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How much can you give me for my damaged or broken down car?

The valuation of your broken down will depend on several factors:

1. If your car is sold for repair because it’s not very old and the damage is repairable by a professional, the price you can get for it will always be higher. Typically you’ll get the value of the car minus the cost of the repair, but you should actually be able to get more because repair shops can fix up their own vehicles at a lower cost, as they don’t have to apply their standard hourly rates and they can buy spare parts at a discount or use alternative spare parts. Therefore, they are often willing to pay more for your car than you first expected.

2. If your car is not old but is not easily repairable, scrapping companies will be the most interested. You’ll probably ask – but how much can a scrapyard give me for my damaged or broken down car? This is not easy to determine and will depend a lot on their purchasing policy and how they sell the pieces.

 We can find three types of valuations:

1. If the broken down or hit vehicle is going to be repaired and sold, the price will depend directly on the market value of the car and the cost of repair, taking account of what was mentioned above with regard to the cost of repair typically being lower for a repair shop than for an individual.

If it is a commercial car with a diesel engine, isn’t too old and the damage is easy to repair, the valuation will be good – much higher than the value of the car minus the cost of repair. In general, it can range between 25% and 45% of the value of the car, though there are exceptions. People often assume that a car with a serious fault should be scrapped directly, but this couldn’t be further from reality. Actually, a buyer acquiring that repaired car will be lucky in that several pieces will be new and the car will have been worked on by a mechanic for many hours.

2. If the damaged or broken down car is going to be repaired to be used as a repair shop replacement vehicle, the most important factor is that it is well taken care of inside and out. In these cases, it’s not usually a problem if it has a gasoline engine. If the car is too big or small, however, it won’t be suited for this end.

3. If the car is going to be scrapped, the valuation will depend on the number and type of recoverable parts. Rear blows are much better because they allow the headlights, grill, radiator, engine, etc. to be sold. If the airbag and the interior are in good condition, the valuation will be higher. The least valuable parts are the bodywork (except the doors, bonnet and front).

This is why our recommendation is that you put your car up for auction, so that many different scrapping companies have access to it and you can get the maximum possible purchase price on it. Also, keep in mind that a company that offers your vehicle to hundreds or thousands of potential buyers will always be the best option for cars that are less than 15 years old. Go to the car and motorcycle sale page and you will be able to send us the details on your vehicle. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to ask us about the process.

Which companies buy damaged cars?

At Autorecupera we buy your damaged, broken down, burned or flooded car or motorcycle, but we are not the only ones. There are other companies that provide this service and operate similarly.

We always recommend that you put yourself in the hands of a trustworthy and recognised company (working with professional associations or insurance companies are good indicators). Autorecupera is such a company. Also, make sure that the company you choose draws up a purchase agreement and takes care of the ownership transfer process, without leaving this to the final buyer. Keep in mind that as long as a car remains in your name, you are secondarily liable before the administration. Finally, check that the agreement protects you from the moment the vehicle is delivered.

Autorecupera clients are the best salvage car buyers. We have an extensive network of clients, including those with their own auto repair shops, workshops and body shops, as well as professional mechanics. Our client base also includes scrapping companies, both large-scale operations handling large business volumes and small scrapyards scattered throughout Spain that can pick up broken down cars from almost anywhere. This is crucial when the damaged vehicle has little value and is only worth it for the buyer if the travel distance is small.

You can also take your damaged or broken down car to your local scrapyard, provided it is authorised as an Authorised Waste Treatment Centre (“Centro autorizado de Tratamiento de Residuos” in Spanish). They will most likely offer you less money or even nothing, but if your car is very old and the damage is serious, you can remove the vehicle and de-register it fairly quickly and without hassle.

You can locate a scrapping facility from this list compiled by the Spanish General Directorate of Traffic. You can have absolute confidence in any officially authorised scrapping facility for dealing with your car.

How can I sell a vehicle where the repair is more expensive than the car itself?

Indeed, this can be done when you use a platform where buyers compete with each other, such as Autorecupera.

When you decide to sell a damaged car, you’re often given a repair estimate that can be more expensive than the value of the car itself.

When your car needs repairs, the shop usually uses new parts and has to charge you market price for labour (in order to maintain its facilities, wages, etc.). On the other hand, if a shop or a mechanic buys a broken down or salvage car and they are thinking of selling it or using it as their own vehicle, they take a different approach to repairing it and can do so for much less than the market cost.

