Junkyards in Pennsylvania [Locator Map + Guide + FAQ] (2024)

Auto junkyards are great places to find cheap used parts. The state of Pennsylvania has some fantastic salvages to choose from. While PA is a huge state, for certain types of scrap auto taking a drive out of town is sometimes your only option if you need the part quickly. Before you set out to get used parts in PA, you should be aware of state taxes, used part warranties, and laws that govern junkyards. Below I’ll share the ins and outs regarding junkyards in Pennsylvania including where to find salvages and some of the best places in the state.

Map of Junkyards in Pennsylvania

For “junkyards in Pennsylvania” or “Salvage Yards in Pennsylvania”, see the map below…

How do Auto Junkyards in Pennsylvania Operate

All Junk yards in PA operate as privately owned businesses. Just like any other business in the state they must adhere to tax law, which means you pay taxes on used auto parts. To be an official salvage business in the state each yard must register and be inspected and approved by the Pennsylvania Department of transportation. If the junkyard sells salvage vehicles they must also have a PA dealers license. Other then that they simply need to adhere to state law regarding recycling practices and handling of hazardous waste.

Salvage yards in PA operate like any other junkyard nationwide. They take in various junked vehicles such as car, trucks, vans, SUV’s, etc and then sell the functioning parts off for profit. The vehicles come from a variety of sources such as auctions, insurance companies, and private sellers. Every vehicle they buy, they will prep and either fix it to sell with a salvage title, send it to auction, pick parts and sell them online, or send the vehicle to the yard for pick and pull. This is all part of the vehicle recycling program in the state.

How Salvage Yards Process Vehicles in PA

Any vehicle that comes into the salvage yard needs to be processed first. Processing a vehicle helps a junkyard maximize their profit and meets the state requirements regarding recycling and hazardous material handling.

Some parts will get pulled and sold online or in the warehouse. Good examples of these are the battery and the alternator. Since these parts deteriorate fast in the yard, it is best for the salvage to pull them out before sending the vehicle to the yard. Certain fluids will get drained and resold. Good examples of these are anti-freeze and windshield wiper fluid.

Then other fluids get recycled. Oil and gas need special handling and need to be managed according to state environmental best practices.

Types of Junkyards in PA

Pennsylvania is a huge state and has varying junkyard types. At my last count there was over 200+ junkyards in Pennsylvania. There are alot of general yards, but some specialize in Semi trucks, RV’s, and other automobile types. Another thing about Pennsylvania is they have a large amount of scrap car buyers and scrap metal recycling facilities. This means you have lots of options to shop around for the best deal if you have a junk car to sell.

There are a bunch of different business models for salvages in Pennsylvania. Some places are pick and pull self service yards, others are full service, and then their are yards that sell used parts in a warehouse or online only.

Here is a general description of these business models:

Parts Warehouses: These are businesses that sell automobile parts in an indoor location. They have organized searchable inventories. You can go there and walk around like you would at a Home Depot. Most of these style of places also offer their parts online for sale.

Self Service Yards:In the state of PA, these yards are called Pick and Pull or U Pull It yards. At these places you bring your tools, walk the yard, pull the parts you want, and then pay for what you take. These kinds of yards tend to have older vehicles and cheaper parts. You will find rusted out cars with no available parts. Some yards in Penn aren’t really managed tightly.

Full Service: This style of yard is similar to a self service, except they salvage either pulls the parts for you or provides you help with the pull. This helps them protect their inventory from people breaking parts to get the one part they need. Full service style yards often have newer models of vehicles, but the parts will be a little more expensive. These yards are ideal for folks who need a used auto part, but don’t have the tools or experience to pull it themselves.

Some yards in Penn will also charge you a small fee just for entering and walking around. It’s usually just a buck or two.

Popular Auto Junkyards in Pennsylvania

Not all auto junkyards in Pennsylvania are equal. Yards vary by how well they are run, how much they charge, and how much service you can get. You may also run into variations on return policies and certain places that nickle and dime you over the smallest parts like nuts and bolts. When choosing a salvage in PA think about location, quality of inventory, prices, warranties, and customer service. Evaluate these yards like any other business and read reviews and look at the customer ratings.

