Scrap Car Prices: How Much is a Scrap Car Worth?

Do you want to know the latest scrap car prices and the worth of your old car? If yes, you are on the right page.

If a person who owns an old vehicle is starting to get tired of seeing the vehicle parked and losing its worth, he may choose to put it up for sale.

However, such a person may have little or no idea about the value or worth of the old vehicle.

Questions like, Would they pay for the vehicle in cash? When is the perfect time to put the vehicle for sale? All these may keep ringing in the vehicle owner’s mind.

The truth is that even scrap vehicles are valuable; however, several factors determine the particular value of a vehicle. For example, the weight and size of a vehicle and the condemned metal market at that particular time are a few factors that affect the value of a scrap vehicle.

Continue to read this article for a better understanding of things that should be known about scrap vehicle prices and also to know the value or worth of a scrap vehicle.

The heaviest and largest part of a vehicle is made of steel. For this reason, the steel weight in an average vehicle is about 2,000 – 2,500 pounds.

With steel, recent vehicles are also made up of copper and aluminum, although these metals do not make up as much as steel. For example, the quantity of aluminum in a vehicle weighs about 200 to 300 pounds, while the quantity of copper is even smaller.

If a vehicle owner decides to disintegrate and separate the metals inside a vehicle, he could get more money from its sale. Scrap steel is priced at over $208 for a ton. This is equivalent to almost $0.10 for a ton. At times, several scrap metal buyers price a whole vehicle in a similar manner in which scrap is priced.

Hence, a vehicle owner may choose to weigh his vehicle to determine its worth.

The average scrap car price is usually between $150 to $300 for vehicles of medium size, while for smaller vehicles, the price may drop to even $100. However, trucks or large vehicles may cost about $250 to $450. Therefore, the next step is to try and understand how these figures are summed up.

Calculating Scrap Car Prices

Scrap Car Prices

The figures stated above are derived from just scrap values. First, buyers check the vehicle’s weight; then, they multiply it by the scrap value for a vehicle at that particular period to get its scrap value.

In certain instances, these buyers may choose to derive the value by summing up the prices of the various metals inside the vehicle, which will usually result in a higher price.

For instance, a vehicle may contain scrap steel of about 2,000 pounds, while its aluminum and copper content is weighed 200 and 30 pounds, respectively. Assuming aluminum is priced at $0.50 for a pound, depending on the value of these metals.

In contrast, copper is valued at roughly $1.00 for a pound. A scrap vehicle owner may sell his average-sized vehicle for about $350 if this method is used.

Many junkyards prefer not to separate the metals because it takes too much time. However, if a vehicle has some parts that are still usable for a bigger profit, it is better to take out these working components or sell the vehicle to a salvage yard such as Pull-A-Part.

Only one component, like the catalytic converter, can bring in a lot of money if it is removed and sold on its own since replacing a catalytic converter does not come cheap.

How much money will be received from an auto salvage yard, maybe up to 40% of the price value of the metals in the vehicle? Never forget that a vehicle that sits for too long loses its value with time. Even the usable components become damaged and useless, and their value is lost.

Hence, to get the best value for the usable components, it should be sold in time and not after a long while. Perhaps, a vehicle’s wheels may be in really good condition, and if sold on its own, it could bring in hundreds of dollars too.

A few examples of very pricy components in a vehicle include; the alternator, catalytic converter, electric engines, car batteries, rims, and radiators. Taking these components out may fetch $1,000 or could even be more, but it needs basic knowledge and time to take out these valuable components.

Also Read: Catalytic Converter Replacement Cost (Best Cost Guide)

How Are Scrap Car Prices Determined? What Factors Are Used?

Scrap Car Prices

Every vehicle differs from the other; hence, no fixed procedure for calculating scrap car prices exist. Even vehicles of the same year, brand, and model year can have major differences in their prices, although this will depend on the vehicle’s condition and history.

Up to 7 factors act as major determinants of the value of a junk car.

Before scrapping a vehicle, it is greatly important to know these factors to arrive at the best conclusion for a scrap vehicle’s value.

1. Vehicle Year, Make, And Model

The type of scrap vehicle can be a huge factor in determining its value. Certain junk vehicles have more value than others, although this will depend on the brand and model of the vehicle and the year it was made.

