Graph showing current scrap car prices in the USA

Scrap Car Prices in 2023: Junk Car Values, Factors, and How to Calculate

Scrap car prices in 2023 range from $100 to $950, with the average scrap car price in September 2023 currently being $502.53.  The yearly average scrap car price is $579.17

Scrap car prices can vary greatly based on the vehicle and its condition. Currently the average scrap car price in September 2023 is $502.53. The yearly average scrap car price is $579.17

You can see a table of the average scrap car prices below. This table shows a good representation of the market fluctuations and when prices were high and low.

Month  Average Price 
January  $                           527.62
February  $                           625.97
March  $                           664.26
April  $                           638.33
May  $                           579.83
June  $                           594.08
July  $                           551.44
August  $                           529.00
September  $                           502.53
Yearly Average  $                           579.17

The above table is based on scrap car prices from Junk Car Medics.

Continue reading to learn more about scrap car prices and see current values near you.

What are scrap car prices?

Scrap car prices (junk car prices) are often misunderstood. Scrap car prices fluctuate with an unpredictable market and are determined by a multitude of factors. One of those factors is the area you are located.

First-timers usually overvalue their junk cars and what they are worth. At Junk Car Medics we have years of experience and expertise in accurately determining scrap car prices and the value of junk cars.

In this post, we'll provide an in-depth look at the current start of the scrap car pricing market and how much junk cars are worth. You'll learn the factors that determine a junk car's value. And you will learn how the value of a junk car is calculated. This will allow you to make informed decisions when it comes to selling your junk car and determining how much it is worth.

What Are Scrap Car Prices Near Me?

Junk car prices nearby may differ from the national or average prices. Here are 10 popular cities and their respective junk car prices.

How Much Are Junk Cars Worth?

The amount junk cars are worth vary. Below are the top 10 junk cars we buy along with their respective prices.

  1. Honda Accord - $474.35
  2. Nissan Altima - $471.18
  3. Toyota Camry - $548.31
  4. Honda Civic - $583.40
  5. Ford F-150 - $685.65
  6. Chevrolet Impala - $367.81
  7. Chevrolet Malibu - $481.73
  8. Ford Explorer - $450.17
  9. Ford Focus - $419.31
  10. Jeep Grand Cherokee - $539.75

Which Junk Cars Are Worth The Most?

Below are the top 10 junk cars worth the most.

  1. Toyota 4Runner - $1,505.91
  2. Toyota RAV4 - $1,230.33
  3. Toyota Prius - $1,217.36
  4. KIA Sorento - $1,038.09
  5. KIA Optima - $937.18
  6. hyundai Santa Fe - $881.55
  7. BMW X5 - $840.18
  8. Dodge Charger - $745.00
  9. Toyota Sienna - $740.78
  10. Honda CR-V - $739.55

Which Junk Cars Are Worth The Least?

Below are the top 10 junk cars worth the least.

  1. Cadillac DeVille - $261.39
  2. Chevrolet Cavalier - $282.98
  3. Pontiac G6 - $298.68
  4. Pontiac Grand Prix - $298.90
  5. Chrysler PT Cruiser - $312.08
  6. Mitsubishi Eclipse - $313.45
  7. Dodge Caliber - $313.88
  8. Saturn Ion - $315.98
  9. Mercury Sable - $320.39
  10. Buick LeSabre - $320.56

What is the Scrap Value of a Car?

The scrap value of a car, often referred to as it's "scrap price" or "salvage value", is the worth of the vehicle based on the weight and amount of metal it contains, as well as its salvageable parts. The scrap value can vary based on factors such as metal prices, weight of the car, valuable components, location, condition, and local demand.

The factors that determine current market value and the scrap value of car are listed below.

  • Scrap Metal Prices: The majority of a car's scrap value comes from its metal content. The price of metals, especially steel and aluminum, in the global market significantly influences this value. If metal prices are high, the scrap value of cars will likely be higher.
  • Weight of the Car: Heavier vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks, generally have more metal and thus a higher scrap value than smaller vehicles like compact cars.
  • Other Valuable Components: Cars can also have valuable parts like catalytic converters, which contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. If these parts are in good condition, they can increase the car's scrap value.
  • Location: The proximity of the car to a scrapyard or recycling facility can influence its value. If the car is far from these facilities, the transportation cost may reduce its net scrap value.
  • Car's Condition: While most scrapped cars are valued primarily for their metal, a car that's in relatively good condition might be worth more if sold for parts instead of just for scrap.
  • Local Demand: If there's a high local demand for used car parts of a particular make or model, the scrap value can be higher.

How to Determine The Value of a Junk Car?

There are several methods you can use to accurately assess your car’s worth, including using a junk car value calculator, checking current scrap metal prices, and evaluating valuable components.

Taking these steps ensures that you receive the highest amount of money possible for your scrap car.

Using a Scrap Car Value Calculator

A scrap car value calculator is a useful tool that can provide an instant estimate of your car’s worth based on its make, model, year, and condition. To use a scrap car value calculator, you’ll need to enter the vehicle identification number (VIN) or the make, model, and year of the car, along with its mileage and condition. Knowing the scrap car values can help you make an informed decision when it comes to selling or recycling your vehicle.

A scrap car value calculator provides an accurate estimate of your car’s worth prior to reaching its maximum depreciation.

Checking Current Scrap Metal Prices

Checking current scrap metal prices can help you understand the potential value of your old car’s materials. Prices vary depending on the type of metal, with copper, steel, and aluminum being some of the most common metals found in scrap cars.

