Scrap Battery Prices in the USA

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How many old car batteries do you have sitting in your garage right now? Just like your vehicle needs its oil changed and regular fuel-ups to help keep it running smoothly, the car battery needs to be changed out every few years for maximum cranking power. In the US, almost every car battery is a lead acid battery and these can be turned into scrap for cash.

The one thing you’ve got to find out first before heading out to the scrap yard is whether or not these batteries will be accepted locally. Many yards will only scrap car batteries in bulk, so your battery may only be accepted if you’re turning in a minimum number of them. Even if this is the case, you still have some options available to you in the US to get some cash from your battery. Here’s your guide to get this task done today.

What Are Scrap Battery Prices Today?

There are two ways that a scrap yard will offer pricing for a battery: by a flat rate or through a per pound rate. Each yard is different, so you’ll need to call in advance to see what the current rates happen to be. In general terms, however, you should be able to receive a minimum of $0.30 per pound for your scrap battery.

The prices of a scrap battery are dependent on what the lead recycling prices happen to be at the time. This price can change from day to day, which means the actual price for a battery that is sold on weight can change. For this reason, many scrap yards have decided to simplify the process and offer a flat rate for the battery.

If your scrap yard only takes bulk battery recycling and you’ve got one battery to scrap, there is still another option in the US. Many retailers who sell car batteries will also offer recycling programs that will pay you in cash or gift cards when you bring in your old battery. For retail programs, the standard amount received is $10. Here are just some of the stores in your area that may offer cash or credit for your scrap battery.

  • Walmart
  • O’Reilly Auto Parts or NAPA Auto Parts
  • Batteries Plus or Interstate Battery

Most flat rate offers at a scrap yard should also be in the $10-$15 range. Some smaller batteries might be a dollar or two less, while larger truck batteries may be a few dollars more. Many scrap yards will offer a price in the $5-$8 range, however, and that’s usually a little low when compared to the per pound rates that are offered.

What Metals Are Being Scrapped?

Car batteries are known as a lead-acid battery. This technology was first invented in 1859 by a physicist named Gaston Planté. It’s the oldest form of a rechargeable battery that is still being used today. Its combination of low energy-to-volume, energy-to-weight, and their overall low cost make them an easy purchase for virtually all vehicle applications.

This means the metal that is being scrapped out of the battery is lead. Because lead is also considered a toxic metal, the prices that are received for recycling it tend to be much lower than other metals. Compared to the trading price of lead on any given day, the average scrap battery is going to pull in about 30% of the total price.

The reason for this is pretty simple: recycling the metal out of the battery is a fairly complicated process. The acid in a battery is highly corrosive and must be carefully handled. Lead is impure, heavy, and toxic when there are high levels of exposure. It’s also a relatively inexpensive element, which is why previous civilizations used lead for their plumbing and other liquid transport needs.

Today many battery manufacturers may not even want the old batteries to be scrapped. They can recycle the used batteries into new items, saving them the cost of manufacturing a brand new product. This is why many scrappers prefer to deal in bulk with this product.

Where To Find Scrap Batteries to Recycle?

The modern car goes through a lot of car batteries over the span of its life. This is because the computers in a vehicle don’t usually just shut off. You’ll find there is a small drain on the car battery at all times. This is why sometimes the battery can wind up being dead even if the lights weren’t left on. Without enough of a recharge from driving, the computer drain on the battery can drain the juice away. This means that everyone who owns a vehicle is likely going to need to scrap a battery at least once in their lives.

Outside of the obvious answer, you can find car batteries to scrap in some unusual locations. If you have a public recycling center, then there’s a good chance that people are leaving their car batteries somewhere at the site. You cannot remove batteries left behind when they are on private property, but if they are left on public grounds, you may be able to grab them and scrap them. Look for abandoned batteries at gas stations, convenience stores, and next to random dumpsters.

If you ask your neighbors for their old batteries, they might just give them to you without any questions asked.

There are certain batteries that can also be scrapped along with a car battery for some extra cash. Computer batteries and other lithium-ion batteries can also be scrapped. Almost all of these batteries are scrapped at a flat rate that is between $5-$10, but with new electric vehicles on the road using larger lithium-ion batteries, the pricing matrix may be different in certain US communities.

How To Get the Best Price For Scrap Batteries

The best thing you can do to find the best price for your scrap battery is to call around to see what prices are being offered. If you are quoted a per pound rate, then just weigh you battery and you’ll know how much to expect. An easy way to weigh a battery is to step onto a scale to get your current weight, then step onto the scale with the battery and compare the two numbers.

If you have a retail outlet that offers battery recycling, then you know that you’ve got a guaranteed $10 that you’ll be able to get. Should the scrap yards not be able to meet this price level, then take the battery in for recycling instead of for scrapping so you can get the best price possible. If you tell the scrap yard you’re planning on doing this, you might be able to get a dollar or two above the local flat retailer rate.

Traps To Avoid When Scrapping Batteries

Many vehicle owners don’t even realize that they can scrap their car batteries. When one gets changed out, the most common thing that people do is place the old used battery in a corner of their garage. You really can get some cash for this battery, but the trap here is that many people don’t actually believe this can be done. The battery is spent, so how could it be worth anything?

Some scrap yards also take advantage of this lack of knowledge. They’ll offer someone $5 for their battery and some car owners are grateful for the fact that someone wants to pay them for their useless product. The only thing is that the scrapper could potentially get $20-$25 for the battery in return. A potential $20 per battery profit is nice to have, but it also means you could get paid a little more for scrapping the battery.

Are There Car Batteries That Can’t Get Scrapped?

In general, all car batteries can be scrapped for cash. The only exceptions to this rule may be if the battery itself is damaged for some reason. Just about every scrap yard in the US will accept a car battery because the demand is so high for them. You must simply be aware that not every scrap yard will take individual batteries for scrap.

Lithium-ion car batteries are a different story. It takes specialized equipment to scrap the batteries that are found in electric vehicles. The battery needs to be frozen to -325F so that its core components can be stripped and recycled. Not every scrapper has this equipment or a relationship with someone who does, so some communities may have no way to deal with spent lithium-ion car batteries.

Scrap battery prices can vary from community to community, but the good news is that almost every community does have a flat rate options through a retail outlet. This gives everyone the chance to earn some cash from their spent car battery. Consider your local options today in the US and then sell to the highest bidder to receive cash back instantly.

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