Selling your car to a wrecker: What you need to know

If you’re looking to sell a used car, there are a number of options. You can sell it online through a vehicle sales website like You can sell it online through a classified directory like Gumtree. You could trade it in or sell it to a used car dealer. Or you can sell it to a wrecker.

When it comes to quick cash for cars, selling to a wrecker is a great option, especially if you’re looking to get rid of an old, high-kilometer or damaged car. However, there are some factors you should be aware of before you start visiting wrecking yards around Melbourne.

While you will be able sell your car quickly and generally for cash, you should know what to expect. So, we have some key information for anyone looking to sell their car to a wrecker.

You can sell quickly

If you don’t have the time and patience to deal with tyre kickers and test drivers, then selling to a wrecker is the way to go. Most wreckers can inspect the car and organise payment and car removal within 24 hours. If you’re looking for a quick, low hassle way to get rid of an old vehicle, then definitely call a wrecker. Some wreckers will even offer a free vehicle removal service.

Vehicle condition may not matter

Whereas dealers or private buyers will be very particular about vehicle condition, wreckers tend to be less concerned about the cosmetic or running condition. While some wreckers do on-sell complete cars to dealers or private buyers, most are more interested in dismantling the vehicles and salvaging the parts and scrap metal.

The condition of the vehicle will, however, affect the price the wrecker offers, especially if the condition affects the number and quality of salvageable parts. However, wreckers will tend to buy regardless of the condition of the vehicle.

Don’t expect a premium price

When selling to a wrecker, you shouldn’t expect the same kind of price you’d get from a dealer or private buyer. Wreckers will generally offer less than dealers, but wreckers will buy old and damaged cars that most dealers won’t touch.

Before approaching a wrecker, it’s important to have a clear idea of the minimum offer you’d be willing to accept for your vehicle. Ensure you do your research and contact a range of wreckers around Melbourne to find out what kind of offers you can expect and be ready to negotiate.

Know the difference between wreckers and scrap metal recyclers

Wreckers tend to strip vehicles to salvage, recondition and resell spare parts. They can also sometimes on-sell entire vehicles. As a result, wreckers will be more interested in vehicles with a large range or components in good working order.

Scrap metal recyclers, on the other hand, are only interested in the value of the scrap metal. Scrap yards tend to purchase based on the weight of salvageable metal, so the prices they offer can be affected by the shifting prices of scrap metal.

Prepare the vehicle beforehand

Before selling your vehicle, make sure you have all the necessary documentation ready. Clear out your vehicle and remove any parts you may want to keep or sell separately.

When dealing with wreckers, remember that while you won’t get the best price, it can be the quickest and easiest way to sell an old or damaged car. But it’s important to go into it with your eyes open and with a good idea what to expect.

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