8 Ways of Increasing Your Car Scrap Value

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: July 25, 2023

When your car is damaged or reaches the end of its life, scrapping it can be a practical solution. However, you might be surprised to learn that there are ways to maximise the value you can get from scrapping your car.

In this article, we will explore eight efficient ways to increase your car’s scrap value. By following these tips, you can make the most out of your old vehicle and ensure a better return on your investment.

What is the Scrap Value of a Car?

Cash for car scrap

Inevitably, every car reaches the end of its usable life, and its value is determined not by its performance on the road, but rather by its scrap value. The car scrap value is a measure of how much the old vehicle is worth once it has ceased to be operational.

Various factors influence the cost, including the price per tonne of scrap metal in your area, the vehicle’s age, make and model, whether it’s complete with alloys, the engine type, and other essential components contributing to the metal weight. These factors all contribute to the final figure you can expect when selling a car for scrap.

How to Increase Your Car’s Scrap Value

So, if you’re considering selling a car for scrap, how can you maximise your return? Here are eight strategies you can use to increase your car’s scrap value:

1) Remove Any Non-Metal Components

Car seats removed from car

Scrap metal is the primary component of interest in a vehicle that’s destined for the junkyard. Therefore, removing non-metallic parts like plastic elements, seats, or rubber tyres can help increase the weight of the metallic portion, thereby raising your car’s scrap value. However, safety should be a priority; ensure you have the appropriate tools and expertise before embarking on this task. If unsure, it might be worth hiring a professional to avoid causing damage or potential injury.

2) Salvage Valuable Components in Good Condition

Mechanic removing parts from car

Even if a car is at the end of its life, some components may still hold considerable value. Items such as the GPS system, alloy wheels, high-quality tires, air conditioning units, car stereos, airbags, and catalytic converters can often be sold separately for a substantial profit. By carefully removing and selling these parts, you can significantly increase the overall value you receive from your vehicle. Remember to check the legality and safety aspects of removing certain components, like airbags, before proceeding.

3) Clean and Detail Your Car

Man detailing and cleaning car

A clean car might suggest that it has been well-maintained throughout its life, leading potential scrap buyers to believe the components within are also in good condition. Spending a little time cleaning and detailing your vehicle before the sale could pay dividends. Pay particular attention to detail the interior, engine bay, and trunk, areas where prospective buyers may look to assess the car’s overall condition.

4) Ensure You Have All Documentation

Woman checking car documents

Checking car documentation before you scrap not only streamlines the process but also increases your vehicle’s scrap value. This includes the car’s title, registration, and any available maintenance records. These documents provide evidence of the car’s history, like how often it was serviced and the type of repairs it had, which may make it more appealing to scrap yards or individual buyers interested in salvaging parts.

5) Compare Prices Online for Different Scrap Yards

Woman on laptop browsing price comparison for car scrap

Not all scrap yards will offer the same price for your vehicle. Some might be particularly interested in certain makes and models or need specific parts, hence willing to pay a premium. Use online resources to get quotes from various scrap yards and auto recyclers in your area. This step could help you to secure a more lucrative deal.

6) Focus on Market Trends

Market trend graph

Scrap metal prices fluctuate due to supply and demand dynamics in the global market. It’s influenced by factors such as industrial activities, commodity market trends, and international trade policies. By keeping an eye on these trends, you can choose the most advantageous time to scrap your car.

7) Negotiate Scrap Prices

Price drop concept

Many people aren’t aware that scrap prices are often negotiable. Once you have several quotes in hand, use them as leverage to negotiate a better price. Remember, it’s essential to be realistic in your negotiations; having a firm understanding of your vehicle’s worth will prevent you from accepting low offers or making excessively high demands.

8) Consider Selling Car Parts Separately

Mechanic going through separate car parts

If you have the time and knowledge, you might find it beneficial to dismantle the car and sell the parts individually. Components like engines, transmissions, radiators, and alternators often have a higher market value when sold separately. Online platforms, car parts stores, and mechanic shops are potential places to sell these components. Just make sure to consider the time, effort, and cost this route may require.

Looking to Scrap Your Car?

Pile of scrapped cars

Deciding to scrap your car can be a challenging decision, but it can also be financially rewarding if done correctly. If you’re considering this, we can help! We provide valuable services for those considering scrapping their vehicles, ensuring you get the best possible value.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the scrap value of a car calculated?

The scrap value of a car is largely determined by the weight of its metal content and the current market price for that type of metal. Scrap dealers typically separate vehicles into ferrous materials (materials that contain iron) and non-ferrous materials (such as aluminium and copper).

Non-ferrous metals usually have a higher value per pound than ferrous metals, which can significantly influence the car’s scrap value. Apart from the weight and type of metal, other factors like the vehicle’s make, model, age, and condition of essential components can also affect the overall scrap value. Some specific car models or parts might be in higher demand, leading to a higher scrap value.

How much can I get for scrapping my car?

The exact value you’ll get for scrapping your car varies widely depending on the factors mentioned above. Generally, you can expect anywhere from £100 to £500 or more, but the figure could be higher or lower based on your specific vehicle and the current market conditions.

For instance, larger vehicles with more metal will typically yield more money than smaller, lighter vehicles. The price of scrap metal also varies over time based on supply and demand, meaning that your car’s scrap value could rise or fall based on the global commodities market.

Can I scrap my car for cash in hand?

In the UK, it’s illegal to pay cash for scrap cars, a measure introduced to combat metal theft. Instead, payments must be made through a traceable method, like a bank transfer or cheque. While this might seem inconvenient, it ensures transparency in the transaction and provides both parties with a record of the sale. Always ask the scrap yard about their payment method upfront to avoid surprises.

Why do people buy scrap?

Scrap metal has a wide range of uses across various industries. It can be recycled and reused, reducing the need for new metal production, which is costly and harmful to the environment. Industries such as construction, automotive, electronics, and even art and design often use scrap metal. Additionally, in an era of increasing environmental consciousness, recycling scrap metal is seen as a sustainable practice that helps conserve natural resources.

Can I scrap a car on finance?

In general, you cannot scrap a car that’s still under finance because the finance company holds ownership until the debt is fully paid off. Scrapping the car without settling the finance would be considered a breach of contract. If you want to scrap a car on finance, the first step should be contacting the finance company to discuss your options. In some cases, they may allow you to pay off the remaining balance with the proceeds from scrapping the car. However, this depends on the specifics of your agreement and the finance company’s policies.