Should I Sell My Car for Parts?

To part or not to part may not be the most pressing question of all time, but it’s probably a big one for you right now. After all, your car isn’t all bad. There might be some great parts buried underneath that busted engine.

We definitely understand why you’d want to make the effort to sell your car for parts. Why should a junkyard owner sell just one of your windshield wipers for when you can DIY? Just think of how much you can make off each individual part if you take the time to dismantle!

At CarScrappers, we know that selling a car for parts is tempting. We’ll look at your top two options, which one makes sense, and how to get the best deal for your junker.

Scrap Your Car

This is the first option you have to sell your car for parts, but it’s also a bit of a cheat. Choose this one, and you’re basically asking someone else to part out your car, which is probably not what you were thinking when you Google’d this question.

Hear us out though. If you do scrap your car, you don’t have to do any of the work. In fact, you really just have to find a company that isn’t a rip off.

Just keep in mind that, in general, a scrapper will want the car to be whole. It’s easier to make the offer and go through the stripping process if they don’t have to account for every missing part. That’s not to say they won’t take a car that’s been demolished in an accident (clearly they will). Just a rule of thumb.

Part Out Your Car for Private Buyers

Have you ever been at a mechanic’s and gotten a quote for a repair that has absolutely blown you away? Of course, we all have. Even when you’re fortunate enough to have the option for used parts, the total doesn’t always budge that much. So if used parts are going for so much, then why aren’t all those clunker cars treated like gold?

Because it’s not that simple. There are a few caveats here:

  • Labor: You’re paying for the mechanic’s expertise, often more than you’re paying for the parts.
  • Age: A 2009 Accord may only yield a few viable parts for its 2021 counterpart.
  • Time: A junkyard owner may very well have to sit on a part for 5 years or more before he has the chance to sell it. Multiplied across thousands of parts, it adds up.
  • Contracts: Someone who’s got a leased car? They might not be able to even accept a used car part if it violates their contract.

Before you sell your car for parts, consider the time, effort, and skill it entails.

Still want to sell your car for parts?

If you’re ready to tackle the challenge, we salute your go-getter attitude. Here are the basic steps:

  • Assess the parts: You’ll first need to determine which parts can be removed.
  • Price the parts: How much a part is worth will depend on any number of factors. Research places like eBay or Craigslist to get an idea of fair market value.
  • Remove parts: Parts will need to be cleaned, photographed, and listed for individual buyers.

The Work

If you’re wondering how to sell your car for parts, the steps can look pretty straightforward here. At face value, you’re just going through the car, taking stock of what you have, and then taking a few pictures before the money starts rolling in. When you dig a little further though, there are endless questions that you’ll need to answer.

How can you take apart a car without damaging a valuable component?

If you don’t have a lot of expertise as a mechanic, you can end up destroying a part that otherwise would have gone for a decent price. In the worst case scenario, you might sell someone a faulty part and then get sued for endangerment. (It might get thrown out of court, but it will still be stressful.)

If you know a mechanic, this could be your answer in all of this. Talk to someone who knows what they’re doing, so you can remove and price everything the way it should be.

Do you have the time for all of this?

You know how you’ve always meant to learn the guitar? In your head, you see yourself playing Zeppelin songs to impress people at your next party. In reality, though, you never actually learned how to do any of that.

Parting out a car is often not so different than any other hobby you haven’t stuck with. It takes an extraordinary amount of effort to get going on this. And if you want to do it right, you’re going to have to devote a lot of your spare time to it.

Parting out a car can be a thoroughly rewarding experience that leaves you richer. You might even start a side business that you love. In most cases, though, people simply don’t have that kind of motivation or endless resources to tinker around with the same car month after month. Plus, if you’re not going to part out cars regularly, you’ll lose all the skills you’ve learned pretty quickly.

Have you factored in your reputation?

Let’s assume that you’re the most honest person in the world. Your car parts are safe, clean, and as-advertised. However, if you’re not selling directly to your friends and family, how in the world would anyone know this?

If you’re trying to sell a used car part with no history, honest buyers on the other end are likely to be very skeptical. They’re going to want to know who you are and where your stuff really came from.

Unless you’re selling something very rare, buyers are likely to choose professionals who specialize in selling used car parts. And this is true even if the reputable buyers charge a little more.

Are you willing to sit on the parts?

As mentioned, even a junkyard owner might have to hang onto parts for years before they sell them. This is built into their business model, as they have the space and inventory system to organize it all.

You might have an overflowing garage as it is. If you stash a part and someone buys it 12 months from now, will you be able to find it? CarScrappers owner Todd Bialaszewski says “It’s not unusual for people who part out their cars to end up selling their parts to the local junkyard because of the lack of demand.” The junkyard owner will usually take them, but they (typically) won’t give anywhere near what they’re worth in a private sale.

Plus, you have to think about what you’ll do with the actual car if a scrapper won’t take it. As mentioned, scrappers prefer their cars whole, as do everything from charities to local buyers. So if you don’t have a solid game plan for what to do with the bulk of a parted out car, you might be disappointed in your options.

Have you factored in shipping, taxes, etc.?

These costs can end up eating into your profits pretty quickly. Plus, you’ll still need to arrange for pick-ups and drop-offs of packages.

CarScrappers

There’s a lot of factors we brought up here, but it usually comes down to one thing. If you’re asking whether you should part, you’re probably not ready for it.

Our company was built on making things easier for people who want to get rid of their cars. Most people…they just don’t want to see their clunkers anymore. They want to move on with their lives and actually enjoy themselves. We’re not saying don’t part your car, but we are saying that all that energy you’re going to expend may not be worth what you get in return. You know, maybe. We can’t see the future.

FAQs

Where can I sell my car for parts near me?

Even if you live in a remote area, businesses like CarScrappers can pick up your car whole and give you a check. Or you can sell your car parts online and ship them out. In bigger cities, you’ll find plenty of junk yards, salvage yards, and local buyers who buy parts.

Best place to sell my car for parts?

Because everything is online these days, there really is no ‘best place’. Although, you might end up seeing more demand if you live in a larger city and have a popular car (e.g., Honda). Buyers can cut down on the cost of shipping that way, so you get an advantage.

Where to sell car parts online?

Ebay, Amazon, or Craigslist are big contenders. Or you can start your own ecommerce shop. Of course, we only recommend the latter if you plan to part out cars as a hobby.

How can I make money with car parts?

By investing the time and energy. It’s going to take some effort to learn how to work with your car. Or you can sell to a scrapper who will part it out for you.