Home > Auto Guide

What Are Junk Cars Worth?

Are you wondering what your junk car is worth? Although the answer depends on your specific car and other such factors, we can give you an idea of what to expect. Keep reading to learn what your junk car could be worth.

What to Expect for Most Junk Cars

The value of your junk car comes down to what it is worth and also how much it will cost you to get the car to a dealer or junk car lot. Obviously, if you have to pay for junk car removal, this service will come out of the amount you are paid for your vehicle. But if the buyer provides junk car removal for you, that saves you some money you can keep in your pocket.

Otherwise, current pricing for junk cars ranges from $50 to $20,000. But where your vehicle falls within that scale depends on multiple things. If you have a standard, non-luxury vehicle that is not drivable, you can expect the selling price to fall between $100 and $500.

Factors In Your Junk Car Value

It is easy to get rid of your junk car if you focus on finding a buyer that deals with cars like these on a daily basis. It is not as easy to get a great price, unless you can find a reputable buyer with great customer reviews. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to know your car's actual value to a salvage company without speaking directly to them and seeing what they say.

Regardless of which salvage company you visit, they typically will look at multiple factors to value your junk car. These factors include:

  • Vehicle location
  • Vehicle year
  • Make and model
  • Condition
  • Current price of scrap metal

Ultimately, the price a junk car company is willing to pay comes down to these issues. It is still hard to know whether you are getting a decent offer, unless you know how to determine a rough value for your vehicle.

Determining the True Value of Your Junk Car

A junk car's sales value comes from its current market value in used condition. However, there is a catch to this rule. The amount you can expect to gain for your junk car, truck or SUV also depends on its diminished value. Diminished value is the cost of necessary repairs to make the vehicle operate as it should again with its market value as a running automobile.

After coming up with your vehicle's diminished value, it is easier to negotiate with junk car salvage companies. And yes, you should negotiate with them after they give you their initial offer. Most of these buyers will first provide their lowest price.

Getting the Most for Your Junk Car

To get the most for your junk car, review the above-listed factors that affect pricing. Below is some more information about how these factors relate to the ultimate price offer:


Your geographic location affects junk car pricing in multiple ways. First, how much is scrap metal priced for where you live? Are you close to a salvage yard or will you need junk car removal service? Also, are cars like yours in demand in your region?

Year, Make and Model

The ultimate price for your vehicle is largely affected by the demand for its parts. Do you have a junk car that is popular on the road now, making its parts in higher demand for people with those vehicles? Or do you drive one no longer manufactured or not widely driven in your region?

Additionally, the newer your junk car, the more plastic it likely contains on its body. Plastic makes the vehicle weigh less in regard to scrap metal. This also affects your price from a salvage yard.


If your vehicle is in great condition, but needs some minor work to get it running, you can get a good price in comparison to a poorly maintained one just like it. Most poorly maintained vehicles, such as those with rusty frames and lots of problems, typically end up scrapped instead of being parted out.

Scrap Metal Pricing

Scrap metal pricing plays a significant role in your junk car's value. Most salvage yards buy vehicles for their metal and not for their parts. If scrap metal pricing is down, you receive less when selling your car to a salvage yard.

Of course, these factors and the above methods of estimation can still vary widely from the offers provided by your local junk car buyers. Just ensure you receive several offers before making a selling decision. Also ask about removal of your junk car, whether you are responsible for that cost out-of-pocket.

More to Read: