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How Much Is My Junk Car Worth on Average?

People buy and sell millions of used vehicles each year, around 40 million of them. It’s a great way for you to get a better vehicle or second vehicle at a more affordable price. At a certain point, the combination of age, wear-and-tear, or ongoing maintenance costs makes a used vehicle not worth the time.

Then, you’ve got a junk car on your hands. A junk car can just look like another expense, but it turns out even junk cars hold some value. That may make you wonder, “How much is my junk car worth?”

If you’ve got a junk car that you’re looking to make a little profit on, keep reading our quick guide on junk car prices.

Condition

One key factor in determining value when scrappping a car is the condition. Is it a rusted-out heap that hasn’t run in years?

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Is it still in working order? Will the engine still fire up?

The better the condition of your junk car, the better the car scrap prices you can expect for it. Cars with engines that still run often get preference in pricing.

Year, Make, and Model

Different vehicles hold up at different rates. Makes and models from some years seem to just run forever for no apparent reason. For makes and models like that, used parts come at premium pricing.

If you own a junk car with valuable used parts on it, it will drive up the price you can get for it.

Scrap Metal Prices

Another contributing factor is the scrap metal prices in your area. They can recycle a lot of the metal in cars, particularly the copper wiring, along with the palladium and platinum in the catalytic converter. The higher the local scrap metal prices for those metals, the more your junk is worth.

Location

Vehicles are not popular in the same ways in every location. Trucks and SUVs are often more popular in areas with rough terrain or annual bad weather. Smaller, fuel-efficient cars often see more popularity in warmer areas with less troublesome weather.

That means demand for used parts will go up or down depending on the local popularity of a vehicle.

Average Junk Car Prices

While junk cars of certain, rare, vintage models can command thousands of dollars, that isn’t the norm. Most junk vehicles will fetch an average of somewhere from $100 up to a fairly hard limit of around $500.

How Much Is My Junk Car Worth?

There is no formula for answering the question of how much is my junk car worth. The total value of your junk car depends on factors like car condition, scrap metal pricing, and the regional popularity of your car. It also depends on the value of used parts from your car’s year, make and model.

Don’t forget that you can negotiate a little. Get quotes from a couple of junk places and see if you can talk them up a little.

Looking to extend your used car’s life? Check out the posts in our Automotive Maintenance section.