When I started to drive in my late teens it was customary to buy a banger then spend the next year or so doing it up. First we go down to the car auctions, to get what we thought would be the deal of the year, then after driving it home we would find out exactly what we hade bought and why it was in the car auction in the first place.Of course nothing would dampen my spirits, it was my first car and my first taste of real freedom. So off I would go with close friends to the local scrap yards, where we would walk the old cars scouring for the relevant Car Parts to make my banger into my dream machine.Looking back on this experience, it was amusing as nothing was priced, you took your tool kit, removed the parts yourself sometimes in extremely dangerous situations with old cars towering above you.
As you took your parts to the man at the gate, he gave you a price off the top of his head as we were young and clearly not in the money, a price would be given that was clearly cheaper than those that turned up in newer cars. Within our toolboxes would be the bolts and little odds and sods we picked up when we were lying on the ground. I had asked once how much these were, but they were never bothered so I always got these for free.
However things have changed now.There are still scrap yards around, but instead of being able to sell your car to the scrap man, when it was off the road, we now have to pay him to take it away for us. New European laws control the disposal of cars and the materials they are built of, making it harder for your typical scrap yard to make money. In fact it is sometime more trouble than it's worth. Gone are the days when they would take in any car, now they look at the car parts value, to see if they should have the car in the yard or not.However the Internet has come to the rescue as it has with many industries.
You can now search for car parts on the web across several if not hundreds of scrap yards at the same time.By typing in your car part requirements into a form, which is then distributed throughout the scrap yards at the same time, you can save yourself time and money. Of course if you get more than one reply you can chose the cheapest price or nearest to get to.I don't need to search for parts now; it is the turn of my son who of course has got the Internet off to a tee.
It may a romantic notion, but it is a shame he can't go through the same phase of searching and then stripping down an old car to make his good. Ironically I think he would enjoy it as much as I did at his age, even I it was more dangerous than I would like to admit..Mark is webmaster for Car Rescue Service and Direct Car Insurance.
By: Mark Flanighan