What is a Junkyard? Definition, Synonyms & Operation 

A junkyard is a business that buys and dismantles vehicles.  The vehicle parts and metal are then sold for recycling or to consumers to use in other vehicles.  

Knowing how junkyards affect daily life and money making decisions is an essential part of vehicle ownership in the modern world.

Here are just a few things you will learn about junkyards in this article:

  • Definition of junkyard, “dismantleler”, “junk yard”. 
  • Learn why these facilities are called junkyards, and the function of a junkyard.
  • Find out the answer to the question “Is there a difference from wrecking yard to junk yard?”
  • Discover more about the cost and upkeep of tools at junkyards.
  • Learn about operations, costs, and licenses for junkyards.
  • 10 fascinating statistics about how junkyards help our world.
  • Get the facts about kinds of vehicles that are junked in junkyards and how the decision is made to put them there.

What is the definition of a Junkyard?

According to lawinsider.com, a junkyard is defined as a place where non-drivable vehicles  are purchased, stored, and processed. Car and truck parts may still be functional, or have significant value without being broken down into raw materials.

A junkyard is a sanitary location that does not have litter or other objects that would be classified as trash.

What are the other names of Junkyard?

Depending on locality, junkyards or similar businesses may be called “dismantler”, “wrecking yard”, “wreck yard”, “wrecker’s yard”, “breaker’s yard”, “scrapheap”, or “salvage yard”.

  • Australia, Canada, and New Zealand refer to these businesses as “wrecking yards”.
  • Ireland and some parts of the UK refer to these businesses as “scrapyard”.
  • “Junkyard” is most commonly used in the United States.

There are some subtle differences between the different types of junkyards.

  • Most junkyards are dedicated to specific vehicle types.

For example, there might be a yard dedicated to motorcycles. Others may be for boats, planes, or even trains.

  • There are also junkyards that don’t limit themselves to vehicles. These are often referred to as scrapyards.

Their main focus is on harvesting metals like steel and copper. As a result, they may take everything from vintage sinks and clawfoot bathtubs to washing machines and air conditioners.

How to Classify Junkyard Synonyms and Businesses?

People from different localities may use certain terms related to junkyards interchangeably. Others may use the same words to designate different operational structures.

For example, some people might use the term junkyard exclusively for motor vehicles.

People in a different locality may use the term wrecking yard for vehicles, and then junkyard for a facility that processes household or commercial scrap metal.

What is the difference between a Junkyard and a Wrecking Yard?

There is no difference between the term junkyard and wrecking yard in terms of business operations.

People from different localities use these two terms to define the same business type.

Regardless of the name, junkyards and wrecking yards take in non-drivable vehicles and strip them of usable and saleable car parts.

Next, they break the vehicle frame down and sell the resulting scrap by the ton for recycling.

What is the difference between a Junkyard and a Salvage Yard?

Junkyard and salvage yard also refer to the same business type.

Regardless of the term used, different businesses may devote themselves to a specific vehicle type. Some may only work with cars while others will process boats, planes, or motorized construction equipment.

What is the operation difference between a Junkyard and Scrapyard?

Junkyards dedicate themselves to vehicles that are no longer viable for their original purpose.

Scrapyards take in all kinds of metal regardless of the original equipment purpose. You may find everything from non-functioning air conditioners to cast iron sinks or piano soundboards in a salvage yard.

What kinds of vehicles are junked in Junkyards?

There is no set vehicle type that a junkyard may process.   Where the vehicles come in from can vary a lot. 

  • Consumer cars and trucks often come in via tow truck or flatbed after a collision.
  • Other vehicles may come from backyards or other places where they have been sitting for years to decades.
  • Construction and farm equipment may be hauled off premises after the machine can no longer be repaired.
  • Boats and airplanes may wind up in a junkyard when it becomes too expensive to maintain, or they become obsolete. 

Things like fuel type, operator skill sets, and design can cause an otherwise perfectly viable vehicle to be put in the junkyard.

Regardless of the type, vehicles that wind up in a junkyard all have one thing in common. 

There is a decision made either by the owner or an insurance carrier that it will cost too much to make the vehicle operational as opposed to replacing it.

What are the types of Junkyards?

There are 8 basic types of junkyards that focus on transport oriented machines. Within each of them, you might find additional specialization.

