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Who Buys Junk Cars?

If you have a junk car to sell, check out these options.

By Contributor

Who Buys Junk Cars

Who Buys Junk Cars


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Just because your car doesn’t run doesn’t mean it’s worthless. It’s worth something to somebody, and you’d be surprised at how much value it retains.

But who buys junk cars, what do they get out of them, and how can you guarantee the best price when you’re ready to sell?


What is a Junk Car?

A junk car is a car that doesn’t run and costs more to repair than it’s worth. That doesn’t mean it’s worthless though.

Junk cars may still have some valuable parts that can be salvaged and sold. The vehicle also contains a lot of scrap metal, so once those parts are removed, the car can be scrapped and recycled.

Who Buys Junk Cars?

Potentially, there’s a lot of money under the hood, and even the hood itself could be worth a few bucks. So, who buys junk cars?

Cash for junk car services

As the name suggests, these services pay cash for junk cars of all shapes, sizes, and conditions. They provide quotes via online forms and over the phone, and they’ll arrange for a free tow service to collect your vehicle.

You are under no obligation to accept a quote, so you should always check with a few companies before agreeing to a price. Make sure there are no hidden or additional fees and be honest about the condition of the vehicle.

Peddle and Wheelzy are two of the biggest companies in this sector. You can also go through Car Brain and a few others. They typically operate via a nationwide network and hire local junkyards and tow truck drivers, so you should be able to get a quote wherever you are.


Dealerships occasionally buy junk cars to fix up and resell. They may also take old junk cars as part of a trade-in. It’s an option that’s worth considering, but you’re unlikely to get the best price for your vehicle unless you’re using it as part of an exchange deal to get a few bucks off a new car.


Junkyards salvage scrap cars for parts and then turn the remainder into scrap metal. Those parts are then sold individually. You can drive your car to the scrapyard if it’s still running or arrange for a tow service if not. Most scrapyards provide this service and while they typically don’t charge, it may result in a lower sale price.

Cash For Your Junk Car features a handy list of all local junkyards near you.

Private buyers

There’s a limit to how much you can make selling a scrap car to a junkyard or dealer. They’ll consider the demand for all working parts and will also check the weight of the car against current scrap metal prices. Their margin will then be added (along with the cost of towing and storing the vehicle) and they’ll give you a final price.

If you sell the parts or the whole car yourself, you don’t have to worry about those middleman costs and can get a higher price as a result.

Private buyers purchase junk cars as fixer-uppers. It doesn’t need to be working. It doesn’t even need to have all of its parts. There’s always someone out there who is willing to take it off your hands and turn it into a project.


Can I sell a car that doesn’t run?

Yes. You will probably get more money if it does run, assuming you sell to a dealership or private buyer, but it’s not a necessity. Junkyards only care about the parts they can salvage from the vehicle, as well as the total scrap metal content.

Can I sell a car with many missing parts?

Yes, but it may reduce the value. If there are expensive parts in the car, you should consider removing them and selling them separately. However, you’ll need to tell junk car buyers that you’ve done this when it comes time to sell your vehicle.

What is the most money you can get for a junk car?

It’s hard to say, as it depends on everything from the make and model to the weight, condition, and even your location. The good news is that it’s always worth something. Even if there are no salvageable parts, for instance, the average car should still fetch around $200 in scrap metal value alone.

How do I get a non-running car to the junkyard?

Most junk car buyers offer free towing. They will arrange to collect your vehicle at a scheduled time. The tow truck driver will then conduct an inspection and hand over the cash.

What should I do if the tow truck driver asks for more money?

Scams are rare in this industry, but it’s possible that the tow truck driver will try to tell you the car is not as described and you are therefore owed less money. Remember that you’re not obligated to accept a reduced price and can simply refuse and send them on their way.

They arranged for the tow truck. They took the time and made the effort. As a result, they have more to lose than you do. Stand firm and refuse to accept anything less than what was agreed.

How do I know I am getting the fair market price?

The best thing to do is to get as many quotes as you can. Don’t just take the first offer that you receive. If everyone is quoting similar prices but one is a little higher, take it.


A scrap vehicle is a valuable commodity to the right buyer. So, don’t give up on your car just because it doesn’t work and has seen better days. Even if it won’t run and can’t be fixed, it’s still a massive 2-ton hunk of metal that can’t be scrapped.

Always get multiple quotes, try different options, and be on the lookout for hidden fees. The best junk car buyers will give you top dollar, offer free towing, and provide a hassle-free service. With so many of these companies around, you don’t need to settle for anything less.

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