An older vehicle in conditions could be valued at hundreds of dollars or even more. On the other hand, a more recent junk vehicle that has been significantly damaged might be valued at a lower price.

These factors may increase the value of a junk car. They include:

  • If the vehicle is filled with plenty of scrap metal.
  • If the vehicle model is high in demand or rare.
  • If there is a huge demand for vehicle parts at that particular time.

2. Vehicle Condition

A junk car’s condition may influence the value of a scrap vehicle and can cause a huge variation in its worth. Therefore, certain questions on the condition of a vehicle have to be answered. These questions include:

If a vehicle is in good shape, can it be resold or restored, or is there a need to take it apart in order to sell its components individually? Are the scrap metals found inside the vehicle the only valuable thing, or are there other things of value inside the vehicle?

3. Vehicle Weight In Scrap Metal

A vehicle’s weight in scrap metal has a big influence on a vehicle’s scrap value. Junk vehicles are usually not valued beyond the value of scrap metals, which make up the vehicle’s weight.

4. Current Scrap Metal Prices

Scrap metal value at that particular time has the biggest influence on determining the current prices of scrap vehicles and the worth of junk vehicles.

When scrap metals are in high demand, many people will not be against paying extra money for these metals and junk vehicles. At the moment, scrap metals are quite valuable.

Regardless, the prices of scrap metals differ significantly based on their location. For this reason, if a particular type of metal is in high demand in a particular location, a junk vehicle may be valued at a higher price.

Even if a vehicle has long been damaged and does not work anymore, it can still be converted to valuable scrap metal.

Assuming a vehicle’s weight is more than two tons, There is a percentage of steel and aluminum in that weight, and it can be taken out, resold, and recycled to make new products.

First, understand the value of certain types of metal and metal products in a particular area because prices may vary. After this, determine the part of the vehicle’s weight is valuable.

Older vehicle models with a lot of steel and aluminum, even with overall lighter weight, might contain more scrap metals which will raise its value above a recent vehicle model that uses more sustainable and environmentally friendly materials but has more overall weight.

5. Re-sellable Car Parts

Junk vehicles do have value because even if a vehicle itself is useless, several other parts of the vehicle may still be put to good use.

Knowing the prices and worth of different scrap vehicle parts may come as a surprise. Junk vehicle buyers typically wish to break down a vehicle and not sell it as a whole but rather sell a part separately from another. They usually consider this when making an offer.

As a result of the pandemic, the price of junk vehicles has almost doubled due to the shortage of these parts.

A complete vehicle, with every part and feature intact, could be more valuable, attracting buyers. For example, if the vehicle’s battery is not working, its price will most likely be reduced by the amount used to get a new battery. The same principle applies if it’s some other damaged component, not the battery.

6. Vehicle Location

Another important factor influencing the value of junk vehicles is where the vehicle is located. If it is in a big city, the vehicle’s value will likely be higher than that of a small town or a local area.

Also, there are many potential buyers for scrap vehicles in bigger cities, and these buyers do not mind paying extra money in these urban areas.

The price of junk vehicles and scrap metals varies depending on the region. Hence, knowing the value of a junk vehicle industry in a rural area will help know its actual price.

7. Does The Junk Car Have A Title?

This is the last factor and could have the biggest impact on a junk car’s value. The title of a junk vehicle is very important. Although a junk vehicle without a title may be sold, it will not be worth as much as a vehicle with a title.

For vehicles without title, Junk Car Medics give a reduced estimate of about $90 compared to vehicles with a title.

A duplicate or replacement title may be obtained if a vehicle has no title. Inquire from the local DMV on how to go about getting a vehicle title replacement.

Also Read: How Much Does Clutch Replacement Cost?

How Scrap Metal Prices Affect Junk Car Values

Scrap Car Prices

As earlier stated, the price of scrap metals plays an important role in the price of junk vehicles. Therefore, people who have junk vehicles for sale may wonder, “what is the value or worth of this junk car?” or “what will be my profit from scrapping a vehicle?”

This will depend on the scrap metal’s market value at that particular time. Over the last few years, the price of scrap metal has decreased for many reasons.

The first is that a country like Canada has started producing its steel and does not depend on America for steel like they used to. Also, the steel demand has reduced globally. Like every other thing in the economy, a reduced demand negatively affects the price of goods.