  • Car – This category of junkyard is dedicated mostly to consumer cars. Some junkyards may be dedicated to antique vehicles, or from a single manufacturer.
  • Truck – These junkyards take everything from light duty pickup trucks to tractor trailers.
  • RV – Along with full Rvs, these junkyards may also have specialized inventory sections for furniture and appliances.
  • Motorcycle – Dedicated to motorbikes and scooters. Here again, you may find a junkyard for a specific brand or style.
  • Boat – Boat salvage yards may dedicate themselves to everything from sailboats to superyachts. Others may focus on boat trailers, motors, or various accessories.
  • Construction – You might find anything from backhoes to cranes in this type of junkyard.
  • Farming Equipment – Farming equipment also covers equipment that varies greatly in size and cost. On the smaller scale, you might find tractors. For larger equipment, you might find salvage yards dedicated to combines, or even mechanized milking stations.
    Not all farm equipment is designed for land use. Crop dusters or equipment used in fisheries may also have dedicated junkyards.
  • Tires – Depending on the junkyard, tires may or may not be integrated with other vehicle components. There are also junkyards that deal only with tires ranging from motorcycle up to jet engine tires.

How does a Junkyard operate?

Behind the scenes, there are a lot of expenses and government oversight challenges to deal with.

Here are the main categories of business operation elements for junkyards.

Employees

Everything starts and ends with people working with several kinds of equipment to break a vehicle down into car parts for resale or recycling.

According to salaryexpert.com, the average wage for junkyard workers is around $23.00 per hour.

Junkyard employees must also operate several different kinds of equipment.

While some people may come in with the required skill sets, others may need to be trained in both operation and safety measures.

Depending on the job description, training costs may be high.

According to totalequipmenttraining.com, it costs $4,000 to $20,000 to train employees for heavy equipment operation alone. This covers equipment like forklifts and backhoes.

Additional training programs will be required for other kinds of equipment. Each training program must also include environmental precautions and effective observance of OSHA safety regulations.

Employee related expenses don’t end there because the rate of injury in a junkyard tends to be high.

According to OSHA’s Guidance for the Identification and Control of Safety and Health Hazards in Metal Scrap Recycling, there are several hazards associated with metal recycling.

These include:

  • inhalation of dust or fumes from metals undergoing processing.
  • Exposure to hazardous liquid chemicals
  • exposure to chemicals or other substances used to process the metals or other parts of the vehicle
  • exposure to high decibel noises and vision damaging lights (ex. from cutting torches).
  • General injuries associated with forklifts, conveyor belts, torch cutters, and other equipment found in the junkyard and used during normal business operations.

Insurance

An average junkyard must carry several kinds of insurance that include:

  • property and building insurance
  • equipment insurance to cover repairs or extended warranty services
  • employee health insurance and worker’s compensation insurance
  • theft insurance
  • professional/malpractice insurance to cover liabilities and manage potential lawsuits

Let’s have a look at the phases of a typical vehicle intake to see what expenses and risks are involved.

Locality, age of the equipment, depreciation, and labor costs vary from one locality and business to another.

Economic trends can also have a huge impact on expenses. Storage containers can easily double or triple in price during periods of inflation.

Vehicle Collection and Transport

During collection and transport, the company doing the towing is responsible for making sure that hazardous materials from the vehicle remain isolated.

This includes hazardous liquids and other debris that may no longer be secure within the vehicle’s structure.

Once the vehicle reaches the junkyard, the business must also ensure that no hazardous substance makes its way into the water, soil, or air.

Vehicle Evaluation, Pre-treatment and Storage

While the vehicle is being taken apart, it must be stored in a way that doesn’t pose a hazard to others.

This stage includes:

  • removing fuel, oils, coolant, and other liquids that may leak while the vehicle is being stored or taken apart.
  • Removing the battery, tires, hoses, and fuel tank.
  • Removal of vehicle parts external to the engine and transmission. This includes the starter, alternator, distributor, other motors, radiator, and glass.
  • Removal of the engine and transmission
  • Removal of the drivetrain.

As the vehicle parts are removed, their condition and resale value are evaluated. If the item is in usable condition, it is put into inventory and made available for sale to consumers.

Expenses in this category include:

  • All of the necessary permits and observation of zoning laws.
  • Security and surveillance.
  • Storage drums and other containers for keeping materials safe before they are sold of or disposed of in some other way.
  • Storage of vehicle parts in a way that they can easily be found when a customer is ready to buy.
  • Rent, mortgage, or other payment associated with land and buildings used to store the vehicles and car parts.
  • Advertising and inventory control for vehicle parts ready to sell to consumers.

