The biggest question we get asked at Junk Car Medics when we buy scrap cars is how much junk cars are worth. This is also the biggest misconception for newcomers to our industry.
Everyone thinks they can junk a car for $500.
The fact is, while that may be possible for some cars, that generally isn't the case.
So we decided to take a deep dive at the vehicles we junk and how much they are worth on average.
This leads us to our biggest finding:
The value and how much a junk car is worth ranges between $130 and $370 on average with the average price of junk cars being $196.37.
We found this based on analyzing over 30,000 vehicles that we junked in 2020 and into 2021 and narrowed it down to the top 10 most commonly junked cars.
We narrowed it down to the 10 most common junk cars because we wanted to get what we view to be accurate junk car prices on average.
Outside of the top 10, we saw some random variables that start to skew the numbers so we wanted to exclude them.
This list includes cars that were picked up in cities nationwide.
Average Junk Car Prices For 10 Most Common Junk Cars in 2020
|Scrap Car||Average Price|
|1. 2005 Nissan Altima||$199.33|
|2. 2001 Honda Accord||$172.17|
|3. 1998 Honda Accord||$129.20|
|4. 1999 Honda Accord||$149.97|
|5. 2006 Chevrolet Impala||$188.87|
|6. 2002 Honda Accord||$191.03|
|7. 2000 Honda Accord||$171.03|
|8. 2006 Nissan Altima||$191.00|
|9. 2005 Honda Civic||$371.64|
|10. 2001 Honda Civic||$199.45|
- The average junk car price is $196.37
- The average price for junk cars ranges from $129.20 and $371.64.
- The average life span of a vehicle is 18 years
- The only cars to make it to 20 years of age are Honda Accords
- 7 out of 10 most common junk cars are Honda's
- The 10 most common junk cars are all midsize or compact sedans.
As you can see, this list is dominated by Honda, which has seven cars in the Top 10 - five Accords and two Civics. Nissan follows with two Altimas, plus a lone Chevrolet Impala makes ten.
The average junk car prices will give you a good idea of what the average junk car is worth in today's market.
Most junk cars are worth between roughly $130.00 and $200.00. And the average price paid for junk cars is $196.37.
That 2005 Honda Civic is an outlier at an average of $371.64 - more on that later.
Average Junk Car Prices in Popular Cities
Let's take a look at how much junk cars are worth on average in cities across America. We have listed the prices from highest amount paid to the lowest:
1st Place: 2005 Nissan Altima
|2005 Nissan Altima||$199.33 Average|
2nd Place: 2001 Honda Accord
Chicago tops the list again for the 2001 Accord, with Houston close behind. Lowest bidders were L.A. and San Fran.
|2001 Honda Accord||$172.71 Average|
3rd Place: 1998 Honda Accord
Tampa, Phoenix, and Dallas top the charts for the 1998 Accord, while the four California cities are at the bottom. Starting to see a pattern here?
|1998 Honda Accord||$129.20 Average|
4th Place: 1999 Honda Accord
The 1999 Accord did best in Philly and Orlando, with L.A. and Vegas bringing up the rear.
|1999 Honda Accord||$149.97 Average|
5th Place: 2006 Chevrolet Impala
Chicago and Philly are in the lead once again for the 2006 Impala, while Fort Wayne and Memphis are in the last spots. It also looks like not many Impalas ended up in California - there are not many being scrapped in CA cities!
|2006 Chevrolet Impala||$188.87 Average|
6th Place: 2002 Honda Accord
The 2002 Accord is a winner in San Jose and Philly, with L.A., Vegas, and Columbus in the last three positions.
|2002 Honda Accord||$191.03 Average|
7th Place: 2000 Honda Accord
Philly and Chi-town take the top two spots for the Y2K Accord. Vegas and San Jose are at the bottom of the list.
|2000 Honda Accord||$171.03 Average|
8th Place: 2006 Nissan Altima
Chicago and Miami come out on top for the 2006 Altima, with Memphis placing last by a very large margin.
|2006 Nissan Altima||$191.00 Average|
9th Place: 2005 Honda Civic
Chicago grabs the brass ring once again, followed by Phoenix and Miami. Austin trails by a large amount, claiming last place. You may have noticed that the prices for the 2005 Civic are much higher than all the others in our Top 10 Scrap Cars list. This could be because the 2005 was the last year of this Civic generation, making it the youngest, most likely to be in better condition, with lower mileage and parts compatibility that goes back to the 2001 Civic.
|2005 Honda Civic||$371.64 Average|
10th Place: 2001 Honda Civic
Troy takes the top spot for the 2001 Civic, but Chicago's right there in second place! Saint Paul comes in last with a very low price.
|2001 Honda Civic||$199.45 Average|
What do these prices really mean?
Just as scrap metal prices rise and fall on world markets, there are also wide variations between markets within the US. At any given time, your scrap car will be worth more in some places and less in others. It's an issue of supply and demand, as well as prices of the individual metals that make up your car, truck, or SUV. These prices are a snapshot in time, subject to change.
Should I take my scrap car to Chicago or Philadelphia and sell it there?
Unless you live very close, absolutely not! For one thing, the cost of transporting it there will eat up any extra money you would get for it - especially if it is not currently in running condition. Sorry about that, Las Vegas residents!
In addition, conditions in each individual market are subject to change, which could make these prices ancient history in a short period of time. Bottom line, scrap car prices are subject to the general pricing trends in your local market. That said, this should not stop you from shopping your scrap car to as many local sources as you can, to get the best price available to you.
Shouldn't these scrap cars be worth more because so many were sold and parts are in demand?
Well, yes and no. With the large quantities of these cars that were sold, there would appear to be a high demand for reusable body panels, mechanical parts, and other components from these vehicles.
On the other hand, these cars are now as much as 22 years old, compared the 12-year old average age of cars on the road in the US. While many may be still on the road, increasing numbers of them are being "retired" as scrap cars. Their age and mileage make them worth very little, while the high cost of repairing their worn-out major systems makes keeping them running a bad investment.
This could explain why these cars are featured on our Junk Car Medics Top 10 Junk Cars list! It's time to scrap many of these cars!