How Much is a Scrap Car Worth? Understanding Your Car’s Value

Is there a car sitting in the garage for a long time? If the car is old enough and no longer able to run, it’s time to sell it. But you may wonder if it’s still salvageable and how much cash you can make out of it.

This can be hard for you to determine the value of a scrap car. Though every scrap car has some value, it depends on various factors. Such as, the weight and size of the car or the present scrap metal market rate are one of the things you need to consider while calculating the value. In this guide, you’ll learn everything about scrap car prices in 2022 and how much a scrap car is worth.

How Much Is A Scrap Car Worth?

There are multiple factors to consider while understanding the value of a scrap car. Here are some of the important factors that affect a scrap car’s value:

  • The current market price of scrap metals
  • Industrial demand
  • Condition of the car
  • Year, make and model
  • Mileage
  • Location

The value may fluctuate based on the present scrap metal rates. If you have a junk car without any usable parts, it can be recycled. Junkyard owner will inspect the different kinds of metals of the car and pay you for them.

The heaviest and biggest portion of metal is steel. An average car has a maximum of 2500 pounds of steel. In addition, there are approximately 250 pounds of aluminum and 30-50 pounds of copper for smaller cars. A very small amount of platinum (around 0.0066-0.015 pounds) can also be found in some cars.

In case you take out the metals and sell them individually, you may get more money of them. As of July 2022, the value of scrap steel is $130/ton, whereas the scrap price for copper is $2.85/lb and aluminum is $0.42/lb. Even, many junkyards will give you the complete price at a scrap rate. Right now, the rate is around $300 per ton. So, you can measure the car’s weight and calculate the value.

The average scrap car price for a mid-size is between $150-$300. Meanwhile, the price can be as low as $100 for smaller-size cars. For the larger trucks and SUVs, the value increases to $250-$400.

How to Determine Your Scrap Car’s True Value?

Any scrap car is worth something even if it has one or more components that can’t be reused. Therefore, it’s important to evaluate its true value before selling its scrap metals.

The price of a scrap car is typically dependent on the present market value of the same car in used condition. The value you’ll get for a scrap car is according to its diminished value, which is based on the total repair cost for the car to work again in addition to the market price of the same car. The true value will help you estimate how much you’ll receive by selling that car.

Once you determine the true value of the scrap car, you can opt for selecting a scrapyard or auto salvage company to sell it.

Did you know that junking your clunker for scrap value is as easy as clicking a few times? There’re many online junk car buyers or local junkyards who are willing to buy wrecked cars and in return, you earn some money. All you need is to find a licensed salvage dealer, have your car documents ready, get a quote for the scrap car, schedule a pickup time, complete the paperwork and get paid instantly.

How Do You Calculate A Scrap Car Value?

To calculate a scrap car value, you need to measure the car’s weight. The heavier the car, the higher its scrap price.

Calculating a scrap car’s value is not a complicated process. Similar to used vehicles, the depreciation continues as time goes by. Hence, if you purchased a car for $40,000, it might worth $10,000 or lower after a certain period of time.

When you go to a salvage yard to sell the old car, they will take out the weight of your car and multiply the number with the present scrap value in the market. Even sometimes, they might estimate the value by adding the value of different kinds of metals in the car. That results in a higher selling price.

Suppose, the car has 2200 pounds of scrap steel, 150 pounds of aluminum and 40 pounds of copper. Now, if the present value of scrap steel is $0.14/lb, aluminum is $0.42/lb and copper is roughly $2.00/lb, you will get around $451 for a mid-size car.

However, not all junkyards separate parts because it’s very time-consuming. So, if the car has reusable parts, you can take them out by yourself and sell them to junkyards for cash. A single part can bring more money into your pocket. Moreover, if it’s a valuable part like alternators, radiators or car batteries, the price will increase.

So, if you’re thinking about selling a scrap car, research the market very well. The current scrap price and your car’s weight will help you determine how much it is worth.


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