Top 10 Scrapped Cars in California

For California residents looking to pitch their junk car, there are a couple of options available. The state offers a buyback program that offers low-income families $1500 for their junk vehicle and $1000 to those not considered low-income. While it may sound like you would be making bank on your junk vehicle, you have to understand that not every car is accepted. There are strict guidelines and parameters that your vehicle must fall into in order to get that money. If you are somehow lucky enough to meet these parameters, you will have to wait a minimum of six to eight weeks before you receive a check. How is that helping anyone?

Then you have your scrap yards who will offer you full scrap pricing for your vehicle. You most likely will not receive a payday of $1500, but you get your cash instantly, which is often what most people need when they choose to scrap a vehicle.

What are the top ten junk cars in California, and what is the maximum price they could bring to your wallet?

1. 2001 Honda Accord

Average Price: $154.90

LOS ANGELES $152.50
SACRAMENTO $171.36
SAN FRANCISCO $126.36
SAN JOSE $165.56
MODESTO $164.38

The early 2000s were not a good year for the Honda models. According to carcomplaints.com, the comparison of the 2001 Honda Accord is relatively comparable to the plague. With most of the complaints stemming from the faulty transmission problems, the 2001 model year also saw subframe rust and airbag system issues. Most transmission issues resulted in consumers spending thousands of dollars for a replacement. It is possibly why this car is the most junked in California because fixing it is not worth it.

On average, the scrap value for the 2001 Honda Accord in California was $154.90. Sacramento offered sellers the highest prices, a $171.36 scrap value, $16.46 higher than the average. San Jose ($165.56) and Modesto ($164.38) were close behind, coming in $10.66 and $9.48 above California's average. Los Angeles was just under the state average by $2.40 at $152.50. The lowest scrap pricing available on our top five city list was San Francisco with a scrap price of $126.36, $28.54 below the average scrap value.


2. 2000 Honda Accord

Average Price: $134.44

SAN JOSE $116.00
LOS ANGELES $158.21
SAN FRANCISCO $167.00
RIVERSIDE $141.11
SACRAMENTO $112.22

The most commonly reported problems (besides the transmission) on repairpal.com for the 2000 Honda Accord were ignition switch failure, check engine, and hard or troubled shifting. As the car ages, more people report these troubles, which cost too much to fix, often more than the car's current booking value. Once that point comes, you have no other option but to look for the best scrap price in California.

The 2000 Honda Accord's average scrapping price in California is $134.44. The only cities that could not reach this average were Sacramento and San Jose. Sacramento was the lowest with a scrap price of $112.22, a difference of $22.22. San Jose was under by $18.44. If you have a 2000 Honda Accord you want to junk, we recommend San Francisco for scrapping. At $167, they were $32.56 over the state average - what could you do with that extra $30? Los Angeles was close behind with $158.21, $23.77 more than most expected. Finishing out the list in the middle was Riverside at $141.11 scrap value for the 2000 Honda Accord.


3. 2005 Nissan Altima

Average Price: $157.24

LOS ANGELES $147.86
STOCKTON $159.55
RIVERSIDE $184.38
LANCASTER $213.13
FRESNO $195.00

Unlike the Honda Accord, the 2005 Nissan Altima saw its fair share of engine problems, not the transmission. Replacing an engine can be costly, even if it is just being rebuilt. On average, a 4-cylinder engine can cost as much as $5000 to replace, and even more if it is a V6 or V8. It is likely the reason why the 2005 Nissan Altima made number three on the junk cars in California list.

Interestingly enough, this vehicle follows a unique pattern on the scrap pricing spectrum. With a state average of $157.24, the highest scrap amount comes from Lancaster at $213.13, $55.89 over the average. The only city to offer below-average pricing was Los Angeles, but even then, it was only $9.38, with a scrap price of $147.86. Every other city was above average for scrap pricing. Stockton ($159.55) is $2.31 over and Riverside ($184.38) is $27.14 over. Fresno's scrap pricing is $195, falling just below Lancaster with $37.76 more than average.


