Scrap Car Prices: Per Ton Scrap Metal Value of Car Near You (2024)

Scrap car prices are used to determine the value of a junk car when it is sold for its recyclable materials. In May 2024, scrap car prices range between $145/ton to $195/ton, depending on location and other factors. The average price is $185/ton across the US. Most vehicles are with between $100 and $877.50 in scrap. The main factors include the car’s weight, the type of metals, and the current scrap metal car price per ton in your area.

This guide covers those factors and more, helping you understand how scrap car prices are calculated.

Scrap Car Prices: Per Ton Scrap Metal Value of Car Near You (1)

What are Scrap Car Prices?

Scrap car prices refer to the amount of money you can receive for recycling a car. These prices are based on the value of metals such as steel, aluminum, and copper. The price of a car in scrap is closely tied to the fluctuating market prices of these metals. A formula is used to consider the makeup of cars and their prices by weight to determine scrap car prices per ton.

Scrap car prices refer to the amount of money you can recycle a car for. They consist of a vehicle’s value in metals such as steel, aluminum, and copper. The price of a car in scrap is closely tied to the fluctuating market prices of those metals and is calculated on a per-ton basis. A formula is used to take the makeup of cars and their weight prices to create scrap car prices per ton. The formula to calculate scrap car prices are:

Vehicle Weight * The Scrap Price Per Ton For Cars

Why Are Junk Cars Valuable?

Junk cars have value due to their recyclable materials like steel, aluminum, and copper. Cars can be crushed and taken to a metal recycling facility where they can be processed and melted down, making junk cars a valuable source of scrap metal. Some junk cars even have valuable parts that can be salvaged and recycled before being crushed.

What Are Scrap Car Prices Per Ton?

Scrap car prices range from $165/ton to $195/ton. The scrap price for cars varies based on metal recycling prices near you and local market conditions.

View scrap car prices per ton by month in 2024:

January 2024 = $155-$190/ton
February 2024 = $145-$185/ton
March 2024 = $155-$190/ton
April 2024 = $165-$195/ton

What is The Average Scrap Price For Cars in the US?

As of May 2024, the average scrap price for a mid-size vehicle is $336.60, ranging from $271.25 to $365.63.

What is the Scrap Metal Price Per Ton For Cars?

The scrap metal price per ton for cars can fluctuate daily. As of May 2024, the overall price for complete cars is about $185 per ton. The website iScrap App reports a similar price of $180.50 per ton. Steel prices can range from $200.00 to $240.00 per ton. Aluminum scrap prices typically range between $2,200 and $2,500 per ton globally. Copper prices can range from $2.80 to $3.30 per pound.

How Much Are Complete Cars Worth in Scrap?

As of May 2024, the average scrap price for a mid-size vehicle is $336.60, ranging from $271.25 to $365.63. A complete car is a vehicle that still has all of its components, such as the engine and transmission.

How Much Are Crushed Cars Worth?

The average scrap price of crushed cars is about $120/ton to $140/ton, depending on the location’s market prices. A crushed car is a vehicle that has been stripped of its valuable components and crushed using a car compressor.

Why Are Crushed Cars Worth Less in Scrap Than Complete Cars?

Crushed cars are worth less than complete cars because they usually weigh less. A complete car usually weighs more because it still has all its parts, including heavier components like the engine, transmission, and other metal parts. Recycling yards pay based on the weight of the scrap metal, so a heavier car will fetch a higher price. Complete cars are also easier to dismantle for parts and metal.

What are the Factors That Affect the Scrap Value of Cars?

Several factors influence scrap car prices:

  • Metal Prices: Current market rates for metals like steel, aluminum, and copper.
  • Car Weight: Heavier cars yield more scrap metal.
  • Location: Regional demand and local scrapyard rates.

The scrap value is used when a vehicle is no longer operable and has reached the end of its useful life. At that time, the vehicle’s only value is in the scrap metal it contains.

What if My Car Has Valuable Parts?

Vehicles with valuable parts will be worth more when sold to a junk car buyer than vehicles that are purely scrap.

How Much Do You Get for Scrapping a Car?

You can get anywhere from $100 to $877.50 for scrapping a car depending on its weight, metal makeup, and current market prices. When scrapping cars remove any valuable car parts that can be resused. Finding a buyer for these prior to selling your vehicle for it’s value in scrap metal will yield a higher return overall. Although it takes a special skill of a mechanic to remove the most important parts such as the engine, transmission, and catalytic converter.

Here are the scrap values of popular vehicle models

Of the top 50 vehicle models junked, the 10 vehicles with the highest scrap values are listed below.

