Salvage Cars for Sale – Auto salvage guide

Salvage Cars for Sale / Auto Salvage

This guide covers buying salvage cars for sale, salvage car parts, everything you need to know about auto salvage and what happens when a vehicle comes to the end of it’s life (ELV).

What is Auto Salvage?

Auto salvage is the process of removing and reusing automotive parts from scrap or salvage cars, then safely and legally disposing of the parts of the car that are beyond use.  Auto salvage yards, scrap yards, junk yards, wrecking yards or auto recyclers are all names which may describe a place where auto salvage is practiced.  Auto salvage reduces waste by reusing working parts and materials, and promotes environmental conservation.

Salvage cars for sale could save you money….

Salvage cars for sale are the perfect opportunity to buy a car for a lot less money and providing you have the necessary mechanical skills and some free time, you can,  with a little tlc, end up with the car of your dreams.  Similarly, second hand salvage car parts can be an inexpensive alternative to new parts when your car needs repairing…. or upgrading, meaning that with the right knowledge and/or experience, you could feasibly end up with the car of your dreams for a lot less money.

Knowledge is the key with salvage cars for sale, beginning with a basic comprehension of the main categories which written off salvage vehicles fall into once assessed by the insurance companies after accident, fire or theft.  These cars, commonly known as write offs by insurance companies who decline to repair them on economic or safety grounds are classified and labelled  A,B,C,D,E,F and X.  The main 4 being CAT A- CAT D.

CAT A Vehicles – Not For Resale – Scrap ONLY

CAT A vehicles are the worst of insurance write offs. It is illegal to sell or drive them.   Vehicles in Cat A cannot even be used for salvage car parts and should be crushed or sold for scrap metal by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATFs).

The DVLA are notified of the vehicle destruction via an online Cerficate of Destruction and this information is also recorded with the HPI.

Category A auto salvage

Category A salvage van

CAT B Salvage Cars – Not Fit For Resale

Cat B Insurance write-offs have sustained severe structural damage.  They must not be driven or sold as salvage cars for sale and the body must be destroyed in the same way as with Cat A by an ATF,  but many of the working parts may still be ok and can be  sold by the scrap yard as salvage car parts.

There will be auto salvage yards in your local area.  Many of them have parts on the shelf already.   If you call them in advance, they should be able to tell you if they have a salvage CAT B or C car with the salvageable parts you need.  You may need to take your own tools and mechanic to remove the part from the salvage car yourself  tho so be prepared to get dirty.

Be savvy and check the terms of sale…..Some auto salvage yards may honor returns and refunds on parts within a certain time period; whereas other auto salvage yards may stipulate that all sales are final.

CAT C Salvage Cars For Sale

Cat C cars could have sustained moderate-heavy damage and likely have been written off due to economic reasons but can be fixed.   These salvage cars for sale can be repaired.  If you are in a position to do the repairs yourself and use salvage car parts – you could end up with a very nice car at a low low price .

Salvage cars for sale cat c

A Cat C salvage car for sale

The buyer will require a VOSA Test before being able to tax or drive the car on the roads again legally to ensure that the repairs have been carried out properly and the vehicle is safe to drive

CAT D Salvage Cars For Sale

Cat D cars can be fixed and the repairs will cost less than its market value.  The damage to these cars is minimal and the insurance company’s decision to not repair it is based on more than soley the cost of the repairs.  These are almost always sold as complete salvage cars for sale and with the right expertise are definitely worth fixing up.

For Category D salvage cars for sale, the (V5) Log Book is issued upon application.  No VOSA VIC check is required.

If you are considering buying a CAT C or D salvage vehicle which has been repaired, or which you intend on repairing yourself, remember that safety is always key.  Check for any chassis damage.  If you are inexperienced with auto salvage, get the vehicle checked by a qualified mechanic.   Also remember to call your insurance provider to check that they will insure it.  Although salvage cars are not impossible to insure, not all insurers are happy to insure rebuilt or repaired cars and you may incur a higher premium even if the work has been carried out to the very best standard. It will entirely depend on your insurer and your policy.  You must however always ensure that you have declared the auto salvage past of your car or any claims may be affected.

