Home Mechanics & Processes Selling A Car For Parts – How Much Can You (Realistically) Earn?

Selling A Car For Parts – How Much Can You (Realistically) Earn?

by Kelvin Yates

So, do you have a car that you want to get rid of, and also make some money in the process? Selling a car for parts is a great idea. That way, you are also going to help other people who need these parts to keep their cars on the road.

Every vehicle has a lifespan, depending on how much it was used and abused. Also, if it was maintained properly by the owners.

If you have a car that is not in the greatest shape, then considering selling it for parts may be a good idea. There are plenty of companies out there that are looking for used cars for parts.

We are going to cover some of them in this article, as well. Another option is to part out your car and make a profit on the parts separately. If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, this will probably be perfect for you. And if you have enough space, you could also turn this into a business that will bring you a stable income.

In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know when it comes to selling a car for parts. We are going to learn the easiest ways to get rid of a vehicle without any hassle and earn some money out of it. Then, we are going to discuss some more advanced ways how to sell parts by yourself, and which of the components are of the highest value. So, let’s start.

Parts Of A Car

Selling A Car For Parts

A parts car, as the name implies, is a vehicle that can be solely used for parts only. These cars are usually vehicles that have been in an accident and suffered irreparable damage. Or, they are just cars that haven’t been looked after and were basically trashed by their owners.

So, what makes a parts car, where is the border that decides which car should be parted out and which should be saved?

The answer is simple, its value. If the repairs cost more than the worth of the vehicle, the vehicle isn’t worth repairing and ought to be scrapped. Usually, when cars are involved in crashes, the insurance company decides whether to scrap a car or not.

If the repairs are more expensive than the value of the vehicle, they total the car and send it to an auction. The owner is then paid out the money that the insurance auction thinks the car was worth.

But if you have a car that hasn’t been wrecked and has some major mechanical issues, it can also be scrapped.

For example, if you have a car that has a blown engine or transmission. The repairs alone cost a couple of thousand dollars, and the car’s worth is only a fraction of that money. Logically, you want to scrap that car and look online at selling a car for parts.

Except in some cases, where the car has sentimental value to the owner, they may decide to repair it and restore it back to factory condition.

There are plenty of people who want to restore their cars. We are going to discuss in the next chapters if should you restore a car or if should you look towards selling a car for parts.

Can You Sell Without A Title

The title is important if you want to sell a car for parts. Without proof that you own the vehicle, you can’t sell it for parts. You need to be the legal owner of that vehicle and prove that you are not going to sell someone else’s car instead.

Also, the type of title plays a big role if a car should be sold for parts or repaired and returned to the road.

1. Clean Title

If a car has a clean title, you can repair it and make the most out of it. That’s why everyone likes clean title cars. This means that they have never been in a major accident, and that’s why they are worth more than a salvaged title car. So, what is a salvaged title car?

2. Salvaged Title

A salvaged title car is a car that has been wrecked and totaled. And then it has been salvaged. It means that there were repairs performed on the vehicle and it was put back on the road.

The salvaged title vehicle is usually 30% less than a car with a clean title history. This is because not many people want to get their hands dirty with these cars. Because you never know who repaired it and how the repairs were done.

This is a big no-no for inexperienced buyers who don’t know how to inspect the vehicles they are planning to purchase. There are many scams where people touch up the cars a little bit and resell them later for a profit. When the new owner finally sees what is underneath, they realize that they’re scammed by the sellers and decide to resell the vehicle.

There are a ton of examples like this. That’s why you have to pay attention when you are getting a salvaged title car. Especially from an auction where these types of sales happen.

When considering getting a salvaged title vehicle that is not repaired, you should also calculate how much you are going to pay for the repairs. If the repairs are not worth more than the value of the vehicle, you are good to go. In another case, you will have to look for another vehicle.

Most of the salvage title vehicles are sold for parts. So, if you have a salvage title vehicle, maybe your best bet is to look online and learn more about selling a car for parts. That’s unless the car has sentimental value for you and you want to restore the vehicle to factory spec.

3. Certificate Of Destruction

This is the third type of title and if your vehicle has this title then it’s destined to become a parts car or to be smashed under a press.

If you have a car with a certificate of destruction, you cannot sell the car as a salvaged title. This will not work. These cars cannot be registered and cannot be road legal because their titles have been removed from the register and you can’t register them anymore.

These are cars that have suffered severe damage and whose frame is completely destroyed and is not repairable.

