Scrap Car Prices, Values, & Factors to Calculate Junk Car Worth

Factors affecting scrap car value

How much is my junk car worth is the #1 question people ask us.  We always say, it depends on many factors.

In this post, we explain how scrap car prices work and how they're calculated.

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    What are scrap car prices in April 2022?

    Over the last 30 days, the average scrap car price is $597.16.  This is an increase of $44 (8%) compared to the previous 30 days and an increase/decrease of $122 (26% over the last year).

    How much are scrap cars worth currently?

    As stated, scrap car prices vary greatly by vehicle.  Here are the 10 most common vehicles that CarScrappers recycled in April to give you a good idea of what various scrap cars are currently worth.

    2006 Nissan Altima $458.67
    2003 Honda Civic $491.92
    2008 Chevrolet Impala $510.83
    2007 Toyota Camry $1,227.73
    2007 Nissan Altima $465.45
    2002 Honda Accord $466.36
    2003 Honda Accord $530.91
    2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee $562.50
    2011 Chevrolet Malibu $715.56
    2007 Pontiac G6 $446.67

    How much are scrap cars worth on average by the city?

    Scrap car prices vary by city and state.  Here are our top 10 most popular cities and there respective scrap car prices in April:

    Philadelphia, PA $719.02
    Fort Worth, TX $572.84
    Phoenix, AZ $687.65
    Jacksonville, FL $592.94
    San Antonio, TX $896.45
    Los Angeles, CA $1,222.42
    Minneapolis, MN $823.33
    Columbus, OH $488.89
    Las Vegas, NV $580.40
    Aurora, CO $787.17

    The value of scrap cars varies by city so we are highlighting the average scrap car price for the top 50 cities in the United States.  To determine these prices we calculated the average offers of mid-size vehicles years 2001 to 2009.

    Use CarScrappers scrap car calculator to determine how much your junk car is worth

    Here is ouir form.

    How a scrap car value calculator works

    A scrap car value calculator works by collecting data on your vehicle to determine it's worth.  Here are the 15 questions we use to calculate your vehicle's worth:

      1.  Vehicle Identification Number - So we can verify the vehicle. (If you don't have it you can manually enter your year make and model)
      2.  Where is the vehicle located?
      3.  What type of vehicle title do you have?
      4.  Does the vehicle have all its tires?
      5.  Are the tires flat?
      6. Are the wheels mounted?
      7.   Do you have the vehicle's keys?
      8.  Does it drive and start?
      9.  Any removed exterior body panels?
      10.  Any damaged or removed interior parts?
      11.   Any body damage at all?
      12.  Any flood or fire damage?
      13. Any damaged mirrors, glass, or lights?
      14. Any removed vehicle parts such as the catalytic converter?
      15. What is the vehicle's mileage?

    Is your car drivable?

    Quick and easy scrap car value calculation

    A quick and easy calculation that you can use to get a ballpark figure of what your scrap car is worth is:

    Vehicle weight X local scrap metal prices

    If you find the vehicle's weight and then your local scrap metal prices you can do a quick multiplication to get a rough estimate of what a scrap yard would pay for your vehicle. Other factors come into play as well but this will get you a rough estimate. Let’s talk about the other factor that determines scrap car prices now.

    How are scrap car prices determined? What factors are used?

    Each car is different, so there's no set formula to calculate junk car prices. Even the same make, model, and year can net you vastly different numbers, depending on the car's history and condition.

    There are 7 factors that come into play when determining junk car value.

    Before you scrap your car, it's critical to understand these factors so you can get a good idea of your junk car's value.

    1. Vehicle Year, Make, and Model

    The type of junk car you have is a major factor in determining value. Some junk cars are more valuable than others, depending on the vehicle's year, make and model.

    An older car in good shape could go for several hundred dollars or more. A newer junk car with significant damage might only be worth a few hundred dollars.

    You can expect to get more for your vehicle if:

    • It contains a lot of scrap metal.
    • It's a rare or sought-after model.
    • If there's currently a high demand for parts.

    2. Vehicle Condition

    The condition of your junk car plays a role in deciding the value and can make a big difference in how much money you can get.

