What is the value of my junk car?
Written by : Ray Pierce
Last Updated: 01/15/2024

What is the Value of My Junk Car? Scrap Car Prices [2024]

The value of junk cars is typically between $100-$1,000. In most situations, expect between 20-40% of your car’s resale value when you scrap it. It’s dependent on several factors such as make, model, age, condition, mileage, and location.
Learn more below as we dive into what exactly we take into consideration to determine the value of your junk car and how you can get the best price.

Finding the value of a junk car

Junk cars have value, which is evaluated based on factors like size, weight, and current market price.
If you want to find out how much your junk car is worth right now, fill out our instant offer form online and in under 2 minutes you’ll find out the market value of your junk car now.


What Is My Junk Car Worth?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “what is my junk car worth?” First and foremost, the current prices of scrap metal in the marketplace usually determine the scrap value of a car.

Junk Car in a yard

If your junk car has no usable parts, then it will be recycled. You’ll get paid for the weight of the metals in your car. The largest part of your car is made of steel. The amount of steel on an average vehicle ranges anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 pounds. The total weight of the vehicles depends on several factors.

In addition to steel, today’s vehicle also has copper and aluminum but in small quantities. An average vehicle has between 200-300 pounds of aluminum, copper is available in a smaller amount. You can probably make a little more money if you can separate the metals and sell them separately.

A recent report on scrap prices found that the ongoing rate of scrap steel is valued at $208 per ton. That’s about $0.10 per pound.

The current rate is $203 per ton or $0.10 per pound. So you can evaluate your car through its weight. The price of a scrap car is between $150-$300 for medium-sized cars.

Smaller cars could cost as low as $100. You might see a larger truck or SUV between $250-$450. Let’s further explore how we calculate these numbers.

How does a Scrap Car Value Calculator Work?

We calculated the prices above based on the current prices of pure scraps. You can evaluate your car by multiplying its weight by the current market price of scrap cars. For instance, your car may have scrap steel of 2,000 pounds, aluminum of 200 pounds, and copper of 30 pounds.

Since aluminum is about $0.50 per pound and copper is about $1.00 per pound, your midsize car can still be valued at $350. Keep in mind that not all junkyards will have the time to dismantle the parts like that. So you can sell off usable parts of your car or part it out on your own. Parts like catalytic converters can rake in a few more hundred dollars if they can be removed because they are expensive.

You can receive up to 40% of the value of your junk car’s part from a salvage yard. Keep in mind that the longer a car stays without sales the less its value. The useful parts may rust or become useless and lose value. So if you want to get the best deal for your vehicle, sell them sooner.

If the wheels on your vehicle are still good enough for use, you can sell them for a few hundred dollars. Other important parts of a car are the rims, electric motors, car batteries, alternators, radiators, and catalytic converters. A properly parted out car can rake in $1,000 or even more. But you need to spare some time and also know how to remove these parts. A scrap car value calculator can also help. If you’re wondering how much is my junk car worth, click the link below to find out.


 How Does the Price of Scrap Metal Affect Junk Car Prices

Scrap cars at a yard

Scrap cars are typically made up of metal, they have a related price. Therefore when the price of scrap metal drops, the price of scrap cars automatically drops. On a similar note, when scrap metal prices increase, scrap car prices also increase.

As aforementioned, the price of scrap plays a major role in the price of junk cars. You may be wondering,  “how much does my scrap car worth” or “how much can I get from my scrap car.”

Well, it comes down to how scrap is valued in the current market. The price of scrap metal has dropped drastically over the past years, and this is caused by many factors.

First off, some countries produce their steel, and they no longer depend on American steel like before. Just like in the economic world, when demand reduces, the price drops.

The case is not exceptional with scrap car prices which is why their prices are lower than in the past.

When markets are at an all-time low, it is your choice to decide if you’ll wait till the price goes up again or not. Waiting can eventually reduce your car’s value especially if you’re selling usable parts. But if you want to sell the parts and the price goes up, you could make more money.

Does the price of scrap change?

Scrap prices are just like the stock market prices; they change every day. You may wonder if the price of scraps ever changes or how often it changes. There’s no definite answer to this.

However, the daily price changes may only be by a few cents. The most common occurrence is to experience weekly changes in price. The majority of scrap buyers prefer to update their buyer’s prices weekly. But before that, they usually study the changes in the global market process for some days before they set their price accordingly. Overall, weekly changes are still usually small.

Some buyers only update their car prices per ton every month. Because price changes in the scrap markets are relatively small,  they resolve to monthly updates. But today, the monthly update may not be the best idea because of the volatility of today’s market.

What factors affect the value of junk cars?

Let’s consider a few factors that can influence the value of a junk car.

Type of car

Remember that the first information a scrap buyer will request is the type of car you want to sell. They’ll first request to know the make and model of the car before negotiations. Scrap buyers ask this question because there’s a specific type of car they prefer to buy. Is your vehicle’s part hot in the demand market? You’ll probably get a great offer.

