How to sell your car for parts
If you’ve got a car that’s on its last legs or is no longer driveable, selling its still-usable parts can be a good way to still get some cash back in your pocket. You might consider this option if the costs of repairing your car are higher than just buying a newer model. If you're looking for help on how to make the most profit, plus the pros and cons of selling your car for spare parts, read on to see what options are available.
Can you sell a damaged car?
Yes, you can sell your damaged car. If the thought of dismantling your pride and joy for parts isn’t appealing, you might consider just selling your damaged car as is. There are buyers out there looking for all types of vehicles in varying ages and conditions, so this is certainly an option. Our handy advice guide on selling your damaged car covers all you need to know about pricing, insurance write-offs and how important it is to be up front when advertising your car for sale.
You could decide to sell your car privately online via Gumtree or other selling sites. This will likely get you the best price to sell your broken car, but it could take longer than offering it up to a dealer that accepts cars in any condition, including non-runners.
There’s also the option to take part in a scrappage scheme. This is where car dealers or manufacturers offer you a cash discount on a brand new car in exchange for you handing over your old one. Alternatively, you may want to get your car scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility. The price you get from a scrapyard is dependent on the car’s model, where you live and whether the car has sellable parts.
What are the pros and cons of selling your car for parts?
We’ve taken a look at the pros and cons so you can decide if selling your car for parts is the right option for you:
In most cases, you’ll be able to make more money from selling off individual car parts rather than getting rid of the whole car in one go. When your car’s run into the ground, it may have little resale value – especially if it’s not got an MOT.
If you like getting your hands greasy and enjoy a bit of tinkering, stripping down an old banger will give you a sense of accomplishment when the money rolls in from a sale.
You need to factor in the time it will take you to remove the parts, list them for sale and connect with buyers. If you want a quick turnaround, then you may need to negotiate on lower prices for a speedy sale or settle on selling the car as a whole instead.
To keep the parts in dry, clean condition, you’ll want access to a garage or storage space so they’re easy to locate and fetch the best price when sold.
Removing large car parts can be tricky and may require some specialist equipment you don’t have. It’s best to weigh up whether you have the right skills for the job so that you don’t damage vital parts when removing them.
You can also balance these pros and cons: remove and sell the parts that will get you the most money, then offer up the car to a scrap merchant. In most cases, you’ll get a similar price for just the shell as you would the complete car.
What are the easiest car parts to sell?
Once you’ve decided to sell some parts for scrap, the key is to find out what parts are the easiest to sell and the quickest to remove. Here are some ideas of some of the most sought after second-hand car parts:
Engine parts are often popular, although the price you’ll get does depend on your car engine mileage. Car owners or mechanics may be looking to do a straight swap, a rebuild or spend time stripping the engine for the parts that they need.
If you have a good working gearbox, you may be onto a winner. These are always in demand – either to be rebuilt or swapped in to older cars that are otherwise mechanically sound. Just like your engine, the price you’ll get will be dependent on the mileage and if it’s fully working or not.
Second-hand airbags always sell quickly, as buying new airbags from a manufacturer is expensive after an accident. It goes without saying that the airbags need to be intact – if they’re damaged in any way, they’ll most likely be worthless.
As one of the easiest parts to remove and replace, seats are very popular and fetch a decent price second hand if they’re in good condition. A car seat is often just bolted to the floor, making it both easy to remove and an easy install for someone who perhaps has a tatty interior they want to smarten up.
You can also strip parts such as headlights, bodywork and bumpers without much stress, and these are usually great items to sell second hand.
How much can you get for selling your car for parts?
How much money you’ll get depends on the demand and availability for a particular make, model and trim. Parts for luxury or specialist cars will usually be worth more than those for your average family car. You’ll often be able to get the best prices if you’ve got a part that’s not commonly found or has been discontinued by the manufacturer.
Before you put any items up for sale it’s important to do your research. Check for used car parts on Gumtree to see what the market rate is and price your items accordingly. You’ll also need to factor in the time you have to sell – making the price more attractive is a good idea if you need a quick turnaround.
You’ll usually get between £100-£500 from a scrapyard if you choose to sell the car as a whole. It’s always worth making some calls to get the best price in your local area.
How do you strip a car for parts yourself?
If you have a good knowledge of mechanics and solid DIY skills, you can remove almost all parts of the car yourself. Less confident tinkerers may want to just stick to the basics. Areas such as the interior trim and seats are easy to remove, as they’re likely only held with a few clips or bolts. It’s the same for the outside bodywork and bumpers – stripping these for cash shouldn’t take you long at all.
When it comes to removing the engine and gearbox, you’ll want more time. It can take on average 6-8 hours to remove an engine, and you’ll need to know how to drain all the fluids. Plus, the exhaust, intake, coolant lines and wiring will all need to be disconnected safely.
It’s important to take care when dismantling your car as you’ll want to avoid damaging the parts. They’ll be much easier to sell if they’re in good condition and will get you the best price. Areas to pay close attention to are the steering wheel and airbags, as these could become worthless if damaged when removed.
So, now you know how you can make money by selling your car for parts, are you ready to get your hands dirty? Check out current prices for your make and model, and take a look at listed car parts for sale on Gumtree.