Breaking and Separating

This is where the bulk of the equipment and employment expenses come in.

Depending on the number of machines purchased, and their quality, total cost can range from $200 to over $250,000 dollars.

Here are the most common pieces of equipment in a junkyard and their approximate purchase cost. Fuel and electricity costs can be very high or low depending on the capacity of the machine, efficiency, and inflation rates.

  • Cutting Torches (Gas and Non-Gas) – $200 to $500 plus fuel replenishment
  • Forklift – $20,000 to $50,000 depending on capacity and age of the equipment plus fuel (usually LPG).
  • backhoes – $15,000 to $80,000 plus diesel fuel.
  • Furnace – $10,000 for a small furnace. Rotary furnaces can cost $70,000 and up.
  • Crusher – $45,000 and up for used equipment. Uses diesel for fuel.
  • Shredders – $10,000 to $50,000.
  • Wrecking Ball – $7500 and up depending on weight.
  • conveyor belt systems – $1500 and up depending on size of the system and capacity.
  • Scrap Magnet – $20,000 to $80,000
  • Crane – $5,000 for truck mounted units. $25,000 and up for standalone cranes.
  • Hazardous material containers – Hazmat storage drums and other containers can cost several thousands dollars per unit.

They may also require dedicated buildings or sheds that can also cost several thousand dollars per unit.

Customer Fulfillment

Once an auto part is ordered and paid for, the junkyard has to find a way to get it to the buyer.

Small car parts may ship by mail or some other courier service. Mechanics and other time-sensitive buyers may request overnight delivery.

Heavier car parts may be shipped by specialized freight carriers.

Metal that has been shredded, compacted, or melted down may ship by train or other heavy freight carriers.

Expenses for shipping can range from $10.00 to thousands of dollars. Shipping and handling costs are usually passed along to the customer.

The actual costs shift based on cost of fuel for the carrier and other elements of their operations.

How did Junkyards operate in the 20th Century? 

Over the last 120 years, there hasn’t been a lot of change in how junkyards operate.

The processes have always involved the careful stripping of usable car and truck parts while dealing with hazardous materials.

There has been a shift away from manually operated equipment to machines that have some form of computer guidance.

As robots and other AI devices continue to increase in capacity, they are also being used more in junkyards.

Consider engine processing:

  • In the mid-1900’s, it would have taken one or more employees to remove an engine or put it on a conveyor belt.
  • Near the end of the decade, a single operator might use a computer to direct a machine arm to do actual lifting.
  • Today, a robot may be pre-programmed to carry out the entire process from start to finish, including directing other machines.

How do Junkyards use the Internet in 21th Century?

Junkyards use the internet for 6 main purposes:

  • Advertising – Junkyards may use everything dedicated websites to social media to attract customers looking for vehicle parts.
  • Mechanic Interface – When mechanics need car parts, they can search the junkyard database and receive a price in seconds.

The mechanic offers new vs used prices to their customers.
When the mechanic’s customer chooses used car parts, the mechanic buys from the junkyard.


Sometimes used car parts are also offered by auto part stores and also dealerships that repair vehicles.


All of these businesses have database links into the junkyard inventory to see what is available and how long it will take to ship.

  • Inventory Valuation – The value of specific car and truck parts changes with customer demand. These trends can change from day to day or over time. Junkyards use online databases to evaluate these trends and maximize profit.
  • Networking – Increasingly, junkyards are collaborating so that they can purchase car parts from each other and resell to customers.

For example, if a junkyard in Virginia doesn’t have a car part, they may be able to look in the directory and purchase an available car part in New Mexico.

  • Human resources, training, and compliance management – this usage covers everything from online payroll services to paying taxes, online training/refresher courses for employees, and managing government compliance reporting.
  • Keeping Up with Industry Trends – This is a rapidly changing industry where it is important to keep up with technology changes and practice modifications.

Overall, there is an interest in finding more efficient operation methods and equipment.

Do Junkyards tow vehicles to the wrecking area?

This depends on the condition of the vehicle. At the time of sale, the junkyard will require the vehicle to be driven to the junkyard if it is possible.

Most junkyards will only retrieve the vehicle if it can’t be driven safely or legally put on the road.

Why do junkyards have a warehouse?

Junkyards have warehouses so that they can store valuable truck and car  parts in a place where they won’t be damaged.

This includes enclosing the vehicle parts in a facility where they can’t be easily stolen.

