How do junkyards determine prices?

You’ve got a junk car on your hands, and you’re ready to part ways with it for good. It’s caused you no end of stress and strain. As far as you’re concerned, the sooner it’s gone, the better.

You tried selling it to a private buyer, but didn’t have any luck. You can’t blame them, of course: after all, your old clunker is little more than a pile of rust. And, given the fact that private buyers aren’t interested, you know that there’s not really any point in trying to approach a dealership.

You’ve decided that your only option is to sell your junk car to a junkyard. As you’ll find out below, there is one other option open to you. But, first, let’s dive into the topic of this article: how do junkyards decide what they’ll pay for a vehicle? Are they going by make and model? Are they worried about the condition of your car? Or, do junkyards price strictly based upon weight? Read on to learn more.

Your car’s year, make, and model

If you have a newer car on your hands, and the car is in good condition, a junkyard may quote you a price based on the year, make, and model of your car. In this case, they’ll ask you for this information and provide you with an estimate. When your car is in good shape and is fairly new, the junkyard will more than likely attempt to sell your car at an auto auction. This means that they can pay you more for your vehicle, because they know that they’ll be getting more for it when they auction it off.

However, most junk cars don’t fall into this category. Instead, the vast majority of junk vehicles are only good for scrap material.

Scrap metal pricing

More often than not, a junkyard will quote you a price based on the scrap metal value of your car. This is determined in a couple of ways. First, the junkyard will assess whether or not your vehicle has any valuable, functioning parts. This could be an engine that’s still in great shape, a battery with plenty of life left, or a catalytic converter that can be restored. Consider this scenario: your car is fairly new, but it was totaled in an accident. However, the accident left a lot of parts under the hood fully preserved, and those parts are worth a significant amount of money. The junkyard may take this into account when quoting you a price.

Whether or not you have any valuable parts on your vehicle, though, the junkyard will take your vehicle’s scrap metal value into consideration. If you have an old, rust-covered, broken down, totally non-functioning clunker in your possession, the scrap metal value will probably account for 100% of what the junkyard opts to pay you. The price of scrap metal changes daily, which means a good junkyard should be quoting you an up-to-date price when you call them.

Choose a reliable junk car buyer

A lot of junkyards will attempt to pay you much less than what your car is worth. Don’t waste your time with scammers: if you want to get max cash for your junk car, just call Junk Car Traders. In Maryland just give us a call and we will give you a quote, free towing, and the highest cash offer. To learn more, visit our website at


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