If you have an old junk car, you might wonder how much money you could get for it. Many people don’t know that even old scrap cars are worth something, and the amount of money you can get for one depends on a few different factors. Some of these factors include the car’s weight, the condition of the car, and whether there are usable parts left on the vehicle. You might be able to get anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars for your old car. Keep reading to learn how much you can get for scrapping a car!
What Is A Scrap Car?
A scrap car can have different meanings to different people, so what is a scrap car? When most people think of a scrap car, they picture a vehicle that has been sitting somewhere for years and is not usable for anything other than scrap metal. The tires may have already rotted away, and most of the metal on the car is probably covered in rust. Even scrap cars in this condition can still be worth something.
On the other hand, you might find some scrap cars that still have plenty of usable parts. Perhaps the vehicle was involved in an accident, and the insurance company decided to total the car. Some parts of the car might not be damaged, and those parts could be sold and reused on other vehicles. Most people would also consider this type of vehicle to be a scrap car.
As a general rule, scrap cars are usually not drivable. They are typically only good for scrap metal or salvage parts. However, these vehicles still have value to junkyards and scrap yards. Now you might be wondering, “How much does a junkyard pay for a car?” The amount of money they will pay for one of these cars varies, and we’ll discuss the value of a scrap car in more detail in the next section.
How Much Is A Scrap Car Worth?
So, how much do you get when scrapping a car? Scrap cars can be worth anywhere from $150 to $2,000 or more. The scrap value of a car depends heavily on just a few factors. The weight of the car is directly proportional to the amount of scrap metal in the vehicle, so the larger the car is, the more it is usually worth. Similarly, if the vehicle still has usable car parts, it will usually be worth much more. In the next section, we will dive deeper into how to calculate the value of your scrap car.
Scrap car values also vary across different regions of the country. Scrap metal prices have a big effect on the price of scrap cars, and these prices can vary widely from one part of the country to the next. For example, if scrap metal is worth $0.02 per pound in your area but $0.04 per pound in another area, then the value of a scrap car could be double in the other area.
Cars with usable parts will also be much more valuable than cars that are only recycled for scrap metal. A salvage yard might be able to remove valuable parts from the car and sell them individually instead of crushing the car and recycling it. If that is the case, they will be willing to give you more money for the car too.
How To Calculate The Value Of Your Junk Car
So, how do you know how much your junk car is worth? There are a few ways that you can estimate the value of your junk car by performing some simple calculations. First, if the car has usable parts, you should add up the value of those parts. For instance, catalytic converters may be worth $200 or more. A working automatic transmission could be worth $1,000 or more. An alternator may be worth $40, and working radiators also have decent value. Do some research to find out how much similar parts are selling for, and then find the sum of the valuable parts in your vehicle. Most of the time, a salvage yard will offer you about 40% of the value of those parts. So, if your vehicle has $4,000 worth of parts in it, you might be able to get $1,600 for the car.
If your car has no usable parts, the calculation is a little different. You will need to determine how much scrap metal is in the car. Most vehicles contain steel, iron, and aluminum. Sometimes you can even salvage some copper from the wiring in the car. Copper and aluminum are worth much more than steel and iron, although cars do not have as much volume of those metals in them. Steel and iron are worth about $150 to $200 per ton, while aluminum is worth about $0.50 per pound. While the calculation is fairly rough, you can determine the weight of your car and multiply it by an average price of $200 per ton to get the value of your car. Smaller cars may only weigh 1.5 tons, while larger trucks could weigh 3 tons. To get an exact number, you should talk to a junk car buyer for a specific offer on your vehicle.
How Often Do Scrap Car Prices Change?
Current scrap metal prices are higher than they have been in several years, although they are still somewhat low from a historical perspective. The demand for scrap metal has declined in recent years as other countries begin to recycle their own metal and do not rely as much on scrap metal from the United States.
Scrap metal prices are somewhat like the stock market. They can change as often as every day based on demand, economic outlook, and other factors. So, scrap car prices could change from day to day as well. However, most scrap metal buyers set their prices based on the market for a specific period of time. Generally, scrap metal prices change monthly. Most large scrap metal buyers will update their prices each month based on the current market conditions. However, you might find some buyers who update their prices weekly or even daily. On average, scrap car pricing usually gets updated monthly.
Other Ways To Dispose Of An Old Car
Are you wondering how to scrap a car? Most of the time, there is more than one way to dispose of an old scrap vehicle. You might think that selling it to a junkyard is the only option, but there are many ways to get rid of that car in today’s world. Here are some of your options.
— Sell To A Salvage Yard
The most obvious way to dispose of an old car is to sell it to a salvage yard. Most salvage yards will pay you market value based on the current scrap metal market. You likely won’t get any extra money for special parts on the car, like rims or aftermarket add-ons. If the vehicle doesn’t run, you might also have to pay for towing to the salvage yard.
