How do I know what my junk car is worth?

If you’ve got an old junk car, you might be agonizing over whether or not to sell it. On the one hand, you want it gone. It’s turned into a money pit, and no amount of repairs will ever restore it to its former glory. As far as you’re concerned, it’s time that you and your old clunker parted ways. And the sooner, the better.

On the other hand, though, will anyone even want to buy it? And, if so, how much will they pay? Maybe you’ve browsed Craigslist and seen that the cars for sale there are in significantly better condition than yours. If so, you’ve likely concluded (correctly) that trying to sell your old junker through an online classifieds website isn’t the best idea. With that in mind, dealerships are out of the question, too: they’re not going to offer you anything on an old scrap vehicle.

From there, you call around to scrap yards and junkyards. You aren’t terribly happy with the amounts they’ve offered. On top of that, you’ve probably found that different businesses quote you different prices. How do they determine what your junker is worth? And how do you know whether the amount they’re quoting you is fair, or if they’re trying to rip you off? Here’s what junk car buyers consider when pricing out a junk car.


If you can transport the vehicle to a junk car buyer yourself, that saves the buyer money. This will likely increase the price they’re willing to pay you. If, on the other hand, they have to come and tow it for you, they’re much more likely to offer you less for your junker.

Age, Model, and Condition

These are some of the biggest determining factors in coming up with a price for your vehicle. If the car is in relatively good condition and is fairly new, you may be able to get quite a bit for it. When you offer to sell a vehicle that’s in good shape to a junk car buyer, they’re likely thinking about reselling it, possibly at an auto auction.

On the other hand, when you’re trying to sell an old, beat up, rusted out, broken down car that’s never going to run again, the buyer is strictly concerned with the vehicle’s scrap value. If your car is old and in poor condition, then, a junk car buyer will look at its make and model, and calculate the weight of the vehicle. From there, they can determine what it’s worth in scrap materials.

Scrap metal prices

If you’re selling an older vehicle that’s in poor condition, the above mentioned calculations involve current scrap metal prices. Once a buyer knows how much your car weighs and what volume of scrap metal they’ll be able to pull from it, they multiply that amount by the current price of scrap metal in order to come up with a quote. It’s worth checking to see how prices are trending: if scrap prices are high and a salvage yard offers you next to nothing for your vehicle, they might be trying to scam you.

When it comes to selling your old junker, only work with a company you can trust. Only go with a junk car buyer that has excellent reviews: that way, you’re guaranteed to get the most for your vehicle. Junk Car Traders has great reviews in all states, including Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico



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