How To Part Out a Car

If you have the skills, tools, and time, parting out a car may be a way to make extra money off an old car.


Article Quick Takes

You have a car that's seen better days, to say the least. You've asked and your local dealership or car-buying sites unfortunately don't see any value and won't buy it, and you don't think you'll get much money back selling it to a junkyard.

So what are your options? One approach is to take apart your car and sell the parts. If you have the skills, time, tools, and know-how, you may be able to make some money in the process.

What Does it Mean to Part Out a Car?

"Parting out" means that you disassemble your vehicle and then sell the various pieces separately. Different buyers, from hobby builders to mechanics, may be interested in these parts, especially if you have a popular car model and the parts are in good shape.

When you add up all the pieces you can sell, it may turn out that you'll come away with more money than you'd get by selling it to a junkyard. However, parting out a car does require some knowledge and a fair amount of time, so you'll want to consider the cost of this process if you're doing it for the first time.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Parting Out a Car?

For some, parting out a vehicle is a great option that can bring in extra cash. On the other hand, it's important to be aware of some of the potential drawbacks, especially if you haven't done it before.


  • You may make more money selling the individual parts than the whole vehicle as is to a junkyard
  • It can help extend the lifecycle of your car, keeping parts out of landfills
  • Some parts are easy to disassemble, so you may be able to remove those yourself without much skill or knowledge


  • If you don't have experience, it may take a while to part out the car, and you may need to buy the tools to do it
  • You'll need space to store the car and the parts as you disassemble
  • You may need to protect yourself from hazardous chemicals or fluids and dispose of them properly
  • You may need to spend time researching prices, taking photos, and posting individual items if selling online

How Do You Part Out a Car?

You can part out a car in two primary ways: you can take it apart yourself, or you can pay a mechanic to disassemble it for you. With either option, consider both the time and monetary costs, as well as how they may impact your profits. Here are the steps involved in the process:

1. Get the Right Tools

To start the part out process, you'll need a few key items:

  • Space and storage
  • A floor jack
  • A cherry picker
  • Various automotive tools

If you don't have a cherry picker, you can call your local junkyards or junk removal companies, since they may have one you can rent or use on-site.

2. Take Inventory

Next, familiarize yourself with the most valuable parts and their market value. Some parts are far more valuable than others when in good condition, so you may want to focus on those. Parts to consider include:

  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Catalytic converter
  • GPS and infotainment systems
  • Interior electronics
  • Airbags
  • Fenders, doors, and bumpers
  • Truck tailgates
  • Seats
  • Wheels
  • Radiators
  • Glass
  • Headlights and taillights

When you have a general idea of each part's market value, it may make it easier to decide which parts to pull out of the car and which to leave, saving you time.

3. Begin the Process of Parting Out Your Car

Once you've identified the parts you want to sell and checked their condition, it's time to part out the car. Depending on your skill level, it may take a few weekends or a few months.

You'll need ample space and storage for the car and parts. Keep track of everything, and be sure to clean and label them. Additionally, pay close attention to safety hazards, including materials and chemicals that you need to dispose of properly.

4. Sell the Parts

There are a few places you can sell your parts once you have them out of the car:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Car forums
  • eBay
  • Online companies that buy parts
  • Private buyers
  • Junkyards

If you sell the parts online, you'll need to set up an account, take photos of the parts, and create a listing for each. Also, factor in packaging and shipping costs and any transaction fees online sites charge. Take those costs into account as part of the total cost of the parting out process.

The Bottom Line

Parting out a car can be a good way to make money from a beat-up car that's too old or damaged to drive. However, it can be a time-consuming process that needs some mechanical skill. Depending on the car and the market value of its parts, you may find that working with a mechanic to do the heavy lifting could be another option.

This site is for educational purposes only. The third parties listed are not affiliated with Capital One and are solely responsible for their opinions, products and services. Capital One does not provide, endorse or guarantee any third-party product, service, information or recommendation listed above. The information presented in this article is believed to be accurate at the time of publication, but is subject to change. The images shown are for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product. The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any Capital One product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.
author photo
Liz Froment
I love learning about money — deals, financing, and what to avoid. All that came in handy after my own extensive car search, where I put everything I learned about the financial side of things to use. That's where I can help you too. I want to give you tools to help you find the best vehicle that will fit your practical and financial needs.