Sell My Junk Car for $500 Cash - It's Hard to Get Cash for Junk Car From Local Junk Car Buyers Currently
If you have an old car that has seen better days, is no longer reliable, and is not worth fixing, the traditional used car market is not a practical option. Your untrustworthy vehicle is worth very little, and it will not even appeal to someone looking for very basic transportation. What can you do to get $500 cash for your car? Several years ago, the easy way to get at least $500 (and probably more) was to junk your car.
Back then, the value of the metals in it, along with its reusable parts, would provide you with at least $500 for your junk car. It was a win-win: you got paid well, some of its parts would help other old cars, and the scrap metal would be recycled to make new cars and other manufactured items. It was all good.
Fast forward to today. Plummeting metals prices around the globe have greatly reduced the value of the average scrap car. Today, you will be lucky to get even halfway to that mythical $500 number. It’s sad, but true.
What has caused this unfortunate state of affairs? It’s a complex tale of supply and demand, the economic conditions in major trading nations, and the complicated international trade policies that have affected the production, sales, and purchases of these commodities.
Let’s see how these factors have affected what your vehicles worth, along with the best way to get the most money for your junk car, whatever the state of raw material prices happens to be.
Junk My Car for $500 Cash? Is it Possible in 2019?
Not long ago, it wasn't uncommon to get anywhere from $500 to even up to a couple of thousand dollars for a junk car just because of its value in scrap metal. In fact, the average car these days contains about 2,000 pounds of steel and the typical truck about 3,000 pounds of steel. This isn't including the 300 pounds in aluminum too.
Unfortunately, these days, scrap metal's value has plummeted and so too has the price for the average junk car or truck. Not long ago, manufacturers were paying close to $500 for a ton of steel. Today? About $50. As a result, you can't expect to make bank for your old clunker. But at the same time, this doesn't mean that turning it in for cash to a junkyard still isn't a viable and lucrative option under the right circumstances.
Let’s go back to the glory days of 2014, when scrap steel was going for $400 per ton. Getting plenty of cash for your car was routine. You could easily get $500 when you sold your junk car for cash.
But then…something happened. By summertime, the price had dropped by about $50. Prices dropped another $50 during the fall. The biggest shock was waiting right around the corner.
During February 2015, the price fell by $80. In one month! People still wanted at least $500 cash for junk cars, but the market said, “No way!”
From that low commodity steel scrap price of around $175/ton in Feb of 2015, prices spiked up to $315 by May of 2016, dropped back to almost $205 in September of 2016, worked their way back to over $380 by March of 2018, and fell back to $233 by October of 2019. This price action explains why junk car prices are so much lower than they were just five years ago! And these are the prices that that the scrapyards sell their steel for – after their costs to process your car are added, you will get less than that.
If you also factor in the price of towing you'll see it gets tough to pay $500 cash for junk cars.
Junk Car Buyers Can't Pay $500 Cash for Junk Cars Due to Metal Markets
So there you have it. If the value of the metals in your vehicle is much lower than they have been in years, you won’t get nearly the value for it that you would have back in 2014, or during the market’s recent peaks in May of 2016 and March of 2018. It’s a direct connection, and it affects what everyone at every step of the scrap metal supply chain is both willing and able to pay for the metal.
Auto salvage yards really want to give you an excellent price for your vehicle. But they simply can’t give you more than they can sell it for. That’s a sure way for them to go out of business!
So why has the value of scrap metal plummeted over the years, especially when it was so lucrative in 2012 and then subsequent years of 2014 and 2015?
Like we said above, it's all about supply and demand. When manufacturing is booming and manufacturers from all over the world are looking for the likes of steel and aluminum that they can reuse, there's obviously higher demand for scrap.
That's not to say that manufacturing isn't going well right now, because it is. The big problem is that there's too much scrap metal for the taking, so any junk car isn't going to be valued very highly because of the expansive supply that's already available.
How could this happen? A lot of it has to do with what has been happening over in China. Here are the highlights:
- China’s economy slows down, reducing its demand for scrap metal, causing prices to drop.
- China’s steel industry maintains its high production levels, selling its cheap steel into other world markets to make up for reduced Chinese market sales.
- These lower finished steel prices further depress the prices of steel scrap worldwide.
- China places quotas on imports of scrap metal, reducing their purchases even more, with the objective of banning all scrap imports by 2021.
- This all adds up to a worldwide glut of scrap metal.
- Way too much supply + greatly reduced demand = very low scrap prices!
Now that you have some idea of the international forces that are pushing down scrap metal prices, let’s focus on some things you can do to get the most money for your junk car today.
Junk My Car for It’s Scrap Value
While there is some variability in the process, you can get a ballpark idea of what your car is worth, purely as scrap. A large part of this relates to how much your car weighs. Subcompact cars will weigh the least, while full-size pickups and SUVs will weigh the most. Here are some guidelines:
- Search for your car’s curb weight – around 2/3 of that will be iron and steel
- Add 300 lbs. of aluminum
- Add the value of the catalytic convertor
Using the current market prices for these items, you can get an approximate value for your car’s scrap metal content. Remember that these are post-processing prices, so you will not get that much for your unprocessed vehicle. It takes time and some complex heavy equipment to break down and separate your car into chunks of reusable metal, and that costs the scrapyard money.
How To Get The Most Money Possible For My Junk Car
First, let us tell you this will require some elbow grease. If you aren’t able or willing to remove some of the car parts then you can just skip to the next section.
How can you get top dollar for your junk car? This largely depends on the type of car that you have and how much reusable metal that it offers to a junkyard.
For instance, if your driving a GMC Sierra, the average price is about $500. If you have a GMC Yukon, you might get about $600 for it. These are two of the vehicles that fetch the most for scrap metals, as they have a slew of reusable materials under their hood.
However, if your junk car is a Ford Contour or a Ford Escort, you'll be lucky to bank $90 for your scrap vehicle. As you can see, generally the larger your vehicle is (i.e., trucks, vans), you'll net more for it than if it were small (i.e., compact sedan).
Remove Important Car Parts to Sell a Junk Car for $500 in 2019
Even if your car is not in running condition, it may still have value beyond its scrap metal content. Is your car in reasonable cosmetic condition? Is it a popular model that has sold in significant quantities? Are most of the vehicles like it still on the road? If you can answer “yes” to these three questions, then your car’s reusable body, interior, and mechanical parts are likely to be in demand from automotive recyclers. Shop your car to various recyclers in your area to see who will give you the best offer.
If you have the time, the ability, and the inclination to be your own automotive recycler, you can make some good money by selling your car’s more valuable components yourself, maybe even up to $500 or more. These can include:
- Tires with plenty of tread left (replace with bald used tires)
- Alloy wheels (replace with cheap used rims)
- Battery (sell if it’s fairly new, recycle if it’s old)
- Catalytic converter
- A/C compressor
- Electronics of value (stereo systems, GPS)
- Windshield and other glass
- Doors, hood, and trunk lid/rear hatch/tailgate
- Headlight and taillight assemblies
After removing these items from your vehicle, store them in a secure location. Next, you will need to price everything before posting it all for sale on eBay and/or Craigslist. The scrap metal hulk that’s left can be sold to Junk Car Medics® or a local scrapyard.
Please note: Junk Car Medics buys whole cars. If they are damaged it’s fine but if they are stripped of all the parts then most of our junk car buyers will not want them.
How to Sell My Junk Car for Top Dollar, Fast
If you have come to a decision that your best option is to sell your junk car for its scrap metal value, here are some tips on getting the best payout:
The best answer, once again, is Junk Car Medics®. We have made selling cars quick and easy. We pride ourselves on our excellent offers, even with the current state of low scrap metal prices, and you receive cash in your hand when we pick up your old car. It couldn’t be easier.
