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Letting go of a vehicle can be challenging but driving a junk car can be dangerous. If your car needs significant repairs, barely runs, or is falling apart, it may be time to sell it to a local junkyard (not to be confused with salvage yard - here's why). Selling junk cars for cash removes a rather large paperweight from your property and puts cash in your hand. Every junk car is worth something, even if it’s not road-ready, but every junk car’s value is different. Knowing how much junkyards pay for vehicles can help you decide whether a sale is right for you.
Trading Cash for Junk Cars: Is it Right for You?
Whether your car sustained considerable damage in an encounter with a careless driver or it’s simply too old to go on, the list of factors that can lead your car to the junker is endless. However, cars are one of the most significant investments that Americans can make. Therefore, it can seem reasonable to hold onto a car and continue a vicious cycle of breakdowns and repairs. Yet holding onto a clunker can endanger your life and the lives of others.
Each year, vehicles make up for over 25 million tons of material that are recycled. Cars are the most recycled product in the world. Material salvaged from old cars in the U.S. and Canada alone helps produce about 13 million new vehicles each year.
If your junk vehicle costs more to repair than what it’s worth, recycling your vehicle may be your only viable option. Find out how much your junk car is worth and then read on to determine how junkyards pay for cars.
6 Factors that Determine How Much Junkyards Pay for Cars
The first factor that goes into determining the price of a junk car is the most basic: what type of car is it? The year, make, and model of the car determine the current market value of the car and its parts. The Kelley Blue Book value of the used car can be helpful, but junk cars are valued differently, particularly if they have a lot of problems that prevent them from running. Junk cars may be worth up to 20 to 40 percent of the car’s used value.
So how does the year/make/model determine the going rate of the car? If the car is still commonly driven, if it’s particularly rare, or if the demand for its parts is high, that car will be valued more highly. If your junker is a common car, like a Nissan Altima, that’s more useful than a Dodge Neon, for example.
The year/make/model are also important because car materials can change a great deal from year to year. Different materials are now more common, such as environmentally friendly plastics. As a result, cars from certain years may contain much less steel and aluminum, which plays a large role in determining the scrap value of the car.
The most significant factor in determining how much salvage yards pay for junk cars is your car’s weight. The weight determines an estimate of the amount of scrap material that can be recycled from your vehicle. The average car, for example, contains 2,400 pounds of steel and 300 pounds of aluminum. If your car is heavier or lighter, that will affect how much it’s worth.
Depending on the make, model, and year of your car, you may be able to access its weight. Here are a few ways that you can find the exact weight of your vehicle.
- Your Car’s Manual: Your car manual provides several specifications for your vehicle and usually includes the car’s weight.
- Inside the Driver’s Side Door: A car’s weight is sometimes displayed on a sticker found inside the driver’s side door of the vehicle.
- Contact Your Vehicle Manufacturer: You can contact your vehicle’s manufacturer with your car’s make, model, and year to determine the car’s weight.
- Using a Car Scale: You can weigh your vehicle at any vehicle scale in your area.
The more your car weighs (i.e. more scrap metal), the more you are likely to receive. Junkyards will buy cars regardless of their condition because they can be recycled. However, the state of your vehicle does have some impact on how much you may receive for your car.
3. Condition of the Vehicle
The condition of the vehicle determines what a buyer will be able to do with it. Will they be able to restore it to working condition and re-sell the car? Will they strip it and sell the spare parts? Or will they turn it into scrap metal and sell that?
If your junk car has just a couple issues that prevent it from running smoothly, you can ask for more cash than if it’s a complete dud, particularly if the current market value of the car model is high. However, the specific condition still plays a role. If the total cost of repairs to get it running again will be very high, then a buyer won’t be willing to pay as much for the car itself.
Along the same lines, if your junk car is a rusted out vehicle that will never make it onto the road again, it will have to be bought for its parts or scrap value, depending on the model.
4. Current Price of Scrap Metal
This factor isn’t one that most regular car owners would think about, but it actually plays a huge role in determining the going rate of a junk car. Even cars that aren’t worth salvaging can be turned into scrap metal, and all that metal can be sold and recycled into new products.