The warehouse also serves as a place where vehicle parts can be easily categorized and retrieved when needed.

What car parts are valuable to junkyards?

The most valuable car parts to junkyards are ones that can be resold.

Demand for auto parts changes based on which vehicles are most popular and might be in need of repair.

Here are some truck and car parts that are currently in high demand. Vehicle parts that are exclusive to internal combustion engines may become less valuable as car fleets shift to EV s.

  • Engine and Transmission – The heart of the vehicle that propels it.
  • Computers and electronics – This covers everything from GPS systems, security modules, and engine control modules to custom entertainment systems.
  • Exterior Vehicle Parts – Fenders, Doors, Mirrors, Tailgates – Anything that might be damaged in a fender bender or other damage scenario such as being hit by a shopping cart.
  • Exhaust System Parts – The catalytic converter is the most valuable exhaust system part. It puts unburned fuel back into the engine and also neutralizes some air pollutants.
  • Tires and Rims – Essential for moving the vehicle and controlling its direction.

How do Junkyards sell old car items?

The process for selling old car items starts with evaluating each auto part as it is removed from the vehicle and made ready for resale.

This includes cleaning oils and other lubricants from the car part, assigning an inventory tag, and putting it in a set location.

A price is set based on the condition of the item and its current market value.

Market value, in turn, depends on how popular the vehicle is and how likely it is people will be looking for truck or car parts.

The value of the vehicle parts placed into inventory will change over time.

Many junkyards today use online database tools to find out about shifts in car part values. From there, the update according to current demand values.

There are three life-stages of car part valuation:

  • When vehicles are new, it is harder to find second-hand or cheaper car parts. Junkyard car parts will also be more expensive, but less than new ones from the dealer.
  • As second hand car parts become more available, their value will drop. Likewise, junkyard offerings will also cost less.
  • As a vehicle ages out of the popular fleet, the value of the car parts may or may not continue to go down.
    Some cars and trucks may have appeal to collectors or reach antique status.
    Those truck or car parts may become very expensive because they are rare and in demand by a specialized group of customers.
What kinds of car items do Junkyards sell?

Junkyards sell any kind of car part as long as it is in a condition that can be used.

Here are the main systems in a car and what you might find in a junkyard:

  • Electrical – wire harness, security components, engine control modules, entertainment system, battery, alternator, distributor, light bulbs, fuses.
  • Drivetrain and Chassis – Shocks, bearings, transmission, suspension, driveshaft, axles, differential, CV joints.
  • Engine – engine block, valve cover, valves for internal combustion components. EV main propulsion motors.
  • Auxiliary Engine Parts – water pump, oil pump, fuel pump, fuel tank, alternator, starter, emission control parts like the EGR valve, thermostat, radiator, hoses, belts, and other connectors.
  • Entertainment, Security, and Computer Systems – speakers, radio, media players, GPS, satellite tracking, cameras, automated driving modules, cruise control
  • Interior Furnishings – Seats, seatbelts, floor mats, door handles, window controllers, lights, steering wheel, pedals, airbags
  • Braking and Steering – brake master cylinder, calipers, power braking pump, skid controllers, steering pump, steering linkages and components
  • Lubricants and Hydraulic Fluids – motor oil, steering pump fluid, transmission fluid, antifreeze, windshield fluid.
  • Windshields and other Glass – windows, windshield, mirrors.
  • Climate Control – air conditioner, heater, cabin thermostat.
  • Exhaust – manifold, catalytic converter, muffler, tailpipe.
  • External Parts – doors, hoods, other body panels, bumpers, fenders, tailgates, trailer hitch

What tools do Junkyards use?

Here are the most common pieces of equipment in a junkyard and their approximate purchase cost.

Fuel and electricity costs can be very high or low depending on the capacity of the machine, efficiency, and inflation rates.

  • Cutting Torches (Gas and Non-Gas) – used to cut apart metals so they can be distributed for further processing.
  • Forklift – lift heavy items and move them to other locations.
  • Backhoes – pickup and move non-magnetic materials, dig into piles and move from one place to another.
  • Furnace – melt down metals so they can be sold in a more compact and useable form.
  • Crusher – compacts metal and non-metal materials.
  • Shredders – compacts smaller bits of scrap metal.
  • Wrecking Ball – breaks apart large metal and nonmetal conglomerates.
  • conveyor belt systems – moves objects from one region of the junkyard to another on a set path.
  • Crane – lifts large or heavy items from one place to another. Different sized cranes and types are used throughout the junkyard.
  • Scrap Magnet – lifts magnetic materials from piles and moves them to other areas in conjunction with a crane.
  • Hazardous material containers – used to store lubricants, fluids, and other materials that erode or evaporate easily.