If it is in running condition, try selling it as a used car
There’s no doubt about it – a car that runs is always more than a comparable vehicle that doesn’t. And there are lots of “cash for cars” buyers out there, looking for cars that will move under their own power. These buyers range from large companies like CarMax, to small operators who park brightly colored cars on the street with “Cash For Your Car, Call Us Now!” painted on them. Even Junk Car Medics® is happy to buy your car in running condition – and we will give you a great price for it!
Find out where else to sell a junk car & get various quotes.
Do an online search for “sell my junk car.” This will give you plenty of local sources to start with. Check for customer ratings on sites like Yelp, which can help you find the places you would prefer to deal with. Contact auto junkyards and auto salvage yards in your and get estimates on the best price they would give you for the scrap metal value (and resellable parts, if any) in junk car. Email them photos of your vehicle, so they can see it and give you an accurate quote.
Negotiate your best possible deal
Remember that the places you are calling buy many junk cars, day in and day out. Their first price may be a lowball – you don’t have to accept it. Use the information about your car to negotiate a better price. Focus on its condition (if decent), and any parts that could be resold for additional profit. You may be able to get more for your car this way. Make sure that they will take your car as it sits, without the need for you to do any additional work on or dismantling of it. Make sure that any offered price includes a tow truck for the pickup, especially if your car isn’t driveable.
Shop around, scrap car prices will vary
We can’t emphasize this enough – shop, shop, and then shop some more! There can be huge differences in what various cash for junk cars buyers will offer you, so don’t stop after one or two. And remember to include Junk Car Medics® on your list – our prices are excellent, and our service can’t be beat!
Track metal prices – if you can wait
Scrap metal prices go up and down. It’s a fact of junk car life. If you are one of those people who likes to “sell high,” you don’t need the money from your junk car immediately, and you have a place to store the vehicle, this might work for you. Just don’t wait too long – a big pile of rust is not worth much!
You can keep an eye on the daily price fluctuations of the scrap metal market, selling your junk car when the prices increase to a level you are satisfied with and maybe you can get $500 in the future for your junk car. Junk Car Medics® also tracks scrap prices, and that means we will give you more for your automobile when prices go up!
Can I sell my car without a title?
It’s one of the most common questions that we’re asked on a day-in, day-out basis. And our answer is simple: Yes, it’s possible — but it’s always better to just have the title on hand.
Who buys junk cars near me? We buy junk cars for cash
Have a junk car and don’t know what to do with it? Don’t leave it sitting around your property, give us junk car buyers a call and we’ll be happy to make a deal with you to take it off your hands. As one of the most reputable companies that buy junk cars all over the country, we’re always happy to pay market prices for scrap metal.
How to get cash for junk cars near me?
Now that you know a little bit about how to sell a junk vehicle for $500 take a moment to learn how exactly to sell a junk car to a junkyard near you. Junkyards also buy damaged cars and junkers.
How It Works – Junk Car Medics Offers Free Pick Up
When you get a no hassle offer from Junk Car Medics®, it reflects your car’s value in the cash for cars marketplace at that point in time. Here are the factors that go into our offer for your junk car when we buy cars:
The weight of the scrap metal in your vehicle
Generally speaking, the larger and heavier that your vehicle is, the more scrap metal it contains. The actual value of that scrap metal is determined by the current market prices of the iron, steel, aluminum, and other reclaimable metals in it. As a result, a bigger vehicle is usually worth more as scrap than a smaller one, even when scrap metal prices are low.
The value and demand for any reusable parts on your vehicle
If your car has parts in good condition that could be resold to other owners of your specific vehicle, or the repair shops that fix them, you could get some extra money for your junk car. But for this to work, there must be a market demand for these parts. This usually means there are currently large quantities of your model currently on the road.
If your car is very old (meaning most of them have been taken off the road already), or it did not sell in large numbers (meaning the demand for parts is low), its parts may not have much value, even if they are in good condition. The one possible exception is if your car has collector value – if so, you may be able to sell your car to a collector for parts.
Get a no hassle instant offer with free towing / junk car removal and top dollar offers to sell my junk car now. Scroll up to get a free quote from our cash for car removal service using our online form.