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Scrap My Car: How to Sell Your Junk Car For Cash (2023)

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Crash Course:

  • You can sell your car for scrap at junkyards or online scrap buyers like Peddle.
  • Junkyard scrap car prices can range anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on many factors.
  • Consider selling some car parts yourself if you want to make more money.
  • You’ll get a larger sum of money for a large vehicle or a newer car with less miles on it.

If you have a junker that would be more trouble to sell than it’s worth, you might want to consider scrapping it. No matter what shape it’s in, even an old, rusty car holds some remaining scrap value.

Many of the components and materials in your scrap car are still useful in one form or another. You can sell your car online to a national scrap service or call up a local junkyard to get rid of it. To maximize your profit, you could also sell some individual components yourself.

Best Place to Scrap Your Car

We rated Peddle as the best place to scrap a junk car for the most value. But if your car has some life left, we recommend checking online offers from dealers like Carvana and Cars.com before calling the junkyard.

Peddle: Best for Older Cars

Peddle is an online company that buys scrap and junk cars from across the U.S. Simply enter details about your vehicle, its ownership, and its condition, and you’ll receive an instant offer. If you accept the offer, Peddle will pick up your car for free and hand you either a check or cash. Peddle has a 4.7-star rating from over 100,000 customers on Trustpilot, showing that many people have positive experiences with the company.

Read More: Peddle Review

Carvana: Most Convenient

Carvana will accept drivable vehicles from 1993 forward that have working odometers, and you can get an instant offer on its website. If you use Carvana to sell your car, the company will pick up your car for free and send you a direct deposit for its value. You can also bring your car into a Carvana location for in-person service and walk away with a check.

Read more: Carvana sell my car review

Cars.com: Best Options

Cars.com will take used cars from the year 2000 forward. Cars.com buys vehicles itself, but it also maintains a marketplace where you can sell your car privately. Selling your car privately on Cars.com may bring you somewhat more money, even for a scrap car.

How to Scrap a Car

The best way to get rid of your scrap car for cash is by following the steps below:

  • Sell some parts for cash
  • Shop around for the best scrap car offer
  • Prepare your vehicle
  • Gather documentation
  • Scrap the car
  • Cancel insurance and registration

1. Sell Some Parts for Cash

Before you call the junkyard, research how much you could get for components of your vehicle if you sold them locally or even shipped them on eBay. Consider selling the following items:

  • Jack
  • Battery
  • Radiator
  • Alternator
  • Spare tire
  • Catalytic converter
  • Aftermarket wheels and tires
  • Audio and navigation systems

We understand that not everyone is mechanically inclined, so removing a catalytic converter may be a daunting task for you. Just consider that you may be able to get a higher value for your vehicle in total if you put some work into selling junk car parts yourself.

Should You Part Out the Entire Vehicle?

Some drivers wonder whether it’s worth parting out everything in their vehicle, from critical components down to the car’s doors and trim. We don’t recommend doing this unless you have mechanical experience and live in a metro area where you’ll find a large pool of potential buyers.

Parting out a whole car takes a long time, even if you find buyers in your area. And if you can’t, shipping costs will quickly chip away at your profit. There’s a good chance that you’ll spend much more effort tearing down the vehicle and finding buyers than it’s worth. That’s why it’s best to sell the most valuable parts, then send the rest of the scrap car to a junkyard.

2. Shop Around for the Best Scrap Car Offer

When it’s time to get rid of your scrap car, call around for free quotes from a few junkyards. You actually have a couple of car recycling options that might take your salvage vehicle:

  • Local junkyard: Your local scrapper or salvage yard will take the car off your hands and pay you directly. Junkyards often offer free towing to car owners, though not all do.
  • Online scrap car buyer: Intermediary companies pay cash for cars and distribute them to junkyards across the U.S. With this type of service, you can get an online offer and accept the terms remotely. A truck will then be dispatched to your location for pickup.

Compare a few different instant quotes for junk car removal to see which offers the best value.

