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What are Salvage Yards and How Do They Work? 

Tips For Using Auto Salvage Yards

Salvage yards are the last potential resort for selling your damaged or old vehicle. Salvage yards will buy your car, tear it apart, sell operable components separately, and crush the frame to sell it as scrap metal. 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

There are situations where no one wants to buy our vehicle because it's in terrible condition or beyond repairs. The last resort for you would be to sell your car to a salvage yard that guarantees to buy your car and will pay you for its weight and any operable components.

If this is your first time selling your car to a salvage yard, the process can be slightly challenging, and there are certain tips and tricks you need to follow to get the best offer and prevent falling into some of the common scams. 

This article walks you through all the necessary details about salvage yards, how they work, and how to get the most money for your car when selling it to a salvage yard. 

What are salvage yards? 

You've probably heard about the term salvage yards, or sometimes people refer to them as junkyards. In some scenarios, you might even hear someone referring to them as scrap yards or recycling centers.

Whatever the term is, it is referring to the same concept in the same style of business.

Salvage yards are the last location a damaged vehicle could go to. This does not necessarily mean that salvage yards do not buy or parable vehicles. The whole idea of salvage yards is that they buy your car and take advantage of every single component.

If your vehicle has an operable component, they will pull them out safely and sell it to other customers. If your vehicle is not in great condition and there is no hope in any of its components, the salvage yards will remove all plastic components and end up with the metal part to crush it before selling it to a metal recycling center.

All salvage yards follow certain environmental regulations, and the idea is to dispose of these vehicles in a way that doesn't hurt the environment.

Salvage yards will drain all toxic fluid and dispose of them in the right place rather than just dumping them into the landfills.

Similarly, salvage yards will sell all leftover metal to the metal recycling center used again for other purposes. This way, the salvage yards helped reduce any harmful environmental impact and carbon footprint. 

Is salvage yard the same as metal scrap yard? 

No, salvage yards are not the same as metal scrap yards.

Metal scrap yards only focus on buying metal from any customer, whether it's someone who's selling an automobile or an appliance.

Metal scrap yards well by any metal from you and compresses it into larger quantities in tons or pounds. 

They accept any metal source, including aluminum cars, heavy metal cars, copper electrical wires, etc.

Usually, metal scrap yards will sell iron in larger quantities while selling and buying copper and aluminum in smaller quantities. 

How do salvage yards work? 

Most salvage yards work with the same procedure, and they follow certain steps, including: 

  • Vehicle pretreatment 

The first step in the salvage yard process is to pretreat the vehicle. During the pretreatment process, a salvage yard will drain all fluids from your vehicle.

These fluids are considered harmful to the environment, and therefore, they're not allowed to be drained into the landfill or the waterways. Thus, the facility will dispose of them in certain containers and send them to the right disposal location.

During this process, the salvage yard ensures no fluid leaks from the vehicle to the ground or the soil, which can also contaminate the soil. 

  • Vehicle disassembling 

Immediately after draining out all fluids, the salvage yard will take apart or your vehicle. For example, they will take out your vehicle's battery, gas tanks, tires, etc.

Every component is looked at separately. The salvage yard will evaluate every component in your vehicle and ensure that a parable component gets cleaned up and sold to potential customers.

On the other hand, any non-operable components will proceed with the process of recycling  

In certain salvage yards, the facility might allow customers to come in and pull out their parts by themselves without needing any labor. This way, they can save on labor costs and find good operable parts to buy for a lower price. 

  • Vehicle body crushing 

Once all operable components are removed from a vehicle, the next step is to crush the entire body frame and compress it into a larger metal component.

These metal components will then be sold to a metal scrap yard. As a result, salvage yards help reduce the municipal waste in your area, helping the environment. 

How to find the best salvage yard near me? 

If you got a situation where there's no one interested in buying their vehicle or the car has major damages that are considered beyond repairs, you might need to sell your car to a salvage yard.

Salvage yards usually accept your vehicle no matter what. However, if you're looking to get a higher offer, you may need to spend some time and effort.

Automotive experts suggest that you get at least three offers from three different salvage yards. This way, you can get an idea about how much exactly your vehicle is worth. 

It is very important to understand all the salvage yards policies. Some salvage yards might provide you with free towing, while others might surprise you with hidden fees immediately when they pick up your car.

Also, it is very important to understand their timeline because some salvage yards close to urban cities might be very busy, and it might take them a long time before they get to you.