First, they cannot charge the cost of labour if they make use of free hours in which they do not have other cars at the shop. Additionally, auto repair shops can buy spare parts with considerable discounts, and seek out alternative spare parts that are not accessible to the general public. A door from a scrapyard or an engine from a damaged car –with a proper check-up and under warranty– can be perfectly valid to repair the car, if done by a qualified professional.

On the other hand, shops have times when business is slow. So, they usually prefer to dedicate those hours to repairing a damaged car that they have acquired through Autorecupera rather than doing nothing. Even if they take into account the price of labour for the repair, they can get use out of it as a replacement car or they can sell it as a used vehicle.

Finally, if your vehicle is de-registered by an authorised scrapping facility, the usability of its parts can also be a very important factor in certain models, adding value to your car that you, as a private individual, would not be able to get out of it.

How to de-register a car and take it to a scrapping facility?

If your car is less than 15 years old, we recommend that you visit our vehicle sales website and fill out the form or contact us if you have any questions or want to ask us about the process. This way you can sell your damaged or broken down car at the best possible market price. We take care of monitoring the ownership transfer and de-registration process so as to ensure that the seller is exempt from any liability from the moment the car keys are handed over.

If your car is very old in addition to being damaged, you can contact the nearest scrapping facility (see a list of scrapping companies authorised by the Spanish General Directorate of Traffic in the following link ). The sale of used spare parts is not allowed unless it is done through these authorised dealers. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to de-register a car definitively. This operation, as well as its destruction, must be carried out by an Authorised Waste Treatment Centre, more commonly known as vehicle scrapping facilities. Neither auto repair shops nor unauthorised scrapyards are authorised to carry out the destruction, decontamination, disposal and re-use of car parts.

 Remember that if you want to de-register your car with the traffic authorities, the procedure is not considered final and does not necessarily entail the decommissioning or destruction of the vehicle. You shall still be the registered owner before the traffic authorities, and the car will not be able to remain on the public road or, of course, be driven.


Can I see the car before bidding?

You will not be able to see the salvage vehicle in person until you collect it. However, users will have access to the full expert report, with the description of the vehicle and of the fault, as well as where it comes from (insurance or rental companies, mostly). Nowadays, our customers know that as long as you have a detailed expert report, the risks are minimal and often the damage is even less than that specified in the report.

Can I buy a damaged or broken down vehicle as an individual?

At Autorecupera you can, as long as you are a professional or are self-employed and working in the automotive sector, as for us it essential that buyers are registered and are familiar with the ins and outs of acquiring damaged vehicles, acting with due professional diligence and avoiding acting against the consumer. If a professional wishes to register as an individual, he or she may of course do so.

How a user registers has no effect on the purchase process. Autorecupera allows vehicles to be put in name of the company, shop or professional.

What guarantees do I have that the car does not have any other faults?

These transactions are considered second-hand purchases and do not have a warranty covering potential divergences in the extent of the damage. However, Autorecupera always publishes all available information, namely the full expert report. From our experience over the years we know it is more often the case that the damage is less than that reported by the expert, so this normally plays in the buyer’s favour. In any case, Autorecupera has also established a claims process - as reflected in our terms and conditions . At Autorecupera we take the protection of our customers, the buyers of damaged or broken down vehicles, very seriously and we take measures with maximum transparency so that you can make informed decisions regarding your bids.

What is the advantage of buying at Autorecupera?

Autorecupera is an auction platform with special focus on the buyers’ needs. We want our customers, especially workshops and scrapping facilities, to see us as a stable and reliable source for purchasing damaged and salvage vehicles. We focus on what we believe to be three essential aspects.

  1. Variety: Autorecupera makes an effort to put vehicles from different sources up for sale; from vehicles coming from rental companies that are less than six months old and have 15,000 km on them or less, to older vehicles sourced from individuals, and lease fleet vehicles that are three or four years old. We also try to put vehicles with different kinds of damage up for auction, so as to cover the needs of all our customers: from cars with very serious blows for scrapping to minor blows or mechanical breakdowns of various kinds, where we can find anything from a seized engine to a functioning clutch.

  2. Trustworthiness: Autorecupera always puts all the available information about the vehicle and the damages at our customers’ disposal. Usually we publish the full expert report with an appraisal, whether due to a breakdown or collision, as well as any available photographs. We also identify vehicles with as much information as possible regarding brand, model and make. When the vehicles belong to individuals and don’t include a report, we note this on the page so that the bidders can take it into account.

