How to Scrap My Car for Cash - How Does Scrap Metal Affect Junk Car Prices?

When you’re looking to sell your car in the automotive marketplace, prices vary depending on several factors. Certain make and model might command a higher price on the east coast than in the prairies. Mileage might be a more significant factor for a used car’s value in California than in Florida. But when it comes to a junk car, the effect isn’t prevalent based on the car’s year, make, model, color, or mileage. It’s based on current scrap metal prices.

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How to Scrap A Car For The Most Money in 2020

Junk cars aren’t often sold the traditional way. Where a good used car can be bought and sold on Craigslist or Autotrader, junk cars just aren’t received the same way. Instead, junk cars are typically sold to a junkyard or scrap yard.

At a salvage yard, cars are used for their raw materials. Rubber from the tires goes one place, car batteries go to a different recycler, aluminum to another supplier, and steel goes somewhere to be reused too. Because vehicles that go to a junkyard aren’t being bought because of their features, condition, or age, they have to be priced in a completely different way.

What’s The Scrap Value of A Car? – How to Determine Junk Car Prices

Instead of a year, make, and model, junk cars are priced based on recycling prices, better known as scrap metal values. These scrap prices are set on the same thing that fuels the stock market, interest rates, and the items you find on the shelf at the supermarket: supply and demand.

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When scrap prices are high, it’s because the demand for raw materials found in cars is high. This is the case when mining production is low, or when the economy has slowed and people are hanging onto their vehicles longer. The recycling industry needs more cars, so they’re willing to pay more to get them.

How Much Do You Get for Scrapping A Car?

When scrap prices are low, the junkyard is paying lower junk car prices because the demand isn’t there. They might have to hold onto more vehicles in their yard or their buyers may not want them altogether. It could be for economic factors or because mining production is high.

Add another factor to supply and demand – the junk yard’s ability to set their own prices. It’s possible that one wrecking yard near you might pay $20 to $50 per ton less than a competitor.

Scrap Car Value Calculator - What Are The Most Valuable Parts On A Car to Scrap?

But the current scrap metal prices are always fluctuating, one day to the next. That means that the price you could sell your junk car for today probably wasn’t the same a week ago, and very likely won’t be the same next week. And what might seem like a small change in scrap metal prices can make a big difference, especially if you have a heavy car, truck, SUV, or van to sell.

Current scrap vehicle prices are lower than they have been in the past, hovering between $100 and $120 per ton on average.

How Can I Get the Most Money for Scrapping A Car?

You aren’t looking to retire from selling your junk car– it’s not going to get you rich. But if you can get a little extra money when you sell it, that would be good, right? You have a couple of options:

Part It Out

One option is to part out your junk car to sell high-value components. Items like aluminum wheels, radios, catalytic converters, and batteries can fetch higher prices from buyers. In the end, you’re left with a vehicle carcass you still need to get rid of. Some junkyards won’t take a vehicle unless it’s whole, so you could have trouble selling it after parting it out.

Hold Onto It – And Later, Get Cash for Scrap Cars

If you wait a week, a month, or a year, the scrap metal prices could increase significantly. You could get an extra couple hundred dollars for your junker if you wait it out…or you could lose. There’s also a chance that scrap prices will plummet and you’ll have left money on the table.

Places That Buy Scrap Cars

Or, you can sell your junk car the smarter way – with Junk Car Masters. We’ll buy that junk car you no longer want, and at the best price in your area. Our network of junk car buyers competes for vehicles just like yours, helping us get you the highest offer possible.

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The process is extremely easy. Just request an offer for your vehicle in as-is condition. In about 90 seconds, we’ll hit you up with a guaranteed offer for your car. If you like the offer, accept it – we’ll pay you within 1 to 2 business days. Only once you’ve received the payment that we’ve promised will we tow your car away, and at no cost to you!

It’s a Quick and Easy Process


Vehicle Details

Provide us with your vehicle’s details and a picture if asked.



Request your guaranteed offer from us online.



Accept the offer if you’re happy with it.


Get Paid

In 24-48 hrs, you will get paid and have your car towed for free!

Get An Offer Online

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