To calculate the “Scrap Car Price Index” as a direct multiplication of the price per ton by the vehicle’s weight, I’ll use the midpoint of the given price per ton range, which is $170 USD per ton, as a standard price per ton. Here’s how the calculations would look:

VehicleAssumed Weight (tons)Price Per Ton (USD)Scrap Car Price Index (USD)
Chevrolet Silverado2.5170$425
Toyota Prius1.5170$255
Kia Sorento1.9170$323
Honda CR-V1.7170$289
Hyundai Elantra1.4170$238
Toyota Corolla1.3170$221
Chevrolet Cruze1.4170$238
Hyundai Santa Fe1.9170$323
Hyundai Sonata1.5170$255
Subaru Outback1.6170$272

This table simplifies the “Scrap Car Price Index” by calculating it as the product of a fixed price per ton and the vehicle’s weight, providing a straightforward understanding of how the scrap value is derived based on the vehicle’s weight. View actual sale prices of junk cars by model.

How Do Scrap Car Prices Compare Nationwide?

The scrap price of a car can vary significantly across different regions.

Scrap Car Prices: Per Ton Scrap Metal Value of Car Near You (2)

As stated, the average scrap car price per ton ranges between $145 and $195 making the average scrap car value range between $145 to $877.50. The 10 cities with the highest average scrap car price per ton as of May 2024 are listed below.

CityScrap Value of Complete CarScrap Car Price Per Ton
Orlando, FL$390$195
San Jose, CA$374$187
Los Angeles, CA$362$181
Brooklyn, NY$350$175
Riverside, CA$338$169
Dallas, TX$330$165
Philadelphia, PA$328$164
Houston, TX$318$159
Tampa, FL$306$153
Baltimore, MD$290$145

Regions in the United States Where Scrap Car Values Are Higher

  1. Northeast
    • Cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia often have higher scrap car values due to strong industrial demand, higher population density, and proximity to ports for exporting scrap cars and parts.
  2. West Coast
    • Major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle typically offer higher prices for scrap cars. The proximity to major ports facilitates export to international markets, particularly to Asia.
  3. Great Lakes Region
    • Cities like Chicago, Detroit, and Cleveland often see higher scrap car values due to their history of heavy industry and manufacturing. This region also benefits from being close to auto recycling facilities and metal processing plants.
  4. Southeast
    • Cities like Atlanta, Miami, and Charlotte can have higher scrap car values due to growing industrial and construction activities, as well as access to export markets via ports.
  5. Texas
    • Major cities such as Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio can have competitive scrap car values due to strong industrial demand, construction activities, and the presence of numerous auto recycling facilities.

The scrap price of a car can vary significantly across different regions. Below find per ton values in popular nearby in the US.

  • Georgia: $165/ton to $185/ton.
  • Kentucky: $145/ton to $165/ton.
  • Wisconsin: $145/ton to $155/ton.
  • Texas: $175/ton to $195/ton.
  • California: $165/ton to $185/ton.
  • New York: $175/ton to $195/ton.

How Do I Calculate the Value of a Car in Scrap?

To calculate the scrap value of a car:

  1. Weigh the Car: Determine the car’s weight.
  2. Check Metal Prices: Look up current scrap metal prices per ton.
  3. Use a Calculator: Input these values into a scrap car value calculator for an estimate.

Do Scrap Car Value Calculators Work?

Yes, scrap car value calculators provide a good estimate of what you can expect based on current metal prices and the car’s weight. They are a helpful tool for getting a rough idea of your car’s value.

What are Car Scrap Values by Weight?

Car scrap values by weight are calculated based on the price per ton of metal. For instance, if the rate is $200 per ton and your car weighs 2 tons, the scrap value would be approximately $400.

Here are scrap values of vehicles by their class size:

Vehicle ClassEstimated Weight (lbs)Price per TonScrap Car Value
Mini Compact2,000 (1.00 ton)$145 – $195$145.00 – $195.00
Subcompact2,750 (1.38 tons)$145 – $195$199.38 – $267.19
Compact3,250 (1.63 tons)$145 – $195$235.31 – $316.41
Mid-Size3,750 (1.88 tons)$145 – $195$271.25 – $365.63
Full-Size4,500 (2.25 tons)$145 – $195$326.25 – $438.75
Small Pickup Trucks4,000 (2.00 tons)$145 – $195$290.00 – $390.00
Standard Pickup Trucks5,000 (2.50 tons)$145 – $195$362.50 – $487.50
Minivans4,500 (2.25 tons)$145 – $195$326.25 – $438.75
Large Vans9,000 (4.50 tons)$145 – $195$652.50 – $877.50
SUVs4,750 (2.38 tons)$145 – $195$344.38 – $462.66
Crossovers3,750 (1.88 tons)$145 – $195$271.25 – $365.63

The price will go up for vehicles in better condition and with reusable parts in demand in your location.

How Much Are the Metals in a Car Worth?

The value of metals in a car depends on their type and weight. Typically, steel, aluminum, and copper are the most valuable. Depending on the quantity and market rates, the total worth can range from $100 to $500 or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much is a Car Worth in Scrap Metal?

