European salvage yards are the ideal for saving money on euro imported vehicles. These salvos buy junked vehicles and then sell off the functional parts. While you certainly won’t find every euro import manufacturer, you will see a majority of the popular ones like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, VW, Volvo, etc. Below I will share my experience with the European salvage yards near me such as how thy work and share some tips.
Map of European Salvage Yards Near Me
For “European Salvage Yards Near Me”, see the map below…
If you aren’t getting many hits on the map, check here for Import junkyards or you can search for junkyards that deal exclusively in your preferred vehicle brand. Alternatively you can also check your local auto junk yard, who will likely have a section for the most popular European autos.
Operations of European Junk Yards Near Me
Any junkyard regardless if what they sell operates like any other local business. These just happen to deal in vehicles and follow a business model like your local thrift shop. Here though, they purchase vehicles at scrap metal prices and then sell off the usable parts. This business model can turn a junk car into a profit for a salvage yard.
Most salvages get their vehicles in two or three ways. They buy a scrap car from a private owner, they get a car deemed “totaled”, by an insurance company, or via an auction. When a vehicle comes from the public, it’s often not running, and the owner decided the cost of repair was more then the cost to junk it. When it comes from an insurance company, they take a car from an accident that was “totaled” and sell it to the salvage to offset the some of the claim payout cost. Sometimes salvos will get vehicles at auction, where they see an opportunity to get a vehicle cheap and flip it or have it pulled for parts.
How Do Salvage Yards Process The Vehicles
If a vehicle is in running condition, they may fix it up and sell it with a salvage title. Another option is they may take it straight to auction and sell it with a group of other junked vehicles that might be able to be fixed.
If a vehicle is not running it will need to be processed in order to be put of pick and pull. A mechanic will drain all the major fluids like gas, anti freeze, oil, etc. Some of the fluids will be containerized and resold, while others get recycled according to state laws for handling hazardous materials. Depending on the condition of the motor and the battery, they may be pulled as well. A motor can be rebuilt and sold with a warranty. The battery can be pulled, recharged, and sold.
Some salvages, pre-pull major parts and sell them out of a warehouse or online. This is often the case for parts that corrode and rust quickly like starters and alternators.
At the end of the wrecked vehicles life, when all that remains is the frame, it will be sold for it’s metal weight as scrap metal. This processes serves two purposes. First it gets the last bit of money out of a salvaged auto. Second it makes room on the lot for more European autos. Not all yards though follow this practice, some leave vehicles to rust. The European salvage yards near me, run very efficient and turn over their lot every six to eight months. Not a single car rusting in the lot for eternity.
How European Salvage Yards are Structured
Every type of auto salvage adheres to a different standard or no standard at all. Ideally you would want a highly organized lot laid out by manufacturer, model, and year. It’s impossible for them to maintain a lot that way. Often you just get yards set by vehicle type such as a car section, truck section, and a van section. It’s more helpful if the European junkyard is grouped by manufacturer. So then you can get Bimmer section, Merc section, VW section, etc…
The more advanced the Euro salvo is, the better it is for you. A matured salvo will have an online database of vehicles and parts. This means you can do your reasearch in advance before you visit. That will save you time looking around the yard. Some yards, will pull the part for you and ship it if you order it online.
If your European import salvage doesn’t have there inventory online, call them first and ask about what you need. For example you can call and ask questions like: “Do you have any 2012 – 2015 BMW 3 series and what condition are they in”?
No European Salvage Yards Local? Try This…
Not every township is gonna have a specialized junkyard for European imports, but that doesn’t mean you are out of luck. There are also salvage yards that specialize by manufacturer. In fact we have covered many of them here.
Check the list below and find a junkyard of these European car manufacturers:
- BMW Salvages
- Mercedes Salvages
- Volkswagen Salvages
- Audi Salvages
- Volvo Salvages
- Jaguar Salvages
- Mini Cooper Salvages
- Fiat Salvages
- Land Rover Salvages
If you are looking for some high end vehicles or exotics these are really tough to find. These are manufacturers like Porsche, McLaren, Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Bugatti and Ferrari. You may see some rare gems at a Euro salvage or standard car junkyard, but they will be few and far between.
Manufacturers like Peugeot, Citroen, Opel, Renault, Dacia, and Skoda are almost never seen because they really don’t have an import market or dealerships in the US. Brands like Alfa Romeo are starting to pop up at junkyards, but not a huge population of wrecked vehicles overall.
Selling Your European Car or Truck to Salvage Yards
If you are wondering who buys junked vehicles in your area, you should think through your options before you junk it:
- Is your car, truck or van repairable?
- If you can repair the vehicle, what is the total spend?
- What is the value of the vehicle, with the repairs and without the repairs?
If the vehicle runs you should consider trying to get more then the scrap metal value for it.
Prepping Your Vehicle For Junking
If you think it’s time to junk your auto, do this:
- Return the plates to the DMV
- Cancel your reg and insurance
- Wipe your navigation system of any personal information (your address and phone numbers)
- Locate the title so you can sign it over
Used European Auto Parts
If you are looking at European junkyards to pull parts, consider the following about used parts…
The Advantage of Used Parts at European Salvage Yards
The primary reason to get salvaged parts of course is saving money. There is however another benefit which is getting an authentic part for your vehicle. Most of what you will find is manufacturer assembled parts, not after market parts. Another great thing is a warranty on some parts. Some of these European junkyards will let you purchase a $10 to $15 warranty for a 30 day or exchange on the used part. I would advise taking advantage of this if you are buying anything expensive.
Disadvantages of Buying Spare European Parts from the Junkyard
What condition the part you are getting is always the big question. You can visually inspect, hell you can even test electronics with a small battery, but you never really know the quality. Another problem is finding what you need. A disorganized junkyard with no online inventory can waste you all whole day of walking and coming home without what you need.
European Salvage Yards Near Me Conclusion
If you drive any of the popular European cars like Mercedes, BMW, VW, Volvo, or Audi, fixing these is hella expensive. I’d much rather find a $25 sideview mirror for my Mercedes C450 off a wrecked 2016 C300 in the salvage, then get Mercedes to order me one for $800 bucks. European salvage yards can save you a ton of money, but remember that’s not your only option. You can also check your standard auto salvage or salvages that specialize in one brand.
If you need used parts cheap for your import, an auto salvo is your best option. There are specialized businesses that deal with only imports, but even more specifically you may find places that only carry one manufacturer such as BMW, Mercedes, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, VW, etc. Any standard auto junkyard though should have a nice size section for imported vehicle manufacturers. That’s my experience from the European salvage yards near me.