Other types of vehicles that include a certificate of destruction cars include flooded vehicles. If the water lines are very high or the vehicle was completely submerged underwater it’s going to be given a certificate of destruction title.

So, if you have a car like this, the only way that you could sell it would be for parts only and nothing more. Selling a car for parts has never been easier, and we are going to cover that later in this article. But now let’s see the last way you can sell a car and that is with a bill of sale.

4. Selling A Car With A Bill Of Sale

Another way you can sell a car is with a bill of sale. This is the case when you are the owner of the car but you don’t have the title in your possession anymore. Titles may be lost or destroyed. But if you prove that you are the actual owner of the vehicle or the vehicle you inherited from your parents, you will be able to start selling a car for parts.

But this doesn’t work in every state and you may have some difficulties performing this sale. That’s especially true if you are not in one of these states who allow that practice. Then the best thing to do is to look online and see if your state allows sales with a bill of sale. Then, if you are granted to sell the car, you should visit the notary office with the new buyer.

There, you must both sign the bill of sale. This bill of sale is proof that you sold the vehicle to a new owner and the owner can register the vehicle or part it out.

This is the simplest solution if you don’t have a title in your name. That’s because getting a new title sometimes can be very difficult. Especially if the vehicle is very old and has not been registered for a long time.

This method of a bill of sale can be a perfect way of selling a car for parts since you don’t need a title to sell the vehicle to a scrapyard.

Selling A Car For Parts

Should I Sell My Car

Now here’s a conundrum… If you have a classic car, should you sell it for parts? Or, restore it back to its original condition and enjoy owning it? This depends on the sentimental value that you have for the car, as well as the market value that the vehicle holds.

If the vehicle holds its value and is a rare or special car, maybe it’s worth restoring it if you want to get a profit out of it. Also, don’t forget that this restoration process will last for months in the best-case scenario or years in the worst-case scenario.

On top of that, we don’t know if a profit can be made considering all the effort and money that has gone into this restoration. If the price for restoration is too high, in the end, you might not see a profit from this restoration. In that case, you might want to consider selling a car for parts. Or, sell it to someone who has the will and money to put into this project. That’s how you both benefit from it.

If the car has a big sentimental value to you and you aren’t looking to make money out of it, restoring it is a good idea. That’s if you have the budget and time to finish this project. Although, many people start these projects and never finish them. To finish one of these project cars, you have to be persistent and not discourage yourself.

Selling Car For Parts

If you have a parts car and you want to get rid of it, there are a couple of ways that you can make selling a car for parts possible. These ways are basically meant for people who love to haggle and get the most out of their parts car, but we also have one way of selling a car for parts in only two clicks.

We are going to cover all these in detail and that will give you a better idea of what you can expect from them. In any case, you are going to need your car title. Remember that selling a car without a title is almost impossible in most states. And in places where this practice is legal, you are going to need a bill of sale to get rid of your car. So, let’s begin.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #1: Sell It To A Local Junkyard

One of the easiest ways to sell a car is to sell it to a junkyard. For this, you have to Google for the local junkyards in your area and you will probably find a few of them.

Selling a car to a junkyard is a smart idea if you don’t like to haggle with people. If you post the car on a marketplace, you are going to be flooded with calls from hagglers who want a good deal. Or in some cases, they may even lie to you and never come to get the car.

Junkyards are a safer way of selling a car for parts. If you sell the car to a junkyard you cannot expect to be paid a lot for it to be honest. The price will depend on the make and model and also the condition of the vehicle itself.

But if you sell an older car, it’s hard to get more than $1000 for it. That’s how prices go if you want to sell a car to a junkyard.

But they are still a great way to get rid of a car that you don’t want to stay on your lawn and become a rust bucket. Even though the price is not great, you will still get some money out of it.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #2: Sell It To Peddle

Another way of selling a car for parts is to try Peddle. So, what is Peddle? Peddle is a company that buys cars in any condition. And based on that condition, you will get paid an equivalent sum.

Peddle works only online and you cannot reach them in another way. How it works is simple. You go to their website and fill up the form. Make sure that all the make and model details are correct as well as if there is damage to the vehicle. After you finish the form and you submit it, you will receive an instant offer from Peddle on your vehicle based on the information that you gave.

Then, you will have to submit your location and phone number in order for their guy to come and collect the vehicle on a truck. When the truck comes to collect the vehicle, you will need to have the title for the sale to be possible.

