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Factors That Affect the Value of Your Junk Car

If your old car just sits in the garage, you may wonder how much you can get for it. Fortunately, each junk car is worth something, and scrap dealers can buy yours for its body and other functional parts. Your car’s value often depends on the factors below.

Scrap Metal Prices

The demand and supply of scrap metals change day to day and affect scrap metal prices. Most of a car’s weight comes from aluminum and steel. Hence, the current prices of these two metals have a significant effect on your junk car’s value. The global economy’s condition, cost of energy, and natural disasters are some factors that affect metal prices.

The prices also vary between geographical locations. For instance, a country may increase tariffs on imported steel and aluminum and force manufacturers to turn to local recyclers for these metals. In this case, your junk car fetches a good price. If a global manufacturing downturn happens, local industries also pay more for scrap metal.

The best time to sell your car is when the demand for scrap metal is high. Fortunately, you can use various apps and websites that track metal prices before shopping around for offers. If current prices are good, don’t count on them to stay high forever.

Make and Model

Certain car models have more demand than others in the scrap car market. You get more for reliable cars whose components have a high demand. Also, expect better prices for recent models, such as cars less than a few years old, as junkyards like recent models because they can often repair and resell them. Keep in mind that some modern cars use environmentally friendly plastics and less steel and aluminum. Thus, newer cars may have less metal in comparison to older models.

Some brands that draw in good prices at recycling lots include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Ford. Models like the Honda Civic, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry have high resale values and are common finds at junkyards.

However, you don’t have to have the latest models to get good prices. Your car likely has salvageable parts even though it’s from the mid-2000s or older. Also, don’t hesitate to recycle your vintage car, as its parts may be in high demand among classic car enthusiasts.


Your junk car’s condition also affects its overall price and determines what the recycler does with it. A drivable car with intact basic components fetches good prices as the junkyard can usually repair and sell it. However, the costs to repair your car may be too high, and the dealer may opt to salvage its parts.

Missing parts can bring down your car’s value, especially if you have stripped high-value components like the engine, steering rack, and transmission. Such items have high scrap value, and their absence makes your car less valuable.

You can fix minor dents and dings to increase the usability of the car’s parts. Also, don’t let a junk car stay in your garage for too long as its condition continues to deteriorate. For example, rust eats away the value of metal parts.


The popularity of certain cars in different geographical areas impacts junk car prices. Hence, you may get more money if there is a high demand for spare parts of your car model in your area. Also, towing costs can quickly add up if you live far from your chosen junkyard. When you look for a scrap dealer, opt for local junkyards to keep transportation costs low.

If your car no longer functions like it used to, you may get good money for it from a reliable junk car buyer. At City Auto Wreckers, we offer the best prices for your vehicle and pick it up for you. Selling a car has never been easier! Call today.