How to get the most out of your junk car

You and your car have been through a lot. It likely took you to and from work every day. Maybe you picked up your spouse in it when you went on your first date. Perhaps it took you and your friends and family to sports events, out to eat and to catch your favorite band making its way through town. But you have to begrudgingly admit that it’s become a junk car, and it’s time to get rid of it. Now your focus is on making sure that you receive fair value for it. Most important is using a trustworthy junk car buyer, like [namebrand]. No matter where you are, even Connecticut, they will pay in cash and tow for free. 

Minimum value

Ensure that you’re going to receive at least your junk car’s value as scrap metal. This will generally be about $150 per ton. For example, say you own a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier, which weighs about 1.3 tons. In that case, you should expect about $195 if you’re only selling your car as scrap.


However, selling your car as scrap metal needs to be a last resort. In most cases, you will at least have some reusable parts inside the vehicle that can be resold by yourself or the junk yard. Of course, make sure to let the buyer know if, for example, the car being sold will be without tires, an alternator, air bags, an air-conditioning system or anything else that would normally be included. Conversely, if you’re going to sell the car to the junk yard with salvageable parts included, ensure that you receive fair value for them.

Note that a GPS can, in some cases, be worth more than the value of the rest of the vehicle combined.

Is it drivable?

If you can get the car to the junk yard on your own – i.e. you won’t need it to be towed – make sure to point that out since saving on the time and cost of picking up your vehicle has value too.

On top of that, the yard might decide to pass the vehicle on to somebody else through an auction instead of selling it for parts and crushing it. This is a good reason to shop around and get a few quotes as some yards will be more apt to consider reselling cars than others would be; the former will be the ones more likely to offer more for your car. Of course, if it’s in good enough condition, consider selling it yourself and bypassing the junk yard altogether.

Research its value

Although you will, in most cases, receive nowhere near the Blue Book value if you’re selling it to a junk yard, it’s worth taking the time to look up how much your vehicle would be worth had it been in good condition. Take this number and subtract how much you believe it would cost the yard to improve its condition to good in order to give you a ballpark idea of how much you should be offered. Of course, this assumes that your car will be repaired and resold; if it’s just going to be sold for parts and crushed, this doesn’t apply.

Procrastination reduces value

It’s understandable to take some time before deciding to get rid of your car, but that needs to be balanced with the fact that its value drops, oftentimes significantly, the longer you wait before contacting a junk yard. Parts made from rubber will become brittle, fluids will dry out, and parts will become rusty. Seats can become damaged from animals that get in or poor weather conditions. Simply put, even if the car doesn’t run, the quality of the parts within it will decrease to a fraction of what they had been if you procrastinate too much.


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