3. Prepare Your Vehicle

To get your car ready, remove all personal belongings. Check all the nooks and crannies for receipts, garbage, and the like. Take off all license plates, since the car will never see the open road again.

You don’t have to clean the car thoroughly, but the car shouldn’t be caked in mud or full of trash. An auto salvage yard isn’t a landfill. You’ll get a lower price for your vehicle if you leave garbage and personal items for the salvage yard to clear out.

4. Gather Documentation

Gather the following documents before you send off your scrap car:

  • Insurance information: Locate your auto insurance information so you can easily cancel the insurance after scrapping the vehicle.
  • Car registration: After scrapping the car, call your department of motor vehicles (DMV) to cancel the registration.
  • Vehicle title: Transfer the title to the junk car buyer after you make the deal. The car’s title proves that you actually own the car, so you’ll need a replacement from the DMV if you don’t currently have one.
  • A note showing the mileage of the vehicle: Low-mileage cars are worth more than high-mileage ones, even to a junkyard. Writing your mileage down ahead of time can help you negotiate with the junkyard if the car has relatively few miles on it.

When you offload a scrap car, you must transfer its title to the scrapyard. If your car doesn’t have a title, the junkyard will likely charge you a fee, so it’s best to get a replacement title from the DMV.

If you owe money on the car that you want to scrap, stop right now. You can’t get rid of a vehicle that has a current auto loan on it until you’ve paid off the loan in its entirety.

5. Scrap the Car

Once your car is ready to be scrapped and you know which service offers you the best deal, move forward with the transaction. Many companies let you complete the process either online or over the phone. You’ll get an electronic payment or a check when the tow truck shows up for your junk car. The company should also be able to help you transfer the title if you’re unfamiliar with how that process works.

6. Cancel Insurance and Registration

After the junkyard takes your scrap car away, cancel your registration and insurance and decide what to do with the license plates.

Cancel Registration

If your car had an active registration on it, you’ll need to cancel the registration with your DMV. You may do this online or over the phone depending on which state you live in. Or, you might have to visit a DMV location in person.

Cancel Auto Insurance

If your vehicle had a current car insurance policy on it, make sure to call the company and cancel it. Most auto insurance companies offer free cancellations and can give you a prorated refund if you paid ahead for the month or term.

Decide What To Do With Your License Plate

Lastly, you’ll need to decide what to do with your old license plates. You could:

  • Turn them over to the DMV
  • Destroy the old license plates
  • Keep them and reuse them on another car with a new registration

Every state has different laws for destroying license plates. You can’t just throw them in the trash, and some states won’t let you dispose of the plates at all even after your scrap car has been taken away.

How Much Do You Get for a Scrap Car?

Depending on the size of your car, you may get somewhere between $100 and $500 for your scrap vehicle. How much you get for a scrap car depends on its weight, the value of the remaining parts, and current metal prices.

Junkyards resell some components and then reduce your car to its basic materials. Some scrap companies reduce their offers if your car is missing parts like the catalytic converter or radio. If your car still has these items, it could be advantageous for you to sell these components separately.

Should You Scrap Your Car?

We’ll explain when it’s a good idea to investigate the scrap car process, along with a few situations in which you might want to reconsider.

Icons showing the factors that affect the value of used cars

When to Scrap a Car

You should only scrap your car if it’s no longer drivable and you can’t even get a few hundred dollars for it through Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. You may think your car is an old clunker, but it may be possible that someone out there could take it off your hands for a certain price.

Scrap car values are typically the lowest amount you’ll get for your vehicle, so treat the process as a last resort. Here are some conditions that should be met before you scrap a car:

  • The car has major issues and is not drivable
  • Repairs would cost more than the value of the damaged car
  • The car is over 10 years old and has lots of miles on its odometer

While many people immediately think to scrap an old car, you may be able to get more money for it than you’d expect.

When Not to Scrap a Car

If your car is drivable and your repair bill doesn’t indicate that the vehicle is totaled, consider selling it instead. You can always offer the vehicle up as a scrap car down the road. Try to sell your car online to dealers like Carvana or CarMax first, and list it on a private sale marketplace like Craigslist if those companies won’t take it.

