One of the key components to determining the value of a junk car is whether or not it is intact or if it has valuable parts missing. Junk car buyers will provide lower offers on vehicles that have already been salvaged for parts. This cuts into their profit margins and if the vehicle has no parts to sell, its only value is leftover in the weight of the metal that can be scrapped.
The benefit of removing the parts and selling them individually is that this can net the seller more cash at the end of the day. Those who have mechanical experience may find this task doable, versus someone inexperienced in this industry, who will find it tedious and difficult.
The condition of the parts comes into play when determining how much they can sell for. Vehicles that are inoperable and that have been sitting in a lot for years have the potential to be rusted, corroded, and the parts are next to worthless. In this situation, it may be best to scrap the car for metal instead of bothering to salvage parts from it.
Let's discuss how location is one of the 7 factors that determine a junk car's value.
Missing Versus Intact Parts Can Affect a Scrap Car's Junkyard Value
While salvaging parts on a junk vehicle for resale can result in a higher cash amount, this also decreases a junk car's value at a junkyard. Once all the sellable parts have been removed, the vehicle is destined for the scrap yard where it can be recycled. Those without experience working on cars will struggle to remove individual parts and find buyers for them. This is where a junk car buyer or junkyard comes into play, as they do the heavy lifting themselves.
Junk cars that are drivable and have all of their parts can fetch hundreds of dollars in a yard. When all that's left is the frame, this number decreases drastically. Depending on the current market for scrap metal, a vehicle may only command up to $100 or less. There are pros and cons to both methods, namely the saved time and energy when selling to a buyer directly. The payoff for removing parts and selling individually is extra cash, which can boost the vehicle's value up to $800-$1000 if the parts are in demand and the driver finds the right buyer.
Running Versus Non-Running Junk Cars
All vehicles will inevitably hit a point where they no longer start. Luckily, there is still value held within a non running car. Mainly, non running junk cars are worth their weight in metal. They may not have any usable valuable components left for a junkyard to salvage and resell. A running car is going to be worth more since it holds value in the engine and other components underneath the hood.
Expect a non-running car to be worth less than 50% of a running one. In some instances, if the only issue is a dead battery, the vehicle is still worth a fair amount to a junk car buyer. Extensive repairs are often the reason why a seller wants to get rid of the scrap car, as it would cost more to repair than the vehicle is worth.
Junk Car Medics will buy non-running vehicles and quote a fair price based on the inoperability of the car. Non-running vehicles don't provide a dependable mode of transportation, pushing many drivers to sell them for cash and use this money as a downpayment on a new vehicle. Depending on what's wrong with the vehicle, the offer will be dependent on if the car is easily fixable or if the majority of the components are still in good working order.
What Do Junk Yards Do With Vehicle Parts?
Junk yards are in the business of salvaging vehicle parts to resell. They take used vehicle parts and sell them to other car owners at a fraction of the price that they would be new. These prices can be up to 80% lower than comparable brand-new parts, which is a huge selling point for drivers on a tight budget or those not wanting to invest much in an older car.
Selling used parts may be done in different ways depending on the yard. Some sell only locally, while others sell online to a wider market. Using marketplaces such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace can open the junk yard to an expansive audience that may include all 50 states and potentially other countries.
Some junk yards have a robust storage system, allowing them to collect and store hundreds, if not thousands, of parts. This is more difficult for smaller operations to do, as it requires space and the ability to hold on to components before they sell.
Who Buys Junk Car Parts?
The best place to sell junk car parts is via online platforms. Sellers have options such as selling via social media, Facebook, eBay, or even Amazon. eBay provides the option to sell by fixed price or an auction-style bidding sale. Auction style can be a great way to get the best possible sale price on difficult-to-find auto parts, with fixed prices being suitable for more common components. Many online marketplaces come with seller and buyer fees, so this is an additional expense to calculate from the profit.
The online auto parts industry topped over 16 billion dollars in 2020, seeing a rise of nearly 30% in 2021. Many of these parts are new, though there is still a respectable chunk of sales from used auto parts. Even post-pandemic, this industry is booming and seeing no signs of slowing down. Many buyers are interested in used junk car parts as a budget-friendly option for repairing their vehicle, to avoid having to junk it for the time being. The pandemic affected how people shop for vehicles, with many opting to hang on to their ride for longer instead of buying a new one.
What Car Parts Are Worth the Most?
Depending on the current market and the supply and demand in the local area, some parts are more sought after than others. Doing market research enables the seller to figure out which parts are selling on their make and model junk car and how much they can be listed. During times of economic downturn, drivers seek secondhand, used parts to save money. OEM parts can be significantly more expensive.
