Do you have an old car sitting outside in your driveway gathering dust? Rather than allowing it to continue to take up space, you should consider selling it for cash.
There are junk car buyers who would be more than happy to take your old car off your hands. They’ll pay you top dollar for your car, even if it’s definitely seen better days.
Before you make the decision to sell your old car, though, you should ask yourself, “How much is my junk car worth?” In 2020, you could collect anywhere from $50 to $20,000 for it—with most junk cars selling for somewhere between $100 and $500 these days.
The true value of your junk car all depends on a handful of different factors. Take a look at some of the factors that could impact how much your junk car is worth below.
Where Is Your Car Located?
You might not think that your location would have a whole lot to do with the value of your car. But when you first ask yourself the question, “How much is my junk car worth?”, you should begin trying to answer it by considering the city or town in which your car is located.
If you live in an area in which there are a bunch of different junk car buyers, it could potentially drive the price of your car up. These junk car buyers are going to have to compete to buy your car from you, and that could lead to the value of it increasing.
There are also some parts of the country in which certain vehicles might be more popular among junk car buyers than they are in other parts. If you happen to live in an area in which the make and model of your junk car is very popular, you might be able to get more money than you would be able to if you lived in a different area.
Additionally, there is sometimes a slight difference in the price of scrap in one part of the country versus another part. If your car is in a location where the price of scrap is on the higher side, it could lead to a higher payday for you. It’s why it’s a good idea to keep location in mind when trying to figure out how much your junk car might be worth.
How Old Is Your Car?
If you’re thinking about selling a car to a junk car buyer, there’s a decent chance that it’s going to be on the older side. Most of the vehicles sold to junk car buyers every year are at least 10 or 15 years old, if not even older than that.
But the exact age of your car could play a big part in how much money you’re going to be able to get for it. If your car is so old at this point that it’s literally falling apart, it might be worth a lot less than a slightly newer model would be.
One of the first things that a junk car buyer is going to ask you for when putting together an offer for your car is what year it was made. If you’re not sure when your old car was manufactured, you’ll need to find out so that a junk car buyer can provide you with the most accurate offer possible for your vehicle.
What Is the Make and Model of Your Car?
In addition to asking you for the year your car was manufactured, a junk car buyer is also going to want to know the make and model of it. This is another key piece of information when it comes to determining how much your junk car is worth.
As we mentioned a moment ago, there are some car makes and models that are more popular among junk car buyers than others in certain pockets of the country. If you own one of these junk cars, you could be in luck as far as the value of your car is concerned.
How Many Miles Does Your Car Have on It?
Does your junk car have 35,000 miles on it, or did you drive it into the ground and put more than 200,000 miles on it before you finally parked it in your driveway for good? As you might imagine, you’re probably going to find that your car is more valuable if it falls into the first category as opposed to the second one.
Generally speaking, junk car buyers usually aren’t all that interested in buying old cars for the purpose of putting them back out onto the road. But they are often interested in pulling any parts that can be reused from an old car.
If you have a car with well over 200,000 miles on it, the chances of it having reusable parts in it are slim to none. Junk car buyers will typically have to take a car with that many miles on it and scrap the whole thing.
But if you have a car with just 35,000 miles on it, it likely has a lot of parts in it that aren’t past their expiration date yet. That could make your junk car more valuable to a junk car buyer. It’s why you should keep your junk car’s mileage in mind when thinking about how much it could potentially be worth.
Does Your Car Run?
Outside of asking you to provide them with your junk car’s mileage, many junk car buyers are also going to inquire as to whether or not your car still runs. This is another way that they’re able to go about gauging the value of it.
If a car doesn’t run, there are some junk car buyers that might not want to buy it at all, no matter how old it is, what make and model it is, and how many miles it has on it. There are also others that will bring their offers down dramatically based on the fact that a car doesn’t run.
You should get behind the wheel of your junk car and try to start it up before you begin seeking offers from junk car buyers for it. If you’re able to get it to run, it could make it more intriguing to the junk car buyers that are out there.
What Kind of Condition Is Your Car In?
Does your junk car have a lot of damage that’s been done to the exterior of it? Is the interior in really rough shape? Or are there a bunch of important parts missing from under the hood?
All of these things could affect the value of a junk car. As a result, most junk car buyers will ask vehicle owners to disclose what kind of condition their car is in before making them an offer for it.
It’s important for you to be honest, both with yourself and with a junk car buyer, as far as the condition of your junk car is concerned. You should take a good, long look at it and consider your car’s condition before attempting to sell it to a junk car buyer.
