How much is a scrap car worth?

If you’ve decided to dispose of your vehicle, you might be asking how much is a scrap car worth? Average payments for scrapped vehicles vary from £150 to £300 but there are several deciding factors that can affect how much you receive.

The size and weight of your vehicle, along with its make, model and age, are all taken into consideration when you’re paid for your scrapped car by a breaker yard or Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). The continually fluctuating scrap metal market can also have a bearing. Where your chosen scrap dealer is located and whether your car is complete or not when they come to collect it, will affect your payment too.

Read on to find out how to get the best price for your scrap car and discover its worth, including the value of some of its components.

How much is a scrap car worth per ton?

Weight is a major deciding factor when it comes to the value of a scrap car. You’re being paid for the recycled metals of your vehicle so this weight will play a big role in determining the payment you receive.

Just how much an individual scrap car is worth per ton is not a fixed figure. The metals used to make your car each have a value and just like other resources, the value of recycled metals continually rises and falls. Dependent on both supply and demand and changes in currency, the market value of recycled steel or aluminium commonly used in cars shifts from day to day.

Because of this fluctuation, a fixed price per ton for your scrap car won’t be advertised on an ATF’s website. Contacting them directly with the details of your vehicle is the best approach, and you should get quotes to compare. Before accepting, ensure you receive a guaranteed price from your chosen scrap dealer so no deductions can be made later.

How much are scrap car batteries worth?

Car batteries contain highly toxic substances, including lead and between two and three litres of acid. Lead is poisonous if ingested and battery acid can result in blindness if it comes into contact with eyes. These hazardous materials are also harmful to our environment. It’s therefore vital that car batteries are recycled safely. While prices will fluctuate, the average scrapped battery is worth around £5.

How much is a car radiator worth in scrap?

You might have a mind to sell some of your car parts individually for scrap, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the overall price you’ll receive for your scrap vehicle will be affected if it’s incomplete. Scrap dealers will typically deduct money from your payment for each component that’s missing.

What your car radiator is worth when scrapped will depend on what material it’s made of. Whereas older radiators often included brass or copper cores, more modern versions are generally made using aluminium. Both brass and copper car radiators will fetch higher prices than those fashioned from aluminium. The size and weight of your car radiator will also be a factor in the price it fetches. Sold for its scrap metal, the larger and heavier it is the higher the payment will be.

What’s my scrap car worth?

As mentioned previously, exactly what your scrap car is worth is not a fixed figure. The following are several factors which may affect your payment and enlighten you on the sum you may receive.

As a rule, the greater the size and weight of your vehicle the more it’ll be worth when scrapped. Larger and heavier cars are comprised of more metal and therefore worth more when scrapped. For example, the average payment for a breaking down a small car like a Ford Fiesta will be around half the amount you’d receive when scrapping a larger vehicle like a Land Rover.

The make and model of your vehicle, as well as its age, will also determine its worth after scrapping. In many cases, you might discover that if your car was costly both to purchase and run, it will be worth a greater amount when it’s scrapped. The age of your vehicle for scrapping is also a consideration, with newer cars typically paying out more when scrapped than older ones.

The current market for scrap metal will also decide your scrap car’s worth. The metal your vehicle is made of will be recycled and sold on after scrapping. Cars commonly consist of copper, steel and aluminium, and these metals are just like every other commodity in that they constantly fluctuate in price due to currency changes, supply and demand and other factors.

One of the little-known factors that affects the price you’ll be paid is just where you choose to dispose of the vehicle. Most owners of vehicles heading for scrapping will arrange to have their cars collected by the ATF or breaker yard for their convenience. The distance the scrap dealer must travel to pick up your unwanted car and the cost to them will be accounted for in your payment. To incur the least charge, choose a scrapyard that’s close to your location.

If you don’t possess a V5 registration document, then be wary of unnecessarily paying scrap dealers a fee for this. Some less reputable dealers may insist that a charge of £25 will be subtracted from your payment without a V5 certificate, but this isn’t so. In fact, you’ll only pay £25 if you choose to replace a missing registration document and apply for a new one with the DVLA. A V5 registration document isn’t required to scrap your vehicle, but you’ll need to notify the DVLA of its destruction by post - including details of your vehicle and the sale. If you don’t, you can face a fine of up to £1,000 and be registered as the keeper of a vehicle that doesn’t exist.

Should I keep my scrap car whole or sell in parts?

It’s always worth leaving your vehicle as intact as you can and avoiding attempts to sell individual items. Even if you do remove parts, there’s no sure way of knowing you’ll sell the components for a fair price.

Your car will be worth more if it’s complete than if it has parts missing. Vehicles that contain a full complement of original components usually command the highest value when scrapped. Dealers will typically subtract value for each item missing from your scrap car from your final payment, so it’s best to sell your vehicle whole whenever possible.

Removing important parts from your scrap car can make a sizeable difference to the total payment you receive. An engine removed could lose you up to £67 and a component like a catalytic converter might subtract anywhere from £30 to £85 if missing.

Missing parts can also make the vehicle incredibly difficult to collect. Functional parts like wheels can cause a major inconvenience to the scrap dealer picking up your car if they have been removed - and the dealer will charge you for the additional work and time.

Do your research

Don’t be afraid to do your research before scrapping a car that’s reached the end of its life. There are several helpful resources online, including online calculators to sites that track the market worth of metal daily.

For a quick estimate, online calculators are readily available and free to use. Ideal for getting a rough idea of the scrap worth of your unwanted vehicle, all you’ll need are a few details. Typically, these include make and model, registration and your postcode so that suitable scrapyards close by can be priced. Always feel free to talk to a selection of scrapyards for quotes to compare, but try to choose one local to you if you can. As mentioned previously, if the scrap dealer is collecting your car, they’ll often factor in the distance they have to travel to pick up your vehicle and knock the cost of this off your total payment.

To get the best price for your scrap car, it’s also a good idea to choose your timing wisely. Many scrap dealers are fully booked close to the end of the month and reduce offered payments, so they appear less competitive. This slows down incoming trade and allows them time to manage customers already booked in. By conducting your research early, you can get a guaranteed quote when prices are at their most competitive - and the first half of each month is often the best time to secure this with your chosen scrap dealer.

It’s essential when accepting payment for your scrap car to ensure that it comes via either a bank transfer or cheque. It’s illegal in England and Wales to accept a payment for your scrap car in cash. Transactions in cash for scrapped vehicles was outlawed in 2013 in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, which was designed to ensure payments were fully traceable as a means of cracking down on car crime and untrustworthy dealers.