If I didn't know any better, I would say that carcomplaints.com wasn't a big fan of early model Honda cars. Sadly, their feelings are justified by over 1000 complaints ranging from transmission failure, peeling paint, and subframe rust on the 1998 Honda Accord. Even though this is the oldest car found on the California top ten junk cars list, it isn't alone when it comes to make and model. Many Californians must be scrapping their old-school Honda cars by the masses.

Unfortunately, the state average for the 1998 Honda Accord scrap value didn't pass $100, only registering $97.23. The highest scrap amount found in the state came from Riverside at $107.14, $9.91 over average. Next was Sacramento (who won by mere pennies over Los Angeles) with $104.23, or $7 over average. Los Angeles was close to Sacramento's scrap total at $104.05, $6.82 above average. The last two cities on our list were not friendly to the consumers selling their 1998 Honda Accords for scrap. Stockton offered $52.50 for these junked cars, which calculates to $44.73 below average. San Jose didn't even provide a third of the California average scrap price. They only offered $30.56.


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5. 2001 Honda Civic

Average Price: $191.23

SACRAMENTO $173.33
LOS ANGELES $204.33
SAN JOSE $177.78
POMONA $262.50
PALMDALE $94.17

The 2001 Honda Civic falls into the same category as the Accord. Carcomplaints.com cites multiple transmission issues and the airbag defect that was not recalled for over ten years as a reason why many people ditch the car. Other reviews indicate that maybe it was just certain trim levels that had extensive problems. Whatever the case may be, the 2001 Honda Civic is still the fifth most junked car in California.

The 2001 Honda Civic scrap pricing is a true example of how location can impact the pricing you receive for a junk vehicle. For instance, the average for California is $191.23 when scrapping the car. On one end of the spectrum, you have Pomona, offering consumers $262.50 for a junked 2001 Honda Civic ($71.27 above average). At the other end, there is Palmdale, who will only pay out $94.17 ($97.06 under average). These types of prices are why you should call around to get a price quote before junking your vehicle. Los Angeles offers $204.33, $13.10 above average. The last two cities fall just below California's scrap price average. San Jose ($177.78) is under $13.45, and Sacramento ($173.33) is under $17.90.


6. 2002 Honda Accord

Average Price: $191.56

LOS ANGELES $173.42
SAN JOSE $241.54
SAN DIEGO $193.13
SACRAMENTO $165.00
LONG BEACH $330.00

If you want to find out exactly what could go wrong with a 6th generation Honda (1998 to 2002), a website can help called www.hondaproblems.com. The site lists that for this generation of Honda, carcomplaints.com cites over 2854 complaints, the majority being about the transmission. Most transmissions in the 2002 model year need to be replaced after 90,000 to 100,000 miles, with some problems presenting earlier.

California's average scrap price for the 2002 Honda Accord is $191.56. If you want an excellent deal on your Accord, scrap it in Long Beach for $330, profiting $138.44 above the state average. San Jose is among the ranks of extremely high scrap price for the Accord at $241.54. San Diego provides the middle ground for Accord scrap pricing at only $1.57 above average with a scrap price of $193.13. Los Angeles ($173.42) and Sacramento ($165) fell short of the scrap average, providing amounts of $18.14 and $35.56 below average.


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7. 1999 Toyota Camry

Average Price: $113.51

LOS ANGELES $106.18
SACRAMENTO $108.18
FRESNO $109.29
SAN JOSE $136.67
ALTADENA $111.00

Carcomplaints.com cites 731 complaints about the 1999 Toyota Camry, the majority coming from engine problems reported by owners. Two of the most significant issues reported were the engine seizing ($2000 fix), and the engine blew a hole through the block (pricing not listed). Both of these events occurred at over 120,000 miles. On average, the price of replacing an engine can run upwards of $5000, which is not something most people plan for.

