What Is My Junk Car Worth?
It’s pretty easy to determine the value of new cars. As our vehicles age, however, they always wear and tear. Some cars are driven more than others and age in a predictable way, while some develop unique issues which make it hard to determine their true value.
Cars that are nearing the end of their usable life – also known as junk cars are especially complicated to appraise. So what’s behind the quote you receive when you call a junk car buyer? Read on to find out.
Junk cars and used cars are not equal
The most common way to determine the value of a used car is to check out a pricing guide online. The most well known pricing site is the Kelley Blue Book (KBB), although other great options such as the Edmunds and NADA guides can be very helpful for this purpose. These sites offer an estimate of the value of a driveable car. You may have used them before if you sold a used car. If you’re selling a rusted out junk car, however, these guides won’t be very helpful.
You can use the guides to get an idea of what your junk car would be worth if it were in better condition. Note that the sites may all give you different values. This is because assessing a vehicle’s worth isn’t an exact science. Online guides all place different weights on certain aspects of your car’s value. That’s why these sites are only a starting place, and why junk car buyers have to use their expertise and knowledge of your local junk car market to appraise your junk vehicle.
Junk car values vs. used car values
You might choose to head over to a car trading site such as Craiglist after you’ve gotten a ballpark value from the KBB, Edmunds, or NADA guides. You’ll want to see how much people are asking for vehicles just like yours in fair or bad condition.
You can use this number to compare to the quote you get from a junk car buyer and determine whether it’s worth putting a few hundred dollars worth of work into the vehicle. In most cases it won’t be. Junk cars carry most of their value in their salvageable materials.
It’s usually not possible to sell a junk car to an individual. Your junk car is most likely too far gone to be considered on the local resale market. Is it time to accept the fact that your car’s done for? Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be getting cash. When determining the value of a true junk car, the price of scrap metal can play a huge role.
Scrap metals generally sit at about $275 to $400 per ton. However, these values can change suddenly and dramatically due to the volatile international market. An experienced junk car buyer knows how to watch the market and capitalize on its volatility. A good buyer will want to figure out what your junk car is composed of before offering you a price.
An inexperienced junkyard may not have the knowledge required to do this. Look up junk car buyers, recyclers and scrap yards in your area. Check out their websites and call the ones that look legitimate, experienced, and have good reviews.
There’s only so much you can do yourself
Getting a ballpark idea of how much your junk car is worth will help you go into a junk car sale with ease and confidence. That said, appraising a junk car is challenging because of how vehicles age.
Fluctuating scrap metal prices and the value of certain components of your car which you may not even know the names of make it hard for the average person to determine the value of their own junk car. It’s always good to start asking high when posting an ad online.
If you have a junk car, however, we recommend skipping that step and going right to a reliable and professional junk car for cash buyer.