How to sell a car for parts and quick money

By Matt Mayerle
Modified on May 8, 2023
how to sell a car for parts

Unfortunately, vehicles do not last forever. At some point or other, cars will eventually come to the end of their lives and no longer be worth the money it would cost to fix them. The end of a car’s life may happen slowly after many years of use, or it could come on suddenly through an accident. 

Whether you see it coming or it happens out of nowhere, you will need to figure out how to dispose of a vehicle that has become unusable. Even when a car isn’t usable, the parts that make it up can still hold value which is where the concept of selling car parts comes into play. 

When you can’t sell the vehicle as a functioning form of transportation, you are not entirely out of luck because you can still make a fair amount of money quickly if you know how to sell a car for parts.

Why Sell a Car For Parts?

The individual parts of a car can still be utilized to repair other cars, so you can still make some money from a vehicle that no longer runs. When a car is totaled or extremely old, it may not be worth it to fix all the issues at the mechanic. By selling the remaining parts that are in good shape, you can get some money to purchase your next car. 

Best Options For Getting Money From a Dead Car

Once you’ve accepted that you have a junk car on your hands, you have two options for selling your car for parts. You can either sell the entire vehicle for someone else who wants the car’s parts, or you can keep the vehicle, breaking it down yourself and selling parts piece by piece. 

Sell The Car As a Whole

The quickest and easiest solution for getting rid of a junk car is to sell it as a whole for someone else to handle all the messy work. You can sell it to a small business mechanic shop or a salvage yard.

There are even many private buyers who have a passion for cars and love taking them apart. Selling your car will give you some kind of compensation, and the old car will disappear, so you don’t need to worry about it anymore.

Selling Individual Parts

The other way you can sell your car for parts is a little bit more involved. If you put in the time and effort to take your old car apart piece by piece, you might be able to make significantly more money. 

Selling the individual usable parts and scrap metal rather than shipping the whole thing to a salvage yard could yield a handsome chunk of cash. However, in order to be successful in harvesting the usable parts, you will need a fair amount of mechanical skills. If you don’t, you will need the help of a seasoned mechanic.  

How To Tell Which Option Is Right For You

Which option you choose to get rid of the car is entirely up to you. Figuring out how to sell car parts will depend on your priorities and skill set. Here are a few reasons you might want to go with one option over the other:

When To Sell The Whole Car…

It will likely be a better idea to sell the whole car when you need to get rid of it quickly. If you are looking to get it off your hands and your mind, you won’t want to hold onto it for the time, it will take to harvest all the valuable parts and sell the car parts one by one. 

Additionally, you will do better to sell the car for parts as a whole to a salvage yard or to a private buyer on Facebook marketplace rather than selling parts individually if you are not particularly mechanically inclined. It’s necessary to be a skilled mechanic to harvest a vehicle to sell parts, so you’d need to hire someone to help you if you can’t do it yourself.

When To Sell Individual Car Parts…

When you are not in a hurry and can take your time, selling the car parts individually may be able to make you a higher price for your car overall. You can ask for top dollar for the used car parts that are in excellent condition, but you need to have a lot of free time and be in no hurry to get rid of the dead vehicle.

If you know your way around a car and can remove parts with ease, it could be well worth your effort and make more sense to get the best price for the salvageable parts so you can get that new dream car you’ve always wanted. 

How To Budget For a New Car

Having to purchase a new vehicle unexpectedly can put a significant strain on your budget. Most people don’t just have the cash laying around to buy a brand new car, especially when you weren’t able to sell your car for its total trade-in value. You can’t be reckless with your money, but transportation is non-negotiable, so here are a few tips for budgeting for a new vehicle:

Use The Money From the Junk Car

Put the cash you made from your old car towards purchasing your new one. Even if you only made a small amount by selling it to one of the local salvage yards, every dime counts and can minimize the damage this unexpected expense has on your monthly budget. 

Buy Something That Will Last

Though it might be tempting to be drawn in by the cheapest price you see on a new car, you need to keep in mind the possible costs that might come after the sale. Some vehicles might be incredibly cheap, but you end up needing to take them into the mechanic constantly, which will cost you more cash in the long run. It is wiser to spend a bit more cash to buy cars that you know will last a long time.

Do Your Research

Whether you are buying your vehicle from a private seller or a dealership, make sure to do thorough research. Look up the Kelley Blue Book trade-in value to know you are being offered a fair price. If you are purchasing the vehicle with an auto loan, do some comparison and rate shopping to get a good deal with interest rates. 

Stay Within Your Means

Don’t spend more on your new car than you can actually afford! It can be easy to get carried away, especially when you are relying on an auto loan. Before making any big decisions, you ought to sit down with your monthly budget and calculate precisely how much you can spend on a monthly payment. 

Like other loans with monthly installments, an auto loan will have a payment you need to make on time every month, and if you miss one, you could seriously damage your credit. When purchasing your new car, you must ensure it fits your budget alongside all your other necessary expenses. 

How to Sell Your Car for Parts

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