Best Tips for Finding and Buying Car Parts at a Junkyard


Jun 07th, 2021

Best Tips for Finding and Buying Car Parts at a Junkyard

As you might already know, junkyards are far more than just places where old cars go to die. If you know how and where to look, you can discover valuable used car parts in these places and go home with them for a fraction of the price. So, whether you’re looking for used car parts in Sydney or anywhere else, you’ve come to the right place!

When looking for used car parts in Australia, junkyards (also known as ‘wreckers’) are the perfect place to find cheap items. You can check junkyards’ websites to know what cars they’re currently wrecking on-site. Full-service junkyards will remove parts for you, while self-serve locations will let you do it yourself. To find the parts you need at a junkyard, you can refer to the employees or bring a friend who knows about cars.

In this article, you’ll learn the best tips for finding and buying car parts at a junkyard. So, whether you’re looking for used car parts in Brisbane or any other part of the country, you’ll find these tips incredibly helpful.

Let’s get started!

What Can I Expect to Find at a Junkyard?

To the uninitiated, being at a junkyard can feel like you’re on a whole other planet. But don’t worry! In this section, we’ll help you understand what you can expect to find at a junkyard. To do that, we’ll look at ‘currently wrecking’, full-service vs self-serve junkyards, and BYO junkyards.

Currently Wrecking

TV shows and movies often make it look like there’s always something dramatic going on at junkyards. Of course, that’s more reel than real. Still, there is one aspect that they depict accurately: junkyards are typically sprawling areas with a virtually endless number of old cars stacked all over the place.

Finding the cars and parts you want will be like searching for a needle in a haystack. So, to anticipate what’s ahead of you, you can check the junkyard’s website. They usually list the vehicles they’re ‘currently wrecking’, indicating what vehicles they have on-site.

Alternatively, you could also call them and ask if they have what you’re looking for. That way, you’ll make better use of your time when you step into the junkyard.

Full-Service Vs Self-Serve Junkyards

Did you know that there is more than just one type of junkyard? That’s right! Whether you’re searching for used car parts in Perth junkyards or at wreckers all the way to Tasmania, you’ll find that there are full-service junkyards and self-serve junkyards.

The difference is all in the name. Full-service junkyards are where the staff will do all the dirty work for you. It’s no different than buying parts at a store because you’ll tell them what you want, and they’ll remove it from the vehicle and sell it to you.

Self-serve junkyards are for those who are a little bit more adventurous. You can think of it as a ‘car enthusiast’s theme park’ where you pay a fee, and they let you run around taking what you need. Then, of course, you’ll have to bring the parts to the counter for them to set a price and make your payments.

‘Bring Your Own’ or BYO Junkyards

But wait, there’s more! Among self-serve junkyards, some provide you with the tools you’ll need to remove the parts from the vehicles. Others, however, use a ‘bring your own’ type of approach where you’re allowed to carry your own tools to get the job done.

As you can see, between Full-Service, Self-Serve, and BYO Self-Serve junkyards, it’s all a question of whether you want someone to do the work for you or you’d take pleasure in doing it all yourself.

How Can I Find Useful Parts at a Junkyard?

Regardless of the kind of junkyard you choose, finding functional parts will always be challenging. Thankfully, there are ways to make that process just a little bit easier. You can ask employees, bring a friend, or do your homework.

Ask the Employees

The best people to ask are the employees of the junkyard themselves. Not only do they know every inch of the junkyard inside and out, but they’ll also probably be able to understand what customers just like you are looking for.

So, don’t be afraid to ask them a question or two!

Bring Someone Knowledgeable

Nobody said you have to go to a junkyard all by yourself! To help you find what you need, why not bring a friend who knows more about car parts than you do? That could mean bringing the ‘car guy/girl’ from your social circle, or perhaps a wise uncle who knows about cars and junkyards.

Do Your Homework

Of course, the best thing you can do is figure out what you’re looking for before you even get there. We’re not just talking about the car parts’ brand and model number, but perhaps it would also be helpful to know what other compatible parts of vehicles you could get to fulfil the same purpose.

Where Can I Search For Reliable Junkyards?

Still, before you can put all of the tips mentioned above to good use, you'll want to find reliable junkyards that you can visit. To do that, you can ask your mechanic, do a quick online search, or check out the Directory at

Ask Your Mechanic

One of the best ways to find a reliable junkyard to visit is to ask your trusted mechanic. They, of all people, will have their ear to the ground when it comes to the local automotive scene. So, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

Online Search

A quick search online could also be quite helpful. All you’d have to do is type keywords like ‘junkyard’, ‘wreckers’, and phrases like ‘used car parts Perth’ or ‘used car parts near me’ to find the ones listed online.

Of course, it’s good to bear in mind that not all wreckers or junkyards believe in having expensive, professionally built websites. So, you might not find all of them this way.

Use Directory

For the most direct and effective results, you can go straight to the Directory at There, you’ll find helpful filters to identify every kind of automotive business in your local area. Just click on the drop-down menu marked ‘I am looking for…’ and select ‘Auto Wreckers & Recyclers’ to begin your search. Then, specify your location, and the Directory will do the rest.

Besides the junkyards' addresses, you'll also find their contact information so you can email or call them with questions before you visit them.

When All Else Fails, Request a Part!

To learn more about buying used car parts in Australia, check out CarpartAU’s part finder tool. You only need to fill out an online form to request for an auto part and sellers will contact you with the best quote. Get a quote now!

By Ray Hasbollah