan. Knowing exactly how much money you need may help you avoid taking on a higher loan than necessary. You don’t have to borrow the full amount the pawn shop offers, you can request a lower amount.

Read all the paperwork before signing. Make sure you understand the full terms of the pawn loan, including when you have to repay your loan and the amount you’ll need to re-pay. If you have questions or concerns, this is the time to ask. There’s no going back once you sign the contract.

Know upfront if you want to pawn or sell. If you know for sure you want to keep your boat or ATV, make sure you pay off your pawn loan on time. You can also avoid added fees and interest if you pay off your loan by the due date. However, if you decide you don’t want or need your vehicle back, you can also sell it outright to the pawn shop. If you start with a loan and decide you don’t want to keep your boat or ATV, let the pawn shop know as soon as possible so they can close out your loan and sell it.

Keep your insurance and plates current. If you plan on keeping your boat or ATV, you’re required to maintain your plates and insurance for the duration of your pawn loan, even while it’s in storage.

Don’t be afraid to ask for an extension if you are having problems paying back your pawn loan. Most pawn shops offer options to extend your loan if you can’t pay it in full by the contract date. However, know that you’ll likely incur additional fees each time you extend the loan. You may also need to re-sign your paperwork each time you extend the loan.


Visit us today!

As you can see, there are many things to consider when you want to pawn a vehicle for quick cash. That’s why you should choose an experienced pawn shop like Gene’s Jewelry Pawn. For more than 30 years, we have proudly served customers throughout North Charleston, Moncks Corner and Goose Creek, SC. Our business is built on honesty, trust, and reliability. We can help you get the most value for your vehicle. For more information or to find out how much your car, truck, motorcycle, boat, ATV or RV is worth, please feel free to stop by your nearest Gene’s Jewelry Pawn location or call us today!