Here are a few popular junkyards with 4.5+ star ratings in Pennsylvania:

  • EZ Pull Used Auto Parts in New Ringgold
  • Clemen’s Salvage in Watstown
  • Joe’s Used Auto Parts in New Ringgold
  • Greble’s U-Pull-It in Myerstown
  • JW Marshall in Valencia
  • West Pennsboro Auto Wreckers in Carlisle
  • Rudy’s Towing and Auto Salvage in Philadelphia

Junkyards in Pennsylvania [Locator Map + Guide + FAQ] (1)

Selling a Junked Vehicle in PA

If you have a wrecked vehicle that you want to scrap in the state of PA, you can find buyers on the map above. If you are a first vehicle junker, you should probably read about junking a vehicle. When you go to negotiate, most places will offer you only the scrap steel price. If you believe your vehicle has valuable parts in it, you need to negotiate up. This is even more true, if the vehicle you are junking still runs.

Pennsylvania Procedure for Transferring Vehicle Ownership

Selling a junked vehicle in Pennsylvania is like selling any other used auto. Follow these steps:

  • Certificate of Title – Back of the title filled out with your name, odometer reading, date and price.
  • In PA the buyer and the seller must sign the title at the DMV, where there is a witness
  • Bill of Sale – Not required but recommended.
  • Plates – Remove for surrender only after the vehicle has been transferred

Learn more about PA rules for transferring ownership.

Buying a Salvage Vehicle in PA

On the flip side, if you are purchasing a vehicle with a salvage title in PA, here is what you need to know:

  • You must get insurance on the vehicle and provide proof before having the title transferred.
  • The title needs to be signed at the DMV in front of a DMV employee
  • You need a Pennsylvania state-issued driver’s license.
  • The title must be filled out in full with your name, odometer reading, date and price.
  • You must complete the Vehicle Sales and Use Tax Return/Application for Registration.
  • Pay the title transfer which is about $50+ in PA
  • Pay sales tax depending on your location, (6% to 8% of the sale price of the vehicle)

For more info you can read this fact sheet which is about buying and selling vehicles in PA.

What to Know About Salvage Yards in Pennsylvania Before You Go

Let’s be honest, Pennsylvania can have brutal winters and summers. Going to the salvo in the middle of either season can be pure punishment. You need to be prepared for a the time of year if you are visiting one of these outdoor yards. It’s not just about wearing the right attire either, it’s about bringing along the right stuff with you….

My recommendations for PA auto salvages are

  • Clothing choices based on the time of year
  • Water and even have extra in your car
  • Sunglasses and a hat
  • Sun screen
  • Mechanic style gloves for pulling parts
  • Hand warmers and winter gloves for winter
  • Boots, preferably steel toe
  • Deicer for winter
  • Battery operated fan for the summer
  • Tools and someone to help you if you are pulling engine parts

Checking Junkyards in the Neighboring States

If you live near state lines, take advantage of the many junkyards in those areas.

  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • West Virginia
  • New Jersey

Junkyards in Pennsylvania Conclusion

Automobile salvage yards are the best way to save money on parts. For some older vehicles it may even be your only option to find parts. Pennsylvania is a huge state with a ton of variety when it comes to junkyards. You will find auto salvos, junk car buyers, scrap metal plants, and more. If you need parts in the mid summer or mid winter, I would encourage you to consider a full service yard or ordering used parts online. Other things to think about are if you are planning on selling a junked vehicle or buying a junked vehicle in PA. You need to pay attention to the DMV guidelines outlined above.

Junkyards in Pennsylvania [Locator Map + Guide + FAQ] (2)


James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.

Junkyards in Pennsylvania [Locator Map + Guide + FAQ] (2024)


What does PennDOT do? ›

PennDOT oversees programs and policies affecting highways, urban and rural public transportation, airports, railroads, ports, and waterways.

What are PennDOT responsibilities? ›

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is responsible for planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining approximately 40,000 stateoperated roadways and nearly 25,400 bridges statewide. PennDOT also oversees public transit, passenger rail, rail freight, ports, and aviation.

What is the difference between PennDOT and DMV? ›

PennDOT is responsible for motor vehicle titles and registration, along with issuing driver licenses through the Driver & Vehicle Services deputate. Somewhat uniquely, PennDOT does not operate typical DMV offices, such as those that exist in other states.

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