After providing years of reliable service, you have finally made the difficult yet necessary decision to part ways with your damaged car. You have decided to sell it to a local salvage yard where it will be recycled, and its components pulled out so they can be reused for other cars.

The components will be repurposed in different ways, from engine parts being used for repairs on other cars to its body being disassembled and reused for new ones. People often sell their junk cars for cash to reputable salvage yards so they can resell, recycle, or use them for parts.

Read on to find out more about what happens to your junk car after you sell it.

Salvage yards:

Salvage yards are a great place to get all kinds of auto parts. They purchase cars, vans, trucks, and other vehicles that aren’t fit for the roads anymore, and depending on their condition, can extract working parts and sell them as used components. Alternatively, these businesses can invest the necessary resources to make the vehicle drivable and then resell it as a fully functional one.

Contrary to what some may think, totaled cars don’t always need to be stripped or scrapped. In fact, depending on the car’s repair cost and estimated worth, insurance companies may not write them off completely and they can often be repaired. Even if you receive a salvage title from your insurer, it is still possible to repair and resell the car. This means that it’s important to understand that a totaled car doesn’t necessarily have to mean a lost cause.


Eventually, a car reaches the end of its life and is broken down for its basic components in a scrapyard. These are then sold to manufacturing industries so that new products can be created from them by recycling. In some cases, another car can be made using scrap parts.

In a junkyard, cars are crushed in seconds and then put through a shredder. The resulting bits of metal debris are then moved to a conveyor belt with powerful magnets that pick out any steel pieces from the mixture.

A minimum of 80% of vehicles are recycled. This beats recycling rates for aluminum cans, newspapers, and even glass. Recycled steel is a great help to manufacturers as it is easily accessible, and has far less damaging effects on the environment. 

Back on the road:

Mechanics are often the savvy buyers of junk cars as they know how to quickly and efficiently identify what needs to be repaired, fix it up, and keep costs down. This allows them to purchase these cars at a fraction of the price, saving them both time and money in the long run.

After the car is repaired and fixed up, people have the option to either keep it for their own personal use or make a significant profit by reselling it. Even if you don’t have the necessary knowledge or skills to fix up your old car, that doesn’t mean that somebody else with more experience won’t be able to give it a second life and make money out of it.

Hollywood props:

Most filmmakers cannot afford to use new cars when shooting chase scenes and end up using old models as they are less expensive. The machines that are sacrificed in the pursuit of making good cinema often get wrecked, leaving the producers with a hefty bill to pay in the end. Car manufacturing is both incredibly costly and wasteful due to the number of resources, labor, and time that goes into it.

For added realism, filmmakers often employ pre-damaged cars as props in their movies or TV shows. The vehicles used in crashes or explosions are usually not road-worthy, and they’re not usually driven when the scene happens. Although there is no exact count of cars demolished on film, some transpicuous cases are worth highlighting.


Cars are a big part of people’s lives, and for many, they evoke a sense of nostalgia. From family vacations to joy rides with friends, our cars often take us back to the good old days. Car ownership means regular maintenance, and when your vehicle is no longer driveable the best option is to sell it to a scrapyard or a salvage yard.

Wondering what will become of your car when you scrap or trade it in for cash? When you sell your car to a reputable junk car-buying company, you can be sure that whatever happens with your old car, it will be reused in one way or another.