Auto Salvage Information

How auto recycling works


Feb 13


Buying, Selling, And Parting Out Junk Cars

Auto recyclers, aka junk yards and auto salvage companies are fantastic places to sell your old vehicle or to purchase used, but still working, auto parts. In some cases, the only place to find replacement parts for classic automobiles is to purchase parts from junk cars. Used parts can be purchased at a significant markdown and most damaged vehicles can be towed from your property at no charge.

Selling Junk Cars To An Auto Salvage Company

To speed the process and get the maximum value for your vehicle from a salvage yard, be sure to have all of your ducks in a row. If your car has been totaled, check to see if any private buyers are interested first. They may offer you more money than you can get from a junk yard but you will need to establish that the vehicle is being sold as-is.

Make sure that you have a clear title to your automobile before contacting any auto salvage yard. The law is very clear and prohibits junk yards from purchasing a vehicle from anyone except for the owner or a legally designated representative. Have the title in hand when you deliver the vehicle and make sure that you arrive with proper identification. No salvage yard owner will risk their business licenses by cutting legal corners.

Have a clear idea about the damage on your vehicle and be prepared with documentation of recently replaced parts or repair work on the car. Since junk yards make the majority of their money by removing and selling still working parts on your vehicle, they need accurate information in order to make an offer. The more information that you have, the better the offer will be. Let them know what the year, make, and model numbers are upfront since demand for parts varies widely.

In many cases, a junk yard will haul your vehicle away for free but not offer you any money if the demand for parts on your car is very low. If the vehicle still runs or if you have the means to haul it, consider bringing it to the junk yard yourself. They may offer you some money for the metal contained in your car or a minimal dollar amount for the parts within it.

Consider calling more than one auto salvage yard to get a better price for your vehicle. Inventories can differ and if your vehicle make is in short supply at one yard, you might get a better offer. Be aware that as the distance increases, salvage yards are less likely to pick up your damaged car and may only consider purchasing it if you deliver to them.

What Auto Salvage Companies Consider When Buying Your Junk Cars

There are several factors used to determine the price that an auto salvage company is willing to pay for your vehicle. These include available supply, degree of demand, vehicle weight, actual mileage, the condition of the car, and the region where the junk yard is located. Understanding these factors will aid you in your negotiation.

1. Available supply.

When cars are top sellers, there may be a glut in the salvage market. Once a salvage dealer hits a certain point, it makes no sense to buy any more vehicles with that make and model. You may have to call quite a few before finding one who will take your car for free.

2. Degree of demand.

Hard to find parts for rare vehicles frequently go for top dollar. Before selling, do some online research to uncover a good value for your rare vehicle. If you have a very new model, prices may also be higher since there are very few used parts available.

3. Vehicle weight.

The vehicle weight offers a clue to the amount of metal available for recycling. When metal prices are inflated, junk yards traditionally pay more money for damaged vehicles. Check the exchange rate before calling to see what price is fair.

4. Actual mileage.

A savvy junk yard buyer knows that cars with low mileage are likely to have more working parts. Those parts translate into higher yields per vehicle. In fact, some vehicles may be sold ‘as is’ when the mileage is very low and the return can be substantial.

5. The condition of the car.

A vehicle with no rust or little exterior damage can command a better price. With more parts available for resale, your car is potentially much more lucrative. Be sure to note the condition prior to calling a junk yard and beginning a conversation.

6. Regional factors.

Demand for used parts varies widely from region to region. If your particular model was not popular in the region you reside in or if there is a glut of salvaged vehicles in the local used parts market, you may need to contact yards outside of your immediate area. Conditions frequently change, so sometimes waiting will help you to secure a better price.

Buying Used Parts From A Junk Yard

Many DIY mechanics keep the cost of repairs lower by using used parts purchased from an auto salvage yard. The nature of the transaction can vary but in most cases an employee will remove the parts from the junked vehicle for you. Most dealers maintain an accurate inventory and can let you know right away if they have the parts that you need. Ask if the part is covered by a warranty before you purchase.