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How Do Wreckers In Australia Price The Cars And Auto Parts They Buy?

CarPart  ·  December 17, 2020

How Do Wreckers In Australia Price The Cars And Auto Parts They Buy?

Are you thinking of selling your old car? Well, the odds are that you’ve considered calling your local car wreckers to come and take it away. Why wouldn’t you? Look at their ads – they’re offering you quick cash, plus they’ll even pick the car up themselves! But before you pick up the phone, you should probably know how they determine the price of an old vehicle.

In this article, we’re going to explore how wreckers decide the price for your car. It’s not just about whole vehicles, though. If you sell used parts to them, the very same factors will also account for how much cash you walk away with.

Let’s get to it.

How Do Junkyards And Wreckers Determine The Price For Your Old Car And Its Parts?

Generally speaking, there are five factors that junkyards and wreckers use to decide how much to pay you for your old car and its parts. They include mileage, neglect, remaining usefulness, demand, and scrap value.

Bear in mind that there are also other factors at play here, such as the wrecker’s budget at the point when you approach them. No matter how valuable your old car might be, wreckers are still regular businesses, so they’ll probably have a maximum budget for what they can offer you.

With that in mind, let’s explore some of the general factors they consider.


Overall, one of the biggest concerns for a used car buyer is the wear and tear on the vehicle and its parts. What's the best way to measure that? Well, when it comes to motor vehicles, the mileage is the best way to measure its wear and tear.

You see, mileage is such a useful indicator because you can express and measure it in numbers. That figure will give a junkyard an idea of how much the car has been through in its lifetime.

Does the mileage affect individual car parts? Yes, it does. Or at least, it’ll affect the mechanical parts like the engine or the transmission.

Of course, mileage is just one general factor that comes into consideration. There are plenty of high-mileage vehicles out there but which are in excellent shape.


Sure, we all know that mileage will affect the price you can get for an old car. But does that mean that an immobile vehicle with lower mileage will be of higher value? Not necessarily.

A car that’s been neglected and left to rot will be of lesser value, no matter how low the mileage might be. That’s why plenty of junkyards and wreckers might ask you when was the last time someone drove or operated that vehicle.

Think about it: if no one starts a car engine in years, that engine’s not going to work as well as it used to.

Remaining Usefulness

In the grander scheme of things, the wreckers and junkyards are just an intermediary or ‘middleman’. Their business is to buy cars and parts from people to sell them off to someone else or scrap it entirely. 

So, whatever price they offer you will also depend on how much remaining usefulness the auto parts have.

Take, for instance, a car that’s at the end of its life. Sure, you can get some money out of it, but it won’t be as much as a car that’s still got a few good years left in it.

The same goes for individual parts as well. The vehicle as a whole might not be all that useful. But if the transmission or any other part is still functioning well, then you could get a fair price considering how another person could get a lot of value out of that one part.


Let’s face it; some cars and their parts are more in-demand than others. Those will fetch a much higher price compared to say, a typical vehicle with spare parts that you can find anywhere else.

The typical example of this is when it comes to classic cars. Not only are the entire cars valuable, but so are their auto parts. People who still drive the same model will search high and low for those parts, and junkyards know that.

You don’t even have to look at classic cars as an example. Think of any discontinued cars or trucks you still see driving on Aussie streets. Since manufacturers no longer make them, their spare parts will be harder and harder to get.

That will drive up the demand for those parts with second-hand or used parts dealers like car wreckers.

With that in mind, wreckers and junkyards will be more than willing to pay higher prices to get their hands on in-demand parts from used car sellers. 

Scrap Value

Last but not least, let’s talk about scrap value. If your vehicle is truly at the end of its life, the only way the junkyard or wrecker will be able to make money from it is to recycle the materials in the car.

As most people would expect, that means melting down and recycling the car’s steel body. Steel is probably the most valuable material the vehicle has to offer to a junkyard. Besides that, they also have other recyclable materials to scrap like glass, plastic, and rubber.

Junkyards will price some car parts higher than others if they have precious metals in them. The catalytic converter on your car, for instance, has a fair bit of precious metals in them which are worth much more when scrapped.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned earlier, these were just some of the typical ways that wreckers in Australia price the cars and auto parts they buy from people. Remember the most crucial part: wreckers are intermediaries. They’re not the end-user of the parts you sell them. So, they’ll only give you a reasonable or high price for things that they can profit from. So, it’s always a good idea to manage your expectations when selling your car or its parts to them.

No matter how much you paid for the car when you bought it, the value today will be a lot lower. And that’s especially true if the vehicle is now at the end of its life.

If you’d like to sell used parts to wreckers and junkyards in your area, check out the Directory over at It’s where you’ll find contact details and reach out to them yourself to try and get the best deals possible for your car or its parts.

By Ray Hasbollah

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