Full-Service vs. Self-Service Junkyards

Whether your vehicle is new or you’ve had it for many years now, it is normal for it to experience some wear and tear. Although performing regular car maintenance is one way of preventing this from happening, there may be a time when you will need to replace a certain car part in order for your ride to operate properly.

However, finding the right parts for a good price can be a bit challenging, especially if you have never done it before. While your first thought would be to turn to auto mechanics to help you in your search, you might want to consider visiting a local junkyard instead. 

Besides being an excellent option where you can sell your junk car fast and for good money, junkyards are also a great place where you can find valuable car parts that can be salvaged. 

There are generally two types of junkyards—full-service and self-service, both of which may operate in a similar way, but offer a different level of customer support. Here is a brief guide elaborating on the key differences between the two. 

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Full-Service Junkyards

A full-service junkyard is a type of auto salvage yard where an onsite staff will locate, extract and transport the car parts customers need. Below, you can find the pros and cons of using full-service junkyards.


Probably, the biggest advantage of using full-service junkyards is that they offer convenience to their customers. Many of these junkyards allow people to search for parts on their website, without wasting time rummaging through a disorganized junkyard, to see what they have available on their lot. 

Once the customer finds what they require, the onsite staff will pull it up for them to pick up. If the customers can’t find what they are looking for, the staff will do it for them. 

Another great advantage of full-service junkyards is that some of them even offer delivery services. This means that once you find the part you need on the junkyard’s online inventory, all you have to do is give them a call and have them deliver the part to you within a day or two.


One major drawback of full-service junkyards is that they offer white-glove services. In other words, you have to pay the onsite staff a certain fee to locate, remove and transport the car part you need. Because of this, many people who know their way around cars prefer to walk the junkyard themselves to find what they require instead of relying on a customer service rep to do it for them. 

Self-Service Junkyards

Self-service junkyards allow customers to go out into the dumpsite themselves to locate and extract the car parts they need all on their own. Here is a more detailed outlook on the pros and cons of using self-service junkyards.


The greatest advantage of self-service junkyards is that customers have the freedom to explore the lot by themselves. Basically, all you have to do is show up at the junkyard, check in at the front desk and walk the lot to find the part your car requires. Doing so will undoubtedly save you money because you won’t be paying a customer service rep for their assistance in the search. 

Plus, self-service junkyards are believed to have more variety of salvaged vehicles from which you can choose.


The biggest drawback of this type of junkyard is that they are complicated and often disorganized. This means searching for the car part you need may take a lot of time as the people who work at the front desk might not know where certain vehicles are. 

Also, keep in mind that the extraction process of car parts can be challenging, and also messy, especially if you don’t know your way around cars.

Another disadvantage of self-service junkyards is that they don’t offer guarantees on the car parts as full-service junkyards do. Even if they offer, the guarantees are usually more limited than what you would get at full-service yards.

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Final Thoughts

If your vehicle requires a car part, but you aren’t willing to spend thousands of dollars on buying a new one, you can visit a local junkyard to help you along. There are two types of junkyards you can rely on, full-service and self-service, both of which may offer similar products, but differ in the customer support services they provide.

To find out which one is better for you, refer to our post and read about the pros and cons of both junkyards.

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