Junkyards are a great place to purchase cheap used car parts. Although VA is a large state, meaning some of these yards could be quite a drive from you, it may be worth it depending on what part(s) you need. In this article, we will go over how VA junkyards work as well as provide tips for efficiently finding and salvaging parts. I’ll also share my experience with the junkyards in Virginia.
Map of Junkyards in Virginia
For “junkyards in Virginia” or “Salvage Yards in Virginia”, see the map below…
How do Auto Junkyards in Virginia Operate
All Junkyards in VA, similar to other businesses in the state, are privately owned (as opposed to a landfill being state-owned). They function like any other business and are thus subject to the same tax laws–for example, why you pay sales tax on used auto parts.
All VA junkyards need to be licensed by the DMV to operate as a salvage dealer, demolisher, rebuilder, salvage pool, or vehicle removal operator in Virginia. If the junkyard also sells used vehicles they also must have an independent dealer license.
In terms of daily operations, salvage yards in VA don’t differ much from any other US junkyard. They buy junk cars, trucks, SUVs, vans, etc, and then sell the functional parts.
There are many different sources of vehicles, such as insurance companies, private owners, businesses, tow truck companies, and salvage auctions.
Some vehicles will be bought and repaired, auctioned off, or sold with a salvage title. Most vehicles will be sent to the scrapyard for public parts picking.
Processing of Vehicles at a VA Junkyard
Before a vehicle can be sent to the yard, there is some prep work it must go through first.
This includes draining all fluids and removing some high-selling parts to protect them from deterioration and maintain their value. If a car is being sold for parts, common pulls are the battery, alternator, and starter. With vehicles that still operate, the engine or transmission may also be taken out.
Types of Junkyards in VA
Virginia is a large state with many different types of auto-wrecking yards. I counted over 257 businesses that salvage, dismantle, recycle, scrap or have some type of junkyard and recycling affiliation the last time I looked. In addition to general auto junkers, there are specialty yards for foreign autos, Jeeps, motorcycles, and others.
If you live in the state, there are plenty of scrap yards and cash for car buyers. This makes it easy to sell a junk vehicle. You can compare prices and get the most money possible.
Various Salvage Yard Models in Virginia
Different salvage yards in VA operate under different business models. Some are self-service, others are full-service, and there are hybrids. Some places sell online only or via a warehouse.
Parts Warehouses: Though they may be called junkyards, these businesses are quite organized. They pull parts off of vehicles and then sell them from a store or warehouse – sometimes even online. Because they do the work upfront to pull and label the parts, prices tend to be higher on average.
Self-Service Yards: At a salvage yard, you pay a nominal fee to enter and walk around the property. If you find any parts you want, you’re can remove them from the vehicles with your tools. These types of yards are usually unorganized and crowded, but prices for individual parts are typically lower than average. I’ve found that most junkyards in Virginia have older vehicles in poorer condition, but this does help keep costs down for consumers.
Full Service: Full-service yards differ from self-service ones in that you don’t have to do any of the work; they will either bring the parts to you or, at the very least, provide some assistance. This usually means that there is a higher quality inventory available, although pricing will be correspondingly higher. If you lack the expertise or tools to safely remove desired parts yourself, then a full-service yard may be your best bet.
Popular Auto Junkyards in Virginia
The salvage-finding process is unique for everyone, but it generally comes down to more than just finding good quality auto parts. How you’re treated as a customer matters too, and can be make-or-break in terms of whether or not you’ll consider returning.
Other things that might influence your opinion of a particular salvage include the warranty/return policy, pricing (is it fair?), and availability of tools like engine hoists.
If you’re on the hunt for a reputable Virginia salvage, keep these factors in mind: location, inventory levels, quality assurance standards, price points, warranties, and customer service.
Virginia is home to a popular junkyard chain called: Pick-N-Pull. They are super popular amongst pickers.