The positive side of selling a car on Peddle is simplicity. They are an easy way to get rid of a vehicle. Plus, they pay well for that. You can expect to get a better deal from Peddle compared to getting your car sold to a local junkyard. Even though cars that go to Peddle will also end up for parts.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #3: Sell It On Copart

Selling a car for parts on Copart works similarly to Peddle. Copart is a big company, and they get cars before later selling them on their car lots around the country.

They work a bit differently compared to Peddle. So, to sell a car on Copart, you have to call them on their phone. After a small chat about the car and its condition, you are going to get an offer from them of when to pick up your car.

The positive side of selling a car to Copart is the simplicity and the lack of haggling. So, if you are a person who doesn’t like to haggle, Copart will be a perfect way of selling a car for parts. Also, the towing and paperwork are on them, so you don’t have to worry about any of that. They just come to your door, pick up the car, and then you get paid. It can’t get simpler than that.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #4: Facebook Marketplace

Facebook Marketplace is another good way of selling a car for parts. On Facebook Marketplace, there are millions of postings each day and it’s really easy to use.

But to get the most out of your vehicle, you have to make it presentable. Make sure that you take a lot of photos of the vehicle before you post it online. People want to see the product before they make a call.

Also, a good detailed description is going to be a good idea. Also, don’t lie and be honest about the condition of the vehicle. This will make you sure that you will sell the car really fast. People can feel when someone is lying compared to when you are telling the truth.

Then, post the car on the marketplace and wait for a call. You are probably going to get a lot of calls if you are selling a good car for a good price. There will also be a lot of hagglers along who want to get a good deal out of you.

So, you have to be well-mannered and patient with people. Then, when you agree with someone, you will get a call about when they could come to pick up the vehicle. After that, the paperwork has to be done at a notary’s office as well.

The upside of selling a car to a marketplace is that you can up-sale your car and get a better deal out of it. The downside of selling a car on Facebook Marketplace is that you will be dealing with hagglers and scammers. Sometimes, selling a car for parts is simply not worth the hassle.

Selling A Car For Parts

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #5: Part Out The Car By Yourself

Another way that you can try to get the most out of your car is to part out the car by yourself and sell the parts later on Facebook Marketplace.

For this, you will also need a lot of time and also nerves to chat with people on a daily basis. Also, if you want to sell around the country, you will probably have to offer to ship them out to the buyer.

But if you want to stay local, maybe this is the right move to do. If you don’t sell parts on a large scale this is your best bet.

Sell the parts that have the most value on a marketplace and then take the car to your local junkyard. You will be paid for the parts as well as for the car. So, instead of getting $1000 for the whole car, you may end up getting $2000 to $3000 for the parts and the vehicle. That is a good profit, to be honest.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #6: Local Auto Parts Dealers

Local auto parts dealers often search for specific car parts that are in demand. Rather than selling the entire car, you can approach these dealers with parts you believe are valuable. They offer competitive prices, especially for parts that are in good condition.

Remember, these dealers usually refurbish and resell these parts, so quality matters. The upside is that you’re dealing with professionals, which means fewer haggles. However, be sure to do some research so you’re aware of the market value of the parts you’re selling.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #7: Online Auction Sites

Sites like eBay offer a platform to sell car parts to a wider audience. Here, you list each car part individually, accompanied by detailed descriptions and clear photos. The auction format allows multiple interested buyers to bid, potentially driving up the price.

It requires effort and time but can yield higher returns. The key is to be transparent about the condition of each part and factor in shipping costs if you’re willing to send items out of state.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #8: Car Enthusiast Forums

Certain car models have devoted fan bases or enthusiast groups. These forums can be a goldmine for selling specific parts, especially for vintage or rare models. Members of these forums often search for authentic parts to restore or maintain their vehicles.

Before posting, familiarize yourself with the forum rules. Engaging with the community first can also boost your credibility and help facilitate smoother transactions.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #9: Directly To Mechanics

Some mechanics are always on the lookout for parts, especially for popular car models. Establishing a relationship with local mechanics can be beneficial. They might buy directly from you, or they might refer clients looking for specific parts. This method reduces the middleman, but it’s crucial to ensure that the parts are in working condition.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #10: Organize A Garage Sale

Organizing a garage sale focused on car parts can attract local gearheads or DIY mechanics. Advertise it in local newspapers, community boards, or online platforms. Clearly label each part and be ready to negotiate. While you might not sell everything, it’s a more hands-on approach, giving you the chance to interact directly with potential buyers.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #11: Recycle The Scrap Metal

Once you’ve sold the most valuable parts, you’re left with the car’s metal frame. Metal scrap yards or recycling centers can buy the leftover metal, paying you based on weight. This option is environmentally friendly, ensuring that the metal is reused and reducing the need for new raw materials.

