Your car has reached the end of its useful life, and now it’s taking up a parking spot. One glance at it and you know that it’s worth a fraction of what you paid for it, but you can still convert it into cash. What is the best way to sell a junk or scrap car? Should you sell it privately, sell it for scrap metal, or trade it in at a dealership? And how do you know what a good price is?
Unlike the used car market’s Canadian Black Book, there’s no consistent method for evaluating a junk car, truck, van, or SUV. If you consider the car junk, however, you can safely assume it’s in the hundreds of dollars, not thousands anymore.
You won’t be getting wealthy by selling your vehicle. However, with some intentional research, you can get a decent sum of cash for junk cars in one of a few ways.
Is your car unique in some way? If your vehicle has something that sets it apart – a classic car, low mileage, or hard-to-find options – there could be a potential buyer who buys junk cars like yours. Private buyers pay great prices if your car is desirable. But if your car is a run-of-the-mill model with typical rust issues, a blown motor, or accident damage, selling privately probably isn’t your best bet.
Most cars end up here eventually. A junkyard will pay you cash for junk cars, and they aren’t picky. Scrap car removal services fall into this category too. What you’re paid for scrap cars and trucks all centres around its weight on the junkyard’s industrial-sized scale, and the going rate for scrap steel or a flat per-car rate. There’s no haggling and no consideration at all on your car’s traits.
In most cases, car dealerships accept any kind of car on trade – even a junk car – if you’re buying a new or pre-owned vehicle from them. Some might also pay cash for old cars without buying another vehicle although this less common.
Trading in an old car at a dealership has benefits that aren’t commonly known. While your trade-in value is often lower than selling it privately, if you’ve already decided to buy a vehicle at a given dealership and worked out a fair price - then understanding what they’d give you for your old car makes a lot of sense. Occasionally, a push, pull, or drag sale at a dealership can pay you even more than your car is worth, but be careful that they aren’t just inflating the value of your vehicle at the expense of what could be a discount on the vehicle you’re looking at! There are also tax benefits of trading your vehicle in, although these are typically a minor consideration when the value of your vehicle is relatively low.
‘Cash for cars’ is a common term for junk car removal services. These service providers pay cash for your car and resell it for parts or scrap metal to make a profit. The term ‘cash for cars’ is often confused with the federally-administered ‘cash for clunkers’ program that is no longer operating.
At its core, cash for cars services are a more convenient way to get cash for junk cars without having to bring it to the junkyard yourself. The seller contacts the junk car removal service to get a quote on their car’s worth. If you agree with the quote, they’ll come tow away your car, complete the paperwork, and pay you for it.
While it’s convenient, ‘cash for cars’ services aren’t getting you the best deal. Because they in turn sell your car or its parts to someone else for more, you leave money on the table for the fast, hassle-free service. Is it worth it? Well, it depends.
You have options to sell a junk car, but which choice is best for you? Let’s check out the possibilities.
Should you choose to pursue the quick sale and sell your car to a scrap yard, how do you know if the price you get is fair? You’ll want to find out ahead of time how much you can get for scrapping a car in Canada.
The problem is that scrap car values are regional. It depends on the demand for scrap cars in your city and province. Scrap yards are only interested in the raw materials your car contains, whether it’s the steel, aluminum, catalytic converters, or other valuable metals. They pay by weight.
Nailing down an exact value ahead of time isn’t what you should expect. Rather, determine how much your car weighs altogether, then call local scrap yards to get their current rate per pound on complete cars.
For most vehicles in Canada, you can expect between $100 and $600 for a scrap car.
It’s possible to get paid more for your car than the typical per-pound rate if major components are still in good working order. If the engine still runs, the transmission shifts, and the car drives under its own power, you might be able to collect more cash for your scrap or junk car.
To get the best offers for your scrap car, you’ll want to look for a scrap yard that sells used parts. Then, make sure your car works as well as possible—charge the battery, inflate the tires, etc.
You may need to negotiate with the scrap yard for a higher offer on your car, pointing out the parts that boost its value. It might only be a couple of hundred dollars extra, so don’t invest money into your car with the intent to increase its value.
Depending on the method you choose to scrap your vehicle, there may be financial tax benefits beyond the money you get.
If you’re looking to upgrade your junk vehicle to a new or new-to-you model, apply with Canada Drives. Our extensive dealer network includes many certified dealers that take well-used vehicles like yours on trade for top dollar.
Your online application takes only 3 minutes to complete and we only ask for information we actually need.
Or feel free to call us at 1-888-865-6402