Prices of scrap vehicles at the moment follow this trend. Hence, prices have gone down compared with what they were years ago.

Since scrap vehicles are made up of scrap metals, the worth or value of these two relate directly. Therefore, when the price of scrap metal falls, scrap vehicles also experience a reduction in their price.

In this same regard, a rise in the price of scrap metal means scrap vehicles become more valuable, and their price increases too. When the prices are down, a decision has to be made on either selling immediately or waiting and believing that they will rise again in no time.

However, waiting can reduce the value of the vehicle if the plan is to put the usable parts for sale, although more money can be gotten if the prices for scrap metal increase as well as expected or even beat expectations.

Do Scrap Prices Change Often?

Thoughts of the frequency at which scrap metal prices change may be the only thing in the mind of a person who intends to sell.

The simple answer to this is that it changes regularly. In many ways, the price of scrap metal and the stock market have certain similarities, and globally, scrap metal values change daily.

Nonetheless, it is unusual to witness a substantial change on a daily. Unlike stocks that could go really high or very low if compared with the value of previous days. The prices of scrap metal change by a small number of cents daily.

The more feasible situation is to experience a weekly change in these prices. Many scrap buyers update their prices weekly after they must have observed the global market for several days. They set their prices upon taking a good look at the trend. Notwithstanding, the changes that occur every week are not so big.

Some buyers may even choose to change their prices monthly. Since these price changes are not so big and can be slow, changing the prices monthly is generally not a bad idea.

Although, monthly updates may be inadequate if the market becomes very volatile. Scrap buyers could be disadvantaged if these prices are not changed regularly.

Ways To Sell A Scrap Car

With the basic knowledge of the worth of a scrap vehicle and how this worth is determined, the next line of thought maybe how to sell the vehicle. There are several options for selling a junk vehicle, and below is a list of the most popular means of selling scrap vehicles.

1. Sell To Private Party

The vehicle may be sold to another individual via Craigslist or other means. For example, certain people may choose to have a specific vehicle model, buy a scrap vehicle, and bring it back to life.

If a vehicle is sold through this method, the seller may be getting the best possible price for such a vehicle, although it can be difficult to pull off and takes a lot of time.

2. Part It Out

Applying the method may also increase the profit a seller would make from such a sale. Selling the vehicle in parts and not a whole can get the seller a huge profit. However, it may take some time.

Finding buyers for these parts can also be a challenge, as well as the fact that the vehicle has to be disintegrated with the right tools. Unfortunately, an average vehicle owner lacks the basic skills necessary to undertake this task.

Although, if the skills are available, it may be another way to cut costs by separating the vehicle into various parts, making the sale even more profitable. Even after selling all the valuable parts, the remains can still be sold to a junk buyer for some money.

3. Sell To Auto Salvage Yard

Selling a vehicle to a vehicle salvage yard may earn the seller some extra money. However, it shifts the tough task to others. If a vehicle still has valuable and usable parts, these parts are taken out by the salvage yard and sold.

Nonetheless, a percentage of the extra money can still be gotten. In several instances, salvage yards pay up to 40% of the price of those valuable parts. So, if the good part of a vehicle is valued at $2,000, a seller may get up to $800 from its sale.

4. Sell To A Junkyard

If the vehicle sold is 100% scrap, then selling to a junkyard is the most popular method of disposing of the vehicle. The price to be paid for the car junk will depend on calculations from the total weight of the vehicles.

Although this method may sound straightforward for many people, take note of hidden fees! For example, some junkyards may charge for towing, cutting a portion of the profits.

Also, negotiating with the buyers or receiving offers from other interested junkyards is not prohibited if the initial offer is not satisfactory.

5. Sell To Online Junk Car Removal Service

This can pass easily as the simplest means of selling a vehicle. Buyers on online platforms usually do not cause many problems.

An offer may be received in a matter of minutes online, and the buyer will pick up the vehicle, and he also tows it for free. Some junk car removal services even have websites and applications for an easy experience.

An average price is paid. However, many people will buy a vehicle although the vehicle’s condition is good. If this is the case, the Scrap Car price is determined by the vehicle’s worth.

Getting an immediate quote from vehicle price calculators is not difficult. Hence, many sellers prefer that the buyer gives a budget.

