How Much Is Your Car Worth By Scrapping It?

Written by Danny Collins
Last updated: July 31, 2023

Every car owner reaches a point where they have to make a tough decision regarding the fate of their ageing vehicle. Often, the most profitable way to move on from a vehicle that is beyond repair or no longer serves its purpose is to scrap it. It’s important to assess your car’s value before you scrap it, and we’re here to help.

Factors affecting car scrap value

car scrap yard

Scrapping a car can be more profitable than you might initially think. However, it’s not as simple as driving your car to a scrapyard and expecting an arbitrary amount of money. Various factors influence the value you can extract from your vehicle.

Make and Model

Hyundai wheel

The make and model of a car can greatly affect its scrap value. Luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz or BMW, or high-performance vehicles such as Audi or Porsche, are likely to have a higher scrap value. This higher value is due to the premium materials and parts used in their construction. Even when these vehicles are beyond repair, the parts can be removed and sold separately, bringing in more money than standard car models.


Man cleaning car

The condition of a car is an essential determinant of its scrap value. A car that still runs, or one with some salvageable parts, is likely to fetch a higher price. Conversely, if your car is in extremely poor condition and most parts are beyond salvaging, it might only be worth the metal it contains. It’s worth noting that even seemingly minor details like rust, tyre condition, and the state of the car’s interior can influence the value.

Current Market for Scrap Metal Prices

£20 notes stacked on top of each other

The state of the scrap metal market plays a significant role in determining your car’s value. Prices for scrap metal can vary wildly, influenced by international trade, supply and demand, and even the time of year. Before deciding to scrap your car, it can be worth researching current scrap metal prices to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

How to work out the value of scrapping your car

Pile of £50 notes

Having understood the factors that can influence your car’s scrap value, it’s important to know how to actually determine this value. Here are some practical steps you can follow:

1) Obtain multiple quotes from scrap yards

Pile of £50 notes

One of the fundamental steps is to obtain multiple quotes from different scrap yards. Scrapyard operators are experts in identifying valuable parts and metals in your car, but their offers may vary depending on their current inventory, the specific parts they need, and their business practices. Therefore, contacting multiple scrap yards can provide a range of potential values and help you avoid settling for less than your car is worth.

2) Read car magazines for market insight

Woman reading car magazine

Car magazines often have valuable insights into the current state of the car scrap market. They can offer news about the demand for certain car parts, changes in scrap metal prices, and insights into the broader auto industry that could affect the value of your car. By keeping informed about these factors, you can better estimate when it might be best to scrap your car.

3) Ask your local garages or car dealerships

Mechanic working on car

Local garages or car dealerships can be another useful source of information when trying to estimate your car’s scrap value. They might be interested in buying some parts of your car, or they might know of other people who are. Even if they aren’t interested, they often have a finger on the pulse of the local car market and can provide advice or insight about your car’s potential scrap value.

4) Use an online car scrap comparison tool

Man eating toast whilst browsing car comparisons on laptop

Online car scrap comparison tools are a relatively recent innovation that can simplify the process of finding out your car’s scrap value. These tools use a combination of current scrap prices, the make and model of your car, and other factors to provide an instant estimate. RegCarCheck’s new car scrapping service is one such tool. It is a convenient, reliable, and easy-to-use platform that can help you get the best value for your scrapped car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to scrap my car or sell it?

The answer depends on various factors, including your car’s condition, the demand for its parts, and the current scrap metal market. If your car is still functional and in good condition, selling it might offer a higher return. However, if it requires costly repairs or is beyond repair, scrapping might be more beneficial. Ultimately, you should weigh the potential earnings from selling versus scrapping before making a decision.


Why do people buy scrap?

People buy scraps for different reasons. In many cases, it’s to extract the valuable metal content. Scrapped cars, for instance, contain steel, aluminium, and other metals that can be recycled and used in a variety of industries. Other people might buy scrap to salvage usable parts. For example, auto repair shops or DIY car enthusiasts may buy scrap cars to extract parts for use in other vehicles.


What is the current market for car scrapping?

The car scrapping market fluctuates regularly, reflecting changes in supply and demand for scrap metal and used car parts. With millions of cars reaching the end of their usable life each year, the demand for scrapping services remains steady. 


Will the government pay me to scrap my car?

Government policies regarding car scrapping vary significantly by country and even by state or region. Some places offer scrappage schemes to incentivize car owners to remove older, less environmentally friendly vehicles from the road. In these cases, you might receive a payment or a discount on a new car in exchange for scrapping your old one. It’s best to check with your local authorities or a knowledgeable source to find out the specific options available in your area.