If you have a junker, a clunker, or a rust bucket, you may be considering scrapping it. Many people scrap a car to simply get rid of it because they don’t want to deal with the hassle of fixing it and selling it themselves. But what’s the actual value in scrapping your old car? The answer, like most things, depends.
Selling Your Junk Car for Scrap
There are two main places you can sell your junker for scrap: at a scrapyard or a junkyard. A scrapyard is a center that buys machinery, cars, or bulk metal, and sells it for profit. A junkyard, sometimes called a salvage yard, buys machinery and vehicles to sell the parts for profit. Sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably, since both business models are similar.
These yards typically pay cash for cars and sometimes salvage parts from them to sell. The price a yard is going to offer depends on their inventory, the location, and the overall condition of your vehicle.
Generally, a scrapyard or junkyard might pay you between $100 to $300 per car, but there’s no guarantee on price or if they’ll even buy your clunker. We suggest calling junkyards in your area to see what your options are. Be honest about the vehicle’s condition over the phone, since the scrapyard is going to see the car in person. If you’re not up front about the condition of the vehicle, they could change the price once you arrive.
Selling Your Car Yourself
Another avenue is to sell your junk car yourself. There are private buyers that may be interested in clunkers for parts, or to fix up and sell themselves. This, however, involves more work for you, since you may be left to negotiate with private buyers and do all the legwork yourself. How fast it sells is going to be entirely up to you, and where and how you list it.
Looking at both, selling to a scrapyard or junkyard can take less time and effort, but you may be able to get more cash by selling it yourself.
Trading In Your Car
If you’re thinking about getting another vehicle to replace the junk car, arranging a trade in with a dealership is also an option. If you trade in your vehicle to a dealer, they can apply the offer price toward the down payment of your next car.
The condition of your clunker is going to determine the price that a dealer offers you. But, if your vehicle still runs, there’s a good chance they’ll take it in a trade. At the same time, dealerships differ and there’s no guarantee of the price they might offer. If your junk car isn't running, you may still be able to trade it into a dealer during a push, pull, or drag event, where they’re more likely to take vehicles in any condition.
Before you decide to trade in your clunker, it’s a good idea to call dealers in your area and get some estimates. There’s a good chance you could get more from a dealership than a scrapyard – you never know until you call around.
Other Selling Options
If you aren’t having any luck with dealers or yards, and don’t want to deal with the hassle of selling the car yourself, there are some other options.
You could donate the vehicle to a qualifying charity. You can donate the car rather easily if you’re not worried about tax deductions since you only need to provide the title and remove it from your insurance policy if you haven’t already. If you choose to donate your clunker and want the tax deduction, it’s only a little more complicated.
If donating isn’t your speed, there are services that can pick up your rust bucket. This could be the best option for a vehicle that isn't running at all, isn’t safe to drive to a yard or dealership, or you simply want it gone as soon as possible. One way to sell your stuck-in-the-driveway junker is to go through our trusted partner.
There, you can enter your junk car’s information, get a tentative offer price, and schedule a time for them to pick up the vehicle. They inspect the car, pay you, and tow it away.
End of the Line, Clunker!
There are many ways to scrap your junk car. Finding the best option is going to depend on your time schedule, how much research you do, and what you need next.
If you’re looking to trade in the clunker and aren’t having luck finding a dealer to work with you, we want to help. At Auto Credit Express, we team up with dealerships nationwide that have special financing options for those with bad credit. Just fill out our free, no-obligation auto loan request form to get started!