scrap car prices

How Scrap Car Prices Are Determined?

Scrap Car Prices – If you have an old car that you would like to dispose of to free up some garden space, it is a good idea to sell it as quickly as possible. You may be in doubt of how much is the actual worth of the old car. As you will find out later in this post, there is no one fixed way of knowing the actual worth of a scrap car. We present to you certain things to consider to determine the value of your old car.

Scrap Metal Market History

Scrap metal business was a lot more active about three decades ago. China was a major importer of metal scraps as the demand for metals in Chinese industries were so high. In 2015, scrap metal prices dropped generally around the world. China’s industrial demand for metals is not as high as it used to be in time past. However, from 2017 to date, there has been a gradual increase in the demand for scrap metal. This means you are better off selling your scrap car now.

What Factors Determine The Value Of Your Scrap Car?

Scrap car prices are determined by multiple factors. Below are the key factors you should focus on.

Age and Model

The first question any junk car dealer would ask you will border on the age of the car. You can expect the model and make to be the next areas of interest. If your old car model can still be found plying major roads, there is a chance of getting a better deal. Also, if it is quite rare and recyclers have a special interest in the model, you can get some extra bucks on it. A Rover 306, may command lesser value than a Toyota model of the same age.

The age of your scrap car also matters in that materials used to build cars change in quality from year to year. Older car models tend to have lower aluminum and steel content. Therefore, the percentage of content of these useful metals also determines the value of scrap cars to a large extent.

Market Forces

Just like the price of many goods is determined by demand and supply, prices of scrap cars is no different. This factor is largely overlooked by many people who just want to get a decent price for their scrap cars, but it is also very important to consider.

You should find about 300 pounds of aluminum and 2,400 pounds of steel in an average car. The quantities are quite higher for buses and lorries. As the demand and supply for aluminum and steel change, so does scrap car prices.

Price variation can occur daily, weekly and monthly. If you trade forex, you should already have tools that help you see how the price of metals varies on an hourly and daily basis. You can expect your scrap car to command higher value when the price of metals generally rises.

Working Condition of the Car

All things being equal, a car that can still be driven will command more value than the same car model that is too old to move at all. Another thing the dealer will check is the condition of the car parts. If they are manageable enough to be sold as spear parts, you can expect more value on the car. On the other hand, if there are very little or no parts that are good enough for resale, the price will be lower.

Demand for Spare Parts

If your car model is relatively scarce and there are some users of newer and similar models that need spare parts from your old car, then you are in luck. Even if your car is popular, the demand for car batteries, radios and wire still command value to some recycling companies.

Your Location

Prices of scrap metals differ from state to state. If your old car model is popular in your region, you may not be able to sell it for as high as you wish. However, if your old car model is scarce, there are chances you will get better deals. Also the proximity of your scrap car resting ground to the location of your dealer will affect the price. If the distance is close, the dealer will spend less moving the vehicle. However, if the distance is far, more money will be spent on transport, so you and the dealer may have to shoulder the responsibility.

How To Get Good Deals On Scrap Cars

scrap car prices

Clean the old car

To some people, this may sound unnecessary but it truly is. Washing the car exterior is even more important than the interior. Since it is the metal that your dealer is coming for, you need to touch up the metal parts of the car to help you land very attractive deals. A decent vacuum cleaner and jet washer can help you remove dirt and stains faster than you had imagined. Remember to clean the rims and tires too.

Do a bit of adjustment where necessary

If there are separate parts like door handles, you may fix them if you have the removed parts. Tighten bolts and nuts in major parts of the car. Be sure that all parts of the car are at least kept together neatly.

Don’t hesitate to sell

Leaving your scrap car for too long will continue to make its value diminish as the metals begin to corrode and other parts that could have been sold begin to malfunction. It is better to prepare your scrap car for sale and get some quotes from which you can choose the one that pays you the most.

Start getting quotes from your closest dealers

As we have explained earlier, the more distant your location is to the scrap metal dealer, the lesser the asking price on your scrap car would be. It will be better to get a few quotes from three or more dealers that are closest to you. If you pick the dealer that offers the highest price, you could land the best deal ever on your scrap car.


There are a couple of websites that give quotes on scrap car prices. You can Google search them to get an idea of what price to sell your scrap car and to find dealers near you. If you try your best, you can sell your scrap car for 20% to 40% of the initial purchase price.