How Much Is A Scrap Car Worth?

Companies that buy junk cars specialize in purchasing these vehicles, extracting valuable components, and recycling the remaining materials. If you're looking to sell your scrap car for cash, it's crucial to understand the process and the factors that influence its value.

A scrap car’s value can cover a wide range depending on the price of scrap metal at that moment. Most modern cars have portions of steel, aluminum, and iron within their make-up, each of which is currently priced at $145/ton, $0.48$/lb, and $200/ton respectively.

Scrap yards and junkyards determine their value by their weight in tons multiplied by the current value of scrap metals.

Scrap Metal Price/Ton x Car Weight (Tons) = Scrap Value

While scrap car value is usually determined by weight, parting out your car is a method of generating more revenue from the scrap. There are several components within your vehicle that can generate several hundred dollars when sold!

How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car?

In regards to the price of scrap metal, you’re likely to get around $200 for your scrap car (assuming your car weighs 1.3 tons). A vehicle in good condition can get more cash when its individual components are removed and sold to prospective buyers. Some factors that impact scrap values are:

  • Year/Make/Model: A vehicle in higher demand (typically newer ones or particularly popular make and models) will garner a larger payout than vehicles that are in less demand. A newer car is likely to have reusable components that can fetch a pretty penny individually.

  • Location: The scrap yard that purchases your vehicle isn’t usually the place the metal is processed. That metal will be transported somewhere else for processing and if that processing plant is a long way away, the scrap yard will factor in the cost of transport into how much you’re paid for your scrap car, resulting in less money for you overall.

  • Vehicle’s Age: Old cars suffer from a sharp depreciation of their value. The newer vehicles will have working components that can be sold and land a higher price for sellers.

Scrap Car Values Per Ton In 2024

car being weighed

So how much do you get for scrapping a car? The scrap value of a car is intrinsic to the price of the metal. Your scrap vehicle stops competing with other cars for cash.

The amount of money you can get is now decided by the current prices of metals from other sources all over the world. And, since metals are commodities, prices go up and down every day, sometimes by huge amounts.

Scrap cars contain several valuable metals that can be salvaged and recycled, including steel, aluminum, copper, brass, lead, and precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. By extracting these metals, valuable resources can be conserved, and the environmental impact of manufacturing new metals can be reduced. Recycling scrap metals from cars also contributes to minimizing waste and promoting sustainability.

The average passenger vehicle (car, truck, van, SUV) weighs about 4,000-pounds. According to the World Steel Association, of those 4,000-pounds, 55-percent or 2,200-pounds (which is almost exactly one metric ton) come from steel. According to the Aluminum Association, that same car boasts roughly 330-pounds of aluminum.

So how much is scrap metal worth right now? In 2020, scrap car prices per pound have shot up unexpectedly, and they've stayed relatively high through 2024.

The combination of tariff wars between China and the United States, as well as the pandemic, caused car scrap prices per ton to fluctuate wildly throughout 2020. As manufacturers shut down due to COVID restrictions, the supply dwindled. The combination of scarcity and tariffs minimizing the flow of steel and other products meant that the demand started exceeding availability, bringing us to the prices we see today.

Today, scrap metal prices for cars average at around $200 per ton, notably higher than it’s been throughout the past decade. That means for junk car owners looking to sell their car for scrap metal, now is a great time to sell.

Metal Price Per Pound
Aluminum $0.93
Aluminum Alloy $0.81
Copper $3.50
Brass $2.65
Lead $0.86
Nickel $8.93
Tin $11.29
Zinc $1.00
Steel Scrap $0.16
Steel Rebar $0.26

Scrap Steel Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
#1 Bundle $0.09
#1 Busheling $0.09
#1 HMS $0.07
HMS 80/20 $0.06
Sheet Metal $0.05
Shredded Auto Scrap $0.07
Structural Steel $0.07