Car’s condition

The condition of a car is another important factor. Keep in mind that the condition of your vehicle will determine what your buyer will use it for. Is the car good enough to be stripped and sold? Or will the buyer just convert the car into scrap and resell it?

Note that even if your car does not operate easily, some important parts may still be in decent working condition which means they’re still valuable to the buyer. For example, damaged cars with new doors will be valuable to a buyer who needs a new door. Conversely, if your junk car is rusty or has flood or fire damage, you may not expect a really good deal.

Car’s age

A junk car buyer may also request information about your car’s manufacture year. Hence, your car’s age will also play a crucial role in the price. If you’re not sure of the year your vehicle was manufactured, try to find out before you get in touch with a scrap car buyer.


This may sound unbelievable, but your location plays an important role in how much you’ll get paid for your junk car. For instance, proximity to a salvage yard or a junkyard, and the scrap’s regional price will play an important role in the price of your junk car.

Scrapping your vehicle for more profit

It’s interesting to know that you can get paid more than the typical per-pound rate if the important components of your car are in good condition. For instance, if the engine and the transmission shifts are in good condition,  expect more cases for your vehicle.

To be able to get the best offer for your scrap vehicle or junk cars, go to a junkyard or scrap yard selling parts of a used car. Then, ensure that the car is in a presentable condition – charge your batteries, change the oils, etc.

Other important factors that affect scrap car prices

The scrap value of your car depends on several factors. We give you a breakdown of the different factors that affect the scrap value of your car below.
Besides the weight of your car, current market price, age, location, etc, other factors affect the value of your junk vehicle. They include:

Dismantling the vehicle

To remove, dismantle, crush, and take off the usable parts of your car is a lot of hard work. So cash for cash business owners will need to pay the staffs who take off this hectic work.

Document and paperwork

Before a car can be scrapped, certain paperwork must be completed and all necessary documents filled out. In addition, there’s also the process of title transference.


Although junk car buyers offer free towing, they also pay a towing service to get your car towed from your location to their location.

Tow driver’s fee

Apart from the towing cost, the tow driver will be compensated too. Whether it’s an hourly rate or a one-time fee, the driver will also get paid for transporting the car from one location to another.

Fuel cost

Besides the towing fee, the tow driver will also have to pay for gas to transport the junk car to its final destination.

All of the above factors affect the junk car value of your vehicle.

 How to Get the Best Price for Your Salvage Car?

In order to get the best price for your salvage car, you can always go to a junkyard or auto salvage yard that specializes in buying cars. Many times, these yards use average scrap values to determine how much your car is worth. If the market is strong, then the price for junk cars will be high. As mentioned earlier, depending on several factors, like how much your car weights, scrapping your car will get the most value for your.
Here are a couple of steps to get top dollar for your car:

  1. Call a few companies. Calling at least 3 companies to junk your car is smart as it gets you a few prices to compare.
  2. Negotiate. Ask for more money, don’t be afraid to walk away if you’re not happy with the offer for your car. Use other companies as leverage.
  3. Ensure you disclose all the details so that they can’t curbside renegotiate.
  4. Ask questions. Find out how they calculate the scrap value of your car. How did they come up with the value of a scrap car? How much your car weights will also affect the price.

Value of my junk car? – Final thoughts

Zippy Cash for Cars makes the process of selling a junk, dented, damaged, and unwanted car easy with an instant quote. You don’t have to go through that footwork or switch from one dealer with a lowballing offer. We’re the top junk car buyers in the US.

Of course, you can sell your vehicle online. But you have to go through the hassles of uploading photos of your car, writing a description, etc. Is it worth it? Most online car-selling marketplaces will charge a fee whether or not you sell your vehicle. So where do you sell junk cars? To a Junk car buyer. You don’t have to go through the stress of creating ads, writing descriptions, and marketing them online. There’s the risk of dealing with a potential scammer.

Zippy Cash for Cars purchases all types of cars, including junk, damaged, or old cars. We’re in the business of removing junk cars from customers’ hands in exchange for money. We typically pick up within 24-48 hours and pay on the spot. Our goal is to provide a fast, safe, and smooth service for our customers. Find out how much your junk car is worth today and sell your car to one of the nation’s leading junk car buyers. We offer competitive junk car prices in your city. We’ll beat the average price and even current scrap metal prices. Don’t waste time with a scrap yard – we buy all types of junk vehicles. Get an instant offer on your car today to find out the current market value. If you use our scrap car value calculator, you’ll know within minutes how much the value of your vehicle is worth? We will buy junk cars of all types so sell your junk car now!

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Written by : Ray Pierce

Ray Pierce founded Zippy Cash for Cars in 2001 and has been in the automotive industry buying cars ever since. Starting off with 2 employees, Ray is proud to now have over 50 employees buying cars coast to coast.