How To Scrap My Car In the USA

Run a Scrap Yard? Advertise Here!

Contact Us for Details

Some vehicles just can’t run any more. They’ve lived a good life, but now they’re beyond repair. Instead of letting the car sit and rot on your property, you can actually get money for it if you know how to scrap your car. The first step you’ll want to take is to contact your local dealers to see what rates are available in your area. You’ll generally receive a fairly similar rate, but sometimes you can also find a higher price and take it right away.

Scrap cars in the United States are often referred to as “junkers.” The easiest way is to sell a car for scrap is to just sell the entire thing. The dealer will come out to your property, give you cash for the title, and then take the car off of your hands. You can negotiate the rate you receive for the entire car if you wish or accept an offered flat rate. Either way, the car gets off your property.

Or, if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, you could increase your profits by up to 75% or more by doing a lot of the scrapping work yourself. If you’re thinking about scrapping a car, then here’s how you can make the most money from the experience.

Step #1: Remove everything from the body of the car.

You’re going to need to remove all non-metal components from your vehicle if you want to prep it for scrap on your own. This means it must be completely clean of all fluids, plastics, and potentially even glass depending on what your local laws dictate. It’s easier to remove fluids when the vehicle is still put together, so get that job done first. Drain the radiator, oil, and gasoline from the vehicle. Brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washing fluid is often overlooked, so get those as well.

Then you’ll need to remove the non-metal components. Begin with the seats. Then remove the radio to make removal of the dashboard easier. The steering column, interior panels, and anything else you can find that isn’t metal that you can remove should be taken out. Your local scrap dealer may also need to have you remove the engine from the vehicle in order for it to be scrapped.

Some scrappers will accept a junk car in an “as is” condition. Others may need to have the entire car scrapped to the point where only metal is left behind. The good news here is that as you’re removing car components, you’ve actually got a chance to make some extra cash.

Step #2: Remove and sell the car parts that have actual retail value.

There are actually some very valuable components on your scrap car that could bring in several hundred dollars for you when sold. The wheels and rims are the easiest to take off and sell. Used tires can sell from $10-$50 depending on their condition. Rims may fall in the $5-$25 range depending on your vehicle and how much customization went into the product.

Other common parts that sell well from scrap vehicles include the transmission, engine, and brakes. It may even be worthwhile to hire someone to remove these items for you and to share a percentage of the sale with them if you don’t have the equipment or skill to remove the parts on your own. You could even ask buyers who come to buy these parts to remove it themselves.

Anything else that is in a salvageable condition from underneath the hood or within the interior of the vehicle also has the potential of having resale value. Set any parts aside carefully so that you can protect their value. Then look to mechanics, auto parts stores, and other outlets who help to repair vehicles to see if you have a market for your salvaged items. You can also sell the parts to individual buyers.

Step #3: Research the scrap value of your entire vehicle.

To sell a car for scrap, most dealers will offer you a chart that has a make and model guide to let you know what the weight of the vehicle happens to be. This is useful when you’re trying to make a sale of the entire vehicle. Based on the actual weight of the car, you’ll know what the value of it happens to be from your local dealer.

Here’s the problem: most scrap car rates are based on the lowest overall ferrous rate per ton that is available in your local market. That’s why the decision to scrap my car can be a difficult one to make. Why? A Buick Century from 1994 weighs exactly 3,000 pounds, or 1.5 tons. If the bulk ferrous iron rate is $110 per ton, this means the scrap value of your car is $220. If you aren’t delivering your vehicle to the scrapper, there may be a transportation fee that reduces this amount further.

In comparison, if you just sold the tires and rims to someone else on your own, you could potentially double the value of your scrap car. There are other overlooked items here as well: the car’s battery, the starter, and even the hoses and clamps all have more potential resale value than scrap value. If you can save it from your vehicle and it’s in good shape, there’s a good chance someone else who owns the same vehicle is going to want it.

That’s why it is so important to understand the scrap value for your entire vehicle. Sure – if you just want to get rid of a junker that’s taking up some space, then a couple hundred bucks is headed your way. If there are any salvageable parts on the vehicle, you could turn that $200 into $1,000 or more if you own a pickup, SUV, or luxury car very easily.

As a final step, you must also know what the percentage of metal in your scrap car happens to be to make sure you’re getting a fair price. If you know the scrap value is $220, but your car is only 90% metal, then the dealer is going to offer you $198 instead of $220 for the difference in percentage.

Step #4: Make sure your paperwork is in order.

This is the most overlooked step in the “scrap my car” process in the United States. You must sign a title over to the scrapper in order for the transaction to be completed. If you don’t have a title, some states may prevent this sale from taking place until you replace the title. Others allow for multiple forms of identification, including previous insurance, to serve in place of a title if the car is confirmed to be non-operational.

You may also be required to have an active registration on your vehicle. This means any tags that must be on your license plate must be up-to-date in order for the sale to take place. If you don’t have the registration current, you could file a planned non-operation document with your local Department of Motor Vehicles or similar department to allow the sale to go through.

If the vehicle you’re thinking about scrapping runs and is potentially repairable, then it may be more worthwhile to restore your car than to scrap it. A restored vehicle can easily command a price that’s 10x or more above what its scrap value happens to be. This may take more work in the long run, but the investment might be worthwhile.

Step #5: Confirm the actual tonnage that is being used.

When you start the process of trying to scrap your car for cash, you’ll find that some scrappers use a different weight measurement. Instead of using the net ton, which is 2,000 pounds, as the basis of a full junk car purchase, the metric ton or “long ton” is sometimes used instead. A metric ton actually weights 2,240 pounds.

Why is this important to know? Because if you’re selling the entire vehicle, a 1.75 ton vehicle on a net ton weight will be a 1.5 ton vehicle when using the long ton. That means less cash gets put into your pocket – up to $50 less on some vehicles – and you if you don’t ask, you won’t be told about which measurement is actually being used.

Are You Ready To Scrap Your Car For Cash?

A junk vehicle can be sold on its own for cash. You can also scrap out your own car and sell the parts for cash if you want. The best dealers who will finish your “scrap my car” plan in the US will also offer additional money if your vehicle has aluminum rims and a factory catalytic converter. You should receive a minimum $25 bonus for your rims and at least $50 for your catalytic converter based on the average rates available today.

That car which is just rotting on your property right now could be cash in your pocket tomorrow. Follow these steps if you want to know how to scrap a car and you’ll be able to turn a profit out of a potential eyesore.

Run a Scrap Yard? Advertise Here!

Contact Us for Details