How Much Do Junkyards Pay For Cars?

Selling your car can take so much work. To get a rough estimate, you need to factor in a couple of variables. Getting a ballpark figure for the price is not an exact science. However, it can be done with a bit of help from various resources found online and over the phone.

There are several places to sell your car. Online auctions allow old and unusable vehicles on their platforms. Moreover, automobile salvage yards can take your vehicle at a fair price. Junkyards will usually give you the lowest offer because they don’t consider non-metal parts. If you’re up to selling features of your car, you can contact car enthusiasts and mechanics in your area.

Car Conditions

At this point, you can determine the condition of the car you want to sell. These categories should work:

  1. Used Car

Used cars are vehicles that you can still drive. You will notice a slight roughness while driving, though. You can turn your car into cash in your pocket, starting with the used car type.

  1. Salvage Car

The middle level has cars that won’t run but have several valuable parts you can sell separately from the metal parts. Examples are the sound system, GPS system, alternator, leather seats, car console, and air conditioning unit. If some of these are working, your vehicle will have a higher value than its scrap price.

  1. Scrap Car

The scrap car category is the bottom layer. It means that the automobile doesn’t run and has fewer to no functional parts anyone would haggle for. The only thing of worth is the metal. Some of the materials of value in this type of car are aluminum, steel, copper, and lead.

How Much Do Junkyards Pay For Cars

Estimated Junkyard Prices

Scrap car prices vary depending on the market value of the metal and the car’s weight. As of the first quarter of 2021, tiny cars can cost less than USD$200. Medium-sized sedans range from USD$200 to USD$300. Large automobiles like SUVs (sport utility vehicles) can go for more than USD$300.

Again, these estimates vary. There is one warning when scrapping a new car. It’s better to sell now than later because rust and corrosion can render the materials useless over time.

Other Factors

If you’re looking to sell your car, not just for its metal value, you can dig deeper and check out nearly precise calculators offered by industry experts. There are two organizations you can turn to, which are the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) and the Kelley Blue Book (KBB). Both have available tools online to help you assess the value of your car.

You can use the resulting prices against what the salvage yards and used-car buyers offer you. Let them know that you’re well-informed and knowledgeable about what your car is really worth.

Here is a list of things that make your car valuable beyond scrap metal:

  • The year the car was manufactured
  • The car’s make (brand, model, trim level, and style)
  • Your location (zip code)
  • Engine size
  • Condition (whether the car is in good condition or no longer usable)
  • Color (standard paint colors like white, black, and red are more popular than others)
  • Mileage (the less mileage, the better)
  • Transmission (automatic is more desirable than manual)
  • Personalized alterations (car body kits, neon paint color, and customized steering wheels can lower your car’s valuation)

Other intangible factors can creep into the transaction of car-selling. If the vehicle isn’t running, you need to consider the cost of towing and pick-up service. Paperwork and transactions at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), especially if you need to replace your car’s title, can take up your time.

Dismantling usable parts of your car will require labor costs unless you’re a mechanic yourself. If the vehicle can be driven, you may need to shell out the cost of gas. Factor in the hourly rate of the driver if you’re not taking the car to the yard yourself.

The Brighter Side

Your car may be unusable as a mode of transport for now, and getting it out of the garage will give you the space for other things. You can have a brand-new car in place of it, or you can renovate the area and turn it into a playpen, gym, or home office. A home office nowadays can be enticing because most people had cut out the commute when they transitioned to a work-from-home setup.

If you feel that your car has sentimental value and are unwilling to part with it, don’t worry. You can think it over and sleep on the problem. Once you’ve decided and are ready to let go, know that there are people who can turn parts of your valued car into works of art. You will need to find them, though, as it’s logistically better that they’re within your area.

One Last Thing

When dealing with junk and salvage yards, be careful of the bait-and-switch technique. It’s convenient to get a quote for your used car over the phone. Nonetheless, don’t jump into the first deal they’ll offer.

Make sure to provide them with the conditions (e.g., photographs) of your car first. Be wary of any changes in their final price, especially when the vehicle is already on the tow truck ready to roll. They might try to haggle to get the lowest price. Persuade them to honor the original deal. If not, know that you can opt to find another dealer. Good luck!

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Sunil Chandel

Sunil has been blogging about autos, consumer gadgets and home improvement ideas from a couple of years. When he is not writing, you can find him riding his royal enfield motorcycle, listening to music and showing off his football skills