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How to Sell a Car for Parts

How to Sell a Car for Parts

Posted by Collectors Auto Supply on May 7th 2020

We wish that every vehicle could be restored, but it happens; an accident, the weather, and neglect can cause a car to be irreparable, but that doesn’t always apply to all of its parts. Though a vehicle may be worth little as a whole, it can be worth quite a bit if you sell off its parts individually. Dive in with us as we discover how to sell a car for parts, turn a junk car into a cash cow.

Step 1 - Survey the Car 

Do your due diligence on the vehicle you are parting out and research which parts hold the most value. Does this particular model you obtain have any rare classic car parts? Sometimes vehicle manufacturers produce very limited model builds, making certain parts and options extremely valuable, especially in the classic car community. If you can, locate the VIN and pull the model specs. If you’re a part of a forum, talk to members of your forum and get some input on which parts are most valuable--you may even get some offers. It may even be a good idea to have the car inspected by a trusted mechanic. He or she will be able to tell you which parts can return a fair price over the parts that can be sold for scrap metal.

Step 2 Don’t Overlook Your Local Salvage Yard 

Some people find that their local salvage yards wind up being the best place to make the most money. Because local salvage yards feature clientele specifically looking for used parts, it’s a great place to start.

Professional parts dealers can also be a great place to sell your old car parts because it’s their job to know the market for parts. A licensed part dealer will also know which parts are more valuable/desirable than others and may end up buying all of your valuable parts in one transaction, rather than forcing you to sell off individual parts one by one. The caveat with professional parts dealers and salvage yards is that they are, in fact, a middleman. They will be reselling the parts they purchase from you to the consumer, and like any business, they survive off good profit margins. An honest salvage yard or parts dealer will pay you a fair price, while a thrifty business may low ball you and sell the parts for a much higher price (this is why it is important to get knowledge from a neutral party like a forum or trusted mechanic to know the value of your parts). 

If there are no salvage yards or parts dealer’s in your area, try the internet. Websites like eBay are great outlets for parting out old vehicles. The trade off with selling on an online platform is that you have to photograph, post, and interact with various potential buyers over and over again as you sell each part; then you have to package and ship each item to its new owner.

Step 3 - Recycle 

Perhaps you’ve already completed steps one and two, and you’ve sold all the restoration parts you can sell, but you have a lot of the car left. Now what? The answer is simple: recycle! More than 80% of your average vehicle is recyclable. Call around to some of your local recycling lots and see if you can sell the parts from your vehicle. Try separating the remainder of your parted out car into the following categories to maximize your profits: 

  • Metals - The metals that make up the frame, body, and various other components on a car like the fenders and hood are great for metal recycling yards.
  • Rubber - The rubber from your old tires can be recycled by certain recyclers. These rubber compounds are turned into asphalt and even new tires.
  • Plastics - Depending on the year of your vehicle, it may have a lot of plastic components. These plastic parts can be reused and are sometimes even used for the plastic moldings in new cars.
  • Engine and Transmission - Is your engine fried? Would no one buy it? See if a local mechanic wants to restore it. Oftentimes buyers may not want an engine that needs extensive work, but some mechanics who hold extensive knowledge and have the proper equipment aren’t afraid to rebuild an engine or transmission.

Parting out a car can be a great way to make some extra cash and clear up space in your garage or yard. When you are ready for your next project to buy parts for your classic car, we encourage you to look no farther than Collectors Auto Supply. Here, you’ll find down to earth restorers who know their cars, feature fair prices, offer great customer service, and make the restoration process that much easier. Click here to check out our inventory and locate your parts with ease.