4 Tips for Buying and Selling Salvaged Cars »
Salvaged cars present a unique opportunity to sellers and buyers.
Salvaged cars present a unique opportunity to sellers and buyers.
Vehicle salvage yards can be a great place to find cheap parts to restore your car with. However, the benefits don't stop there. Find out more about these businesses.
Motorcycle salvage yards offer variety and low prices. Following these best practices can make the experience of buying or selling…
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The finish line was exactly what I was looking for. I have a great job, make good money and a professional lifestyle, and always had excellent credit. But due to my child's illness and the medical bills, my credit was hit badly. I went to the major dealerships, and even wit...moreh a good chunk of money down, I was rejected. It was embarrassing. They suggested the buy here/pay here lots, and that whole experience was sickening. All they had were older worn beaters, (not exactly what I wanted to drive my clients in) and the cars were extremely overpriced, way over kbb and at interest rates that were outrageous! (41%! are they serious?) For sale by owner CL cars require cash only, and i didn't want to wipe out my entire savings. Then I found The Finish Line! It's over by Worlds of fun with a completely in door show room full of a wide range of great looking vehicles, all in good condition, and ALL AT AMAZING PRICES!! ALL WERE UNDER KBB! Seriously! Go online and check it out! All I needed was a little money down and I am now driving a 2009 Audi A4 for around the same payment I had been making on my old impala!I had paid way too much for the impala at a big dealership and not going to make that mistake again. It's a small, homey dealership with a warm helpful staff. Angie, my salesperson was just amazing. Not only is she great at explaining everything and patiently answered all of my questions, but she is just darling and an absolute delight to work with. My kids adored her so much that they have asked when they can go back to "go see Miss Angie again". Financing was professional, easy and straightforward. Everyone knows that the better your credit score, the better your interest rate and my score was Less than average. But he found us a lender that was fair and willing to take a chance on me and put me in a high quality vehicle I need for work. I felt I was in the best of hands with him, which was such a relief after all I had been through. You know, i read the last review of the place and am not sure those people went to the same place that I did. It doesn't seem possible that I had such a totally different experience. Maybe they are mistaken, I don't know, but I DO know what I experienced, and it was the best car buying experience I ever had. The owner,Thomas, even took the time to introduced himself to my family and thanked us for allow him the opportunity to earn our business. We are just one small Overland Park family, but for what its worth, we would like to whole heartedly recommend The Finish Line for anyone looking to purchase their next automobile.view less
I had heard an advertisement for Car Smart on 98.9 (The Rock) about Ted Heater's Nickel/Pickle Sale. I really needed a new car and I'd been looking for some time. I went to Car Smart's website and sent them a message, which they replied to very quickly. I sent them my inform...moreation and received a phone call the next day that I'd been approved for financing. So I set an appointment for the following Monday. I took my mom with me since I'd never purchased a car before. When we arrived we were greeted by Chris and were treated like we'd known each other for years. We sat down and I gave him the information he needed from me. He gave me a copy of my credit score and walked me through every step of the process. He answered all my questions with great knowledge and really showed his expertise. With the help of my mom's credit I was approved and Chris drove up a 2013 Mazda 2 to us. He came along with us for the test drive and talked with us about all the features of the car. When we returned to the lot we met with the financial counselor who told us about every detail of the financing. After sitting down and going over the paperwork we walked out with the 2013 Mazda 2. I also was handed a jar of Pickles with a message and autograph from Ted Heater himself. A week later I received two cards from Car Smart. Both were hand written. One from Chris thanking us for our business and his number if we needed anything at all. The other was from Ted Heater himself congratulating me on the purchase of my first car, and that he and the team are there for us. If this doesn't show commitment and service then I don't know what does. I have referred Car Smart to all my friends and I know that if I need help in the future that Ted and Chris and the whole team at Car Smart will be there for me when I need them. Thank you Chris and thank you Ted Heater.view less