  3. ServiceAutorecupera has not always operated as an auction. We have been purchasing salvage vehicles traditionally for many years, so we know what moving and repairing this type of car entails. For this reason, we offer regulated services, such as transporting the vehicle to the buyer or locating salvaged spare parts, and other additional services, such as legal and administrative advice on matters related to our business.

Can I buy cars directly without having to bid at the auction?

Autorecupera sold vehicles directly from 2009 until the beginning of 2013, at which point we stopped doing so because we believe that the auction procedure has clear advantages over direct sales at a physical location.

Why did you change the way you sell?

The answer is simple. The main source of damaged and salvage vehicles, which also provides the most reliable information (expert reports, photographs, maintenance, mileage, etc.), are rental companies, large fleets and insurance companies. Their sales policies increasingly seek highly efficient and transparent channels and they entrust their sales to auction companies mainly for two reasons:

  1. It is much cheaper, allowing them to maximise profits.

  2. Market price at a public and open auction is much more transparent than in a direct negotiation.

Likewise, the distribution company, in this case Autorecupera, does not have to cover the cost of expensive transport or storage of the vehicles, which means it doesn’t have to pass these expenses on to its customers in the sale price.


If I am the highest bidder, why do I have to wait for the seller's acceptance?

In some cases, Autorecupera knows the minimum price that the seller will accept for a vehicle, but in most cases we are not told what it is and the seller reserves the right to accept the offer or not. Keep in mind that the seller could be an insured individual who is assessing repair costs or a leasing company that may get an offer from the repair shop or from the lessee. On other occasions, the vehicle can be put up for sale through another channel simultaneously because the seller has decided not to work with us exclusively. For these reasons it is necessary to wait for the offer to be accepted.

How long will it take to find out whether it’s accepted or not?

From 24 to 48 hours for fleet vehicles and private vehicles, and up to 30 days for vehicles from insurance companies (your offer will be valid for 30 days in these cases). The insured individual and the company are undergoing a claims process that takes several days, which is why they can take up to 30 days to make this decision.

How do I plan my purchases and budget if I do not know what cars have been awarded to me?

Each buyer operates differently, but we can assure you that the main buyers at Autorecupera, and the most successful ones, bid on a lot of vehicles. This is the best way to secure continuous purchases.

There are buyers who prefer to concentrate on a specific car and launch their maximum offer on that single car, but the results can be more frustrating. Regular buyers tend to operate less impulsively: they select the cars that might interest them, set their maximum prices and bid accordingly on all of them. They win their bid on a portion of these cars and we forward their offers to the seller.

This method is convenient and increases the frequency of purchases, allowing them to keep their businesses active and giving them access vehicles that, while they may not be their favourites, are acquired at reasonable prices. Keep in mind that the profit margin can be as good with a Saab 95 as with a Volkswagen Golf. It all comes down to the price, the cost of repair/reconditioning and sale price of the repaired car or its parts.

Many dozens of vehicles are awarded and sold every month on our website www.autorecupera.com/en/, to the full satisfaction of our buyers and sellers.

Is the legal status of the cars checked before they are sold?. 

Yes. Before formalising the purchase and sale of a vehicle that has been auctioned, Autorecupera obtains a report from the traffic authorities showing if there’s any seizure, lien or any other problem that would prevent the transaction. If any of these issues appear, we talk to the buyer to try to find a solution that satisfies them or to cancel the operation. Of course, if the bank transfer has been made for the purchase of the car, it is returned in full.

How can I register as a buyer at Autorecupera?

Registering with Autorecupera is a fairly simple process in which we will first ask you for your phone number and your email address. At Autorecupera we take the identification of our users very seriously because we want the auctions to be reliable and transparent.

Once you’re registered, we will call you or send you an email to request additional documents, to check your identity and to explain how our system works. This way we encourage users to place their bids responsibly.

Please remember that this process can take a few hours or even days. Keep this in mind because the auction of the car you are interested may end before. If this is the case, call us immediately at 916 169 777 to try to speed up the process and give you time to bid.

You can register at http://www.autorecupera.com/en/registry

Is there any way you can notify me when the car I want is put up for auction?

Although the process is not infallible, we register our customers’ preferences in our database and we try to let you know about cars that may be of interest to you. Go to this link to set up an alert according to your preferences:. http://www.autorecupera.com/en/alerts , or write us at Info@autorecupera.com

How does the auction work?

Find out how the auction operates in detail in the following link.