Scrap Aluminum Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
Aluminum 1100 $0.64
Aluminum 3003 $0.64
Aluminum 356 Wheels (clean) $0.64
Aluminum 356 Wheels (dirty) $0.45
Aluminum 5052 Scrap $0.86
Aluminum 6061 Extrusions $0.57
Aluminum 6063 Extrusions $0.75
Aluminum 6063 Extrusions/Fe $0.55
Aluminum/Cu Radiators $1.50
Aluminum/Cu/Fe Radiators $1.39
Aluminum Radiators $0.36
Aluminum/Fe Radiators $0.27
Transformers $0.16
Breakage 50% Recovery $0.20
Chrome Wheels $0.60
E.C. Wire $0.99
Litho Sheets $0.64
Mixed Turnings $0.37
MLC Clips $0.63
Aluminum Old Cast $0.61
Aluminum Old Sheet $0.60
Painted Siding $0.59
UBC $0.63
Zorba 90% NF $0.60
Aluminum Cans (clean) $0.46
Aluminum Cans (dirty) $0.23

Scrap Brass Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
Red Brass $1.80
Yellow Brass $1.69
Brass Rod $1.65
Brass Hair Wire $1.78
Brass Pipe $1.61
Brass Radiators $1.37
Brass Shells $1.53
Brass Turnings $1.56
Bronze $1.86
Bronze Turnings $0.97
Dirty Brass $0.81
Dirty Brass Radiators $0.81
Plumbers Brass $1.61
Semi-Red Brass $1.64

Scrap Copper Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
#1 Bare Bright Copper Wire $3.06
#1 Copper Tubing $2.86
#1 Flashing Copper $2.86
#2 Copper Tubing $2.69
#2/3 Mix Copper $2.61
#3 Copper with Tar $2.45
#3 Roofing Copper $2.53
Dirty Roofing Copper $2.37
Electric Motors - Copper $2.12
Enameled Copper $2.41
Insulated Copper Wire $2.45
Lead Coated Copper $2.07
Silver Plated Copper $2.61
Tin Coated Copper $2.29
Tin Insulated Copper Wire $2.29

Scrap Lead Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
Lead Batteries $0.18
Lead Shot $0.41
Lead Wheel Weights $0.26
Solid Lead $0.54
Soft Lead $0.56

Scrap Zinc Prices per Pound

Metal Price Per Pound
New Zinc Die Cast $0.62
Old Zinc Die Cast $0.53

Scrap Prices for Other Precious Metals

Metal Price per Gram
Palladium 30.03
Platinum 22.18
Silver 0.58
Kindly note that the prices provided in this guide are general indicators and are subject to variation based on factors such as location, vehicle condition, weight, and the current market conditions. Moreover, it's crucial to be aware of any specific regulations or requirements in your state or local area regarding the sale of junk cars.

How To Scrap A Car Without A Title

You’re able to scrap a car anywhere if you can prove that you’re the owner of the vehicle. Most states will allow you to present the vehicle’s registration, along with your driver’s license, in the event that you don’t have its title. Not having the title, however, will in fact have an impact on the value of the vehicle you’re trying to scrap.

calculating the value of a car

Things that aren’t valid proofs of ownership are:

  • A bill of sale because they can be forged easily.

  • Proof of insurance because it’s within possibility to insure a vehicle that is not your own.

  • Cash and bribery because the salvage yard is required to report every car that comes into their possession.

What Is A Scrap Car?

cars in a junkyard

A scrap car is any vehicle that is old, damaged, or otherwise at the end of its life and set to be processed by a licensed metal recycler. Most scrap cars register a high-mileage and structural or mechanical damage accumulated over a 15-20 year time period.

These vehicles are solely worth the materials that they’re made of. Some older cars, due to their components and low mileage, may hold a higher value, regardless of their age. Take a look at our instant value calculator and pinpoint what your scrap car is worth near you.

However, if your vehicle’s best years are behind it, continue reading and find out how to get the most money selling your car conveniently.

How To Sell Your Car For Scrap

So how much to scrap a car? If you have a damaged, wrecked or broken-down car that’s relatively new, you’re in luck. At DamagedCars, we buy junk cars online, at no cost to you.

Parting out your vehicle — as opposed to selling it wholesale — is one way to get significantly more money for your scrap vehicle. If you dismantle then sell the individual parts, you can triple the revenue you gain, but it also requires more time and effort on your part.

What Car Parts Are Worth Money?

