Selling Your Car For Parts

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Scrapping is often the fastest and easiest way to dispose of a car at the end of its working life, but if time isn’t of the essence, you could find a little more money in your pocket if you’re prepared to roll your sleeves up and strip the parts off it yourself.

While there is no solid figure that can be guaranteed if you choose to go down this route over scrapping, making an extra £500 is not unheard of, and if you are smart and break everything right down to the basics, you could make even more.

This will, of course, be balanced out in terms of time spent before the cash is in your pocket, but if you’re willing to put the time in, you can expect to reap the rewards.

Car parts for resale of recycling

How long will it take?

How long is a piece of string? The answer to this question will differ from person to person and, naturally, if you are a hands-on type who can often be found in the garage tinkering away, you will likely fly through the work much faster than someone who wouldn’t be able to identify one end of a ratchet spanner from another.

Another factor when it comes to time taken is the motor itself. Make and model will change your expected work time drastically, although it’s widely accepted that it’ll take approximately six to eight hours to remove an engine, which will allow you to plan your work accordingly.

While an engine is quite tricky to remove, you’ll find seats, trim and bodywork pieces quite simple, usually only requiring a couple of clips or bolts before coming off. On the other end of the scale, however, you’ll want to be careful when working with steering wheels or airbags as any damage, either mechanical or aesthetical, will see the value of the items plummet.

What are the easiest parts to sell

If you don’t quite have the time, skill or patience to break everything down to individual pieces, picking out some of the major parts that will fetch you the biggest paydays. These are, unsurprisingly, some of the larger items but that doesn’t mean they’re the most difficult to get hold of, if anything they are some of the more simple ones to remove.

The engine, for one, is always going to be snapped up relatively quickly. If you log onto an owners’ forum for your specific car, there is a good chance someone is looking for an engine in some form, either as a straight swap or to be stripped for the parts they need. The price you’ll get, though, will very much depend on the number of miles it has already been put through.

If it’s not an engine that the forums are after, next up will likely be a gearbox. Again, you can expect a better price on a younger/less worked box, but there will always be someone looking to rebuild theirs or replace their broken one. 

Seats are one of the easiest things to remove, and can likely get you your first sale while continuing to work on getting the rest out of the car. Not as sought-after as engines or gearboxes, but a quick rip or a burn can often get people searching the second hand market.

If your car is sitting in your garage with its airbags still waiting to be deployed, a careful removal of these could see you netting a tidy profit. Airbags deploying are part and parcel of an accident, and many a post-accident repair can see a search for unused airbags, which are often very expensive if buying direct from the manufacturer.

Where can I sell

It’s all well and good removing the parts yourself, but once they’re off and securely stored, you need somewhere to sell them.

While it may be an obvious choice, eBay will always spring to the top of the charts and for good reason. Not only is it the largest platform for the sale of used car parts, therefore getting more prospective purchaser’s eyes on your spares, but it offers a layer of protection as a seller that other websites can’t, with sites such as Gumtree working on more of a gentleman’s agreement basis rather than the binding deals of eBay.

eBay is also a good place to check the price of your parts and decide on whether you want to drop them to the lower end of the scale for a quicker sale, or the higher end if they’re in an exceptional condition.

How much money will I make

The amount you’ll make can vary massively from car to car. Make, model and trim level will once again influence the amount that will end up in your bank account, but also the condition of your parts and how they’ve been looked over during their life will also have a large effect. You could have an incredibly rare model with an even rarer set of seats, but if they’ve been ripped or damaged while removing, that headline figure will drop dramatically.

A search of eBay, Gumtree or even Facebook Marketplace can help you gauge a ballpark figure you would expect to see, but it will only be when you start selling that you’ll be able to get an accurate idea of your remuneration options.

While most people will focus on the “how much” question, many will forget another key question: “how quick?”. Selling parts can take time, and if you haven’t got anywhere to store the parts where they won’t get damaged in situ, then perhaps this isn’t quite the path you should be taking. Yes, you’ll make more money than scrapping, but don’t forget the cost in terms of time, work and space.

Is it the right choice?

Having gone through all of the options above, it may have become clear that you don’t have the time, the space or the skills to get the most out of breaking a motor up, and that’s where we can help. Simply provide your details and car registration to National Scrap Car, and we’ll do the rest.