So I waited a few weeks before writing a review. I wanted to make sure the car was as good as it looked before saying anything either way. I have horrid credit and a car that is falling apart. I looked at some buy here pay here lots and I have to say I was scared! My boyfr...moreiend and I both heard a Car Smart ad on the radio so I decided to go ahead and look online. I got a call the next day at about 10 am. I gave the girl all my information and she told me I was pre-approved and we made an appt for noon. I had my dad come with me as my boyfriend couldn't and was running a bit late. No problems there. They offered hot dogs, chips and water as well as an awesome little theater for the kiddos (or my dad lol) I looked at a lot of the cars, which were all around 2012 or newer and had a few cars in mind. My older car now is an Audi, I love the german cars! Mike Baker was AWESOME, he had ME choose my top 3 cars and went to look at them. He never tried to push anything on me. All said, I drove away in my beautiful 2012 Jetta that still has a factory warrenty and never once did anyone make me feel less because of my credit. Mike even called an insurance person for me to see if he could get me a cheaper insurance rate (since mine went up a bit more than I had planned) I have bragged about Car Smart to everyone who will listen and I think I even converted a few people who didn't understand what they are about. This is not a buy here pay here people, they have tons of lenders willing to help those of us with credit issues and i honestly believe they truly care about the people. Mike Baker is the guy to talk to! I will be back with my boyfriend so he can get something newer soon. Awesome job Ted! You have created something to help those of us with little hope left! Thanks for the cookies, yummo!view less
Automobile owners have plenty of avenues to explore for making quick fixes to their vehicles. You don't have to wait for costly repairs if you are resourceful enough to know exactly what needs to be fixed and are sure of the parts required. By heading to your nearest salvage yard, you'll find the parts you need and more.
Salvage yards collect old vehicles and the accompanying parts. Depending on the condition, the materials can either be repaired or sold. Parts are then made available for you to purchase.
Salvage yards play a big role in ensuring old vehicles are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. The auto industry is the largest in the world and therefore generates the most waste.
Junkyards tend to operate on a local basis and typically purchase damaged cars from insurance companies, auto owners or cities looking to tow abandoned vehicles. Salvage yards then dismantle cars for sellable parts, while unusable components are scrapped and recycled.
You'll first need to identify exactly what parts you need. You can sometimes use generic parts, whereas other instances will require you to stick to the specific manufacturer.
Not every driver has detailed knowledge about specific parts, and that's understandable. Luckily, you can take advantage of various tools to narrow down your search. If you know your car's model, year, make and more, head to the online database carparts.com to search through categories ranging from alternators to suspension.
You can also speak to a mechanic or someone with detailed knowledge about the inner workings of a car to specifically get a better understanding of the parts you need.
You are not out of luck if you bought your car from the secondhand market and didn't get specific details regarding the year, model or submodel, or if you misplaced the owner's manual and no longer have access to that information.
Since 1981, every car has contained a vehicle identification number, otherwise known as a VIN. This 17-character code is comprised of three sections:
Where Do I Find the VIN?
The VIN is commonly found on these locations:
After you find this information, you'll have an easier time finding the necessary parts from the salvage yard.
Once you've confirmed your car's model, the next step is to locate the nearest salvage yard. While a quick online search will yield plenty of results, not all junkyards are the same, and the differences will have an effect on how you obtain the parts.
The first type of salvage location is known as a you-pick yard. Here, you bring your own tools and walk around with full reign to take any parts you find. You can set out to find a specific part for that much-needed repair, or you may stumble upon an item that is harder to find and carries a high market value.
A you-pick yard offers endless opportunities and costs very little to run, which directly benefits salvagers because so many types of salvage yards are popping up, according to Popular Mechanics.
The second type of salvage yard is known as full-service. Here, you can directly request certain parts and workers will deliver them to the front desk. No tools are required, nor will you spend time wandering the endless car piles. The catch: You'll have to pay a fee for the added convenience.
Important Steps to Take
Once you decide on the type of salvage yard to visit, your best course of action is to call before arriving. You can get a better idea of what the yards offer. For example, some salvage areas only have domestic cars for you to look through, while others may deal strictly with foreign, high-performance or vintage cars. After all, you don't want to make the trip to the salvage lot only to discover the cars will not have the parts you're looking for.
Luckily, most yards are generalists, meaning they carry what most scavengers demand. If you happen to own a rare car, chances are the yard will not carry that part simply because the demand is not nearly as high.
What to Expect
Entering a salvage yard can be an overwhelming first experience. With so many cars spread out over a wide stretch of land, the feeling is understandable. Most yards operate the same way, so you can expect the same general experiences throughout each location.
For you-pick salvage yards, you'll have to sign a liability document and pay a small fee, typically around $1. Think of this dollar as a worthy investment, particularly if you stumble across a rare component that can net you a high sale.
