The Vehicle Categories of a Salvage Yard Explained

December 15th, 2019 | By | Posted in Uncategorized

If you’ve never been into one of the cheap junkyards in Florida, you may have no idea what to expect when you step through the gates. To the outsider a salvage yard may seem jumble of junked cars, but there’s usually a high degree of organization at work. While every old junk car may seem alike to the average person, there are many distinctions that are made in the process of categorizing vehicles in a salvage yard. In fact, there is method to the seeming madness, and it’s driven by the practical and financial aspects of the cars that reside in them.

While salvage yards are an excellent place to pull parts that still have plenty of usefulness left in them, you’ll want to know a little about how the cars are categorized to save yourself time and effort on your quest. Keep reading to learn more about how junk cars are categorized in salvage yards and what that means to the consumer.

Old cars in junkyardCategory X

While rare, the wily customer sometimes stumbles upon what’s known as a Category X car in the local salvage yard. This grade of salvage yard car is distinguished by the fact that it’s still operational and may feature no discernable physical damage. How does such a car end up in a salvage yard? It could be the result of a repossession by a company that didn’t want to take the time to auction the car or sell it outright. Sometimes, cars that aren’t collected from the police impound yard may end up in salvage yards. Regardless of how they arrived there, Category X cars can provide a great way to get a functional car at a bargain price. That said, Category X cars are more expensive than all other grades of automobiles found in the salvage yard but are usually still available for less than the market price.

Category A

In contrast to Category X cars, Category A cars are in no way functional and are basically nothing more than the hull of a vehicle with no usable parts. Sometimes, Category A cars are so badly damaged that even if they’re intact, they feature no parts that function properly. A car that was totaled by a natural disaster or fire would fall into this category. Category A cars are generally held in a salvage yard until they’re sold for scrap and melted down for recycling.

Category B

Category B salvage cars also feature extensive damage structurally and will be inoperable, but they may have a few remaining functional parts that can be recovered. These cars were usually totaled by insurance companies, and their only value is in their scrap price and the few usable parts that they may have.

Car parts on shelf Category C

Category C cars may still be drivable, but they will feature significant structural or mechanical damage. Some of these cars may be sold to customers who are willing to make the needed repairs to get them back on the road. What differentiates Category C cars from Category D cars is that the cost to repair the Category C vehicles is greater than the appraised value of the car when repaired. When accidents result in that kind of damage, an insurance company will total the car, compensate the owner for the appraised value, and sell the damaged vehicle to a salvage yard.

Category D

Category D cars are obviously damaged but may be repaired at a cost that’s less than the appraised value of the car. Customers who seek an intact vehicle to buy at a bargain price and repair will look primarily for Category D cars in the salvage yard. Because the cars were written off, they will have a salvaged title. However, the purchase price will be much lower than the value of the car before the accident, even once the cost of repairs figure into the equation.

If you’re planning a trip to an auto salvage yard near you, you should understand the grades of vehicles that you’ll find, how they’ll be priced, and what level of damage they’ll carry. To learn more, contact U Pull N Save at (239) 337-7300. 

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