Selling a car for scrap is an excellent way to clear up space and earn some money in the process. How much you can expect to get for your car depends on numerous factors, so it can be hard to estimate how much money that old car sitting in your yard or garage is worth. To help you get the most out of your junk car, we’ve provided this article detailing the different factors that affect the value of a scrap or non-running vehicle. If you’re wondering how to get the best price for junk cars, here we go…
Included In This Article:
How Much Do Junkyards Pay for Cars?
How Does Selling a Car for Scrap Work?
Running Cars Versus Non-running Cars
Finding a Credible Buyer
Tips for Getting the Best Scrap Car Prices
How Much Would a Junkyard Pay for My Car?
You won’t have an exact figure for how much your car is worth until you negotiate with the junkyard, but there are some things you can do to get a better idea. Start by checking out your car’s Kelley Blue Book (KBB) estimate — but don’t get too excited about the dollar amount that KBB indicates. This will only give you a rough idea of what your car would be worth. Since you’re looking into selling to a junkyard, it’s safe to assume that your car isn’t in the best shape. (If it is in good enough shape to sell but you don’t have the title, check out our article about how you can get money for your car even if there’s no title).
To get the best estimate for your car’s value before sending it to the scrap yard, first, determine how much it would cost to make the repairs, and subtract that price from the KBB value. This will give you a good idea of the offer you can expect from the junkyard.
Estimate = KBB estimate – cost for repairs.
Keep that estimate in mind when you are shopping around for quotes from different junk buyers and websites. If multiple dealers are telling you that your price point is too high, you might want to re-assess your estimate for repairs or get an expert’s opinion on how much it would cost to get your car back into tip-top shape.
Running Cars Versus Non-Running Cars
So how much can you get for scrapping a car? The first question you’ll be asked is if the car runs. Cars are worth more when they’re running for many different reasons. For one, you won’t need to pay extra (or deduct money from the offer) for haul away services. If you can get the car to the yard yourself, you will not only save some cash, it will also save you the time of scheduling a pickup.
Another valuable thing about a running car is that resale for parts will be higher. When a car hasn’t been running for an extended period, parts can get rusty or become brittle and break down. Typically the most valuable parts break down quickly. A running car — one that has been on the road recently, not one that has been sitting in the garage for years — has working, intact parts that will pull more money when you’re ready to sell.
What if your car isn’t running anymore? No need to get discouraged. There are places that pick up junk cars. Websites like Junk My Car will give you a quote for your car and haul it away for “free” — but keep in mind that while the site might indicate that the haul-away is free, it’s likely that a deduction for haul-away is already included in your overall quote for the car.
Finding A Credible Buyer
If you’re worried about being stiffed by your junk car buyer, you’re not alone. As a good place to start, you can utilize sites like iScrapp App Online, which acts as a national scrap yard directory to help you find scrap yards near you. Once you think you’ve settled on a dealer, you can always check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Businesses on this site are graded based on customer reports and other information about the business. For instance, Junk My Car (listed as Peddle LLC) would be a reputable company to work with because it has an A+ BBB rating, meaning it’s likely that this business will have a positive interaction with its customers. Check out these companies that offer the best price for junk cars:
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Wrecked, damaged, non-starting
- Coverage Area: Not specified, but appears to be nationwide.
- BBB rating: Not listed
- Read more about the car-buying services of SellTheCarUSA.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for SellTheCarUSA.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Salvaged, totaled
- Coverage Area: Continental US
- BBB rating: A
- Read more about the car-buying services of DamagedCars.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for DamagedCars.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: All kinds of vehicles in all kinds of conditions
- Coverage Area: Nationwide service (extended-level service offered in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania)
- BBB rating: A+
- Read more about the car-buying services of WeBuyCars.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for WeBuyCars.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Damaged, used and junk 2002-2015 vehicles
- Coverage Area: All 50 US states
- BBB rating: A+
- Read more about the car-buying services of CashForCars.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for CashForCars.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Buys all makes and models (running and not)
- Coverage Area: US and Canada
- BBB rating: A-
- Read more about the car-buying services of PickNPull.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for PickNPull.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Buys any make or model, no matter the mileage, in any condition including non-running
- Coverage Area: Over 350 locations serving the entire US
- BBB rating: NA
- Read more about the car-buying services of NationalCash4Cars.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for NationalCash4Cars.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Serves needs for any car in any condition up to $10,000
- Coverage Area: All 50 US states
- BBB rating: B-
- Read more about the car-buying services of RustysAutoSalvage.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for RustysAutoSalvage.com
- Types of Vehicles Bought: Like new, used, or damaged 2002-2016 vehicles in “as-is” condition
- Coverage Area: Most of the US
- BBB rating: No rating
- Read more about the car-buying services of PayMaxCarBuyers.com on the company’s website
- Visit the contact page for PayMaxCarBuyers.com
If you’re still not sure where to start when it comes to finding the right dealer, check out the 8 Best Places to Sell Your Car to find more options for credible car buying companies.
Tips to Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Scrap Car
1. Avoid using car weight for your quote, unless it’s a last resort.
When a junkyard is using weight to give you a quote, it’s looking at the car based solely on what the scrap metal is worth. This is fine — if your car doesn’t have any valuable parts to sell or if it’s not running. But if it does still have valuable parts and it’s in working order, then you’ll want to negotiate further to get a better price. Currently, prices around $130-150 per ton are expected for scrap metal, so the baseline is roughly $300 for the scrap metal from your car. Use that baseline number plus the other factors discussed above to determine if you’re getting the right quote.
2. Avoid accepting offers with conditions.
Get a hard quote that is lasting. Sometimes dealers will give you an estimate and say that it is conditional based on your description. Later, the dealer might try to quote you a much lower price — often when it is the most inconvenient for you to say no, like when your car is already loaded on the haul-away truck. Unfortunately, this “bait and switch” technique is common. Make sure you shop around to get multiple no-obligation quotes. That way you can feel comfortable that you’re getting the best deal. Just be sure the price offer is binding before you agree to give them your car.
3. The sooner you sell, the better.
Resale value diminishes the longer you have your car, and that’s especially true when it comes to scrap cars. The more the car sits around, the more you risk losing value for working parts that will only deteriorate as time goes on. For non-running cars, scrap dealers will want to know how long ago the car was last on the road. If you can tell them that the car has only recently stopped working, you’ll get a better quote than you would for a car that’s been wasting away in a garage for the last ten years. If you decide to sell a car for scrap, move on it sooner rather than later for the best price.
Scrap Car Prices: Conclusion
Scrap car prices can be pretty high. And there are plenty of buyers. This article provides all the information to discover who pays the most for junk cars. Enjoy choosing!