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How Metal Prices Can Affect Junk Car Value

Marc Skirvin
Marc Skirvin

What's in this Article

People often discourage others from selling their old vehicles to a car scrap yard because they think it is a scam. This stigma results from the belief that junkyards do not pay the right amount of money to the people looking to sell their cars.

Unbeknownst to many, there are several factors involved in determining the worth of a car. In general, you only have to consider the vehicle make, model, type, parts, and many more, but other determining factors come into play.

Most people are unaware, but metal plays a crucial role in scrap car pricing. Since this is the component that junk yards that buy cars find the most useful, the value of the metal in your vehicle incrementally affects your car’s worth.

To better understand how metal affects how much you can get for selling your car, here is a short guide that explains the connection between metal and scrap car prices.

Metal Type

Today, four types of metal are used in manufacturing vehicles: steel, aluminum, magnesium, and titanium. Of course, each metal has distinct properties and characteristics that dictate its market value. Thus, it is essential to know more about the type of metal your car is made of to estimate its worth.

With that said, steel, aluminum, and magnesium are common metals, so you cannot expect to get an excellent rate. They are worth a few cents per pound. Correspondingly, you can get more for selling titanium since it is an exotic material in many industries.

To estimate how much the scrap metal in your car is worth, you can multiply the weight of your vehicle and the current price rate of the metal.

Metal Price

Usually, the lowest rate for most metals like steel, aluminum, and magnesium is $0.01 per pound. On the other hand, titanium is a rare piece of metal, so the lowest price you can sell it for is $0.35 per pound.

Do note that these rates are not constant as the value of metal fluctuates daily. It can go as high as $1.00 per pound, which means you can get more money depending on the current market price of your recyclable metal in your location.

Metal Demand

Most individuals are oblivious of the fact that the market price of metal fluctuates. It is typical for people who trade cash for junk cars to sell their scrap metal without checking the rate of metal in the market, but little do they know this piece of information is helpful in car scrap yard transactions.

The price of recyclable metal is indeed worth just a few cents per pound. However, it can go as high as $2.00 per pound if the demand for the material increases. As logic dictates, low demand means low rates, while high demand incurs higher rates.


It might sound unappealing to sell your car for a few cents every pound. However, making a bit of money out of it is still better than throwing it out and getting nothing. And even though metal is a crucial determining component of your car’s value in junkyards, it doesn’t mean you cannot earn more as there are other factors to consider. Nevertheless, this guide only gives you a helping hand in understanding how much the recyclable metal in your vehicle is worth. It doesn’t imply that you’ll only be getting a small amount of money in exchange for your car.

To better understand how much you can make from selling your car, our company can provide you with quotes and services relating to cash for junk cars. With Cash Auto Salvage, you can worry less about low-ball offers and scams as you’ll get good money out of selling your pre-loved vehicle. Contact us today for an offer!

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About the Author


Marc is the Co-Founder of Cash Auto Salvage and Director of daily operations. He retired from a leading Internet Marketing company in 2013 and has been involved in the automotive industry ever since.

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