For instance, the precious metals metal price influences the average price of Flashing Copper, which is $2.94/lb, Heavy Melting Steel at $214.98/ton, and Copper & Brass - #1 Bare Bright Wire at $2.40/lb.

Consulting with local scrap yards enables you to obtain the most accurate prices for your car’s materials.

Evaluating Valuable Components

Evaluating valuable components, such as the engine, catalytic converter, and transmission, can help you maximize your car’s scrap value. The specific type of vehicle, its rarity, and the composition of metals it contains can all impact the value of these components. In some cases, selling these valuable components individually may be more profitable than scrapping the entire vehicle.

Assessing the worth of these components guides informed decisions on the most effective way to sell your scrap car.

What Are Scrap Car Prices Per Ton?

The scrap car value per ton is around $300. The price has been increasing due to external factors such as a shortage of scrap metal. Scrap cars that weigh two tonnes have a value of around $600.

How much Metal is in a Junk Car?

The amount of metal in a junk car will vary depending on size. However, according to Worldsteel Association, 900kg of steel is used in a normal-sized car. 40% of this steel is used in the body structure, while 23% is used to make wear-resistant gears.

According to the Aluminum Association, around 150kg of aluminum is used in auto batteries for a standard-sized car. 2.5 Kg of cobalt is used in a Prius car battery.

How Much Do Cars Weigh?

The weight of a car can vary widely based on its type, make, model, and any modifications or cargo. How much a car weighs heavily impacts the vehicles scrap value. Here are some general weight categories:

  • Subcompact and Compact Cars: Between 2,400 and 3,000 pounds (1.2 to 1.5 tons). Example: Honda Civic.
  • Midsize Cars: Between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds (1.5 to 2 tons). Example: Toyota Camry.
  • Large Cars: Between 3,500 and 4,500 pounds (1.75 to 2.25 tons). Example: Chrysler 300.
  • Compact SUVs: Between 2,900 to 3,500 pounds (1.45 to 1.75 tons). Example: Honda CR-V.
  • Midsize SUVs: Between 4,000 to 5,500 pounds (2 to 2.75 tons). Example: Ford Explorer.
  • Large SUVs: Between 5,000 to 7,000+ pounds (2.5 to 3.5+ tons). Example: Chevrolet Suburban.
  • Small Trucks: Between 3,000 to 5,000 pounds (1.5 to 2.5 tons). Example: Ford Ranger.
  • Full-size Trucks: Between 4,500 to 5,500 pounds (2.25 to 2.75 tons). Example: Ford F-150.
  • Heavy-duty Trucks: Between 6,000 to 8,000+ pounds (3 to 4+ tons). Example: Ford F-350.
  • Passenger Vans: Between 4,500 to 6,000 pounds (2.25 to 3 tons). Example: Ford Transit Passenger Van.
  • Cargo Vans: Between 5,000 to 9,000+ pounds (2.5 to 4.5+ tons). Example: Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Cargo Van.
  • Sports Cars: Between 2,800 and 3,500 pounds (1.4 to 1.75 tons). Example: Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Please note, that these are rough estimates. The actual weight of a specific car model per ton can be found in its specifications, in the owner's manual.

How much is a scrap car engine worth?

The price of a scrap car engine will depend on the engine’s condition, capacity, and local demand.

How much is a scrap catalytic converter worth?

How much a scrap catalytic converter is worth ranges from $300 - $1,200. The price of the catalytic converter will depend on the Car’s model and make. The converter will fetch a better price if the car has a big engine capacity.

Tips for Maximizing Your Junk Car's Value

There are several strategies you can employ to maximize the value of your scrap car. By selling car parts individually and choosing the right buyer, you can ensure you get the best possible price for your junk vehicle.

Selling Car Parts Separately

Selling car parts individually can yield higher returns than scrapping the entire vehicle. Mechanics, body shops, salvage companies, and restorers may have an interest in the parts. To sell car parts individually, you’ll need to identify potential buyers, evaluate the condition of the parts, and negotiate a price.

Selling car parts separately a salvage yard not only maximizes the value of your scrap car, but also assists others in their car repair needs.

Choosing the Right Buyer

Choosing the right buyer, such as a reputable junkyard or online service, can help you get the best price for your scrap car. Factors to consider when selecting a buyer include reputation, customer service, and price. Researching junk car buyers, reading customer reviews, seeking recommendations, and exploring online resources can help you find the most suitable option.

Once you’ve identified potential buyers, obtain quotes from multiple sources to compare prices and services and ensure you get the best deal.

When Are Scrap Car Prices The Highest?

Scrap car prices fluctuate based on various factors such as the demand for steel, price of new steel, global economic conditions, trade policies, current events, and supply and demand.

Generally, the best time to sell a scrap car for the highest price is during an economic upturn when manufacturing is booming, and the demand for steel is high. However, local market conditions and global economic factors can override these general trends, so it's a good idea to stay informed about both local and international market conditions. If you're looking to scrap a car, you might want to monitor scrap prices for a few weeks or months (if time allows) to get the best deal.

How Much Do Junkyards Pay For Cars?

The amount junkyards pay for cars vary widely based on the factors such as metal prices, weight of the car, valuable components, location, condition, and local demand. For junk cars generally sold for scrap metal, junkyards will pay around $100 to $500 cash. For junk cars with valuable parts, the price might be $500 to $1,500 or more.

Who Gives The Best Price For Junk Cars?

The place the gives the best price for junk cars may vary based on location. Junk Car Medics gives the most cash for junk cars across the United States and wil match competitor prices