If you can get more than $300 for a sedan or $500 for an SUV or truck, definitely try to sell it before considering it a scrap car. You may need to learn how to sell a car and negotiate with buyers, but the extra cash could make the time investment worth it.

Donate Your Car

Donating your car allows you to contribute to a meaningful local organization and takes the clunker off your hands at the same time. You can usually donate your car whether or not it runs. If the car retains some value, you may be able to get a tax deduction as well.

Sell a Car For Scrap: Conclusion

If your vehicle’s time is up, there’s no avoiding its fate. Compare a few bids from junkyards to get top dollar for your old car. Try selling some of the more valuable parts yourself, then prepare your car to be scrapped.

Scrap Car Quote

Featured Partners

Compare featured partners below and get a quote in minutes

Most Convenient

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5.0

GET AN OFFEROn Carvana’s Website

Great for Older Vehicles

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

On Peddle’s Website

(833)-672-0583Or Call Peddle Directly

Featured Partner

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5.0

GET AN OFFEROn Wheelzy’s Website

321-340-6624Or Call Wheelzy Directly

Scrap a Car for Cash: FAQ

Below are a few frequently asked questions about scrapping cars for cash:

How can I scrap my car for the most money?

To scrap your car for the most money, remove individual car parts and sell those first, then hand over the remaining body for scrap metal. Sell parts like the catalytic converter, spare tire, audio system, mirrors, battery, and radiator.

What should I remove from my car before I scrap it?

You should remove the following items before scrapping your car:

-Spare tire
-License plates
-Personal items
-Catalytic converter
-Aftermarket wheels and tires
-Audio and navigation systems

These items typically don’t add much value to your scrap car at the junkyard so you can sell them separately for some extra cash.

How much is my car worth for scrap?

Junkyards could pay anywhere from $100 to $500 for your car based on its weight. If you have a compact or midsize sedan like a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla, don’t expect anything over $300. Larger SUVs and trucks such as Chevrolet Silverados will likely fetch higher amounts.

Is it better to scrap a car or sell it?

You’ll make more money if you sell your car or even part it out. Sell the engine, transmission, catalytic converter, rims, air bags, and alternator among other vehicle parts. But if your car is completely rusted and torn down by the elements, it may be better to simply scrap it.

Do you need a title to scrap a car?

To scrap a car you will have to prove ownership of the vehicle with a title or some other form of ownership documentation. Some states require you to have a title, while others are more flexible with the documents you can use to show a car is under your name.

Where can I scrap my car?

Scrapping a car can be done at junkyards and online scrap vehicle buyers. Going to the junkyard requires you to go in person to sell a car for scrap. However, intermediaries online can give you the value of the vehicle online and transport it for you once you accept an offer.

What do you need to scrap a car?

First and foremost, you will need your vehicle’s title or some other paperwork confirming ownership. You should also gather a note of your car’s mileage so you can value the vehicle properly and get the most out of your sale.

Our Methodology

In order to help people make informed decisions about where and how to sell their cars, our expert review team is committed to providing precise, accurate, and objective information. For our research, we evaluated each company on the same criteria across the following categories:

  • Cost: Our team conducted a secret shopper study to assess the offering prices of each provider. We also considered any fees or additional costs charged by companies during transactions.
  • Platform: We evaluated each provider’s online platform, rating them based on ease of use, speed, and available options.
  • Transaction support: Because there are many other steps involved in selling a car online beyond simply listing it and accepting an offer, our team evaluated companies based on their support for transactions, such as whether they require a seller to travel for an in-person evaluation, if they manage loan payoffs, and more.
  • Customer experience: We scoured online reviews on websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot in order to gauge the opinions and experiences of real customers. Our team used proprietary metrics to normalize ratings across the industry in order to assess customer sentiment in context.
  • Industry reputation: To assess their standing within the auto sales industry, we considered each company’s rating with the BBB along with its years of service. We evaluated these factors using proprietary metrics to get a more accurate representation of specific company reputations compared to industry norms.

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