Selling A Car For Parts, Option #12: Car Donation Programs

If you’ve extracted valuable parts and aren’t sure what to do with the remaining shell, consider donating it. Some organizations accept car donations, either to refurbish and sell or to use the metal. While you might not earn money, you could qualify for a tax deduction. Plus, it’s a way to support a good cause.

There are also some other things to consider:

  1. Always be honest about the condition of the parts.
  2. Keep all relevant documents handy, like titles and service records.
  3. Avoid accepting checks, especially from buyers outside your region.
  4. Meet potential buyers in public places if dealing in person.
  5. When shipping parts, ensure they’re securely packaged to avoid damage.

In conclusion, numerous avenues exist to profit from a junk car. With a bit of effort, research, and patience, you can maximize your returns while ensuring your old vehicle finds new life in various forms.

In Conclusion…

In this article, we have covered a lot when it comes to selling a car for parts. And we learned everything you need to know when it comes to this practice. We learned about car titles and why you need a title to sell a car. Then we have covered the different ways that you can sell a car.

If you want to just get rid of the car with no haggling and headaches, you may like to sell it to Peddle or Copart. Or if you want to get more money out of it, you can sell it on Facebook Marketplace. Or, part out the car by yourself and sell the parts online. This way, you will get the most out of it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you’re still curious to learn more about selling a car for parts, our FAQs here might help…

Where Can I Sell My Car

If you’re looking to dispose of your car, there are loads of platforms that you can do just that. You could post it online on platforms like AutoTrader, CarGurus, eBay Motors, or even Facebook Marketplace. This way, you’re selling your car privately, with no middlemen to deal with. But, if you’re not interested in haggling with potential buyers, you could opt to sell your car to businesses like CarMax or Carvana. While you have to accept their offer no matter what, it makes the whole process much easier. And, if your ride isn’t in the best condition, you could sell it off at junkyards for parts. Or, sell it whole on platforms like Peddle, which even buys cars in bad shape.

How Much Can I Sell My Car For

Go on Google, and you can see numerous services that could provide an instant quote for your car. These include tools by Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, Consumer Reports, and more. However, you should note that these tools can only provide a rough average market price for your vehicle. And, it’s based on general factors such as mileage or trim level. It doesn’t take into account the finer details, such as the condition of the vehicle. Or, if there are any serious issues with it. To best gauge a fair value for your car, a good tip would be browsing around used car sites. And, try to find cars that are similar to yours, and try to match the pricing, as best as you can.

What Do I Need To Sell My Car

Before you go off and sell your car, you need to make sure that all the paperwork and documentation are in order. Among the most important documents that you’ll need is the car title, proving your legally-recognized ownership over the vehicle. And, a bill of sale that’s been notarized and co-signed alongside the would-be buyer. The latter certifies a purchase, and that a transfer of ownership is in progress. Beyond that, some additional paperwork that might be valuable to bring along includes the vehicle’s service records, warranty information, owner’s manual, odometer mileage disclosure, or emissions testing paperwork.

How Many Cars Can You Sell In A Year

Most people, especially enthusiasts who love to buy and sell cars, typically aren’t aware that there’s a limit to doing that. If you’re just buying cars, then most state laws won’t limit an individual to doing so. In other words, you could buy as many cars as you want within a 12-month period. However, this changes if you, an individual, sell cars quite often. Most state laws say that a private individual could only sell 4 or fewer cars within a 12-month timeframe. More than that, you’ll need to get an auto dealer’s license from your local state government. This also means that owning these cars, with a dealer’s license, requires additional taxation.

Where To Sell Car Parts

One of the best ways to earn as much as possible from an old jalopy is selling it for parts. In other words, breaking your car apart into its individual components. So, while your car as a whole may not be worth that much… Its many parts, such as the engine, transmission, body panels, accessories, and so on, would be worth more collectively. It can be tough, however, to figure out where to sell these. If you’re not getting good offers from the local junkyards, then it’s well worth going online. Sites such as Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace are great sites to sell off used car parts. And, you can aim towards a much wider audience of would-be buyers.

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