Here are a few popular junkyards with 4.5+ star ratings in Virginia:
- CS Junk Car Removal For Cash In Manassas VA 9151 Liberia Ave, Manassas, VA 20110
- Hillbillys Bentonville Junkyard 4381 Stonewall Jackson Hwy, Bentonville, VA 22610
- Harry A Wright’s Inc 1320 E Market St, Charlottesville, VA 22902
- Richard’s Auto Salvage, LLC 480 Comertown Rd, Shenandoah, VA 22849
- Prince William Metal Recycling 7905 Notes Dr, Manassas, VA 20109
- Culpeper Salvage 1419 Old Fredericksburg Rd, Culpeper, VA 22701
- All Foreign Used Auto Parts 76 Fleet Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22406
- Leon’s Auto Parts 6207 James Monroe Hwy, Leon, VA 22725
- Hillside Inc. 14236 N Mountain Rd, Broadway, VA 22815
Selling a Junked Vehicle in VA
If you want to get paid for your junk car in Virginia, selling it to a local junkyard should be your last resort. You’ll likely make more money from selling it privately. There is a time and a place to sell to a junkyard, just make sure you’ve considered better-paying alternatives first.
Many salvage companies will only give you the scrap metal value for your old car, but it may be worth more than that. Here are some tips on how to negotiate a higher price: If the car still runs, that’s a good start for negotiating above the scrap value. Even if it doesn’t run, there might be expensive functional parts still on it. You have to make a case for why the car is worth more than scrap metal.
In order to junk your vehicle in Virginia, you will need the title. You will have to officially transfer ownership of the car to the salvage company following all state rules and regulations. There may be options to junk it without a title and for that you should read this.
Virginia Procedure for Transferring Vehicle Ownership
To sell a junk car in Virginia, follow these steps:
- Research local junkyards and cash for junk car buyers to compare offers.
- Find the title and make sure it’s signed by you.
- Complete a Bill of Sale (included with most junkyard forms).
- Remove the license plate from the vehicle and cancel the registration. (if you don’t some junkyards will charge you for doing this on your behalf).
- Sign over the title to the buyer only after you have been paid.
- Notify the Virginia DMV that the vehicle has been transferred (also important so you can stop paying taxes on it).
Buying a Salvage Vehicle in Virginia
Alternatively, you might want to purchase a car with a salvage title in Virginia. Here is what you ought to know…
- You will pay Virginia state sales tax upon purchasing a salvage vehicle.
- In order to move the car, you’ll need to arrange transportation for it.
- After you pay the junkyard, they will give you the car’s title (which is necessary to register the vehicle.)
- You need a certified inspector to inspect the vehicle and certify that it is safe to register.
- Go to any Virginia DMV with your salvaged title, photo ID, and inspection report so you can register your salvage title.
- You need to provide the DMV with your VIN, the necessary administrative paperwork, and pay the fee.
What to Know About Salvage Yards in Virginia Before You Go
Summer in Virginia can be stifling and the winters torrid, so if you want to go exploring salvage yards, consider the time of year and prepare accordingly. At a self-service facility, you’ll have to do all the work yourself, so come prepared with both the right clothing and tools for the job.
My recommendations for VA auto salvages are
- Clothing choices based on the time of year
- Water and even have extra in your car
- Sunglasses and a hat
- Mechanic-style gloves for pulling parts
- Hand warmers and winter gloves for winter
- Boots, preferably steel toe
- Deicer for winter
- Battery-operated fan for the summer
- Tools and someone to help you if you are pulling an engine.
Checking Junkyards in the Neighboring States
If you live near one of the borders of the state and are interested in checking out other nearby salvage yards consider looking at salvos in:
Junkyards in Virginia Conclusion
If you’re looking for cheap car parts, junkyards should be your go-to. In certain situations, such as with a restoration project, they may be your only options. Virginia has a great selection of different types of yards to choose from. Although it can get pretty hot there, you also don’t have to worry about rust as much since there isn’t the same humidity as in northern states. Now find your favorite junkyards in Virginia and pull some used parts.