    Is the car in good enough shape to get restored and resold, or will they have to strip it bare and try to sell parts individually? Is its only value the scrap metal found inside, or is there value in the vehicle?

    3. Vehicle Weight in Scrap Metal

    The weight of your vehicle in scrap metal greatly impacts the scrap value of a car.  Junk cars don't carry much value beyond their scrap metal value.  And that is made up by the weight of the car.

    4. Current Scrap Metal Prices

    Current scrap metal prices are the biggest factor in determining current scrap car prices and the amount of money junk cars are worth.

    When there's more demand for scrap metal, more people are willing to pay more money for it and for your junk car. Lucky for you, scrap metal prices are high right now.

    However, scrap metal prices vary widely in different places. Because of this, if there is more demand for a certain type of scrap metal in your area, then you're going to be able to sell your car for a higher price.

    Even a car that's nowhere near working condition can be salvaged and turned into valuable scrap metal. If a car weighs over two tons, think how much of that is precious steel and aluminum that can be extracted, resold, and reused to create new products.

    The first thing to understand is what the price of certain metals and metal products are going for in your area, as these vary. Then, you must understand what percentage of the weight of your vehicle is valuable scrap metal.

    An older model car that features more aluminum and steel, even if it's lighter overall, might have more scrap metal value than a newer car model that utilizes more environmentally friendly, sustainable materials but is heavier overall.

    5. Resellable Car Parts

    Junk cars always have some value because even if the car itself can't be used, many of the parts can!

    You might be surprised to learn how much money you could get from selling the parts of your car. A junk car buyer will typically want to strip your vehicle down and sell parts separately and will consider this when making their offer.

    The pandemic has nearly doubled the value of junk cars because of a parts shortage.

    If your car is complete, with all its parts and features, that's an attractive draw. If you don't have a working battery, you can probably subtract $25 from your car's value. If you don't have a catalytic converter, you can deduct another $100 from the value

    6. Vehicle Location

    Another crucial factor in junk car value is your vehicle's location. If you live in a large city, you're likely to get more for your junk car than in a small town or rural area. There will be more potential buyers for junk cars in larger cities, and scrap yards are typically willing to pay more in urban areas.

    You'll find that the value of scrap metal and junk cars change from region to region, so clueing into your local area's junk car industry will help you gauge what it's worth.

    7. Do You Have The Vehicle Title?

    The last factor, and possibly most impactful, is whether or not you have the vehicle title for your junk car. While it may be possible to sell your junk car with no title, you'll surely get less for it.  CarScrappers estimates this amount to be around $90 less for cars with no title versus comparable cars with titles.

    If you don't have the title do everything you can to get a replacement or duplicate title for your vehicle.

    What are scrap car prices per ton?

    The value of scrap is right around $300 per ton (per 2,000 lbs) currently, which is a very high scrap price. The automobile recycling industry is doing great.

    What are the valuable scrap metals in cars?

    An average car has up to 2,500 pounds of steel, around 250 pounds of aluminum, and probably somewhere between 30 and 50 pounds of copper for smaller cars. The lead in the battery is likely under 40 pounds and brass will be around 20 – 30 pounds on average.

    In evaluating a car, a scrapper takes the weight of the vehicle, multiplies it by the current price for scrap metal, and then arrives at a figure. What they offer you would ultimately be less than that figure to account for the time and effort it takes to dismantle and crush the car. CarScrappers has a handy scrap car calculator so you can get an idea of what you’ll get.

    Scrap metal prices and junk car prices go hand in hand

    The two are directly linked to each other. If you want a good indication of how much your car would be worth at the time you choose to sell it, it's best to look at scrap metal market trends.

    How much are scrap car parts currently worth?

    One of the main factors in determining how much scrap vehicles are worth is the value of the vehicle’s reusable auto parts. Here are some common scrap car parts and what junkyards tend to factor in for them:

    [lkist out top parts and some prices, and what types people buy, years, domestic]

    If you are a decent mechanic and you feel comfortable with eBay and Craigslist, selling your car's parts separately can get you more money than a scrapper can offer you.