The catch is that the price of scrap metal varies widely from year to year. It’s all based on the supply and demand of steel and aluminum. Unfortunately, current prices of steel have been on the decline since 2014, leading to lower scrap car prices. Steel costs can vary significantly based upon:
- The supply and demand for steel
- Current trade tariffs.
- The world’s economy.
- The current strength of the U.S. dollar.
For example, when supply for metal is high and demand is low, prices will also be low. Prices also vary for the same reasons depending on the local market. For example, steel scrap prices in Florida ranged from $110 to $140 per net ton in 2017.
5. Demand for and Resale of Car Parts
In determining how much junkyards pay for cars, it is important to know that some of your vehicle’s parts may be resold. Parts that are in good condition can be resold for a small profit. Everything from the battery to the tires to the radio can potentially be removed and resold. The market value of those parts is based on how high the demand is. The higher the demand, the higher the value.
If other people with the same car frequently need repairs, demand is high. If your junker is a rare car for which parts are hard to find, demand is high. Conversely, if your car’s parts are not often resold, the car is probably worth less.
Also, certain parts are valued more highly than others, so if your car has working suspension parts, lights and other exterior parts, it’s likely to command a higher value. If, on the other hand, your car is missing parts that have a good resale value, that will lower the going rate.
Unfortunately, most parts of a car cannot be resold. For example, tires are a hassle for salvage yards to dispose of. All tires are disposed of in the same method, regardless of how new the tires are. You may be eligible for a higher payout amount if you have a vehicle that is in good condition or higher demand.
Figuring out the overall market demand for spare parts is also based on a number of other factors, including gasoline prices, the age of the average car and the number of older vehicles in use.
6. Location of the Vehicle
Last but not least, the location of your junk car will help determine the price. There are a few different location-specific factors to consider.
Firstly, the price of scrap metal varies from region to region.
Secondly, the popularity of specific vehicles in a certain area will determine the market rate of the car and its parts.
Thirdly, the distance of the salvage yard determines whether the junk car buyer will have to spend extra on transporting the car and its parts. If you and your car are near a salvage yard, great! They'll be able to offer you free towing and/or same day junk car pickup. If you are not near a salvage yard or junk car program and the car doesn’t run, you’ll need to account for towing the vehicle to the yard.
Here’s the Average Payout that Junkyards Pay for Cars
Are you wondering, “How much do junkyards pay for cars?”
The average payout for a junk car is between $100 and $400 when you sell to Junk Car Medics. Junk Car Medics offer the best prices in the industry and free towing services in most cases. You can receive a hassle-free payout in the form of a check upon pickup of your vehicle.
Maximizing the Amount of Cash for Junk Cars You Can Receive
The best way to get the most cash for junk cars is by providing accurate information about your vehicle. When you contact Junk Car Medics, you will be asked for several key pieces of information, including:
- Your car’s make, model, and year.
- The condition of your vehicle, including the body, interior, mechanical condition, and the condition of your tires and wheels.
- Your car’s current mileage.
- If you have the car’s title.
- If the car can be towed.
Being honest about your car is the best way to get the most cash for it. The information you provide will help Junk Car Medics give you an accurate quote on the market value of your vehicle.
Determining the Going Rate of a Junk Car is Important
Selling your junk car may be as simple as just calling a salvage yard and asking them to haul it away. But by arming yourself with as much information about your junk car as possible, you can go into this process ready to negotiate and ask for as much cash as you can. Figuring out what type of value your junk car holds is all you need to settle on a fair rate.
Junk Car Medics Helps You Get the Most Cash for Junk Cars
Now that you know how much junkyards pay for cars check out how much Junk Car Medics pays for cars. Junk Car Medics is proud to offer customers a fair price for their vehicles, regardless of condition. The quote you receive is the amount you will be paid plain and simple.
Ready to get rid of that large paperweight? Contact Junk Car Medics today or get your free online offer.