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You’ve finally made the decision: it’s time to junk that old car. But you still have lingering fond memories. You’re concerned that others won’t see its value like you do. You must face the hard truth: the worth of a junk car is not based on how much fun you had in it, but on how much its parts will bring in.
Junk Car Medics will give you a fair price in cash for your junker. Here’s some insight into how businesses in the car salvage industry arrive at estimates for these junk cars. There are actually a lot of considerations that go into making assessments, such as:
Location: If you can’t drive your vehicle in, it’ll have to be towed. That involves gas and labor, so transporting your car is usually taken into account when a salvage company gives you a quote.
Condition: In many cases, junkers are end of life vehicles, meaning they are good only for recycling materials. Individual components are too damaged or deteriorated to be worth re-selling. Therefore, your old friend will get crushed and sold for scrap. (Stay strong.)
That said, if you can drive your car to the business instead of having it towed, you’ll typically make a bit more. And whether your car is drivable or not, used parts in good shape are often sought after as replacements for expensive new components.
Sometimes salvaged cars are sold at auction to people who’ll fix them up and resell them. If this is likely, the vehicle’s owner will often get a higher quote from the salvager. However, unless a car is in very good condition (and then it probably wouldn’t be a junker!), it’ll be included in an auction lot. Because these cars are typically in worse shape than individually sold vehicles, lots tend to be valued less.
Make, Model & Year: If your car has some salvageable components, certain types of cars –- popular and high-end vehicles -- might bring in more. If there’s a demand for specific parts that your car can fill, your estimate might go up.
If they’re in good shape, easily salvageable components include alternators, starter motors, high-end GPS systems, and relatively new tires. Salvage yards pull these before scrapping the car, so you reap additional benefits. However, since you’re not doing the work to tear down the car and store and sell parts, you won’t receive the full potential sale price.
On the other hand, older vehicles might not be worth much for parts, because few drivers are looking for replacement components. Demand is also linked to geographic location, because needs vary from place to place.
Mileage: Old car plus high mileage equals lower estimate, because individual parts won’t be worth much. After all, if the mileage were lower and the components were more trustworthy, you probably wouldn’t be getting rid of the vehicle.
Current Price of Scrap Metal: This is a major factor in your quote, since most junkers are sold for metal recycling. An industry-wide high price will raise your estimate. However, if the overall industry price plummets, your appraisal suffers, too.
In 2015, the price for scrap metal is not great. Domestic demand has remained about the same, but exports are lower. The combination of a strong U.S. dollar and overall slow international economic growth is bad for scrap dealers. If they don’t get much, they can’t pay much.
If your poor junker is good only for scrap, the quote is based on its weight. Steel accounts for most of that and it’s priced per ton.
NOT the Kelley Blue Book, NADA Guide or Edmunds: These texts are useful for valuing used cars in (at least) decent shape. But your junker has serious damage and/or mechanical problems. It’s probably never going to be on the road again, so these guides are not appropriate resources for appraisal.
However, if it’s just a matter of fixing up your car, these guides might be useful to you for knowing if an estimate is fair. Take the book value and subtract whatever it’ll cost to fix it up enough to sell it. That’s what a business might make if it buys your car at auction. However, the amount you receive will be less, because you’re not doing the work yourself.
Each of these factors plays a role in determining the estimate for your junk car. As attached as you are to it (or to the money you hope to get from it), the value of any product is ultimately based on what someone is willing to pay for it. Junk Car Medics will diagnose your car woes with cash. That should help ease the pain of separation.