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How to Estimate the Value of a Car that Has Been Considered a Junker

How to Estimate the Value of a Car that Has Been Considered a Junker

It is surely tough to say goodbye to your good old car. You might have easily formed a sentimental attachment to a trusty companion, and looking back to its glory days might trigger some nostalgia. However, in most instances, cars that have been considered a “junker” are best sold for their parts for obvious practical reasons. The problem is how to estimate the value of a car that has been considered a junker. You don’t only save parking space but also earn some amount of money from selling your junk car

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


A lot of people might think that their old junk cars are worth next to nothing, but in the end, they might actually be surprised to know how much they are actually worth. Making a good estimate and knowing the important factors to consider is essential to get the price you deserve.  


What makes your car a junker?

In the broadest terms, a junk car is an unwanted car which is damaged or unused. The car might be on its end of life or has fought a good fight but has definitely given up. Here are some signs that your car might be considered a junker.



According to a recent survey, 25 percent of cars in the US are at least 16 years old. It seems like a lot of people are holding onto their good old trusty companions. However if throughout the years and the miles travelled, your car is experiencing major issues, then perhaps it is best to move on to buying a new vehicle. This is considering the level of safety and better driving experience newer cars could offer. 



Is the cost of repair more than the actual value of your car? Then maybe it’s about time to say goodbye to your junker and stop the bills from piling higher. The individual cost of broken door locks, faulty brakes, torn seats, and other minor issues might seem tolerable, but adding them all up might be hard on your bank account. It is all the more distressing if major car parts like the engine and transmission are problematic.


Rust is tearing your car down

A little rust in the exterior of your car may not be a very big issue, but if it starts to destroy the undercarriage and other important parts of the car such as brakes and fuel lines, then your safety might be put at risk. Rust also significantly decreases your car’s ability to protect you in the event of a crash. Decaying and corroding car parts are also health and environmental hazards. 


Low value

If you are trying to sell your old car, but no one wants to buy your car, then it is a big sign that your car is a junker. You can get a better deal selling it for its parts, as this might be your only option. 


Missing Paperwork

If your vehicle has no registration or title, you cannot sell your car legally. You can still replace missing documentation, but it can be quite a hassle. Consider the roadworthiness and value of your car if it is worth more than the inconvenience. 


You can find out more about the legal guide to selling used cars on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. 

How to Estimate the Value of Your Junker Car

Many car owners feel hesitant to sell their junk cars because they think that the whole process is a pain. However, there are easy to use online scrap value calculators to give you an idea of the worth of your junk car. This is important when wondering how to estimate the value of a car that has been considered a junker. Simply provide the make, year, and model of your car and they will provide you with an estimated pay out. 


You can also make your own rough estimate for your car value as scrap metal. Majority of the car's weight is made of steel. You can make a research of the value of steel at some local metal recycling yards. Commonly, the price ranges from $240 to $290 a ton. Therefore, you can expect around $100 to $400 for your junker car. Consider negotiating with the buyer to get the best price. 


It is important to note though that the price of metal continues to vary depending on the supply and demand. Current scrap prices might actually increase or decrease depending upon the circumstances. 


There are several factors that determine the value of your junk car. Scrapping your car means recycling all metal, glass, rubber, and plastic in your car. Therefore, the market value of different metals and materials in a vehicle affects the value of your junk car. A car’s scrap value depreciates through time. Hence, the earlier the junk car estimation is done, the more the selling value of the car increases. 


To estimate the value of your junk car, these factors are considered.


Make, Model and Year of the Car

The vehicle make, year, and model are commonly the primary information that junk car buyers will ask. With this information, they will be able to determine the weight of your car. They can then determine how much scrap metal there is. There are also some car collectors who are willing to give a higher offer, especially if your car is a classic.


Condition of the Car

Junk yards will often consider the vehicle parts to determine how much they can offer you. Your junk car might look terrible on the outside but it can actually have lots of valuable parts inside that are in good condition. 


When a car is not driven on a regular basis, some of its parts will start to break down. Fluids will eventually settle out, rubber parts will crack and become brittle, seats will fade and crack especially when left out in varying weather conditions. Thus, if you are thinking of selling your junk car, don't wait for very long. 


Your Car’s Location

Most junk car buyers would want to know your location because most junk cars can’t be driven. Hence, the only way to move it involves coming out with a tow truck. Buyers would usually include this factor in their quote. 



