Junk Cars Worth
Buying and Selling Cars

How Much Are Junk Cars Worth?

We all have tasks we’d rather ignore: washing the dishes, mowing the lawn, mailing that package…

The pile of undrivable metal in your driveway shouldn’t be one of them.

Your junk car may be worth something. Between doing some easy research and reaching out to a junk cars professional, you can trade in that eyesore for cash!

Want to learn how? Keep reading!

What Are Junk Cars?

A general definition of a junk car is that of an unwanted car: one that doesn’t run reliably, looks dilapidated, and really has no apparent use (besides taking up valuable space!).

These are some of the characteristics of a junk car:

Old Age

It’s definitely not new. In some places, the car must be at least three years old to be considered a junk car.


Busted windows, chipped paint, and missing tires are all great examples of the damages you’d likely find on a junk car.

Missing Documentation

Junk cars are often missing essential paperwork for driving/selling.


In some cases, you may have a piece or two of the car that is still working (and that may make you more money!). Generally, though, the car will not have any operable machinery.


If a car has been sitting in the same location for quite some time now with no one ever driving it, chances are it is inoperable.

Do any of these characteristics match the car that’s been sitting in your driveway for months? If so, keep reading to learn how you can make some money from it!

Calculating Your Car’s Scrap Value

The price of your junk car’s scrap value depends on multiple factors, such as the price of scrap metal at the time of the sale. If you do your research on each of these factors, you can get the best value for your junk car.

Fluctuating Prices

Much like with any raw material, the prices are often based on availability. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many metal production facilities to shut down, thus limiting the availability of metal.

Because of this limited availability, the average price of scrap metal is at a high point. For instance, the price of steel scrap rose from $229 in June of 2020, to a whopping $391 in January of 2021. That’s a 71% increase in just half a year!

Depending on when you are reading this article, the price of scrap metals will be different. It is up to you to do the research in a timely fashion in order to get the best price when selling junk cars.

Minimum Value Formula

A minimum value formula is one that uses actual data from your location/date of sale to find the minimum value of your car.

The formula looks like this:

Car Weight in Tons x Scrap Metal Price Per Ton

As mentioned above, the price of scrap metal fluctuates. This formula needs to be completed as close to the date of sale as possible to get the most accurate minimum value.

Having an idea of the minimum value of your junk car will save you from being cheated by a low ball offer. Additionally, this will be a good bit of information to have under your belt if you try and sell your car to a junk car company. We’ll talk about this next.

Junk Car Companies

Junk Car companies can make selling your unwanted car much easier. They often offer support for all parts of the journey: towing, paperwork, dismantling, etc.

Knowing your car’s minimum value is important when approaching a junk car company, as they often have to offset the costs of those services mentioned above.

Once you have an idea of your car’s minimum value, you should get a professional quote.

If you’re satisfied with the quote you received, that’s it! They offer free towing and even pay cash right on the spot.

Salvageable Parts

Your car may be worth more than just the scrap metal, too! Let’s discuss some of the most popular salvageable parts and how you can get paid more for them.

The Engine

One of the most valuable parts of your junk car is the engine. Engine replacement can be a daunting task for many, as they are generally very expensive. If your car’s engine is still in running condition, odds are you can sell it for more cash.

If your engine isn’t working, no worries! You can still make some money from it. Inoperable engines can still be scrapped for their aluminum.

The Fenders

Fenders are generally only changed after an accident, but many people look to buy used fenders as they are usually quite expensive.

If your fenders are still intact, they might be worth selling outright instead of as scrap metal.

The Bumper

Bumpers are always in high demand, as they are frequently damaged in auto accidents.

If you have a popular car model, odds are that there are many people looking for that exact style of bumper. Conversely, if you have a car that is rare/out of production, parts may be harder to find. This could also add value to your junk car’s bumper.

The Tires

If you can remove your tires safely, odds are that you can sell the entire wheel set-up (including rims and tires).

In order to make a profit, you’ll want to make sure that your tires are in good condition. This means that the tread is still intact and the tires are fairly new.

Junk Cars Aren’t Just Junk

Don’t let the shoddy exterior fool you: junk cars may actually make you some money! Depending on the model, date of sale, and market conditions, you can expect to bring in a small chunk of change for that seemingly useless junk car.

Looking for more automotive tips and tricks? Check out our website! We’ve got information on a multitude of different makes/models.