How to Build a Salvage Yard

A salvage yard is a repository for automobiles that are no longer functional, where they are disassembled and used for their parts. Salvage yards are often referred to as junk or wrecker yards, and also serve as used car parts distribution centers. If you are interested in having your own auto salvage yard, follow these directions for how to build one.


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    Purchase a business license. You will need the appropriate licensing from your government's business regulatory agency in order to operate a junk yard.
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    Save your money. Starting a salvage yard costs money. You will need to purchase property, obtain the proper licensing, advertise and stock up on inventory.
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    Locate and purchase an appropriate property. Salvage yards tend to cover several acres, and must be in a commercially-zoned area. Additionally, there should be an office building, or the necessary space for an office, on the property.
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    Take the proper precautions to protect your auto salvage property before you stock it.
    • Fencing. Many salvage yards use chain-link fencing with a barbed-wire topper. Be sure to include ample gates to allow for easy delivery of your auto inventory.
    • Cameras. Because all of your business inventory is out in the open, it is a good idea to have cameras attached to motion-detectors in case of an after-hours intruder.
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    Stock up on inventory. There are many ways you can find inventory for your salvage yard.
    • Classified ads. Use local newspapers and online classifieds websites to advertise that you will pick up junk cars. You may opt to offer money for junk cars, but you may also be able to get junk cars for free in exchange for your pick-up service.
    • Auctions. Auctions are a great place to find junk cars at below wholesale prices. Depending on the type of auction you go to, you may have to get a dealer's license.
    • Estate sales. Keep an eye out in local newspapers for estate sales, where auctioneers and/or homeowners try to liquidate all of the contents of a property, including used cars.
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    Develop a tracking system for your inventory. You will want to log every vehicle you have and where it is at on your property, as well as any parts you sell off your salvage yard vehicles. Choose accounting software that enables you to track inventory and sales, as well as produce invoices.
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    Advertise your auto salvage yard.
    • Be sure to have an over-sized sign on your border fence that can be read from the road.
    • Create a website that allows Internet users to search your inventory.
    • Take out print ads in local newspapers.
    • Place ads on Internet classifieds websites.


  • Get a jump start on building your junk yard by buying one that is already established.
  • Improve your marketability and multiply your revenue by expanding your junk yard business to include a towing service. Investing in a tow truck makes sense financially, as you will need to use a tow truck often in order to pick up junk cars for your salvage yard.

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Categories: Cars