The car’s mileage is another important factor in determining its value. The higher the mileage, the more wear and tear the car parts will have. The lower the mileage, the higher the salvage value. 

Junk Car Parts to Sell for Money 

To make a good estimate of the value of your junk car, it is important to know which car parts are most valuable. When wondering how to estimate the value of a car that has been considered a junker, this step is crucial.


The Engine

The engine is one of the most valuable parts of a car to scrap. A faulty car engine is very costly to replace, and it is more practical to buy a new vehicle than have your engine changed. A complete engine replacement can cause a hefty amount of up to $7000. 


If your engine is still in good working condition, you might just easily find someone to buy it. On the other hand, if your engine is not in tip top condition, you can still make some money for their aluminum. It is worth remembering that aluminum is more valuable than steel. 


Transmission System

Another valuable part of a junk car is the transmission system. It is very valuable in a sense that it transmits the energy produced by the engine and provides the driver the ability to control how fast or slow the car goes. Having transmission problems can be absolutely costly for car owners. Just like used engines, there is also a market for used transmission systems. 


Used transmission systems are usually bought for their metal parts such as aluminum, cast iron, brass, and steel. 



Fenders are the parts of the car which protect the wheel wells and some parts of the undercarriage. Replacing fenders can be quite costly.  Many people choose to buy used fenders from private sellers because it is much cheaper.


Car doors 

A lot of people are in need of replacing their car doors after unfortunate accidents or crashes. Car doors are made up of different components that are saleable such as handles, locks, sheet metal, side mirrors, and window controls. There can be a market for these individual parts, so junk car buyers might find these profitable. 


GPS System

Some cars have built in GPS systems, and these parts can be sold for more or less a hundred bucks. Even though smartphones can serve as navigating systems, it is always quite handy for your car to have its own GPS system just in case there will be glitches in your phone signal, power, or battery. 


Air Conditioning System 

Parts of a car's air conditioning system like the compressor and condenser can actually be worth some dollars, as these can be installed and reused by another vehicle. 



Bumpers are the parts of a car that are prone to dents and scratches, or even worse, can be subject to severe damage following an accident. Depending on the car's model, year, and make, a bumper in good or fair condition can be worth a few hundred dollars. The more popular your cake model is, the more demand there will be for its bumpers.



Junk car batteries are usually worth about $20. Although this might not seem much, you are actually helping by keeping harmful chemicals away from the environment. 



Airbags are vital safety features for any car. If airbags need to be replaced, a proper installation can amount up to a thousand dollars. Even if your car has been considered a junker but the airbags have not been deployed, you can still make money out of them. Because of the hefty amount needed for airbag replacement, most people would opt to buy unused airbags to save themselves some money. 


Windshield Wiper Arms

Used windshield wiper arms may just be worth around $65, depending on the car model. This may not seem much, but still a good amount for selling scrap materials. 



Tailgates that are in fairly good condition can be worth up to a hundred dollars. 



There is a good chance of selling your junker car's radio system for a good amount of money, depending on its condition. An audio system and speakers are very valuable parts of a car's interior, so there is always a good market for these. 


Wheels and Tires

Wheels and Tires can be sold as an entire set l, provided that they are removed properly and safely. Of course, tires will have better value if the treads are in great condition and are fairly new. If the rubber and wheel are in good shape, buyers who have the same car model as yours may want them. However, if the wheels and tires are not in great condition, they can still be scrapped but don't expect to get much from selling these. 



The radiator contains a lot of aluminum, and thus can be considered valuable. This can bring some quick money to junk yards. 



As long as they are not damaged and cracked, headlights and taillights from your old car can still be worth some money. High-end lights tend to have more value. 


Conclusion on How to Estimate the Value of a Car that Has Been Considered a Junker

Although your old, unused, or damaged car can be considered a junker, you can still make some money out of it. Junk cars are still valuable for their metal and some parts which are probably in pretty good condition. Used car parts such as the engine, wheels, tires, doors, transmission system, and bumpers can be reused and recycled in other vehicles. 


Making a good estimate of the value of your junker can give you a better idea of how much it can be actually worth. This will help you find the best deal among junk car buyers. 


It is also important to remember that the earlier you decide to scrap your old car, the more money you can make from it as you can avoid further damage to its valuable parts. 


To get a quote for your junker, click here