Not every component of your vehicle is worth hundreds of dollars if sold individually. Those that are, though, are the ones you should be keen on parting out. Some parts will contain precious metals, like platinum and gold, that catch the eye of prospective buyers.

Some of the most valuable parts on a car to scrap are:

  • Catalytic converter

  • Transmission

  • Engine

  • GPS system

  • Fenders

  • Doors, mirrors and windows

  • Bumpers

  • Airbags

  • Car battery

  • Electrical parts

  • Wheels, tires and rims

  • Car seats

What’s the value of my engine?

car parts

There’s a wide range of how much a used car engine can net you, with the average being somewhere between $3,000-$5,000. If you’ve got the equipment to remove your engine, you can make a decent profit if it’s in working condition.

What’s the value of my catalytic converter?

On average, a catalytic converter sells for between $800 and $1,200, with the vehicle’s make and model being a big factor to its value. Also, the bigger the car, the bigger the engine, and the more expensive the catalytic converter.

What’s the value of my transmission?

The typical going price for a used transmission is anywhere between $800 and $1400, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. This is, of course, just the selling price of the unit and not the cost of any additional labor needed to part it out.

It can take several months to sell all the parts from your vehicle. You’ll have a hollowed out shell still needing to be hauled off once everything is sold. You’re going to need extra time and expertise on your hands in order to break down your vehicle without damaging any of the individual components.

Sell Your Scrap Car With DamagedCars

Time is money too, so selling your clunker online can still earn you a pretty penny without the hassle. At DamagedCars, we buy vehicles in all conditions and always work hard towards getting our clients the best possible deal.

The process of scrapping your car is rather straight-forward:

  • Get a quote from different buyers

  • Compare pricing

  • Schedule pickup

  • Prepare the paperwork

  • Hand over the keys

  • Get handed back the cash!

If you know you’ve got working parts in your vehicle, you can always try to negotiate a better price with the buyer. That said, a scrap yard won’t really care if you’re selling a car without a converter because they determine value by weight.

A platform like DamagedCars, though, will factor in the presence of a working catalytic converter and increase the amount the vehicle is worth overall. Get a free offer today for your junk car.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Is My Car Worth As Scrap?

If you’re wondering how much a scrap car is worth per ton, you need to look at current scrap metal prices. Right now, you can expect roughly $200 per ton in your vehicle. That means you might get around $400 for the average car — more if you have a bigger, heavier vehicle.

DamagedCars can help you get fast payment with FREE towing and title transfer included. We’ll make an offer in 90 seconds, and help you schedule your free towing in just 24 to 48 hours after you accept our offer. Get an offer from us today and get paid fast.

How Much Can I Get For Selling My Car As Scrap?

Since average scrap steel prices are around $200 per ton, you can expect between $400 and $600 for your non-working, non-running vehicle, depending on whether it’s a car, truck, van or SUV. However, steel prices fluctuate constantly, so you might get a different price for your car depending on what the market is currently doing.

DamagedCars can help calculate scrap vehicle prices for you in today’s market in just 90 seconds and give you an offer for your car fast. Our offers always include free towing and title transfer, so you don’t have to pay anything to scrap your car with our service. Just collect your check when we pick up the car!

Does It Cost Money To Scrap A Vehicle?

Sometimes a business may charge you towing costs to scrap your vehicle, especially if it doesn’t drive. This can eat into potential profits from selling the vehicle, however, so you should avoid it when possible.

If you get an offer with DamagedCars, we guarantee FREE towing with all our offers, along with free title transfer and fast pickups near you.

How Do I Find The Current Scrap Value Of My Vehicle?

You can easily figure out what scrap car prices near you are doing by getting an offer with DamagedCars. Our prices take the current scrap market into account, so you know you’re getting decent car recycling prices no matter what. Best of all, we include free towing with all our offers, so you won’t pay a dime to use our service.

Who Pays The Most For Scrap Cars Near Me?

If you need to trash your scrap car, you can find out the current scrap metal prices in your area by comparing quotes from multiple different yards. However, this can be time-consuming.

DamagedCars can help you quickly find the best offer from partners in your area looking for vehicles that meet your description, and our offers always include free towing and title transfer. Get an offer in 90 seconds and get paid in 24-48 business hours for your scrap car now!

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