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Scrap Car Prices 2021: How Can Scrap Car Prices Impact Your Junk Car Value?

Scrap Car Prices 2021: How Can Scrap Car Prices Impact Your Junk Car Value?

Scrap car prices 2021 include:

1-    Scrap steel sells for $0.01 per pound

2-    Insulated copper wire sells for $0.51 per pound

3-    Aluminum sells for between $0.28 and $0.45 per pound, depending on the type of aluminum you’re trying to sell

There are many instances where our vehicles spend more time at the repair shop than at our garages. As a result, the vehicle might have significant problems requiring thousands of dollars on repair costs. It can be extremely hard to find a private buyer who’s interested in buying such a vehicle.

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Selling our cars as scrap metal can be a handy alternative to get us the most money out of the car without much headache. However, without proper knowledge about the world of scrap metal and how to scrap car prices 2021 impacts the overall value of our junk car, we might find the process has more hassle than expected.

This article highlights the most up-to-date scrap car prices in 2021 and highlights how the current prices impact the overall money you can get out of your junk car in your region.

What is a scrap car price?

Before we dive into the details about “scrap car prices 2021” and “how can scrap car prices impact your junk car value?” it is important that we first define the meaning of “scrap car prices” and differentiate it from “salvage car prices.” This is extremely important, especially if you’re new to the junk and scrap car market.

When using the term “scrap car price,” it indicates how much money you can get for your junk car when selling it as “scrap metal.” Most scrapyards are only interested in the metal component in your vehicle and will pay you per pound of metal.

On the other hand, the term “salvage car price” refers to the amount of money you will get for every working component in your car. In other words, you will be paid for the metal components and things that can be “salvageable,” and people can use them as part replacement.

Therefore, you will get more money when selling your car to a salvage yard than a scrapyard. Keep in mind that many people prefer to scrap their vehicles and sell the working components separately online before selling the metal frame to the scrapyard.

Depending on your level of skillsets and the time you want to devote to selling your junk car, you can select the option that works best for you. But, of course, every option has its pros and cons in terms of the level of effort and amount of money you can achieve.

Scrap Car Prices 2021: How Can Scrap Car Prices Impact Your Junk Car Value?

Answering this question depends heavily on various factors, and there is no set-on-stone exact number you can get for every specific vehicle.

Let’s take a closer look at what variables are considered when determining your vehicle’s scrap value:

1.    Price of scrap metal

Since most junk cars will end up sold as scrap metal, the first and most important variable deciding how much money you will get for your junk car is the price of scrap metal. This price differs on a year-by-year basis.

For example, as of January 2021, here is the list of common scrap metal prices:

  • Scrap steel costs $0.01 per pound
  • Insulated copper wire costs $0.51 per pound
  • Aluminum costs between $0.28 and $0.45 per pound, depending on the type of aluminum you’re trying to sell

One might wonder, well, these prices seem extremely low; however, your vehicle weighs too many pounds, which means you will get a good amount of money for heavier cars.

2.    Your vehicle’s weight

The second important variable to consider when determining your vehicle’s scrap car price 2021 is the car’s overall weight. From the point we discussed earlier, the more pounds you have in your car, the more metal it will have and the more money you will get, right?

Therefore, if you’re planning to junk a heavy SUV, you will get much more money than someone else who’s trying to junk a small sedan car. You need to consider other variables down this list to get the overall value.

3.    The type of metal

Not every vehicle contains the same percentage of metal type in the curb weight. For example, the average, typical car has about 350 pounds of aluminum but only 2,400 pounds of steel. On the other hand, larger trucks are expected to have 55-60% of their weight steel, at least 3,000 pounds. Therefore, larger trucks can get you much more money in the junk car market than smaller cars.

Keep in mind that this is not the case all the time. In other words, manufacturers are now trying to use more aluminum than steel in all modern cars. Therefore, the older your vehicle, the more steel it has, the heavier, and the more money you will get.

If you don’t already know, there is a good amount of copper in your car included in the different wiring and electric connections. So, for example, when scrapping your car in 2021, you can get good money for the copper elements in the headlights, taillights, computer, etc.

Finally, the catalytic converter contains precious metals that can get you almost the most money when junking your car in 2021. These metals include platinum, rhodium, and palladium. Again, refer to the current prices of these metals in your region, and you will be impressed by how expensive they are, especially in 2021.

4.    Your region

Although the mentioned variables are the core variables determining how much money you can make out of your scrap car, your region also plays an important role. Scrap metal prices are not the same across the nation. Thus, whenever your car can make in a certain area, it might be completely different than in another area.

