Do junkyards pay cash for junk cars?

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5 min read

Yes, they totally do! But, of course, whether or not selling to a junkyard or salvage yard is your best (or even a good) option depends. Let’s discuss.

how do I know if I have a “junk” car?

A junk car is damaged beyond repair. So if you’re going to a salvage yard to get cash for your junk car, you’re likely selling for scrap metal, which is bought/sold by the ton.

If you do not have a junk car, it’s a totally different ball game. Even if your car is totaled, but has working parts (either rare or commonly used), you might be better off somewhere that’s not a junkyard. Having a unique car is another reason you might do better outside a wrecking yard.

Before you get assessed by a scrap yard, you’ll want to do some research on the value of your car to arm you with the info you’ll need for negotiations. Kelley Blue Book and the National Automobile Dealers Association Used Car Guide are both great resources to help you determine your car’s market value. You can use that number as a starting point before subtracting repairs or missing parts to get a decent idea of your car’s value.

how much can I expect to get for my scrap metal?

Scrap prices vary from day to day, just like a car’s market value. Scrap Monster is a solid resource (typically gives you price per pound).

You should be prepared to accept around $0.01 for every pound of steel, $0.28 and up for every pound of aluminum, and about $0.51 for each pound of insulated copper wire.

consider parting out your car

Some people who sell their junk cars do it part by part. Parts like your radio, rims, AC system, windshield wiper arms, battery, doors, fenders, catalytic converters, or a GPS system can be resold on online marketplaces, like Craigslist, Ebay, or Facebook.

If the tires are in good shape, people often swap them for older ones (so they can still have the frame towed).

Parting out your car isn’t for everyone. It’s time consuming and tedious. You’ll need the right tools and be dealing with potentially sharp and dangerous materials, so make sure you know what you are doing (or hire someone who does). Consider the time and effort you’ll need to go into doing inventory, pricing, and selling the parts individually. After the most expensive parts are sold, consider what remaining value (if any) the gutted frame may hold. Getting rid of an empty body and frame may also be trickier than you think.

be prepared to research and negotiate

You’d want to have all your car’s details handy, including types of damage or missing parts. You should be prepared to haggle, consider calling around to several places, and practice your “negotiation face” in the mirror. (We work with a lot of junk yards in your neighborhood and across the country, so that you don’t have to do this kind of legwork or worry about negotiating. When you sell your car with Peddle, we make it faster, easier, and awesomer—with instant offers, and free pickup.)

confirm that your yard is properly licensed

Make sure you’re protecting yourself from possible liabilities. For example, if your payment isn’t received or doesn’t go through, without proper licensing, your claim might not hold water. It’s also possible to be sued for improper transfer of a motor vehicle, so it’s worth taking the extra minute to confirm legitimacy. Reading reviews on accredited websites or asking for references is always a good idea.

get your car and documents ready

Remove license plates and have your car title ready to sign over. Know the legal requirements of your state, since they vary.

Make sure you grab any personal items from your car. Check the glove box, truck, consoles, under the seats, etc.

If you have a decent amount of gas in the tank, you could siphon that out too.

will I have to pay for junk car removal, or drop my car off?

Some yards will tow for free, and some charge a fee for junk car removal. They might ask you to arrange delivery yourself, which could be significant in terms of effort or cash, depending on where you are in proximity to the salvage yard.

peddle pays cash for junk cars

If you’re looking for an easier junk-car-removal alternative, Peddle loooooves junk cars and we pay on the spot. Just answer a few questions about your car and we generate an instant offer based on market value. (Our sophisticated algorithm gathers bids from a huge network of junkyards, salvage yards, and auctions, getting you the best offer for your less-than-perfect car.) You have seven days to accept our offer and then we’ll pick it up, free. No research, no haggling, no stress, no hoops, no tricks. Peddle is the newer, better, easier, faster, awesomer way to sell that junker. Get your instant offer in minutes right here.

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Finally retiring old-trusty? Get an offer in minutes-it's easy as pie