Can My Junk Car Really Make Me That Much Money?

Have you decided to finally put your old car out of its misery and junk it? The good news is that every junk car is worth something. And you’re probably wondering how much a junkyard will pay you for yours. 

Not every junked car will bring in the same amount. But figuring out the value of your junk car might be easier than you think. By understanding just a few simple factors that go into determining the true value of a scrap car, you are sure to get the highest price possible for it.

These 5 factors will help you determine what your vehicle is really worth and help you to get the most return from your junk car. 

  • Going Rate for Scrap Metal


This might be a factor that most car owners don’t think about. The current price for scrap metal plays a huge role in figuring out how much a junk car is worth. Consider this:


  • The current price of scrap metal fluctuates from year to year depending on the supply and demand. If there’s a lot of aluminum or steel on the market, supply is high and prices will be low. 
  • Each vehicle will have a different weight. The average car contains 2,400 pounds of steel and 300 pounds of aluminum. If your car is heavier or lighter, this will affect how much someone will pay for it.

  • The Vehicle’s Condition


The better the shape a car is in the more the buyer can do with it. The owner needs to figure out: “Can my car be restored to working condition? Will it be stripped for parts or just turned into scrap metal?”


  • If your vehicle still runs, you can get more cash for it. But this is still dependent on its specific condition. Does your car have just a few issues or will major repairs be needed? If the cost of repairs is high, the car’s value will be lower.

  • Vehicle’s Location


Your car’s specific location can also determine it’s value. For example:


  • The price of scrap metal can vary from state to state.
  • Certain vehicles will be more popular in certain regions. This determines the market rate for the car and its parts.
  • The vehicle’s distance to the junkyard also plays a part. If your car doesn’t run and it is not near a salvage yard, you will need to factor in the extra cost for towing the vehicle to the yard.

  • Demand for Parts


You might have an old car that’s not worth refurbishing. But its parts might still have value. Everything from the tires to the battery to the radio can be removed and resold. 


The value of these parts is dependent on the market for them. If other people with the same car frequently need repairs or parts for it are hard to find, demand is high. On the other hand, if your car’s parts aren’t often sold, your junk car will be worth less.

  • Determining the Type of Car


The final mentioned determining factor may be the most basic- the car’s year, make, and model. Kelly Blue Book is a good source to find the value of a vehicle. But it’s important to keep in mind that junk cars are valued differently, especially if they aren’t even road-worthy. In fact, junk cars may be only worth 20 to 40 percent of that same car’s used value. 


Do Your Homework to Get the Best Rate


If you want to get the most money from your used car, be sure to do your homework. Don’t just call the nearest junkyard and ask them to pick it up. Equip yourself with as much information as possible. If you do, you can go into the next step ready to negotiate, confident you will be getting a fair rate for your junk car.

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