CATEGORY X Salvage Cars for Sale

CAT X cars are  “not recorded” as being damaged on the HPI register. They could well have been stolen and
recovered  with minimal or no damage whatsoever.

When purchasing a new car, how do I tell if it has been in an accident and repaired?

Up until recently, salvage cars for sale will have a ‘VIC marker’ put against them by the DVLA if they have a CAT marker against them.  VIC or  Vehicle Identity Check,  was a scheme designed to help stop stolen cars being passed off as repaired accident damaged cars – also known as ‘ringing’.  The DVLA wouldn’tt issue a registration certificate V5C, or vehicle license reminder V11 if there was a VIC marker on the car.  VOSA carried out the VIC test and it took roughly 20 minutes. It was designed to confirm the car’s identity and whether it was ever been sold as salvage cars for sale.

On October 1st 2015 the VIC scheme was abolished for Cat C salvage cars for sale (unless a test slot has already been issued) as it was no longer deemed economically of any use, after 26th October Cat A & B vehicles were no longer be able to obtain a V5 certificate. Up until 26th October Cat A & B vehicles still required a VIC test to confirm they were roadworthy with a new V5 certificate.

V5 replacement certificates are now also be free of charge for Cat C salvage cars for sale.  Meaning less cost for you.

For more information on the VIC test changes see the AFF Vehicle Services guide.

If you are thinking about buying a salvage car it is always advisable to get it looked at by a qualified technician in the first instance.  A professional mechanic who looks at vehicles every day can often tell whether a car has had any repair work done – especially if the work has been extensive.  If you are still concerned that the car is an accident damaged car then check with the DVLA.

Buying salvage cars for sale and other auto salvage

Salvage Cars for sale should be purchased from a professional and accountable vehicle recycling and processing facility such as AFF Vehicle Services.  By purchasing your auto salvage cars and/or parts  from a reputable and registered auto salvage company, you can be sure that the necessary documentation has been obtained and that the vehicle has been categorised as C or D.

Salvage Car Parts Online

Salvage car parts are not only found at auto salvage yards.  You can purchase more or less every single part of a car online (with the odd exception).  You can often hunt down rare parts and its easy to compare prices. Just be sure that you have as much information as possible when searching to ensure you obtain the correct salvage  part.  Remember that certain parts will be modified very slightly in their manufacture, sometimes for just one year, so the more information you have the more likely to get the correct  part.  Do your research!

Check the guarantee provided by the seller.  Salvage parts bought online may be licensed, but some often have no warranty.   If possible, always check the part youself.  Make sure you know what you are looking for or get more information from the manufacturer or main dealer.

EBAY –  EBay Motors features new and used parts for sale by individual consumers, auto mechanics, auto retail stores, auto salvage yards and more.  Prices are often cheaper as many of the sellers overheads are cut by not having a shop front premises so you can save more money.  Always read the sellers feedback before purchasing, check postage costs and check guarantees.

Fitting salvage parts

The best way to save money is of course to do the repairs or upgrades to your car yourself, however this should always depend on your experience and expertise.   Always bear in mind that extra damage caused to the car by not doing the work properly could cost you extra and that once the part is used or fitted, the warranty will not cover errors in fitting.

Pick a reputable auto salvage vendor

It’s important to ensure that you purchase salvage cars for sale and salvage parts from a reputable vendor.  Cars and their working parts aren’t something to mess around with: bad choices can turn your car into a death-trap!

End of life Vehicles (ELV)

An end of life vehicle is one which has come to the end of its useful life.  There are two types of ELV.

Natural ELV’s generally refers to older vehicles, those which have simply been worn out.

Premature ELV’s are those which are no longer useful or repairable due to damage by fire, theft or accident.

During the End of Life process, the car is dismantled and stripped in accordance with the European and UK guidelines.  The European Directive 2000 targeting ELV’s was initiated to try and minimise the amount of waste generated from the disposal process used to dismantle ELV’s and to reduce adverse environmental impacts by increased recycling, recovery and re-use of a vehicle’s components.

If you’re still unsure of what to look at when buying salvage cars for sale and would like some help and guidence, please call  AFF Vehicle Services