If you are looking to sell your car but have quite a few miles on the clock working against you, you might want to optimize the condition of the vehicle by making some substantial part replacements on it before selling it on. New parts do not come cheap, so the salvage yard is certainly an option. But is it a good idea?

For sure, there’s nothing wrong with restoring an old car for sale, and the fact is that it’s perfectly possible to make a profit by restoring a car with salvage yard parts. It all comes down, ultimately, to the question, “Will the extra selling price exceed the cost of these parts?” If the answer is yes, then why not? It is more money in your pocket.

Consider Letting the Dealership Restore It

That said, a reputable dealership with a wide market access and significant resources can often restore a car for you. Very rarely is a second-hand car sold on “as is,” and the best dealerships are the ones that can easily restore your car and find a buyer for it quickly. An example of one such dealership that is perfect for those looking to sell their car in San Diego is Cash for Cars in San Diego, which has the market research to find a buyer and the parts to make any restorations.

As a rule of thumb, it might be wise to leave all but the most significant of restorations to the dealership. If only a few parts need to be replaced or some light cosmetic work needs to be done, then it is very unlikely that the cost of doing that yourself will not exceed any extra money you would make on the sale. This is simply because a dealership can buy the resources needed in bulk and have spare parts from the range of junk cars which they also take. This makes the job much cheaper than for a private individual buying everything necessary to renovate a single car.

Purchasing Salvage Parts

But if you’re going to go ahead with restoring a car yourself and purchasing the necessary parts from a salvage yard, then there’s a way to go about it.

Beware the Internet

Yes, you can undoubtedly get perfectly functional parts unbelievably cheap online, but it’s a risky business. With auto parts, there’s really so much that can potentially go wrong, or that can make the part completely incompatible with your car. When you buy a part online, not only do you have no means of ensuring that all the information listed is correct and reliable, but, even if it is, it might not be enough for you to be sure the part is right for your car.

If you find a great deal, then it might be worth taking the risk (and there are many sellers with good reputations) but, as another rule of thumb, there’s no substitute for simply holding the part in your hands before buying.

Try Before You Buy

At a salvage yard, where you can undoubtedly find the best prices for quality parts, the great benefit is that you can make sure they are in working order before you purchase. The majority of these parts will have been salvaged from junked cars and often restored to working order (if they are not already so).

This process is what makes them so cheap, but it always means that there is a real imperative for you to try them out ahead of purchase. Restored parts need to be proven to have been restored. You can take that as another rule of thumb.