Salvage Cars at Junkyards: Frequently Asked Questions

So-called salvage cars can be separated into two broad groups: cars that receive a “salvage certificate” from the state motor vehicle agency, and cars that are repaired and receive a new title that allows them to be registered, driven, and sold, with the title indicating the vehicle is salvaged and rebuilt.

Below, we answer common questions about salvage cars in both groups to help you make an educated decision about selling a salvage vehicle or purchasing used auto parts from one.

Does my car need a salvage title for a junkyard to buy it?

States have different requirements for the process of junking a car. In most cases, a title isn’t a part of the equation, unless it’s used to provide proof of vehicle ownership. In addition to proving you own the vehicle you plan to sell, junkyards may require proof of the vehicle’s registration, a damage disclosure statement, and the license plates for the automobile.

Can I discover how a salvage title vehicle was damaged?

Yes. Sometimes, the seller may have the information. If the seller is a third party that knows the status of the vehicle but not a detailed repair history, using Carfax services is a good alternative. Carfax offers five vehicle search services: Lemon Check, Record Check, Recall Check, Problem Car, and full Carfax vehicle history report. Any information reported to the company about a vehicle can be found in the full vehicle history report.

What can I do to protect my investment in salvage parts?

The best ways to protect your investment are (a) purchase used auto parts that are nearly new and don’t show much wear, and (b) buy parts from a junkyard that offers warranties for used components. For example, if you buy used auto parts from us, you have the option of applying a warranty of $1 per part, per day for each piece you purchase.

Does salvage status affect how much junkyards pay for cars?

Unless you plan to sell your vehicle as a pre-owned car that is fit to drive, salvage status alone has a negligible impact on how much you receive. This is because the value of your salvage car is based primarily on the collective value of its salable parts. The more salable parts a car contains, the more value it has to a junkyard.

About Our Business

Wrench-A-Part is Texas-based, professionally operated junkyard with locations in Austin, Belton, Holland, and Lubbock. We specialize in buying end-of-life automobiles, purchasing used cars that still drive, and selling high-quality, used auto components. To inquire about selling a vehicle or buying parts, please visit our contact page to find our nearest location.    

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