5.    The vehicle’s type

It's not surprising to know that your vehicle’s make, model, and year play a significant role in how much money your junk car can make around your area, right?

For instance, you won’t get as much money when selling an old Toyota as when selling a new BMW. This is because the newer vehicle’s parts are way more expensive than the old one. Therefore, many people are looking for parts replacements in the used car market for the BMW but not for the old Toyota.

6.    The current market demand

If you’re trying to sell a car that has huge market demand for parts replacements, you can make much more money than someone else who’s trying to sell a different vehicle that doesn’t have enough demand.

7.    The season

Choosing the right time to sell your junk car as scrap metal also plays a role in determining how much money you can get. Therefore, we advise that you analyze the current trends in your region and search on larger forums like Quora.com on when it’s the best time to junk a car.

Keep in mind that if the best time to junk a car is a couple of months away from you, it might not be worth waiting as other variables might change. For example, if you decided to wait six months on selling your junk car, hoping to get to the best selling season, the price of scrap metal might drop, and the car itself might get more deteriorated, impacting how much you can get.

Therefore, it must be a balance between how much to wait for the best-selling season and how much you’re going to lose while waiting. In general, automotive experts recommend never waiting on selling a junk car. The pros of selling it now are much more significant than whatever advantages you will get when waiting.

8.    The salvage or scrap yard

Finally, deciding between a salvage or scrap yard impacts how much money your junk car can make. As we indicated earlier, the scrapyard will only pay you for the scrap metal components, while the salvage yard can pay you for every working component.

Remember that not all salvage yards will pay you the same amount of money because they need to make some profit. That’s why we always recommend you get at least three offers to form different yards around you. The more offers you get, the better the idea about how much money your car can make.

When selecting the yard, you mustn’t rush the process and be as patient as possible. This is because many scammers claim to have an official yard, but they’re just trying to take advantage of you. Therefore, consider looking for online and offline presence by visiting the yard, reviewing their website, looking into their customer reviews, etc.

How often do scrap car prices change?

Since the price of scrap metal is a critical component in determining your vehicle’s scrap value, it is important to understand how often scrap car prices change. This way, we can make an informed decision about whether to wait on selling our junk cars or not.

Surprisingly, scrap metal prices might change daily, weekly, and monthly! Let’s take a closer look at how this change might occur:

1.    Daily scrap metal prices fluctuations

It's not rare to hear about daily changes in the scrap metal prices like any other stock market component. However, these changes are not the most significant or common to occur.

2.    Weekly scrap metal prices fluctuations

This is the most common frequency of scrap metal prices fluctuations, but it will be a couple of pennies differences. Typically, scrap metal buyers will update their prices weekly.

3.    Monthly scrap metal prices fluctuations

Finally, certain recyclers prevent themselves in the scrap car market by providing monthly updates to their scrap metal prices.

It is recommended that you get an idea about the current fluctuations in the scrap metal market before deciding what quote to accept for your junk car so you can get the most money out of it.

Current scrap car prices 2021: What to do to get the most money for your junk car?

As we indicated earlier, many factors determine how much money you can get out of your junk car. But, most importantly, fluctuations in scrap prices might make it a little challenging to get good deals without missing something.

Luckily, automotive experts put together a list of things to do to get the most money out of your car without worrying about fluctuations in scrap car prices 2021:

1.    Decide on salvaging or scrapping your car

The first thing you need to do is determine whether you’re planning to salvage or scrap your car. Obviously, when salvaging your car, you have a higher chance of getting more money out of the working components in your vehicle.

2.    Understand the current scrap car prices 2021

The next step is to determine how much is the current scrap car price around your region. While this might sound a little tricky, it is not. Many resources get you up-to-date updates on current metal prices.

There are smartphone apps or larger car platforms. Even your local scrap yards might have some updates on their website. You might want to look at multiple resources to get accurate answers about current scrap prices in 2021.

3.    Determine your vehicle’s weight

Now it’s time to know how much metal your car has. Of course, unless you’re an expert, you can’t really get an exact number, but you can make very good guesses. So first, find your vehicle’s curb weight, which should be listed on the sticker on your car’s driver’s door.

Then, assume that your vehicle has roughly 55% steel. With that, you can calculate the expected scrap value of your car by multiplying the amount of steel by the current scrap car price in your region. Typically, you can get between $150 and $400.


The current scrap car prices in 2021 play a major role in determining how much money your junk car can make. Therefore, understanding how often these prices change and the current prices are critical for anyone planning to sell a junk can now in 2021.

This article provides you with an overview of the current scrap car prices in 2021 and highlights what you could do to get the most money out of your junk car in 2021.

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