What Does a Company That Buys Junk Cars Do with Those Junk Cars?

Is There Money in Buying Junk Cars?

Certainly! There is a significant opportunity for profit in the business of purchasing junk cars. If you possess the necessary skills, time, and resources, you can establish a profitable venture by buying and dealing with scrap cars. Starting a scrap car business can be a financially rewarding endeavor, especially if you make the most of every part and component of these vehicles.

It might seem surprising that you can generate income from old, worn-out, and rusty automobiles. However, in the United States, more than 12 million cars are recycled each year, contributing to a substantial $22 billion in annual revenue for the salvage industry. This impressive figure underscores the economic viability of launching a junk car business if you have the required expertise.


car parts


One of the primary ways companies that buy junk cars make a profit is by dismantling these vehicles and reselling the usable parts. These parts can include engines, transmissions, alternators, and even smaller components like door handles and mirrors. Before these cars head to the scrapyard, experts carefully extract and catalog every salvageable part. These parts are then cleaned, refurbished if necessary, and made available for resale. It’s a win-win situation – customers get affordable, recycled car parts, while the companies turn a tidy profit.


In some cases, rather than selling individual parts, companies opt to refurbish the entire vehicle and resell it. This process involves extensive mechanical work, body repairs, and a fresh coat of paint. The goal is to transform the junk car into a roadworthy vehicle that can be sold to individuals looking for affordable transportation. This “flipping” approach requires expertise and investment but can yield a higher return compared to selling parts separately.

Recycle It for Scrap Metal

For cars that are beyond repair or have no salvageable parts, the next step is recycling. These vehicles are sent to scrapyards where they are meticulously dismantled, with every recyclable material separated from non-recyclables. The metal components, such as steel and aluminum, are melted down and reused in various industries, including automotive manufacturing. Recycling reduces the environmental impact of junk cars and conserves valuable resources.

Sell It As-Is to Auto Salvage Yards

Sometimes, a company may choose not to invest in repairs or dismantling and instead sell the entire junk car to auto salvage yards. Auto salvage yards specialize in collecting vehicles for their scrap value. These yards then sell the cars to metal recycling facilities or other buyers who may have a use for the vehicles or their parts.

How Much Money Can You Make on Average?

Now that we’ve explored the different avenues that companies that buy junk cars pursue, you might be wondering about the financial aspect. Just how much money can you make in this industry? Let’s break it down.

  • Reselling Used Parts: The profit margin from reselling used car parts can vary widely depending on the rarity and demand for specific components. On average, a company can make anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per vehicle.
  • Flipping Cars: This approach typically offers higher returns, with some companies reporting profits of $1,000 or more per flipped car. However, it requires a substantial investment in repairs and refurbishment.
  • Recycling: While recycling is an essential aspect of the business, it may yield smaller profits compared to selling parts or flipping cars. However, it’s a steady source of income for companies in this industry.
  • Selling to Salvage Yards: Selling cars as-is to salvage yards may not be the most profitable option, but it provides a quick way to liquidate inventory and generate some revenue.

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