How to Sell a Car for Parts for the Most Money

Dec 11, 2019 12:21 PM EST | Staff Reporter

How to Sell a Car for Parts for the Most Money

(Photo : How to Sell a Car for Parts for the Most Money)

Cars can last for more than 250,000 miles, but the average car stays on the road for just 11.6 years. Though many drivers trade their old cars in for a newer ride, it's not always an option. Dealerships like cars in drivable condition.

When your car is no longer drivable, you're faced with a new dilemma: how to sell a car for parts.

Though it sounds tough, it's easier than you might think. Here are a few simple tips to help you get the most for your parted-out car.

Get the Car Assessed

The best thing you can do before selling any car for parts is to get the car assessed by a trusted mechanic. They'll be able to inspect each part to see what's sellable and what's destined for the junkyard.

Once you have an idea of which parts you can sell and which ones need to get recycled, you're ready to start marketing those items for sale.

Keep in mind that you will have to pay for the assessment. But it will be well worth the investment. The mechanic might even want to buy some of the parts from you that day!

Recycle the Parts That You Can

Believe it or not, some components in your car get classified as hazardous waste. If you just toss them out with your regular household garbage, your city may end up fining you for improper disposal.

These include old car batteries, motor oil, gasoline, and oil filters. Take the time to remove those items and recycle them properly.

This way, you won't lose money on fines and unexpected fees.

Only Sell the Items That Work

It should come as no surprise that people won't pay for components that are completely broken or worn out. So, save yourself the trouble and only market the items that work.

Remember, word of mouth can make all the difference when parting out a car. If you get a reputation for selling components that don't work, people will hear about it. And you'll find it much harder to get rid of your junker.

That's not to say you won't be able to get money for those broken components. But you're going to have to approach a junkyard or salvage yard who can pay you for the metal in those components rather than a private buyer looking for a part for their car.

Set Fair Prices 

Before advertising your first listing, do a little research into what the parts are worth in their current condition and what they're selling for in your area. Set the prices accordingly.

Remember, people are willing to pay more for a part that's in pristine shape than one that needs additional repairs to work properly. But if that price is too high, they'll just move on to the next seller.

Shop Around with Salvage Yards and Junk Car Buyers

Lots of salvage yards and companies actively look for people wanting to sell their junk cars for money. Use this to your advantage!

Contact junk car buyers in your area and get quotes from each interested buyer. Most junk car buyers will give you a cash price for the entire vehicle, sparing you the headache of parting out the car to private buyers. That doesn't mean they'll offer the same prices across the board.

Go with the company that offers you the highest price and is willing to pick the car up at your home. Otherwise, you'll have to pay to transport it to the buyer and this will eat into your profits significantly.

If you decide to part out the vehicle and make a little more, don't discount their offers. They may be willing to buy your car without certain components as long as they're made aware of what's missing before you accept their quote.

Sell Individual Parts to Private Buyers

It should come as no surprise that you'll make the most money selling parts to private buyers. After you get the car assessed, market those parts that you think will sell easily.

In most cases, this will include the engine, the transmission, the A/C system, and the radio. Give as much information on those parts as you can when posting your listings.

It may take some time for qualified buyers to find your parts, but when they do, they'll happily pay you for them.

Always Take Great Photos

Since most private buyers look for car parts online, you'll want to take great pictures of every part you're selling. You don't need a fancy camera-your cell phone's camera should do the trick.

Just make sure you take photos that are clear and don't be afraid to use extra lights to highlight features and details. If any parts have flaws or faults, make sure to photograph the damage.

The more information you can convey to prospective buyers, the more confident they'll feel buying your items.

Don't Forget About the Body

Parting out your car means more than just pulling out the engine and selling it to the highest bidder. You can also sell the body of the car itself.

Depending on the condition of the car, you may be able to part out the bumpers, doors, trunk, and side panels. If the components aren't in good condition, you can always sell them to a junkyard for the raw metal.

If you decide to go this route, you'll want to pull out all non-metal components before getting the car weighed. This includes the seats, floor mats, the radio, and any aftermarket improvements you made. You'll likely be able to sell those items on your own for more money.

Now You Know How to Sell a Car for Parts

The answer to how to sell a car for parts lies in being patient. You'll make more money if you can part it out and sell to private buyers. But if you're in a hurry, a professional junk car buyer will give you a fair price for the entire car.

Use these tips for yourself and see how much money you can make by getting rid of that hunk of metal in your driveway.

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