For the best scrap pricing in California on your 1999 Toyota Camry, San Jose offers $23.16 above the state average ($113.51) at $136.67. The remaining four cities in our top five are all below average. The next highest scrap price comes out of Altadena at $111, which is $2.51 lower. Fresno ($109.29) and Sacramento ($108.18) average $4.76 below the state average. Los Angeles comes in last for scrap price at $106.18, $7.33 below average.


The 2004 Honda Civic is your number eight most junked vehicle in California. Carcomplaints.com considers this vehicle to be one of the better Civic model years. The problems that most people saw out of the Civic was transmission failure ($3300 fix), failing head gasket ($1500 fix), and brake problems ($1000 fix). The 2004 model year of the Civic came in various trim levels and drive trains, so it is unclear if it was a specific design that caused the problems or not.

One of the highest paying scrap cars on this list, the 2004 Honda Civic, averaged $318.63 in California. The lowest amount was in Anaheim for $247.86, calculating $70.95 lower than the state's average. San Jose ($320.56) and Sacramento ($327.78) were close to the state average for scrap pricing averaging a difference of $5.54 above average. Los Angeles offered the most when it came to scrap value at $356.67, with San Diego trailing close behind at $355.45.


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9. 2005 Honda Civic

Average Price: $348.07

SAN JOSE $361.43
LOS ANGELES $421.43
SACRAMENTO $237.86
LONG BEACH $428.57
SAN DIEGO $276.67

The 2005 Honda Civic models saw many problems with transmission failure, the transmission locking up, and the engine blowing based on the information given from consumers on carcomplaints.com. This model year was also involved in the airbag recall, much like its predecessors. Overall though, the 2005 Honda Civic received a lot better reviews than any of the other mid-to-early Honda models.

The highest scrap value car on this top ten list is the 2005 Honda Civic, with a California average of $348.07. Long Beach offered the highest scrap value in the state at $428.57, $80.50 above average scrap value. Los Angeles was close behind, offering $73.36 above average at $421.43 scrap value. In the middle of the highs and lows is San Jose. San Jose offered $361.43, the closest to state average, with just $13.36 separating the two values. As always, two lower prices make this list. In San Diego, the scrap price for a 2005 Honda Civic only offered $276.67, $71.40 below state average scrap pricing. Sacramento was even lower, with $110.21 below average pricing at $237.86.


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10. 1999 Honda Accord

Average Price: $104.58

LOS ANGELES $101.84
SAN JOSE $122.27
SACRAMENTO $118.75
POMONA $105.00
RIVERSIDE $114.00

The tenth most junked car in California goes to the 1999 Honda Accord. Much like the other Accords, this model year saw widespread transmission failure, subframe rust, peeling paint, and random engine failure while driving. Carcomplaints.com also equates this model year to the plague and that consumers should avoid it at all costs.

It should come as no surprise that the scrap pricing for this car isn't anything like some of the other Honda models on the list. The average price across the state for scrap is only $104.58. The pricing throughout the top five cities was pretty consistent with the average as well. The highest scrap price comes from San Jose at $122.27, offering consumers a price of $17.69 above the state average. Next was Sacramento at $118.75, providing $14.17 above average state pricing for scrapped 1999 Honda Accords. Riverside came in third with a $114 offering for your Accord, $9.42 higher than normal rates. Pomona was almost right on the money at $105, granting consumers $.42 of incentive to scrap there. Even though Los Angeles only offers consumers a scrap price of $101.84, it is only $2.74 lower than California averages.


Before You Scrap Your Car in California

If you have made the decision to scrap your car in one of these cities in California, we advise you to do a few things first. Make sure you clean your car out, namely anything important to you. This way, you aren't losing anything you may need later. Get any papers or mail out that have your personal information on it - you would be surprised the people who dig through salvage yards. Finally, do your research and see what city near you provides the best scrap value for your car. Now that you know what your junk car is worth, don't you think it's about time to scrap it?

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