If your car isn’t in decent condition, it’s probably going to bring the overall value of it down. Some junk car buyers might even turn down the opportunity to buy a junk car altogether if it’s clear that the car is falling apart at the seams.
What Is the Current Price of Scrap?
The price of scrap is always changing. It goes up and down depending on a bunch of different factors.
This can cause the value of your junk car to go up and down, too. If you’re not in a huge rush to sell your old car, you might want to wait for the price of scrap to increase prior to unloading your car to a junk car buyer.
The price of scrap is important to junk car buyers because, more often than not, they end up scrapping almost all of the different parts of an old car. There are some parts that can be pulled from junk cars and reused, but the frame of a junk car and a lot of the things inside of it will need to be scrapped.
Find out what the current price of scrap is when you’re trying to find out how much your junk car is worth. It’s the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to answering the question, “How much is my junk car worth?”
Still Wondering, “How Much Is My Junk Car Worth?” Call Us for a Definitive Answer
It’s going to be almost impossible for you to answer the question, “How much is my junk car worth?”, on your own if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the world of junk cars. There are simply too many factors that can impact the value of a junk car.
Rather than trying to figure it out on your own, let us help you out by letting you know what we would pay you for your car. We would love to make you a fair offer for your junk car and take it off your hands.
Contact us today if you have any questions with regards to how to go about selling a junk car.
So you have a junk car. Perhaps it was totalled in an accident and is beyond repair. Or perhaps you just have a car with very high mileage and the repair bills for a normal issue like needing a new transmission or clutch and the price of those repairs are worth more than the vehicle. Whatever the reason, you will be trying to get the most money for your scrap car that you possibly can.
Be warned there are a lot of less than up-front people in the junk car market. They are notorious for low-balling sellers and offering you far less than a fair market rate. So it pays to do your homework and get some general idea of what your junk car is actually worth before you deal with any potential buyers.
So let's look at some general guidelines to finding out the value of your junk car and the tools available as well as an understanding of scrap market rates and where to sell your vehicle. A little research in advance will make a big different in how much money you walk away with in the end.
When is a junk car junk?
Firstly, let's examine what makes a junk car junk. Why is this important? Well, that old car you have might not officially be junk. If that is the case, you'll get a far better price at a used car dealership than a junk car specialist.
Most junk cars are cars with a salvage title. These are vehicles that an insurance company has written off as a complete loss. Generally speaking, this means it has sustained so much damage it is actually cheaper to replace the car than to fix it – so insurance companies will sell it off for salvage instead of bothering with repairs.
This is not to say the car is beyond hope of repairs and, indeed, many of them end up getting fixed and back on the road. It just means the insurance company has decided it is too much hassle to deal with. This also means there is a wide range of prices for salvage cars as some have far more potential for repairs and getting back on the road than others.
Of course, a junk car can also be a vehicle that is personally owned that hasn't been maintained for a long time and won't run for whatever reason. Perhaps you had a car you meant to fix and left it in the backyard just “temporarily”. Now its suddenly five years later and that car is beginning to rust and you're not sure if it will ever start again. Well, now it has been turned into a junk car.
That being said, keep in mind that your junk car might not necessarily be junk at all. If it is in need of work to get running on the road again, you still might be able to sell it to a dealership. It may still net you a profit after you've paid for repairs.
Prices in General
Since the state of junk cars varies so much you can expect the price to as well. Most junk cars will sell for between $100 and $500 dollars. The actual price can vary far more, from $50 to over $20,000 for some makes and models of vehicle. But that is rare and yours is likely to fall in the previous range. As to the exact amount, there are several factors that must be taken into account. This leaves you two options.
The first is to pay to repair the car before selling it. This is the easiest method of selling your car to a dealership. However, it also requires an investment of money you might not have ready on hand. The second option is to sell it to a dealership as is. This can be a hard sell though, as many dealerships won't want to take on the responsibility of repairing a car to get it road worthy. If you can get them to buy your car in its current state – expect to receive the fair market value of the car minus the cost of repairs. There will also likely be a fee incurred from the dealership for the general inconvenience of having to deal with the repairs themselves.