Thus, you need to evaluate each offer separately and consider all potential factors that provide you with the best and smoothest car removal service. 

One of the easiest ways to find the best salvage yard near you is by searching through Google. You need to find a good online and offline presence for the salvage yard to prevent getting scammed.

Also, consider reviewing old customer's reviews because you don't need to deal with a salvage yard that doesn't have the best service, right? 

What are the most common salvage yards scams? 

Since the auto salvage and junkyard business is growing significantly, many people took advantage of it and use smart tricks to scam many inexperienced car sellers.

Therefore, you need to keep an eye for the followings scams:


  • Not providing free towing 

Some scrapyards might provide you with free towing's while others do not have in-house towing service. Therefore, they will most likely hire a third-party agency to pull or tow your car.

Thanks, you will end up surprised with some fees paying for the towing service. Thus, it is very important to ask them a first thing about whether they provide a towing service. 

Even if the salvage yards take care of the towing service, some of the third-party towing companies might charge you for the fees for the second time.

In other words, imagine if a salvage yard decided to buy your car. They had their third-party towing service, which they already paid for. This towing service comes to you and asks you for cash payment for the towing service.

Thus, it is very important to reach out to the salvage yard and make sure they paid for the service. 

  • No title transfers 

When it comes to selling any vehicle, whether to salvage yards or any potential buyer, you need to take all necessary paperwork.

Sometimes a dishonest salvage yard might tell you that they can take care of all necessary people's work; however, they might end up not transferring the ownership.

Thanks, you want to make sure that you sign on the title to transfer ownership. Never Gov signing the title is not the same as canceling your vehicle's registration. Thus, after you sign the title, it is your job to click your local DMV office and inform them that you have sold your vehicle and ask them to cancel the registration. 

When selling damaged vehicles, things can get very complicated, especially with legal issues. Thus, you want to make sure that things are done the right way by following your state's DMV regulations. 

  • Offer change at the pickup time 

Another very common scam from dishonest junkyards is to change their offer once they meet with you.

You might decide and agreed on a certain offer when you called them bought, when you meet with them, they decided to change their mind.


You need to be upfront and honest as much as possible when you get in touch with any salvage yards. Don't let them take advantage of you and say that he didn't provide all the details once they need to pick up your car. 

  • Long waiting time payments 

When the car removal service comes to your location, it is very important not to let them take your vehicle's weight without making sure that you get paid.

Never accept delayed payments.

It is also recommended that you ask for cash payments as much as possible because some common scams have to do with checks bouncing back from your bank account or money orders don't go through. 

  • Free worthless offers 

Some of the dishonest salvagers might offer you some weird prizes or coupons. All these coupons or prizes raise red flags, and he should not accept them.

Some of the most common scams would be something like cruise vacation or a free museum ticket. Don't fall for any of these scams and get the money you agreed on. 

  • No license 

Since salvage yards' main goal is to reduce the waste San healthy environments, you need to make sure that you're dealing with a licensed salvage yard.

It doesn't hurt to ask them to show you the license because most salvagers that operate without a license are usually associated with scammers. 

Thus, even if they are providing it with a top offer, don't go for it. 

The bottom line 

Salvage yards are a great option to save the environment and reduce the overall community waste. They take your vehicle and sell all operable components separately before selling the metal frame to a metal salvage yard.

While salvage yards are great options, they will not usually provide you with the offer you were looking for. Thus, if there is hope that you can get some money from a different resource, he should go for it.

If you don't like to deal with all the hassle in the car sale process and you still have an operable vehicle, we advise you to get in touch with Cash Cars Buyer.

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation. We accept your vehicle no matter what. Whether it's damaged, destroyed in flood, we will still buy it.

We provide the top offers for all customers by evaluating your car and considering scrap metal prices.

When selling your car to Cash Cars Buyer, you don't have to look anywhere else because you are guaranteed to get the top payments around your area.

Our process is very straightforward, and all that it takes is just a quick conversation with our team and describing your vehicle's type and condition.

We will then provide you with an instant offer within 30 seconds that you can accept. Once you accept the offer, we move forward to the schedule a pickup time and location.

The nice thing about our company is that we never change our offers and we provide free towing for all customers despite their living location around the United States.

Lastly, you don't have to worry about payment methods because we decided to provide our customers with cash payments to reduce the car selling process's hassle! 

To get started, you can either give us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer

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