You could also consider selling to an online junk car buyer. These car buyers will typically give you an instant quote to buy your car, and they almost always provide free pickup and towing. These buyers advertise the fact that they will pay top dollar for your car without any hidden fees, so if you want a hassle-free experience, this might be the way to go.
— Sell It For Car Parts
If you want to get the highest payout when getting rid of an old car, you probably want to sell it for parts. You should understand that this option is only available if the car has some desirable parts left on it. You should also know that a lot of work is required for this option.
You will first need to determine which parts of the vehicle are still usable. Once you have a list of parts, you will need to do some research to determine the value of those parts. Listing the parts for sale takes some time and effort, and removing each part from the vehicle is also a cumbersome task. Go ahead and decide whether you are willing to ship the parts. If you aren’t, then you will need to find local buyers for all the parts. Selling your car for parts can net you a much higher price for your vehicle, but there is a lot of work involved.
— Trade It In
For those looking to purchase a new car, you might be surprised to learn that you can trade in your old junk car. Even if the vehicle doesn’t run, many dealerships will still accept your old car as a trade-in. However, don’t expect to receive a large amount for the trade. While the dealership might be able to sell your junk car for a few hundred dollars, they are really just giving you a discount on your new car. You could likely negotiate their best price on the new car even without the trade-in.
— Donate The Vehicle
If you don’t care about getting the most money for your old car, you could always donate the car to charity. This option is becoming more popular in recent years. If the car is still running, the charity might be able to use the vehicle to transport people to medical appointments or for some other charitable purpose. Some other charities may give the car to a person in need. While donating your used car is typically tax deductible, you would not typically do this for financial reasons. Most people who donate their car do so to help the charity.
How To Get The Most Money For Your Scrap Car
Most car owners only care about getting the most money for their scrap car, so how can you do that? There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most money out of the deal. First, you should assess the condition of your car. If the vehicle is still in good condition, you will probably get more money by selling the car to a salvage yard that can salvage usable parts from the car. If the car is complete junk, you will probably have to sell it to a junkyard instead.
Keep an eye on the current price of scrap metal. Remember that you can always negotiate with the junkyard to try and get a higher price. If scrap metal prices have increased significantly, you should expect to receive a higher price for your scrap car.
Finally, make sure you get more than one offer! Call around to different junkyards and salvage yards. You might find that you get a much higher offer from one than the others. Also, get an instant offer from an online junk car buyer. These buyers will usually provide free car removal, and they will allow you to get rid of your car fast. Doing your research and getting multiple offers is usually the way to maximize the amount of money you get for your old clunker.
The Bottom Line
If you have a car that needs scrapping, you probably want to know how much money you can get for it. The average car sold to a junkyard today will bring you about $250. Smaller cars might get you less money, while large vehicles will probably get you a little more. If the car has usable parts, you can probably sell the parts from the vehicle or sell the car to a salvage yard for more money. Remember that some junkyards require you to dispose of the car battery separately, and most of them will make you pay for your own towing if the car doesn’t run.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much scrap do you get from a car?
The amount of scrap that you get from a car mostly depends on the size of the car. Smaller cars may only get you one ton of scrap, while larger trucks can get you as much as three tons of scrap. Average prices for a scrap car are about $200 per ton, so you can quickly see that you should get anywhere from $200 to $600 for a scrap car. Certain brands of vehicles have more scrap metal in them than others. Older vehicles tend to have more steel and iron, while newer vehicles have more plastic on the bumpers and other body parts.
What is the best thing to scrap for money?
Copper tends to bring the most money, and some copper can be found in scrap cars. For example, the electrical wiring in a car is made mostly of copper. However, the total amount of copper in a vehicle is usually only a few pounds. It can be difficult to remove just the copper from the car, and the price you would get for it might not be worth it. Typically, old cars are sold for scrap as whole vehicles instead of individual types of metal.
What paperwork do I need to scrap a car?
The paperwork needed to scrap a car varies from state to state. Some states require a title to scrap a car, while there are a few states that allow you to scrap a car without a title. You can always check with your state’s DMV or your local junkyard to determine what type of paperwork you need. If you have lost your car’s title, you can always request a replacement from your local DMV office.
Can I sell my car for scrap if it gets totaled?
Typically, a car that gets totaled will belong to the insurance company. When you accept the insurance payout on a totaled car, the insurance company takes ownership of the vehicle. Usually, the insurance company will sell the car for scrap or will sell it to a salvage yard. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate with the insurance company to buy the car back from them. However, if you are only going to sell the car for scrap, it probably would not make financial sense to buy the car back. Usually, people only buy back a totaled car when they could use some parts from the vehicle or they have an emotional attachment to the car and want to have it repaired. There are some other things you can do with a totaled car, but accepting an insurance payout is the most common.