How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car?

How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car

What is a Scrap Car?

A scrap car is a vehicle that is no longer functional or not good to drive on the road. This could be due to various reasons, such as old models, extensive repair costs, and severe damage from accidents. Typically, scrap cars have been used for over 12 to 25 years and have old engine with high mileage and body with some rust or mechanical damage. However, in some cases, the car owners want to sell them because it’s not an updated model and want a new one or some other reason.

If you have an unwanted car and are looking forward to selling it for the best price, then this article is going to be helpful for you.

How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car?

The car scrap value car can vary on several factors. Generally, the value of a scrap car is calculated by its weight in recyclable materials like steel, copper, aluminium, brass, Zinc, Nickel and other metals. Scrapyards do not only purchase your vehicle based on just metals; there are other factors, including vehicle condition, engine condition (and its mileage), Catalytic Converter condition and other things. 

On average, scrapyards accept scrap cars for $200 to $15,000. Typically, some reputable scrapyards like Schmidts Auto Recycling pay $250 to $20,000 based on the vehicle’s condition.

The following factors affect scrap car value:


1. Weight Concerning Metal

Most scrapyards purchase vehicles just for the weight of the metals they are built with. So, the weight of the vehicle usually calculates scrap car prices. The big vehicles will give you more money, but small cars can be purchased at as low as $150, depending on the condition.

If you want to check your site’s worth before getting quotes from scrapyards, then follow these steps.

Step 1:

First, you must find out the vehicle’s Weight. So, to find out your vehicle’s weight quickly, you can check the manufacturer’s specifications manual. Otherwise, you can drive your vehicle to a certified weighing scale to determine its gross weight.

Step 2:

After determining the weight of your vehicle, Now check current scrap metal prices. The price of scrap metal fluctuates based on market conditions. So, you have to check the latest price of metal per lb. 

The table below shows the latest prices for the different metals(we will keep updating these prices).

Metal Prices
Metal Price (Per Pound)
Steel Rebar $0.22
Scrap Steel $0.17
Aluminum $1.009
Copper $3.96
Lead $1.10
Zinc $1.42
Brass $3.50
Nickel $9.59
Platinum $16,198.72
Palladium $11,520

Step 3:

Once you weigh your vehicle and have the latest scrap metal prices, you can calculate the car scrap value. Here is the formula generally: 

Scrap Car Value = Weight of Car × Price per Unit Weight of Scrap Metal


If your car weighs 2000 pounds and the current price of scrap steel is $0.10 per pound:

Scrap Car Value = 2000 pounds × $0.10/pound = $200

If you are not good at calculation, we have developed a Scrap Car Value calculator so you can calculate your vehicle’s estimated price.

2. Engine with Low Mileage

As a car owner, you will know that the engine is the main part of a car. If your car has an engine in good condition with low mileage, then the scrapyard will definitely pay you top dollars. It is because scrapyards can sell it as a refurbished engine. Most auto recycling companies sell these kinds of engines to car owners who are looking for good engines at affordable prices. An engine can be said to be an Engine with low mileage if it has run under 200,000 km.

3. In Demand Make & Model

Most auto recycling companies consider the make and model of a car when purchasing it because cars with different makes and models have different specifications and features that can affect the car’s value. Some car makes and models have parts that are in higher demand or are costly, so companies make big money by reselling them. This is why they also ask for the vehicle’s make & model.

4. Body Condition

The condition of the body affects the quality of scrap metal that can be extracted from the vehicle. Most recycling companies are Interested in salvageable parts like doors, hoods, and other body panels from the car body that can be resold.

5. Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters are used to reduce the harmful emissions from the vehicle’s exhaust. Scrapyards mostly also check the condition of catalytic converters and the material used in them. This is because catalytic converters contain precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium (their price is around $10,000/lb).

6. Other Main Components

Vehicle’s main components like Wheels, Bumpers, Headlights and Tail lights have their importance, so recycling companies sell undamaged Wheels, Bumpers, Headlights and Tail lights in good amounts. This is why recycling companies look forward to the vehicle’s main components.

Getting the Most Money for Your Scrap Car

Car owners mostly choose the following methods to sell their junk car for its deserved price.

Selling parts yourself

Most car owners sell their junk car parts directly without the help of any dealer. By selling parts individually, they can often get more money compared to selling the entire car to a scrapyard. This process has the potential for more money, but it requires more work.

Selling to a scrapyard

The second option is selling your car directly to scrapyards. This process is easy, but you will get less money than the above option.


Before scrapping your car, remove all personal belongings. Also, make sure that you have the vehicle papers ready because you may need to provide the necessary documents to the scrapyard.

The car scrapping process generally involves no cost; scrapyards pay you to scrape your car. But some scrapyards also charge you for towing, which Schmidtsn Auto Recycling does not do; we provide free towing.

Payment procedures can vary by auto recycling companies. Some companies may offer instant payment upon scrapping, while others may require processing time.

The worth of a scrap car can vary depending on several factors, such as the car’s make & model, Catalytic converters, body & engine condition, and current scrap metal prices. Generally, a scrap car can be worth anywhere from $150 to $15,000 or even more.


We have discussed the question “How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car?” broadly. I hope you understand that a scrap car’s worth depends on factors like make & model, Catalytic converters, body & engine condition, and current scrap metal prices. A scrap car can be worth anywhere from $150 to $15,000 or even more if you choose a reputable auto recycling company.

Picture of Aniq Akram

Aniq Akram

I'm a seasoned auto enthusiast with a passion for sustainable practices. As a blogger for Schmidt's Auto Recycling, I shares my expertise on responsible car disposal, eco-friendly auto recycling methods, and the latest industry trends

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