Do you need cheap car parts and don’t mind used? Or maybe you’re a DIYer who likes salvage projects. Well, Wisconsin auto junkyards are the place for you then! You can get some great deals on parts if you know where to look. Here we will discuss how these types of businesses operate in the state of Wisconsin, share some insider tips from my experiences, as well as our top picks for the best junkyards in Wisconsin.
Map of Junkyards in Wisconsin
For “Junkyards in Wisconsin” or “Salvage Yards in Wisconsin”, see the map below…
How do Auto Junkyards in Wisconsin Operate
All junkyards in WI are run like typical small, local businesses. They are privately owned and not state-owned like landfills or public dumps might be for example. Also similar to other businesses around the state, they’re required to follow tax laws– which is why you sales tax on used auto parts when purchasing one of these yards.
All salvage yards in Wisconsin must be licensed by the Department of Natural Resourses (DNR) and meet all environmental regulations. If they want to sell vehicles with salvage titles or scrap in the state, they need an additional license as a Wisconsin salvage dealer.
Much like any other salvage yard in the United States, day-to-day operations for WI Salvage Yards go as follows: they buy junk cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans from businesses such as insurance companies or tow truck companies. Then their either sell off the used parts or fix the vehicles and resell them.
Every salvage yard is different in some ways, but they are all integral to car recycling throughout the state.
Processing of Vehicles at a WI Junkyard
Before a vehicle can be sent out to the yard to have parts pulled, it must go through some basic maintenance. This includes draining the fluids and removing specific parts to protect them from deterioration and maintain their value. They might pull and resell some parts, like batteries, alternators, starters, and in some cases the motor or transmission.
If fluids are clean enough, they will be put back into bottles and resold (windshield wiper fluid or antifreeze for example).
Types of Junkyards in Wisconsin
WI is a vast state with all sorts of different auto-wrecking yards. The last time I checked, there were over 307 businesses in WI that salvage, dismantle, recycle, scrap or are otherwise affiliated with junkyards and recycling centers.
The state is full of scrap yards and cash for car buyers. In other words, there are plenty of opportunities to sell your junk vehicle. Plus, by shopping around, you’re sure to get the most money possible for it.
Various Salvage Yard Models in Wisconsin
In WI, there is a range of ways businesses in the salvage industry choose to operate. Some offer self-service, while others are full service. There are also hybrids and places that sell online only or through a warehouse model.
Parts Warehouses: Parts warehouses are businesses that make money by pulling apart junked vehicles and selling their used parts in a store or online. They tend to be very organized, with labels on all of the parts, which makes it easier (and more expensive) for customers.
Self-Service Yards: Self-Service salvages are places where you pay a small fee to access the grounds and remove parts from vehicles as desired. Usually, these locations aren’t too organized, but that varies depending on the yard. In my experience with self-service junkyards located in Wisconsin, I’ve found that they have lower-quality older vehicles but cheaper prices overall.
Full Service: A full-service yard is comparable to self-service, except they typically provide the tools needed or even pull the parts for you. Oftentimes, this creates a higher quality inventory but prices are also known to be slightly more expensive. However, these places usually have newer parts that are in better condition if you don’t possess the skills or tools required for removal.
Popular Auto Junkyards in Wisconsin
Several factors should be considered before selecting a salvage yard, such as the location, inventory, quality of parts, prices, warranties and customer service. By taking all these things into account, you can ensure you have the best possible experience at a Wisconsin salvage yard.
Here are a few popular junkyards with 4.5+ star ratings in Wisconsin:
- Al’s Auto Salvage 10942 S 124th St, Franklin, WI 53132
- Murray’s Auto Salvage Inc 6821 S Nelson Rd, Brodhead, WI 53520
- AJ Auto Salvage LTD 7169 W Fond Du Lac Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53218
- American Auto Iron & Metal W6811 County Road OOO, Fond du Lac, WI 54937
- Badger Motors Auto Salvage 11701 WI-54, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
- Aussem’s Auto Salvage 4901 W Burnham St, Milwaukee, WI 53219
- Avery’s Auto Salvage 12930 Avery Rd, Two Rivers, WI 54241
- Conrad’s Auto Salvage Inc E9889 Albany D, Mondovi, WI 54755
- Yaeger Auto Salvage 8205 Camp Phillips Rd, Weston, WI 54476
Selling a Junked Vehicle in WI
If you have an old car that is junk, then selling it to a junkyard is a viable option. You might be able to get more money from private buyers, but going through a junkyard is less hassle.
Most salvage companies will appraise your vehicle and offer you scrap metal value. You need to negotiate by telling them why it’s worth more than that, for example, if it runs or has expensive aftermarket parts.
If you want to scrap your car in Wisconsin, make sure to have the title on hand. You’ll need to sign the ownership of the vehicle over to the salvage company, and then follow any other state-mandated rules.
Wisconsin Procedure for Transferring Vehicle Ownership
Selling your old car in Wisconsin is easy! Just follow these simple steps:
- Sign the title and get a bill of sale.
- Complete the vehicle title application form.
- Visit any Wisonsin DMV office near you.
Buying a Salvage Vehicle in Wisconsin
If you’re thinking about buying a vehicle with a salvage title in Wisconsin, here’s what you need to know…
- When you purchase it, you will pay Wisconsin state sales tax.
- You will need a way to transport the vehicle from the salvage yard to your location.
- The salvage will sign over the title to you.
- To register your vehicle as a rebuilt title, you will need a certified inspector to perform an inspection and certify that the car is safe.
- To register your salvage title, take your salvaged title, photo ID, and inspection report to any Wisconsin DMV.
- Provide your VIN, fill out the required forms, and pay the fee.
What to Know About Salvage Yards in Wisconsin Before You Go
A Wisconsin salvage yard can be a fun trip, but make sure you prepare for the weather conditions. If you plan on going in winter, pack warm clothes and expect frigid temperatures. A self-service salvage means that you will have to do all the work, so bringing the proper tools is essential.
My recommendations for WI 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 engine parts
Checking Junkyards in the Neighboring States
If you live close to a state border, you can take advantage of the junkyards in those states.
Junkyards in Wisconsin Conclusion
These are some of the junkyards in Wisconsin where you can sell your junk car or find a salvage vehicle. Be sure to check the junkyard’s hours before you go, as they may be seasonal or only have hours on weekdays. Now find your favorite junkyards in Wisconsin and pull some used parts.