Wait! Do These 7 Things Before Going to A Car Wrecker

If your car is no longer roadworthy, or not worth repairing, a car wrecker will often offer cash for spare parts or the car as a whole. Here are 7 things that you should do before going to a car wrecker that many of us don’t think to do. Our tips can help save you time, and even help you get the best price for your vehicle or its parts.

There are a few facts you should be aware of if you’re thinking of getting rid of a car you no longer use. The first comes from people who follow the car industry closely, including manufacturers, parts suppliers and car wreckers. The number of cars driven around the world has doubled in the past 40 years. Australia is no exception to this phenomenon.

Mechanical breakdown is a natural part of owning and driving a car. You can replace parts for a while, but sometimes a vehicle is simply not worth repairing. It’s time to take the next step, a very important one. Wreckers, called salvage yards or scrap yards in other places, are a key part of the automobile industry. In the last few decades, these businesses have made the purchase of quality used parts more efficient. That’s good news for you when it’s time to sell that old car.

Old blue volkswagen car with broken windscreen

1. Empty your fuel tank.

It’s wise to empty the fuel tank on your car before taking it to the car wreckers. Do this by driving the car until the tank is just about empty, if it’s still in running condition, of course. But, you should not attempt to take the fuel out of the tank on your own. If you have never done this, it could be hazardous. Talk to someone at the scrap yard and ask if you must drive the car to them or if they have a car removal service that will take the vehicle from your location to their site.

2. Remove your licence plates and return to a Transport Department

This step is very important for your protection. Selling your car to a wrecker is not the same as selling or trading with a dealership. Avoid any possible liability by removing the plates and taking them to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) near you. Tell them you’ve sold your vehicle. Registration is cancelled and the car is no longer associated with you in the registration system. You’ll probably use a specific form provided by RMS or available from the company you sell to.

Pile of crushed cards at auto wrecker yard

3. Call around

This may not seem like an essential step, but with a bit of effort, you can make sure you get the best price for your used car. Remember, you read earlier that car wreckers and sellers of parts are a major part of the industry, which means there’s a lot of demand for good used parts. Talk to at least two wreckers, unless you have one that you absolutely prefer to work with. You can also get an estimate of the car’s worth by using one of the online calculator sites.

4. Check the car wrecker will look after papers

This may be a good time to quickly review Step 2, to make sure your plates are removed and returned to the RMS location. You’ll also need to make sure the people at the wrecker handle (or help you with) the necessary papers. Use the correct documents for the transfer of ownership, including any papers required by RMS and the buyer.

5. Look into selling car parts separately

To put it in basic terms, you may be able to get more money for your car if you sell the parts separately. It’s important to understand that some wreckers may not take a car with parts missing. If they do, the price they offer can be very different from that offered for a complete vehicle. You may get your best value by selling those expensive rims and sound system separately, though it might be a good idea to discuss this with the salvage guys first.

Pile of towers in salvage yard

6. Empty the car of your belongings

This may seem like an unnecessary tip on this list, but you’d be surprised how many car owners have had their old car removed, filled out all the transfer/cancellation papers, then realised they left something rather valuable in the back seat or in the boot. If you’re lucky, the folks at the car wreckers will check for personal items before they begin removing parts and recycling the frame, for example.

7. Arrange for pick-up

Here’s the bottom line when you’ve decided to scrap that old vehicle – most car wreckers will do same-day pickup. As you make your way through this list of tips, make sure you’re comfortable with the price and the arrangements for getting your vehicle to the wreckers.

Man at car wreckers lot with car parts

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      Brit McDowell

      Lifestyle Specialist & Subject Matter Expert

      Brit McDowell is a Product Specialist at Localsearch with a background in marketing, business and tourism management. Aside from her specialisation in technical processes, Brit is known for her green thumb and growing succulent collection, love of dogs (especially Dalmatians), eye for home interior and fervour for travel. Brit is also a Lifestyle Specialist on the Localsearch Blog and enjoys sharing her research and knowledge in home and gardening services, food, beauty and general lifestyle tips and tricks.