How to Sell a Car for Parts: Maximize Your Car's Value

May 24, 2013

Sometimes selling a car for parts is more profitable than selling it as a whole. This is obviously true when you want to sell a junked or damaged car that can't be returned to proper running order.

But what if a car can still be repaired? In that case, you have to weigh the cost of a restoration against the likely return on your investment. If you can't recoup your money in a sale, it may be wiser -- and easier -- to sell the car for parts, or "pick and pull."

Step 1 -- Assess the Condition of the Car and Parts

Take the car to a mechanic for an inspection of its powertrain -- when parting out a car, the most value is usually found in the engine, transmission, drive shaft and braking system. Combine this with an assessment of the car's overall condition to determine which parts are good enough to sell, and how much they might be worth.

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Step 2 -- Find a Suitable Buyer

There are many ways to find a buyer for your vehicle's parts. One of the most popular methods -- and the easiest -- is selling to a salvage lot. You can find one with an online search, or by looking in the phone directory. Give a call and ask how much they can offer for your parts.

If you have extra time and interest, you can also research how much the parts will fetch on the individual market. You might advertise parts on websites like craigslist and eBay, though many people find that a listing in their local newspaper's classifieds is sufficient.

Step 3 -- Negotiate

Once you've found a potential buyer for your parts, be realistic about their value and flexible in your negotiations. This way you'll sell as many parts as possible for a reasonable price.

Finally, maximize value by selling what remains for scrap metal.

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