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Scrap Car Prices - What is the Scrap Value of my Car?

Posted in General

Every driver will have encountered this problem at some point during their driving past. When your old car isn’t worth selling as a used car, or if the car is no longer in a drivable condition, it may be the case that the only route for the future of the car is selling it for scrap.

One of the major hurdles faced during scrapping of a car is its price, and finding the right dealer who is honest, and can offer you a competitive price without wasting your time on negotiations.

This article will give a comprehensive overview of how the prices for scrap cars are calculated, the factors and variables that influence the scrap value of your car, and the right time to scrap your car, in order to get the best return possible.

Factors behind scrap car prices

There is no particular dealer, or a government entity who regulates or maintains the market rate of scrap cars. However, there are few factors behind the fluctuating prices of scrap cars. Here are the factors that scrap dealers will consider...

Size and weight of your car

If you are selling your car for scrap, the price will mainly be based on the car’s weight and size. All other factors will come next. The scrap car dealer or dismantler will likely offer you an approximate price without even weighing your vehicle, as they have an idea of how valuable the car is. This is based on their experience with thousands of other cars, and they know the value of different valuable parts and material’s price present in the car.

Generally, a full size SUV will definitely give you more money compared to a hatchback or sedan, because of their size, weight and the metal used in the car. Scrap car dealers usually estimate and offer you the price of the metal in the car according to its size. However, if you have an expensive sports car with a carbon fiber body, you may need to look for a specialised dealer who can offer you the best price possible.

Location of the dealers

There is a chance that local dealers will offer to pick your car up from your home for free. Scrap dealers who are located quite far from your home will likely charge a collection fee, so it is always best to use a local provider.

You might have heard of an out of town scrap dealer with a good reputation that offer good prices, but these good prices will likely be limited due to the collection fee that they will charge. Local is best!

Model year and make of the car

Whenever you buy a new vehicle, its make, model and variant decide its price. A car like a Rolls Royce or Range Rover can cost you a hefty sum. This is the same when it comes to scrapping. 

The dealer will have a clear idea of how valuable a car model is, and how much its components can sell for. The scrap dealer will definitely offer you a price based on those valuable components inside your car if they are in good condition. Therefore, a newer model or a limited edition car whose parts can be used elsewhere will give you a greater return at the end of its life.

Market rates for the material/metal

One of the main materials of interest for scrap dealers is the metal used in the chassis and body of the car. The prices for scrap metal fluctuates every month, and can even vary weekly, depending on the demand from industry and local factories. This supply and demand not only affect these industries, but also the local dealers buying scrap cars from customers.

Missing or damaged essential parts

Parts of your car can be more valuable and sought after compared to other parts of your car. Components like the catalytic converter, tires (if in good condition), doors, exhaust system, and stereo, can be sold as spare parts at a later date. 

Other dealers can offer you an increased price if all the parts in the vehicle are in good working order. Taking out a part from your car can maybe give you some resale value in the aftermarket, but it can drastically drop down the price offered by your local scrap dealer. It is therefore highly recommended that you don’t remove any parts from your car before selling it for scrap to ensure you get the best price possible.

Apart from these factors mentioned above, you should also keep in mind the time of the month when you sell your car. Try to sell the car to scrap car dealers at the start of the month to get the best price. In addition, you should be firm with price, and don’t enter into negotiations.

Is it fine to accept cash for your car?

No, absolutely not. You should never accept any type of cash in return for your car. This is actually illegal according to the latest regulations, in order to keep a track of every car being scrapped. Authorized and registered dealers will never offer you cash. Selling your car for scrap without any proper paperwork and records can lead to various legal risks. For example, it could lead to your car being involved in a crime while it is still under your ownership. You are always recommended to therefore thoroughly go through all the paperwork, and accept recompense for your scrapped car in the form of a bank transfer, so that it remains legal and traceable for any government agency if they were to check.

Further reading