Top Five Car Scrapping Facts Every Mechanic Should Know

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The car scrapping industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world today.

As millions of new cars are sold each year, millions of old vehicles need to be taken off the road for being un-roadworthy or simply unwanted. These old vehicles are best dealt with when they are disposed and recycled in an environmentally friendly way.

However, many individual car owners do not know what to do with their older cars once they update.

Some may sell or even donate their used car to friends or family. If they do choose to sell their vehicle, most will discover that finding a buyer for their old worn-out vehicle is a struggle.

This is where car scrapping companies come into action. These auto wrecking companies buy used cars that no one else wants. They tow them from where they sit and then using highly advanced methods recycle their materials for use in new products.

This car recycling process has a huge impact on the car industry and even on individual mechanics. Interestingly, many mechanics may not be fully aware of the importance of this sector.

For starters, the car recycling industry employs hundreds of thousands of people around the word, including mechanics. This is to handle the millions of used cars acquired by car scrapping companies each year. In turn this equates to millions of tones in recycled materials that are produced.

This alone should be an eye opener for every mechanic. But if you are still not convinced, check out these top five interesting statistics that every mechanic should know.

  1. More Than 27 Million Cars Are Scrapped for Recycling Each Year

Research shows that worldwide, just over 27 million cars are recovered each year to be recycled having reached the tail end of their useful lives. This number keeps growing as more and more new cars are manufactured and enter service each year.

Now let us put this figure into perspective by looking at related data. According to CNBC, 17 million new cars were sold in the United States in 2019 and about 77.5 million passenger cars globally in the same year.

Now ignoring 2020 which was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, these numbers tell us a lot.

First, more cars are scrapped and recycled in the world in a year than all cars sold in the world’s largest car market (The US). Secondly, cars scrapped for recycling represents more than a third of all new cars sold in the world.

This is a huge percentage of cars that are being processed by car scraping companies across the globe. Other research shows the cars recycled each year produce about 25 million tons of materials including enough steel to build 13 million new cars.

While most of the recycled materials end up in factories ready to produce new cars or other items, there are also millions of spare parts that are sold through wrecking yards. This leads us to the next point.

  1. Auto Scrapping Provides Used Car Parts Up to 80% Cheaper Than New

According to The Balance, automotive scrappers supply the auto parts market with quality used car parts at a fraction of the cost of new parts. Up to 80% to be exact.

As a mechanic, you know that every car owner is always looking for a bargain. Helping your clients make the decision of buying new parts or second hand to gain a bargain can go a long way in building trust and your reputation as a professional.

Of course, it is worth noting that the huge discount that comes with purchasing used car parts may add complexities to your job.

While the low price of used car parts is likely to attract many vehicle owners, it is important to note that not all used car parts are quality or reliable. Also, if customers source the parts themselves there is a risk of getting a part that does not suit their specific make or model.

These issues can cause some friction between you as the mechanic and your clients, especially when they want the best of both worlds – affordability and reliability.

For these reasons, you need to know where to find the best-used car parts in your locality. This will put you in a better position to help your clients find a bargain. You also want to make sure you are sending them to a quality supplier too.

You may have heard, “cheap is expensive” and this can be true if you cannot tell good quality parts from the damaged ones.

Also, keep in mind that your customer will likely blame you for their misfortune if anything goes wrong with their sending hand part purchase. Even if they were the ones who bought the secondhand parts following on from your suggestion.

  1. Used Car Parts Market is a $6 Billion-Dollar Industry

The used auto parts market is estimated to be about 6 billion dollars. This represents slightly less than 10% of the whole auto parts industry which stands at $70 billion.

While this figure may not make a lot of sense to an ordinary car owner, it should make sense to you as a mechanic.

This is because for every $10 spent on buying car parts about $1 goes to buying secondhand parts. So not only will you be working on aged vehicle car parts, but around 10% of the parts in cars your service may be second-hand additions to that vehicle.

It is therefore imperative that you educate yourself on the local used car parts market and even build connections with local suppliers such as wreckers and car scrappers.

You may find that depending on the vehicle make and model, different suppliers will be better suited. This will also help you when working on your customer’s car as you will be able to provide different pricing and quality options for them.

Of course, used parts can make your work as a mechanic a little bit more complicated. But it is not something that you should totally disregard as the used car parts market is expected to keep growing over the coming years.

  1. Car Scraping Creates Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs in the Automotive Industry

The car scrapping industry is more than 70 years old. As such it is now a vibrant industry with thousands of players across the world.

According to Carmen Adams, the vehicle scrapping, and recycling industry employs more than 140,000 people in the United States alone. This makes it one of the 20 largest industries in the country.

Vehicle scraping is also a large employer in many other countries. In the United Kingdom, it is expected that the recycling industry will employ more than 200,000 people by 2030.

A huge portion of this number will be in the vehicle recycling sector which is quite vibrant in the country. Also, most of the people employed in the industry are mechanics and automotive engineers for their understanding of the automobile industry.

To understand vehicle scraping and by extension the vehicle recycling business, we need to consider the total size of the industry and its impact into other industries.

The vehicle recycling industry in the United States alone brings in over $32 billion annually in revenue. This means that for its size the industry has a direct impact on jobs beyond vehicle scrapping and recycling.

Globally, it is impossible to quantify the number of people employed by the industry because many vehicle scraping businesses are small entities employing 20 to 100 people each. But we do know that in the United States alone, there are over 9,000 vehicle scrapping locations.

Furthermore, many of the people employed in the vehicle scraping industry are in the developed world, mostly the United States, the UK, the EU, and Japan. China and India have also been working to ramp up their vehicle scrapping and recycling capacities in recent times.

  1. Vehicle Scraping Plays an Important Role in Reducing Road Accidents

As mentioned earlier, about 27 million cars are being recycled each year. If it was not for cash for cars and car removal companies who make it easy for the owner to dispose of these old vehicles, many of them may still be on the roads today. This would lead to increased safety risk and eventually a higher rate of accidents.

According to a study conducted in Australia and New Zealand, driving cars more than 15 years old increases the risk of an accident happening by up to three times when compared to driving a new car.

Another study in the United States found that more than 50% of all teenage drivers in the country who died as a result of road accidents between 2008 and 2012 were driving vehicles that were more than 10 years old.

In other words, teenage drivers in older cars were more likely to be involved in accidents and die than their counterparts in newer cars. All these statistics point to the importance of getting rid of these older vehicles.

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of these statistics. So, when it comes time that they update their own vehicle, they do what they believe is a good deed and pass their older vehicle on to friends or family as gifts.

The problem is they are essentially passing on safety risk. Alternatively, with vehicle scraping services there is a safer way to dispose of these older vehicles thus reducing the risk of accidents on the roads.


By now you should understand that the vehicle scrapping industry is especially important for the world today, not just for mechanics. It also offers immense benefits to the automotive industry.

As a growing industry itself, vehicle scraping makes it easy for vehicle owners to dispose of their older cars. This helps remove older cars from our roads which reduces accidents.

It also makes old cars available for recycling which allows raw material recovery.

More importantly, vehicle scrapping feeds the car parts market with discount genuine spare parts. This gives mechanics and vehicle owners access to a large pool of quality genuine spare parts at great savings.

To top it off, vehicle scraping creates thousands of jobs for mechanics and other professionals in the automotive industry.

The post Top Five Car Scrapping Facts Every Mechanic Should Know appeared first on The Mechanic Doctor.

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