if the repairs that your vehicle requires cost more than the car is worth, it might be time to dump it. even if you need to sell the whole vehicle for parts, there are several decisions you need to make. you must know how to sell a car for parts and where to sell it. so how can you sell a car for parts?
you have two main options to sell a parts car. you can sell the entire vehicle to a local junkyard or private buyer that wants the parts. otherwise, you can part out the vehicle yourself and get money for each component that is still in good working condition.
both of these options contain advantages and disadvantages, depending on your lifestyle and your needs. we discuss the options and show you how to part out a car yourself if you choose to go that route. at the end of the article, we discuss some legal considerations you must think about before moving forward.
how to sell a car for parts
1. whole vehicle sale
you can sell a car for parts without taking anything apart. the easiest option is to sell the junk car to a salvage yard nearby. you get some money for the scrap metal and the junkyard gets to make a little profit on any good parts.
selling to a junkyard is simple if you have the title, but they are also willing to take titleless vehicles as long as you can prove you are the owner. additionally, many salvage yards will pick up the vehicle, which is great if it isn’t running anymore.
if you don’t want to work with a junkyard or salvage yard, you can also try to sell it privately for parts. put it on facebook or another marketplace, making it clear that the vehicle is for parts only. someone with more time might be willing to part it out and make a profit.
getting rid of the whole car at once is a great option if you can’t hold onto the vehicle. it’s also wise if you don’t have a lot of mechanical knowledge or you don’t have space to hold onto the car while you are selling parts. your neighbors are sure to thank you if you don’t leave a car sitting on the lawn for months as you rip it apart.
2. part out components
in almost every case, you will get more money for your vehicle by selling individual parts versus getting a lump sum for the whole car. the only trouble is finding the buyers for the parts, which can be difficult at times.
if you are mechanically skilled, it’s best to put your expertise to work and make some money on your investment. for example, if the engine is still in good shape, you could easily get $1,000 or more for a newer model. the seats, wheels, transmission and body parts are also worth good money.
you will need to put in some elbow grease to make this money. you also need a place to work on the vehicle and you must have the expertise to list the parts appropriately. if you aren’t in a hurry to get money, we highly recommend this avenue. by being patient, you can see far more money for your time. you will get even more if the car is rare or expensive. plus, once the car has been parted out, you can still sell what’s remaining to your local junkyard for scrap metal.
related: how to safely sell your car
where to sell car parts
ebay has become one of the top places to sell used car parts. with this marketplace, you can connect with buyers across the nation or world. once you take the part off of your car, you want to get good pictures of it and list a good description on the online platform.
when someone searches for the part, they will be connecting with you. you can offer to ship for a fee or have local pickup options for anyone nearby. if you set up a bidding configuration for the part, you could even get more for it than you planned on, especially if people start to fight over it. otherwise, you can set a buy it now option and wait for the right consumer to come along.
2. craigslist/local publications
if you don’t want to deal with shipping, there are plenty of local marketplaces you can take advantage of. one of the most popular has been craigslist in the past, but it’s not used much in some regions. you might also try facebook marketplace or local apps, such as offerup. you could also join some local online meetups that might be interested in car parts.
try listing each used part you have for sale. you might find a buyer for multiple parts. plus, you can meet up somewhere local and public to swap the parts for money. just beware that some people will try to lowball you for the parts. stick to your guns and wait for top dollar if you aren’t in a hurry.
3. swap meets
it’s easy to sell parts if people can see them and touch them. at a local swap meet or car show, you can sell your car parts with ease. these are going to be attended by car enthusiasts, so you will do better if your car is a high-performance or classic model.
check the local fees to get a booth. you may also need to pre-register for the event. however, this cost and trouble are surely worth it if you can sell all of the parts in one day without having to do a lot of online communication with various people. plus, you might make some new friends.
is it legal to sell a car for parts?
yes, you can legally sell your car for whatever you want. however, you must be the legal owner of the vehicle. if you don’t have a title for the car, you can sell the parts or give it to a junkyard without a problem. additionally, you can mislead people into thinking that a broken car is meant for on-road travel. you want to be completely honest about it being for parts only.
you can also remove parts and sell them without worrying about breaking the law. however, you don’t want to violate any local or neighborhood ordinances by working on your car in the driveway if it is prohibited. check these regulations before getting started.
once the car parts are sold, what do i do with the vehicle?
after you remove all of the parts you know are worth money, it’s time to get rid of what’s left of the vehicle. by now, it’s probably just a shell, but it’s still worth a little bit of money. you can call local salvage yards to see what you can be given for the scrap metal. the steel frame should have a few hundred pounds of steel leftover, which can put a few more bucks in your pocket. additionally, these locations will pick up the car for a small fee, so you don’t have to worry about transportation.