Monday, January 30, 2023

How to buy junk cars and make money

Junkyard Life is always hunting for car deals. We shop driveways for dilapidated vehicles covered in tarps or dirty with debris or covered in tree sap. All telltale signs of a non-running vehicle. We bought this 2002 Honda Civic because it had a tarp covering the back window. The tarp was sagging into the Civic, showing evidence that the tarp had been there awhile. The reason for the tarp? A large tree limb fell on the roof, breaking the back glass and denting the roof. The owner, at first reluctant to sell, was ready to make a deal six months later. For $300, the ran-when-parked Honda found a new owner in Junkyard Life. We needed to do some major cleanup. A junkyard rear window glass, seatbelts, new wipers, and a new fuel pump were the major items replaced. The Civic was back on the road after the roof was pushed back into place using Porter power hydraulic tool. The lesson here is to look for a deal. They are parking in driveways and yards all over your town. A little sweat equity and little money add up to a profit if you decide to flip the project and not turn it into your daily driver. We see it as a win-win scenario. You may hit some snags along the way, but the more you practice the junk car craft, the more you will learn.
2002 Honda Civic in as-found condition, minus blue tarp that was covering damage.
How to buy junk cars and make money
  • Always look for a diamond in the rough. Scan driveways and yards for vehicles that have been parked for a long time. Dirt, debris on top, dingy with grime or damage?
  • Inquire with owner, and ask if the vehicle is for sale
  • Make your best deal. You will learn over time how to factor in the unknown expenses in the price or just offer scrap value. Many will be glad you took their eyesore away. Always another deal down the road.
  • Sweat equity: cleanup the vehicle, determine what need to be done to get it running. Buy junkyard parts if possible.
  • Mechanical: fuel systems, tank, fuel pump, brake lines, etc. Vehicle needs to be road worthy or sell as parts/project to make your money.
  • Keep a good attitude. You will encounter headaches. Besides the automotive grinding and busted knuckles, paperwork and trips to the DMV will become regular occurrences if you decide to hustle junk cars.
  • Don't try to hit a home run every time. Make some money and move on.
Jody Potter — Junkyard Life Watch more Junkyard Life on YouTube If you got time, we need your help hiring a cheap camera holder and dog food. Your views, and likes help us. Thanks! Buy a Junkyard Life TSHIRT

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