Navigating the Lot
Once you enter the lot, look for the ground maps to make your scavenging life a bit easier. According to Popular Mechanics, most lots are organized by keeping the in-demand parts near the front. Here, you'll find parts for vehicles that have a tendency to break down, which works to your advantage if you own a similar car.
The rear of the lot will typically contain items for cars that don't suffer from as many breakdowns. As you walk from the front to the rear, the middle of the lot will gradually progress from cars that frequently suffer mechanical issues to vehicles that don't.
Some lots will even have manufacturers grouped together to help simplify your search. However, not every salvage lot will have this type of organization - some will have no organization whatsoever. While you may spend more time searching for a specific car and an accompanying part, you also have the chance to find some hidden gems.
Don't go into the salvage yard expecting to find price tags on each individual part, as that would be a tedious task for the lot's owner.
Instead, salvage lots will usually have a price board containing necessary information. Different parts will have a generic price, and this method is generally beneficial to you and your wallet.
For example, say you drive a luxury car and are in need of a radiator. When visiting a salvage lot, the pricing for a luxury car's radiator will be around the same amount as a cheaper car's radiator.
Now that you know how the layout and pricing structures work, you have to actually find the parts, which for some, represents the most tedious and exhausting task - and for others, the most fun. You don't want to just grab the first component you need.
After finding something you think can be useful, carefully inspect it. Make sure the part isn't damaged. Likewise, check for interchangeable parts. You will then have an easier time searching for parts because you open up the number of cars to look through.
Tools Are Needed
Salvaging for auto parts is labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous. You'll want to stock up and go to the yard with the necessary tools to help pry loose much-needed parts, such as a full door.
Keep in mind though that you'll carry home any and everything you bring along. While you do want to have the tools, you also don't want to tire yourself out from the weight. Luckily, you can carry along some equipment while leaving heavier items in the car for when you get back.
Typical gear includes:
Keep these tools in the car:
Getting the Parts
Not every part will be easily accessible in a junk car. The tools you bring along will be helpful if you need to destroy portions of the vehicle - just make sure you don't accidentally destroy the part you're looking for because some areas of the car are easier to take apart than others.
When rummaging through a car or walking around the lot, stay aware of your surroundings. Remember, you aren't the only visitor looking to salvage parts. Other individuals are also looking for components, and not everyone works as safely as possible.
If you find a car you'd like to inspect, make sure working conditions are suitable, and if anything looks suspicious or dangerous, don't hesitate to find a safer vehicle to tear apart.
Buying a Specific Component
Instances may arise where you find yourself looking for a smaller component of a larger part, such as the latch to a door. It is in your interest to call the salvage yard before arriving to see if they sell smaller components individually, because some yards do not.
Some owners choose to not sell small components for financial reasons. According to Car-Part, owners will find difficulty selling the higher-priced assembly. If salvage lots come across a door without the handle, they will have to pay extra to get the handle and attach it to the entire assembly. It is therefore cost-effective for salvage lots to sell entire assemblies.
After you've successfully found a part or multiple components, take everything up to the clerk. Inform them of what you have and pay. It is in your best interest to avoid lying about what you have as a way to to pay less. You will potentially be banned if you're found lying.
Parts May Be Expensive
You-pick salvage yards will display the prices for categories of parts. However, prices may fluctuate depending on the demand. Harder-to-find items may carry a higher price tag than a brand-new one. In such instances, you have to use your best judgment to decide on which route to choose. Keep in mind that if you are salvaging for auto parts, you may also stumble across items that are difficult to find and subsequently be able to sell them for a profit. Doing so can offset the cost of the price you're paying for the parts you personally need.
Salvage yards will have different policies regarding warranties, but in most instances, the parts you find will be covered. Some salvage yards will offer warranties of anywhere from 90 days to six months, and may even offer the option for extended coverage.
Automobile owners looking to fix up their cars and save money will benefit from visiting a salvage yard. Time and dedication will be needed on your end, but the payout will be worth it because you'll save money and may even find old car parts that can be useful for non-auto purposes. You may even find rare parts you can then sell.
Before visiting the salvage yard, call ahead and ask questions about warranties, pricing and the types of cars they have for you to look through. Then, gather your tools, and get the most out of your auto salvage trip.