How Much Money Could You Get Selling Your Old Car at a Junkyard?

Every car has a lifetime, and when it comes to an end, people often wonder what to do with their vehicle. This is especially true if the car was involved in a crash, has flood damage, or any issues that have caused it to be written off by the insurance company as a complete loss.

When this happens, or when the car is simply too old to have any resell value, the best option you can opt for is to sell your car to a junkyard and make a profit. However, junkyards are infamous for underpaying for cars and parts, and the process of selling to a junkyard can be very frustrating and time-consuming.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. If you’re looking for reasons to sell your junk car and are wondering how much money you can get, you’ve come to the right place. This guide should be of great help.

How to Know When to Junk Your Car

If a car is damaged beyond repair, or the cost of repair wouldn’t be a smart investment, it’s declared a total loss by the insurance company. When that happens, some people are tempted to just throw their car away; but don’t do that as it may still have some value as a salvage vehicle.

If you think that your car is beyond repair or you believe the investment you would put into repairs isn’t worth the time and money, the local junkyard might be your best friend. But before you rush to sell it for parts, you need to know how much money your junk car can bring you.

Determining the True Value of Your Junk Car


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Every junk car has some value to it, even if it’s declared unsuitable for driving. If nothing else, you can sell it to one of your local scrap yards. Scrap metal is typically sold by the ton. However, there might still be some parts of the vehicle that are worth more, and it would be smart to calculate the value of your scrap vehicle.

The sales value of your junk car will be determined mostly by the current market value of the vehicle. However, the true amount is properly calculated based on the diminished value of the car, which is based on how much repairing your vehicle would cost.

Before you officially sell your junk car, you need to be absolutely sure how much it’s worth so you don’t agree to the lowest price. The junkyard you go to will calculate the value themselves by using a salvage value calculator and cross-referencing the results they get with other cars that are similar to yours.

However, not every junkyard will give you the same estimate, and some of them might try to give you less money than you deserve. When asking yourself “How much will a junkyard pay for a car?”, don’t let them do all the calculations. Instead, you can determine the value of the junk car yourself. This way, you can be sure that you’re not getting ripped off.

So, how much will a junkyard pay for a car? Do your own calculations.

Before you agree to the price the junkyard gives you for your car, make sure to do your own calculations so you can be aware of the actual value of the car.

Here is what you need to do:

  • Research the value of the car. Look up the wholesale and retail value of your vehicle or similar vehicles online. To do that, you can use websites such as the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide.

  • Calculate the current market value. When you have these two figures, add them and divide them by the sum of two. Once you do, you will have the current market value of your vehicle or at least a vehicle with similar specifications.

  • Get in touch with your insurance company. Call the insurance company you use and ask them for the percentage of the market value they use when calculating a vehicle’s salvage value. The percentage is usually 75%, but it can vary so it’s smart to check.

When you finish with your calculations, you will get a number that is lower than your car’s current market value. And if you take into account the cost of repairs and it exceeds this amount, your car will be written off as a complete loss.

Another important thing to note is that there are some things that might increase the value of your car further, but the most important one is the car’s inventory.

Before you decide that your car can only be sold as scrap metal, take a look at the interior to see what kind of valuables you can find. Personal belongings such as an alternator, stereo system, entertainment system, starter motors, and a GPS system all add to the value of the car that is being sold.

How to Get the Best Offer for Your Car



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As we already pointed out, it’s important to do your own calculations instead of relying on the junkyard to do it for you because the last thing you want is to get an unfair payout. Of course, you won’t receive an insanely high amount of money, but you can still be misled if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The best way to get a good junk car price when exchanging cars for cash is to be aware of the different factors that are considered when determining the junk value of a car.

Factors to consider

These factors are helpful when you want to get a rough estimate of how big of an offer you’re likely to receive:

  • Current scrap metal prices. When junkyards buy cars, they mostly do it to resell them for the value of the scrap metal. And if you try to sell your car while the price of scrap isn’t high, even if the car is in pristine condition, you probably won’t get a good offer. So always check scrap car prices.

  • Your geographical location. How close you are to a junkyard will be a big factor that determines how much money you will receive. Additionally, how popular your vehicle is in your area will also matter because some junkyards are willing to pay more for certain models.

  • Year, make, and model of the car. The demand for parts greatly varies from one vehicle to another. If the car you’re selling for junk is in high demand and a lot of people still need the parts because they’re driving the same vehicle, you will get a decent price offer.

  • Condition of your car. This is self-explanatory, but it’s still worth mentioning. The better the condition of your car, the higher the offer you will get. You can expect more money from a pristine and running junk car than something that is old and rusty.

Aside from all these factors, you also need to know the best time of the year to sell a junk car. If you time your sale right, you will be able to get a much better offer than you anticipated.

Benefits of Selling Your Car to a Junkyard

You may be wondering what a salvage yard can do for you and what benefits you can get from selling your car to a junkyard. After everything you’ve read so far, you might be thinking that all that work is not worth the money you’ll receive, but it actually is.

There are three main benefits of selling your car to a junkyard.

Junkyards will take almost any car

If you ever tried selling a car that is slightly older or isn’t popular, you probably know it’s nearly impossible to sell it. One of the best things about selling your car to a junkyard is that they will take that car off your hands, usually for a decent price.

It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell a sedan that is two years old and doesn’t have an engine or a dead vehicle that has been sitting in your garage for ten years. Of course, what you bring will greatly affect how much money you’ll get, but you’ll still be able to sell the vehicle.

If nothing else, your car can be picked apart and the junkyard workers can either use or resell the parts they get out of your vehicle and help you with junk car removal.

You will get cash

If you find yourself in a situation where you need cash right away for any reason, or simply want some extra cash, selling your old car to a junkyard is a great way to earn that money. However, keep in mind that there are certain requirements you need to meet if you’re looking to get cash for junk cars.

Before the junkyard is able to buy your old car, you need to present them with a clean title, and you need to own the car free and clear. But once you provide the proof of ownership for the car you’re selling, you will get that cash in no time. After all, this is a legal requirement.

The transaction will be done quickly

Even though you will have to spend some time doing research about the offer you might expect for your car, when you get to the junkyard, the sale process will be swift. All they will do is look over your car, estimate the value, and offer you a price for the vehicle.

Of course, you won’t have to accept that price. If you think you deserve more, you can try going to a different junkyard. But if you think they’re offering a fair price and you’re ready to sell, you will be out of the junkyard in minutes.

The Bottom Line

Junkyards cash for cars deals have been around for decades if not longer, and millions of smart people have taken advantage of this opportunity. When you’re ready to part with your old car, selling it to your local junkyard is a good way to get some cash in your pocket.

But before you rush to sell your vehicle, know the answer to the question “How much will a junkyard pay for a car?” When you educate yourself on how these offers and prices are calculated, you can be sure that you’ll walk away with as much money as possible.