Is a Car Crusher the most important machine in a Junkyard?

No.

The car crusher may be one of the more expensive pieces of equipment, but it only serves one specific purpose near the end of the salvage process.

Startup junkyards often don’t buy a car crusher until they are established because they can still store car frames in the yard before crushing them.

Cranes, magnets, conveyor belts, forklifts, and backhoes are more important because they are used at multiple points in the salvage process.

How many Junkyards exist in the US?

According to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, there are approximately 7000 junkyards in the United States.

The biggest and most popular car and truck junkyards in the United States include:

  • French Lake Auto Parts – located in Annandale Minnesota. Aside from being the largest junkyard in the United States, it also covers antique and unusual vehicles.
  • Turner’s Auto Wrecking – located in Fresno, CA. This junkyard is favored by vintage vehicle rebuilders looking for authentic and functioning car parts.
  • CTC Auto Parts – located in Texas. Best for car bodies with minimal rust or other problems. Favored by people looking for vintage car parts.

According to salvage-parts.com, there is a lot of variance in the number of junkyards in each state. Here are 10 to give an approximate range:

  • Arkansas – over 200 junkyards.
  • Louisiana – 78 junkyards.
  • Alabama – almost 200 junkyards.
  • Michigan – also has almost 200 junkyards
  • Vermont – under 25 junkyards across the entire state.
  • California – Over 1200 junkyards
  • Tennessee – over 85 junkyards
  • Connecticut – 73 junkyards
  • New York – Over 500 junkyards
  • Nevada – 76 junkyards

What are Junkyard Statistics?

Junkyard statistics usually reveal environmental and cost savings.

It is difficult, if not impossible to get information on how much each state recycles, and other statistics on their junkyards.

Industry-wise, there are some fascinating junkyard statistics that include:

  • According to ferro.steelmint.com, each year, almost 12 million vehicles are recycled in the USA.
  • Globally, over 25 million tons of different raw materials are recovered and recycled for other purposes.
  • According to utires.com, today, as much as 86% of a vehicle is fully recycled.
  • 95% of vehicles that are no longer driveable are recycled
  • According to sustainability.uci.edu, 14 million tons of steel are recovered from vehicles every year in the United States alone
  • Recycling steel from vehicles uses 74% less energy than mining and manufacturing new steel.
  • 85 million barrels of lubricating oil were recovered from vehicles and cleaned for reuse.
  • Car recycling produces about 25 billion dollars towards the GDP each year. It is the 16th largest industry in the United States.
  • According to junkcarmedics.com, the car recycling industry has recovered over 9000 lbs of mercury and prevented it from getting into the air, water, and soil.
  • Every four tires recycled prevents 323 pounds of CO2 emission. This is the equivalent of not using 18 gallons of gasoline.

Which states in the US have a higher need for Junkyards?

States with the most number of registered cars have the most need for junkyards.

The more cars you have on the road, the greater the risk of accidents or other events that make the vehicle undriveable.

For example, according to statista.com, in 2019, California had the most registered vehicles in the United States at over 14 million vehicles. It also has the most car and truck junkyards in the country.

Texas, Florida, Ohio, and New York also have large numbers of vehicles on the road.

What is the cost of car wrecking to Junkyards?

There are three kinds of costs associated with running a junkyard.

  • First, there is the startup cost.  Between buying land, getting zoning and EPA permits, and obtaining equipment, it can cost well over $500,000.
  • Second, there is the cost of obtaining vehicles.
    According to cashautosalvage.com, junkyards pay anywhere from $100 to $500 per vehicle.


This number can go much lower if the cars are purchased in lots at an auction. According to profitableventure.com, junkyards pay about $195 dollars to acquire and process a ton of steel.

  • Third, there are continuing operation costs. These include the cost of fuel, employees, equipment repair, taxes, advertising, employee training, and other elements of running a business.

Even with a markup of 20 – 50% on directly saleable auto parts, most new junkyards don’t break even until they reach their third year.

How to understand whether your vehicle can be wrecked or not?

Cars and trucks can be sold to a junkyard at any time.

Most people wait until the car has been in an accident and can’t be put back on the road without spending more money than the car is worth.

Other people make a decision when the car breaks down and costs a lot of money to fix.

