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The Top Junked Cars of 2021

As the pandemic dragged on in 2021, plenty of people had the urge to get rid of their old cars to make room for something a little more practical. Plus, the extra money in their pocket certainly didn’t hurt. If you’re wondering which cars were being hauled away, we have a few top 10 lists for you. In four acts, we take you through the overall top 10 cars before breaking it down into year, make, and model.

The Top Scrapped Cars of 2021

By year, make, and model, here are the top cars that ended up in the hands of scrappers. The parenthetical number is the number of cars that were scrapped:

  1. 2000 Honda Accord (209)
  2. 2003 Honda Accord (202)
  3. 2002 Honda Accord (199)
  4. 2006 Nissan Altima (193)
  5. 2001 Honda Accord (183)
  6. 2008 Nissan Altima (181)
  7. 2004 Honda Accord (174)
  8. 2002 Ford Explorer (163)
  9. 1999 Honda Accord (161)
  10. 2005 Honda Civic (160)

In case you missed it, Honda is on here 7 times, with 6 occurrences of the Accord model. #9 on the list is a testament to Honda’s quality. It’s the only one of the top 10 to stretch all the way back into the 1990s. Of course, the 2000 Honda Accord in the #1 position isn’t that much further behind.

Top Scrapped Car of 2021 (By Year)

When do cars finally tap out? How many years will a vehicle last? Of course, the answer depends on who’s making the car, how the driver treats it, and a whole host of other variables. Still, the data collected from scrapyards can give you some indication of how long it will be before you say farewell:

  1. 2006 (5,062)
  2. 2004 (4,916)
  3. 2003 (4,570)
  4. 2007 (4,469)
  5. 2002 (4,066)
  6. 2008 (3,621)
  7. 2001 (3,435)
  8. 2000 (3,080)
  9. 1999 (2,387)
  10. 2009 (2,287)

So what exactly can we derive from this list? That even in the worst-case scenario, you can expect your car to last for more than a decade before you have to scrap it. And if you think about it, even the #10 slot in 2009 doesn’t have to be a bad thing. If a cheap, no-frills Nissan Versa can last for 12 years before it’s officially on its last legs, that’s still a decent investment, all things considered.

Clearly this list doesn’t account for a lot of things (e.g., the cost of maintenance, serious accidents, the 15 years it spent rotting in a garage, etc.) but the averages are still encouraging. Manufacturers are catching on that people want cars that are built to last.

Top Scrapped Cars of 2021 (By Make)

You might think that scrapped makes are a sign of the brand’s integrity. And while that may be true in some cases, that’s not really the way you should look at the numbers. A 1988 Camry that finally died in 2021 is definitely not evidence that Toyota is a terrible company:

  1. Ford (7,834)
  2. Chevrolet (7,001)
  3. Honda (5,246)
  4. Toyota (4,383)
  5. Nissan (4,119)
  6. Dodge (3,212)
  7. Chrysler (2,128)
  8. Hyundai (1,932)
  9. Jeep (1,666)
  10. Volkswagen (1,512)

American cars sometimes get a bad reputation for their inferior materials and shoddy craftsmanship, but the truth is that the companies in our top 2 slots have come a long way. What we might be seeing in these stats is more a mix of both the brand’s enduring popularity and an ushering out of the outdated models to make way for something new.

Top Scrapped Cars of 2021 (By Model)

The top scrapped models of 2021 tell you more about which models were the most popular around the early to mid-2000s:

  1. Honda Civic (1,684)
  2. Nissan Altima (1,538)
  3. Toyota Camry (1,609)
  4. Chevrolet Impala (1,065)
  5. Ford Explorer (1,098)
  6. Toyota Corolla (951)
  7. Ford Focus (919)
  8. Chevrolet Malibu (916)
  9. Ford F-150 (870)
  10. Jeep Grand Cherokee (778)

While the first four of the list are standard sedans (mostly from foreign companies), the Ford Explorer at #5 does speak to the ubiquity of SUVs. (It’s also the only model that made the top overall list.)

What Will Become of My Scrapped Car?

If you’re thinking about getting rid of a car that’s been hanging around for far longer than you care to admit, you might wonder what exactly will become of it. Well, if you take it to the right scrappers, you can consider a vehicle to be something of a caterpillar.

After it’s been drained of fluids and stripped for parts, it will be transformed by the recycling process. As a butterfly, the leftover metal can be turned into anything from a bridge to a building. Imagine walking along the road and seeing your faithful old pal living a new life as a skyscraper!

Scrap Your Car Today

If all this data is starting to make you wonder whether it’s time to scrap your own car, it’s probably a sign that you’re ready. The good news is that junking a car this year doesn’t have to be a pain when you know what your options are. We’re here to make the process as pain-free as possible. Whether you have one of the cars on the list or not, there are few scenarios where we can't haul it off your property (or from the side of a dirt road if that's what you need).

From the quote to the pick-up to the check you get at the end, we take care of all the details so you don’t have to do the research on what your car is worth, call the tow guy, etc. We have a vast network of reputable professionals in the business, and our offers are as fair as they come. While you might not be blown away by how much cash you get, it can be a relief just to cross it off your to-do list. Plus, think of what you could do with all the extra space.

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