    Read more about if you should sell your car for parts.

    When are scrap car prices highest?

    Scrap car prices are currently very high. However, it is impossible to predict what prices will do in the future as the scrap market is as volatile as the stock market.  Values are high now because of the automotive chip shortest and people holding onto their cars longer but we do not know what will happen in the future.

    Who gives the best price for scrap cars?

    CarScrappers gives the best price for scrap cars because we get your car in front of a network of buyers and get them to offer their best price for your car. The highest bidder is the winner so they know they must make a competitive offer.  Our online calculator has a state-of-the-art algorithm that determines who will pay the most for your car and instantly present your offer.

    If you call a local junkyard, salvage yard, or scrap yard, they will likely try to low-ball you with their offer in hopes of being your only option.  With CarScrappers, your car gets in front of the best options in your area and gets you the best price

    Do scrap car prices frequently change?

    They do and in either direction.

    Until recently, there had been an overall downturn to the market, largely because other countries have started producing their steel and have stopped leaning so much on America for it. As the demand for steel (aluminum, copper, etc.) falls, so too will scrap car prices. However, this changed since the pandemic has rocked the globe.

    Mainly, it’s been good for junk car sellers as prices have swung back in their favor, but the volatility has made it difficult for anyone to predict what’s going to happen. For instance, at the very beginning of the virus, prices tanked before starting to recover.

    Scrap metal prices can be unpredictable, but not wildly so. Day to day, you may only see the prices change by a cent or two. Considering there are thousands of pounds worth of metal in cars though, it does make a difference.

    At CarScrappers, we usually advise you not to wait to sell because there’s really no such thing as timing the market. It’s probably not worth the extra money you’ll get even if you do happen to score it big. Also, if you’re planning to part out the car, waiting could also lead to any viable parts deteriorating and depreciating quickly.

    How much does it cost to junk a car?

    You do not have to pay to junk your car, instead, you are paid for your car as all vehicles have some value, even if minimal.

    Junk car buyers will factor in the business costs when they purchase your car such as where it’s located and the work it takes to dismantle it.  However, this should all be included in your offer.


    What are the benefits of scrapping your old car?

    It’s really the only way to get money from a car that’s reached the end of its useful life.

    Plus, it’s good for the environment. Your old tires can be turned into things like new floors or new roads instead of filling up landfills. Old batteries get turned into new ones, and steel gets turned into whatever a manufacturer needs.

    Recycling steel saves a lot of energy and resources. It takes 1,400 pounds of coal, 2,500 hundred pounds of iron ore, and 120 pounds of limestone just to make a new ton of steel.

    Also, remember that when your rusting car sits around, it’s actually releasing toxins in the air, which can get into the water supply. Scrapping it ensures that environmental harm is prevented.

    How do I know if a car is worth scrapping?

    To a certain extent, it’s a personal decision, and we don’t fault you if there's some sentimental attachment to the car.

    A rule of thumb, though, is that you should scrap a car that's either unreliable or constantly in the repair shop. Even minor fixes, if they occur on a regular basis, can end up costing you more than the car is worth on its own.

    What are scrap car prices per ton?

    Currently, scrap metal prices are hovering around $350 per ton.

    What is the difference between a scrap car and a used car?

    A used car is a car that someone can still safely drive, while a scrap car refers to one that’s entered its end-stage of life. Scrap cars may still have some usable parts, but they’re either unsafe to drive as-is or days away from their next major repair (one that likely costs more than the entire car is worth). A scrap car’s value is defined by the weight of its metal and any resalable parts.

    How do I sell my junk car for the best price.

    To get the most money you will need to determine the best time to scrap your car when scrap metal prices are high.  Currently, due to the supply chain issues Covid has caused junk car values are very high and now is a good time to scrap your car.  To get the most money check out CarScrappers.

    How do you determine the salvage value of my car?

    The salvage value of your car is usually the same as the scrap value.  A salvaged car is a car that is a total loss vehicle or damaged beyond repair, so most likely all of its value comes from its weight in metal such as steel.