Some people may also choose to scrap a car when they inherit it and don’t want to deal with the expense of insurance, registration, and maintenance on top of needed repairs.

Regardless of why a car is sold to a junkyard, they all have some common features:

  • The vehicle is “totaled” in the sense that it costs more to fix the vehicle than replace it with the same or different model.
  • There may be a lot of rust and signs of wear on the body that interfere with safe driving
  • Selling or trading a driveable vehicle may still not bring as much cash as selling to a junkyard.
    This trend may increase as EV vehicles make other vehicle types obsolete from a fuel perspective.

How does Insurance know whether a car is totaled or not?

According to tdi.texas.gov, a vehicle is considered “totaled” when it costs more to repair it than replace it with the same model.

Once the insurance carrier is notified of a claim, they will appraise the vehicle’s current condition. This process includes obtaining estimates from mechanics that include cost of auto parts and labor.

This information is compared to the Fair Market Value (FMV) of the vehicle.

According to totallossappraisals.com, each state dictates how insurance carriers assign the total loss threshold. There are two formulas states and insurance carriers use.

Percent of Fair Market Value

If a vehicle costs more than a legislatively determined fair market value, the insurance carrier can total the vehicle instead of pay for repairs.

Let’s say a vehicle has a FMV of 35,000 and it will cost 26,250 or 75% of the fair market value to make the repairs.

States that use the Percent FMV criteria set their own percentages.

For example, Minnesota stands at 70%, while Oregon sits at 80%.

Since 75% is higher than the 70% threshold in Minnesota, the insurance carrier would move to total the vehicle in that state.

If the same car with the same repair costs and FMV occurred in Oregon, the insurance company would pay for the repairs instead.

Total Loss Formula (TLF)

This formula subtracts the salvage value from the Fair Market Value. If the cost of repair is higher, then the car is totaled.

Let’s say a vehicle is worth 45,000, and its salvage value is 10,000.

As long as the repair cost doesn’t exceed 35,000, the insurance carrier usually cannot total the vehicle. This holds true for all states that use the TLF formula.

Factors that Override Standardized Loss Formulas

  • The vehicle is in such bad shape it cannot be repaired to a condition where it is roadworthy.
  • It may take too long to complete the repair. The insurance company must also consider storage fees which accrue at the location where the vehicle is towed.
  • Classic, antique, or other scarce cars. In these cases, the insurance carrier will have to pay because there is value beyond auto parts in the vehicle.
  • Once the vehicle is repaired, it will be worth less than the fair market value.

How to calculate money you can get by Junking a Car?

There are 6 pieces of information you will need in order to estimate how much money you will get for junking a vehicle:

Make and Model of the Vehicle

Cars and trucks vary based on the trade in value and long term viability of the machine. If you don’t know the make and model, it will be impossible to find out the vehicle’s salvage value.

The Salvage Value

This is usually 25% of the current average selling value. Most junkyards and insurance carriers use either Kelly Blue Book or the National Automobile Dealers Association wholesale guide to get the salvage value.

Mileage

Cars with less mileage tend to have auto parts that are in better condition. Junkyards will pay more because they can get more for the individual car parts.

Age of the Vehicle

The scrap value changes a lot over the lifespan of the car.

The first three years of a car’s lifespan are usually its best. After that, the depreciation in value speeds up.

Once a car reaches 20 years, it is considered a classic. From 20 to 40 years, the car scrap value goes up. The more popular the car is with vintage collectors, the more valuable the scrap value.

A car that is 30 years old is considered a vintage vehicle. At this point, the scrap value increases rapidly.

Condition of the Vehicle

A car with very little rust or other signs of damage will fetch a higher scrap value than one with a lot of dings and dents.

Driveable cars are also worth more than ones that can’t be put back on the road.

Completeness of the vehicle is also part of its condition. Regardless of age, if it has already been stripped of the tires, battery, or other auto parts, it will have a lower scrap value.

Locality of the Vehicle

Junkyards also use their cost per ton of auto salvage material as part of the offer. This cost varies from state to state.

According to junkcarsus.com, junkyards in Wisconsin may pay as little as $155.00 per ton of auto salvage material. Junkyards in Iowa may pay $295.00 or more.

Parting with a damaged or non-functional vehicle can be a traumatic experience.  Junkyards are designed to make this process as simple as possible. 

Junkyards also act as a processing bridge where metal and other valuable materials can be recovered and used for other purposes.

Ready to sell your junk car?