If you’ve ever had your vehicle get dinged by the car parked next to you, had someone looking down at their phone hit you from behind and dent your bumper, or got stuck in a hailstorm and got your hood get pummeled, you may find yourself searching for cheap car parts.

Classic car enthusiasts also tend to be on the lookout for cheaper ways to restore an old car. Additionally, they may need parts that aren’t available at the local auto parts store.

Shopping at a Junkyard is one option. There are two basic types of salvage yards:  full-service and “you’re on your own.”

Full-Service Junk Yard

Here’s an example of what a full-service salvage yard is like:

Our full-service yard is equipped with a state-of-the-art computerized inventory system and a nationwide locator to help us help you find the parts you need for your late-model car, truck, or SUV. Our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff uses the Hollander Interchange to make sure that we find the exact fitment for the part you need.

If we don’t have what you need in our yard, we can search the nationwide locator and our trading partner inventory to find you quality used parts at affordable prices. New aftermarket parts are also available from several suppliers. Prepaid orders usually arrive in one business day!

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As you can see, salvage yards have become much more sophisticated than they used to be. When you drive by, most look somewhat unorganized and intimidating.

The fact that all the vehicles are included in a database makes the process quicker and much more user-friendly. It also makes the used parts more expensive because the owners have more overhead costs.

Self-Service Junk Yard

If you’ve ever been to the serve-yourself type of junkyard, you better plan on spending some time searching for the auto part you need.

The cars are many times grouped by manufacturers, so that will help your search. Hopefully, there will be a map that provides some direction or an attendant that can assist.

With a true self-service yard, you have to bring your own tools because you will be removing the auto part on your own, sometimes known as “you pull it.” This video offers a walk-through of a self-serve junkyard:

As the author mentioned, there are big savings in using a salvage yard to locate auto parts. In addition, older car parts can many times become obsolete, so you may have no choice but search for parts in this type of setting.

Online Used Car Parts

However, in more populated areas, there may not be any junkyards near by. If that is the case, you can always search online for pre-owned auto parts.

There are plenty of sites that sell used auto part, such as this one:  http://car-part.com Many of these sites search salvage yards across the country for the

parts you are looking for. All you have to do is enter the year, make, and model and they do the rest.

As you can see, there are ways to find cheap auto parts if you just get a little creative. Another good resource would be to go to your favorite San Antonio auto body shop and ask them for assistance.