Getting The Most Money For Your Scrap Car

Scrap Car Prices

No one likes to lose money in a transaction, and the same goes for selling vehicles. So, how can profit be made putting a scrap vehicle for sale?

These few tips could help. First, check if the vehicle still has a few usable parts. Where some parts are in good condition and can still be used, it may be wise to sell them as soon as possible.

This is because if it stays longer, the useful parts lose value. For example, stainless steel may begin to rust while components made of rubber start losing their flexibility. Also, electrical components will develop faults and stop working after a while.

Wasting too much time means nothing is left other than a faulty scrap vehicle.

Do not abandon the metal recycling price if it is a 100% scrap vehicle. If prices are on the rise, a delay may increase the profit. But, if the prices are sinking, it is best to sell the vehicle as soon as possible.

What is important is to conduct personal research, to gain first-hand knowledge, and get enough money from the sale.

Also Read: How Much Does Brake Line Replacement Cost?

Frequently Asked Questions – Scrap Car Prices

Is it better to sell an old car or scrap it?

If a vehicle is worthy of selling to another person, more money will probably be made from such a sale than having it scrapped. Although, if the vehicle is very old or has too many faults and is unworthy of resale, the money paid by scrappers also makes scrapping a good option.

How much do you get for scrapping a car UK?

If a decision has been made to dispose of a vehicle, thoughts of the value of a scrap car may start running through one’s mind. On average, buyers of scrapped vehicles pay between £150 – £300, but several factors may determine how much profit will be made.

What is a scrap car worth in Ontario?

Scrap cars in Ontario are valued at around $100 – $10,000, but these prices depend on the useful components of such vehicles that may be taken out and used in other vehicles. Certain vehicles are bought strictly on what they weigh per tonne, with reference to the current market valuations, and some others assess the vehicle based on components’ resale value.

How much will I get to scrap my car in Ireland?

In 2020, the value of an average scrap vehicle was around €100, and this value increased by almost 100% last year as it increased to €190. The car connoisseurs think that a few factors may be responsible for the rise in these prices.

Do I need a logbook to scrap my car?

Although a logbook may be useful when scrapping a vehicle, it is not necessary. However, if unavailable, more work has to be done on the seller’s part. Taking the right steps when a logbook is unavailable may help save a seller from fines for going against rules and regulations and extra costs that scrap dealers may charge for the job.

Do you get money for scrapping a car?

Asides from a vehicle’s size, the model and brand of the vehicle will also affect what will be paid for the vehicle when scrapping. In the same way, it will affect the purchase value; an expensive model and brand of a vehicle can raise the profit that will be made from scrapping the vehicle.

What is the difference between scrapped cars and recycled cars?

Although, a lot of people use these terms interchangeably because they feel there is no difference between these two. However, some differences exist, including Recycled vehicles, as the name implies. They are crushed and converted to scrap metal, while a scrapped vehicle might have a few usable components. These vehicles could be taken apart before recycling them. Although a minor difference, this is the biggest difference between these two terms.

When is the best time to scrap my car?

If selling individual vehicle components is the plan, selling without delay is the best. This is because, with time, these parts start to lose value and may become unusable after a while. However, if the vehicle is to be recycled and converted to scrap metal, the perfect time to do that is when there is a huge increase in the price of scrap metals.

What are the benefits of scrapping my old car?

The most conspicuous benefit of scrapping an old vehicle is that money can be made from doing this. At least $100 can be gotten for a scrapped vehicle which may rise to over a thousand, although this will depend on the vehicle’s size, condition, and weight. Also, having a car scrapped means it will be properly disposed of.

How do I know if my car is worth scrapping?

All vehicles do have some worth, even if they have become unusable. So, can the money be earned from junking a vehicle? The issue here should be whether the vehicle’s damaged parts may be sold as parts or scrap metal. If uncertain about this, it is possible to connect with potential buyers and get their opinions which an offer may follow up.

Conclusion – Scrap Car Prices

Scrap Car prices fluctuate with the prices of scrap metal. However, after going through this article, one should be able to tell how these two relate.

If a seller aims to earn huge money for a scrap vehicle sale, recycling will be the worst choice. However, if the vehicle is in pretty good shape, it may be possible to make double or even triple what should be earned if sold to an online buyer or salvage yard.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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