Factors involved in a junk car's value
There are many factors that will affect the final value of your junk car. All will be considered in turn to arrive at the final value of the car. Let's look at each in detail:
- Year, Make, Model – These can effect your junk car worth for many reasons. Firstly, there is a simple matter of demand. No one is likely to buy your junk car whole once it reaches a salvage yard. Instead, they'll be picking parts off it for replacement on more road worthy vehicles. Demand for used auto parts is not a uniform thing. The more cars of a specific make and model that are on the road, the higher the demand for parts will likely be and the more useful and valuable your car will be because of that. Also a consideration is how much plastic your car is made of. Put simply, plastic is cheap compared to metal. Scrap yards will only be paying for the weight of the metal in your car. Have no doubt, they have a good idea of how much of your car is high value metal and low value plastic. In general, the newer the car, the more plastic it will likely contain and therefor, affect its value negatively – at least in regards to its recycling value.
- Condition of Vehicle – You might wonder why the condition matters if a car is junk. Again consider that people may be scavenging off it for parts. Even if your junk car won't run, it may be in pristine cosmetic condition. A perfect, like-new door will still fetch a good price to someone looking for a replacement door after a fender bender. On the other hand, if your car is basically a visible rust bucket, it will be far less useful for parts and this will negatively impact the price you get offered for the vehicle. Moreover, if the car is too rusty and damaged for quality parts – you're more likely to receive the lowest, scrap metal only price for it.
- Location of Vehicle – Where you live and will sell your junk car plays an important part in valuing your vehicle. Proximity to a salvage yard is one factor. After all, someone has to get the vehicle to the yard to scrap it – assuming that is its final destination. You should be able to get a salvage yard to come get your vehicle, but they'll certainly consider the cost of that when determining the value of your car. Secondly, you'll find that the actual price paid for scrap metal can vary regionally which, if the car is bound to be scraped for its metal, will factor into the final price. A final factor that is region related – some models of cars will be higher in demand in certain areas than others. This is important because other people may visit salvage yards looking for replacement parts for these vehicles. So if you have a vehicle in high demand, you may command a greater price.
- Current Price of Scrap Metal – If your car is truly a total pile of junk, then it still has some intrinsic value as scrap metal. You can expect to be paid by the ton for the metal components in it. Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate regionally as well,s o make sure you bear that in mind when researching prices. Oddly enough, even if your car will likely be used for spare parts, the price of metal will still have a large impact on what you are offered for your car. Even a good quality junk car will have a significantly lower sale value if the scrap metal market happens to be down at the moment.
Final details and things to know
With the previous factors in mind, you will generally be looking at maybe 20% – 40% of the vehicles normal resale value with a salvage yard. It should come out to an approximation of the car's normal value minus what it would take to get it road worthy again. But always remember the worst offer you get should at least near to the value it has as scrap metal (allow a bit of a lower than market value for the scrap yard to make some profit).
Here are some final thoughts and things to remember:
- Have your car title – You usually need a car title to sell a car. Scrap yards have a bit more flexibility on this issue, but they won't like it and it may negatively impact the offer they give you. So be prepared and have all your documentation on the vehicle in hand when you negotiate a price for your junk car.
- Price your car yourself – Do not expect every scrap dealer and used car dealership to be honest. Do your due diligence yourself and research the probable price of your car. You should be ready to negotiate if you get low-balled. But also make sure you take into account all the factors that were presented and don't accidentally overvalue your car.
- Make sure to get free towing – You should be able to get the scrap yard to pick up your vehicle. If not, you may be picking up a bill to get it in to sell. So make sure you negotiate this in advance along with the car's selling price.
- Know the current price of scrap metal in your area – Scrap metal prices will and do fluctuate both regionally and nationally. You need a current scrap price to determine the fair value of your car. You can readily find this information online.
- Find out if your salvage yard is using metric tons for car weight calculations – Yes, we're in the US. But you would be amazed how many scrap yards will suddenly take to the metric system when it means more profits. Simply put, a metric ton is heavier than a US ton. So the scrap yard might measure your vehicle on the metric system as they are paying a fixed price per ton based on the vehicles weight.
- Consider using one of the offered online tools for junk car value determination – Thankfully, there are many websites online now that offer calculators to help you determine the value of your junk car. There is no need to take the word of one site's estimate as you can freely use several websites' calculators to get different offers. Keep in mind prices will vary because they are in different regions. But you should still be able to get a general, high level determination of your junk car's fair value.
That should be enough to get you started in selling that junk car of yours. Just remember that being informed is the key to getting a good deal. Don't trust when you could do the research yourself. You want to walk in to a scrap yard's office confident in what the real value of your vehicle is and what constitutes a fair offer. Also, do a little research on the scrap yards around you. Check their reviews and see what sellers are saying about their experiences. If you don't, and blindly trust the first scrap yard you arrive at, you're likely to get severely underpaid.