Some of the most valuable car parts on the secondhand market include:
- GPS systems
- Catalytic converters
- Wheels, tires, and rims
- Stereo systems
If the parts are in good condition, you can maximize the money you make on your junk car. If the vehicle itself is in poor condition, it's likely the parts have suffered as well. In this case, it's not worth the time and effort to part out the vehicle. Selling it intact to the junkyard is the best way to get rid of it for a chunk of cash.
When it comes to electronic components, such as GPS, sellers can seek out electronic shops to sell to as well. Though not vehicle specific, these shops still find value in electronic vehicle parts. GPS systems help to provide a hands-free driving experience, without requiring the use of the driver's phone.
Catalytic converters command a decent cash value, as they're made from precious metals. Many converters bring in at least $100. Part recyclers, individual buyers, and scrap yards are all options to sell this part to. There are even scrap buyers who specifically seek out catalytic converters.
Does Location Affect Car Part Prices?
Yes, when selling car parts your location is a factor that affects the prices. Car part prices can vary widely based on the region, state, or city where you are located. In general, if you live in an area where a certain car make and model is popular there may be more demand for the parts and prices may be higher. Same thing goes for if you live in area where a certain make and model is less popular, the demand is much lower, and resulting in lower prices.
How to Get the Most Value from Your Junk Car
The best value a junk car holds is when it's salvaged for parts and then scrapped for metal. When a car is sold to a junkyard, this is what they do. The business model is to remove any valuable parts and sell them separately from the car body itself. Then, the vehicle frame is weighed and sent to the scrap yard where it can be shredded and recycled, whether at a facility within the states or sent overseas to countries such as China or India, which are both large players in the market.
Once the vehicle has been salvaged for parts, it's best to sell the remaining frame to a scrap yard as opposed to a junk yard. Scrap yards are more proficient in metal weights and pieces, therefore they can offer a more accurate valuation on the junk car. Junk yards will turn around and sell the frame to a scrap yard, so it's effectively cutting out the middleman if the seller goes straight to the source.
Dismantling Parts for Resale Versus Selling Whole Scrap Car
The process of dismantling a vehicle for salvageable parts takes a certain level of knowledge. Those who have never worked with cars or who lack previous experience as a mechanic may find that this step becomes difficult and time-consuming, as it takes both research and learning as you go. People without experience working on cars are better off selling their vehicles intact to a buyer, instead of trying to sell parts piece by piece.
When selling dismantled parts, it can be time-consuming to find buyers for each part. Without a client base already in place, such as a junkyard or other buyer, this can result in many hours spent listing items on online and local marketplaces, trying to get a bite.
Those who have worked with vehicles before and know their way around under the hood will make more money by dismantling parts and selling them individually. This requires a bit more effort and time, though it can result in hundreds of extra dollars in cash. Once the vehicle has been dismantled, the remaining body can be sold to a scrap yard. The yard will pay based on the weight of the vehicle, according to the current scrap metal prices. Keep in mind, they need to make a profit as well — so their offer will ensure they make money from the deal.
Value of a Junk Car After Parts Have Been Salvaged
An intact junk car can fetch an average value of $300-$500, though this is dependent on the overall condition, location, make, model, year, and a variety of other factors. Without the valuable parts still intact, a comparable junk car may be reduced to the $100-$150 range.
The remaining value of a junk car is based on its weight in metal. Vehicles are made mainly of steel and aluminum. These metal prices can fluctuate daily, according to the economy and other factors such as location. The scrap yard will offer to pay an offer that is both equitable in relation to current prices, as well as fair to themselves so they can make money to scrap the car.
Many junk car buyers don't want a vehicle that isn't fully intact, meaning with all of the parts still in place. It may take extra time to find a buyer who wants a dismantled vehicle, with parts already salvaged and therefore, a chunk of profit already gone.
Does Junk Car Medics Purchase Cars With Missing Parts or in Bad Condition?
When filling out the quick and easy online offer form, Junk Car Medics will request information such as title status, where the junk car is located, and a series of questions concerning missing or removed items. We want to know if the wheels are intact and if there are any damaged or removed interior parts, as well as any damage from fire, flood, or an accident. This helps Junk Car Medics to make a fair offer based on the overall condition of the vehicle, as well as letting us know if the car is operable or not.
Offers are made instantly with our online technology that gets the best price from a network of buyers. It only takes 1-2 days after the offer is accepted to schedule a junk car removal and for the cash to be handed over. We match sellers with a buyer willing to pay the most cash for their unwanted scrap cars. The service is free to sellers and does not require any additional fees or separate towing and pick-up costs.