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How To Scrap A Car For The Most Money

If your car is old, damaged, or beyond repair, you can still make good money by scrapping your car. Learn how to scrap cars for cash here.
Stephanie Lawrence
Stephanie Lawrence
08/10/2022 · 8 min read
How To Scrap A Car For The Most Money How To Scrap A Car For The Most Money How To Scrap A Car For The Most Money

If your car is on its last legs, its fuel efficiency is low, or the cost of repair and maintenance is much higher than if you were to buy a brand new car, you should consider scrapping it and making quick cash in the process.

Contrary to popular belief, scrapping your car is not a very difficult or technical process. You basically have two options which involve either selling the whole car to a scrap yard or scrapping the car and then selling the various parts for a profit before selling it off to the scrap dealer. To do this, however, you need to know how to scrap the different parts of your car, where to sell them, and how to get the best price for them.

In order to help you maximize the return on your car scrap, we provide a comprehensive and detailed overview of all the steps involved in scrapping your car for the most money so that you can make a little extra cash.

Preparing To Scrap Your Car

Before asking yourself “how do I scrap my car for the most money?”, you need to have your legal paperwork up to date, which mainly includes the certificate of title of the car. The car title is a document that contains the details regarding the ownership of the car and other relevant information such as the vehicle identification number or VIN, license plate number, and if applicable, the information of the lien holder.

While some scrap buyers may not be particularly strict about the car having a title, it is possible that they charge an additional fee in case you can’t prove the title of the car. So whether you have an electronic or hardcopy version of the title, make sure that you can provide it to the buyer to prove ownership of the car in order to make the selling process smoother and easier.

Next, you want to know what to remove from your car before you scrap it either as it is or for parts. Start by emptying the car of all your personal items and belongings and remember to check the glove box and under and in between the seats for any long-lost items or possessions.

You should also remove both the front and back license plates and keep them safe. Depending on your state or city laws, you may be able to reuse the same license plates if and when you purchase your next car.

Additionally, remember to completely empty the fuel tank and cancel your car insurance once you decide to scrap your car for some extra bucks.

How To Scrap Your Car

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Learning how to scrap a car for the most money involves having a basic working knowledge of the most valuable parts of the car and their true market value. This will allow you to get a fair price from potential buyers.

As a starting point, it is helpful to know about the top 5 most expensive metals in your car which include brass, steel, copper, platinum, and palladium. For example, you can easily sell the steel that forms a part of your car for a good price, which includes components such as the car's body frame, hood, trunk, and exhaust pipes.

In addition to precious metals, the most valuable parts of a car that will fetch you the highest amount of money include the following: built-in GPS system, radio, air conditioning unit, car batteries, catalytic converters, engine, bumper, fender, tires and rims, airbags, doors, mirrors, windows, and windshield wipers. If some or all of these parts are in good condition and functioning properly, you should consider selling them to get a good cash offer.

In case you are wondering how to sell your car for parts, you have two basic options that you can consider:

  • Hire a professional mechanic. This is the best option if you lack the skills, knowledge, and expertise when it comes to removing the different parts from your car and want to maximize your monetary return by selling items separately. A trusted and experienced mechanic can easily separate the valuable parts of a car before you decide to sell the remainder to a scrap dealer. This can ensure that you get the most bang for your buck.

  • Do it yourself. In this case, you will have to purchase specialized tools and equipment to detach and remove all the necessary parts of the car safely and securely, and also need to take precautionary measures such as wearing protective eyewear, a heavy-duty helmet, and safety gloves. Importantly, you will also need to have the necessary skills and knowledge to successfully execute this task. If you have never done this before, it may be worth your while to seek help from an experienced family member or a friend, or if you are feeling particularly ambitious, you could even refer to online tutorials. Just keep in mind the scrapping process is extremely tedious and time-consuming.

The option you choose will be based on a number of factors, including how much time you have, the amount of effort you are willing to put in, and your current level of skills and experience with scrapping vehicles.

Where To Scrap Your Car

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Selling car scrap is fairly simple owing to the fact that many ventures have popped up that specialize in scrapping cars because it is not only lucrative but environmentally friendly. Here we highlight three main avenues where you can easily and profitably scrap your once beloved car.

Scrap Dealers

Your best bet on how to scrap a car for the most money involves contacting a reputable auto recycling company or a scrap yard by conducting a quick online search to find options near to where you live. On average, you can expect scrap dealers to offer towing services and pick the car up from your residence, particularly if your car is run down and unable to be driven. This way, you can hope to get cash for junk cars as well.

Most companies work by offering you an online quote based on your car’s make, model, year, and condition, and pay you either upfront or through a bank transfer for scrapping your car. Remember to ensure that the scrap dealer is a registered and legal business, and doesn’t route your money to some third party prior to purchasing your car.

Sell Online

When deciding on how to scrap a car for the most money, you can also consider removing some valuable parts from your car, such as the battery or stereo, in order to sell them online on platforms such as eBay Motors, Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, or Craigslist. Before doing this, however, it is best to speak to a professional mechanic to ascertain the estimated value of each car part so that you can sell it for the most money.

Generally, you should consider taking out all the non-metal parts before scrapping your car since scrap dealers mostly don’t have any productive use for them. This includes parts such as car seats, steering wheel, tires, headlights, and the dashboard. You can then sell these online and end up making good money off of them in addition to receiving cash for your junk vehicle from a scrap yard.

Sell To Specialized Buyers

Instead of opting for junk car buyers, an alternative is to explore specialized stores such as catalytic converter buyers or even private buyers who are interested in scrap vehicles. Chances are that you may be able to get a fairly good price for certain types of motor parts, particularly vintage car parts or parts that are in high demand.

How To Get The Best Price When Scrapping Your Car

Photo by Jp Valery on Unsplash

Getting guidance on how to scrap a car for the most money is probably the principal incentive behind going through this entire process. Even if you are not a car aficionado, there are some easy and simple ways that you can adopt in order to scrap your car for the best price.

Determine The Value

Prior to making any big decisions, it is essential to learn about the scrap value of a car. This usually depends on a number of factors which include the year, make, and model of the car, the condition of the car, the weight of the car in scrap metal, the market price of scrap metal, the geographical distance from the scrap yard, and the condition and worth of any valuable car parts.

The better the condition of your car, the higher the market prices for scrap metal, and the closer you are located to the scrap yard, the greater the amount of money you can potentially make by scrapping your car will be.

Once you are aware of the true value of your car and the various car parts, you are automatically in a much better place to bargain for a better price and get a high amount of cash for cars that are no longer useful.

Compare Prices From Other Scrap Dealers

While it may seem convenient to just seek quotes from a couple of scrap dealers, it is always a good idea to survey the market and see what other dealers are offering you for your car. Although most companies are likely to offer competitive prices, you can always hope to find a dealer that gives you a much better deal on your car that is close to its true estimated value.

Remember to make sure you check scrap dealers’ reviews to see what other customers are saying about their service and trustworthiness. Finally, get at least five different quotes before making the final decision.

The Bottom Line

Parting with your old car can actually be an emotional process for some people. But if your car is beyond repair and no longer road-worthy, it may be wise to scrap it for cash. This is a much better option than letting your car sit in the garage or parking lot or giving it away for free.

Once you have the requisite knowledge about how to scrap cars and the cash value of different car parts, you can feel confident that getting cash in return for scrapping your car is indeed the optimal option in order to not only get rid of your car but also to make an extra few bucks in the process.

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