A car’s scrap metal worth depends on its weight and current metal prices. Typically, cars fetch between $100 and $877.50.

How Much Do Salvage Yards or Junkyards Pay for Cars?

Salvage yards pay based on the car’s condition and weight. On average, expect between $100 and $500 or more.

What is the Scrap Value of a Car’s Body?

The scrap value of a car’s body, excluding parts, is generally between $100 and $400, depending on weight and metal prices.

When are Scrap Car Prices the Highest?

Scrap car prices are highest when metal demand is up, usually in the summer months, or during economic booms.

Scrap Car Prices: Per Ton Scrap Metal Value of Car Near You (2024)


What are the latest prices for scrap cars? ›

Current junk car prices in 2024 range from $50 and $15,000, but heavily depend on multiple factors. In most cases, the average price for junk vehicles falls within the $100 – $500 range.

Who pays the most for scrap cars? ›

Local junkyards and private buyers typically pay the highest amounts for junk vehicles. Private buyers often pay more because they're buying for parts or personal repair projects, while scrapyards can pay higher prices because they save on dismantling and compacting services.

What are current scrap prices in New Jersey? ›

Today's Prices
  • #1 Copper. $4.13 / Lb.
  • #2 Copper. $3.90 / Lb.
  • Aluminum Copper Rads. $1.96 / Lb.
  • Aluminum Copper Rads Steel Ends. $1.84 / Lb.
  • Aluminum Rads Clean. $0.46 / Lb.
  • Bare Bright Copper Wire. $4.23 / Lb.
  • Extension Cords No Plug Ends. $1.23 / Lb.
  • Fire Wire with Aluminum Shield. $2.35 / Lb.

How to calculate scrap value? ›

To calculate the scrap value in depreciation, assess the asset's current market value and deduct it from its initial cost to find the total depreciation. Then, apply the scrap value formula to determine the final value.

How many tons does a car weigh? ›

Modern cars, trucks, and SUVs weigh anywhere from one ton to nearly five tons.

Is it better to scrap or sell a car? ›

Selling a car for scrap at a junkyard is often the first option that comes to mind for most people. It is generally an easy process, and many junk yards offer towing services. However, compared to other options like online car buyers and selling junk cars privately, you'll get a lower price.

What makes the most money at scrap? ›

Copper. Copper is one of the most valuable scrap items. Most scrap dealers will buy copper at a high price because it consistently generates high value. Its versatility and high demand also make it a top consideration if you want to make a lot of money from scrapping.

How do I get the most money from scrap? ›

Clean Your Scrap Metal

You get more money for clean scrap because it's less work for the scrap yard to separate it themselves. As well as separating mixed metal, make sure to strip any wiring and break apart appliances into their components.

What scrap metal is worth the most right now? ›

Copper. As you probably guessed, copper is the most valuable metal to scrap. Even with a fluctuating market, copper is always a good metal to sell. It is so valuable because it has an infinite recycling life, meaning it can be used again and again without losing its quality.

How much is 100 pounds of copper wire worth? ›

250mcm-750mcm wire has 90% copper recovery, so let's use same 100 lbs. if you were to sell it the way it is in today's market you would get average $1.50 per pound so it would get you $150.00 without doing a thing to it, just bring it to a recycling yard and sell it.

What does GT mean in scrap metal? ›

Another related term of measurement is the gross ton or GT. Now this unit is also known in the steel industry as a “long” ton or an “imperial” ton. This term of measurement is used to measure steel scrap in the US and is equal to 2,240 pounds. Compared to a standard “short” ton, a gross ton is 12 percent larger.

What is scrap value price? ›

Scrap value is the estimated value of an item at the end of its useful life. It is also known as scrap value or residual value, which is used to calculate an asset's annual depreciation expense. The asset's value is reported on the balance sheet, while the depreciation expense is recorded on the income statement.

What is worth money in scrap? ›

Cars, appliances, and carbon steel (used for construction) are among the most commonly recycled steel products seen at a scrap yard. Because items made with a lot of steel tend to weigh more than those made of copper or aluminum, a scrapper can make decent cash off a haul of ferrous.

What is #1 copper? ›

Scrap copper #1 has a minimum copper content of at least 98%. It is viewed as the highest grade of copper pipe provided it's free of fittings, insulation, paint, solder, and other materials.

How much scrap do you get for a car? ›

On average, you can expect to receive between $100 and $950 for a junk vehicle. Scrap metal prices change based on supply and demand, location and other factors. Selling for scrap is a great way to get value out of older junk cars, but some junk buyers may pay more for newer, inoperable vehicles.

What is most expensive part of scrap car? ›

The Engine: One of the Most Valuable Parts on a Car to Scrap

One of the most valuable parts of a car to scrap is the engine. Replacing a car engine can be an extremely expensive proposition, so many turn to the secondhand market to find what they need. The same holds for transmissions.


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