Questions You Might Have About Working With an Auto Parts Recycler

When you have an older car that is beyond repairing, you might want to call an auto parts recycler. He or she can give you cash for the wreck and will typically arrange to have it towed, so you don't need to do anything other than make your car available to be picked up. If you've never worked with an auto parts recycler before, note a few commonly asked questions and then be sure to go over these with a recycler in your area if you still need more information.

1. Will I get more money if I take apart the parts under the hood myself?

You might think you would be able to take apart certain areas of your car on your own and then resell these individual parts for more money than if you just junked your car, but don't assume this will work in your case. The first thing to consider is whether you can find a buyer for each individual part that will pay you more overall than the auto parts recycler, and if the few dollars you get will be worth the time under the hood. You might also find that separating parts actually makes them less valuable; for instance, you might not get as much money for an airbag you've removed from your car's steering column as you assume. Never assume that you'll get more money by selling your old car piece by piece; call an auto parts recycler first and see how much they will give you for the wrecked car intact.

2. Can a car be junked if I've lost the title?

This will vary from recycler to recycler; some will take other supporting documents as proof of ownership and title transfer. This may include a current registration to the car, and valid identification from the person whose name is on the registration as the seller. An auto parts recycler may have forms for you to fill out and sign in place of the title in these cases, so don't assume you can't get rid of a wrecked car if you've lost the title to it.

3. What if the car cannot be towed?

In many cases, an auto parts recycler will have the right tools and equipment to break your car down on the spot, or they will use a tow truck with a chain that lifts the wrecked body onto the back of a flatbed truck. Rather than think that a recycler won't take your car if it cannot be moved, call and ask if they can take a car that cannot be towed.