woman with car

How much can I get for scrapping my car?

31st May, 2019

It’s a question that’s probably one of the first to spring to mind when you finally decide to scrap your car. As you might imagine, that means it’s one we’re well-practised at answering here at Scrap Car Network.

We’ve already published a useful post on scrap car prices that can give you a helpful insight into how much your car is worth. If you’ve ready it, you’ll already be fairly clued up about the various factors that affect your scrap car, so this post is designed to provide some handy extra clarification and follow up tips. Ready to get started?

The biggest factors that affect how much you’ll get for your scrap car

There are a whole host of factors that affect the price you’ll get for your scrap car. Some of these you can control, and some you can’t, but it’s important to know them anyway. Amongst the most influential are:

  • The weight of your car
  • The scrap metal market
  • Your location and distance from the dealer

Now, when you choose Scrap Car Network, we take location into account when getting you the best price, so it’s not something you really have to worry about. But, if you’ve ever wondered why your friend got more for his Nissan Qashqai than you did for your Volkswagen Golf, the weight and market value both play a big part.

The weight of your scrap car

In fact, weight is possibly the biggest single influential factor. Almost all scrap car prices are based on the tonne weight of your vehicle, which means owners of larger cars can generally expect to get more when scrapping larger 4x4s than small family or city cars.

Even with smaller cars, it can be easy to assume that two tonnes of metal and mechanical components will command a decent price, but how much you’ll get is also dependent on the global market – otherwise known as the going rate for recycled aluminium, copper and steel.

The market value

The thing is, around 2 million cars are scrapped each year in the UK, leading to a gradual surplus of materials and a slump in demand. Plus, there are more vehicles with every passing year (about 600,000 more annually, in fact), so scrap car prices are unlikely to steadily rise.

However, you might be lucky enough to get a particularly good price, if you scrap it in a period when certain materials are in short supply. The trouble is that there’s often no way to know for certain when that is, so more likely than not it’s luck of the draw.

The prestige and make of your car is another factor in how much you’ll get for it, but less so than you might think. Once you start asking yourself “how much can I get for scrapping my car?”, it’s worth considering a few other things first. The first of which is…

Is scrapping your car the best option financially?

Once your car is no longer useful to you, scrapping your car can sometimes be the first solution that springs to mind. But actually, if your used car is in any condition to be sold on to a new owner, you may well get more for it than if you sell it for scrap – even if it’s a bit faulty!

How To Get The Best Price For Your Scrap Car

If you’re selling your car privately though, then there can be a lot more pitfalls than scrapping it, and it can be a much more complicated and intensive process. Plus, the rewards can significantly vary, so it may also depend on whether you really think it’s worth the effort.

However, if the faults are particularly serious or expensive (or the car is too old to sell) then the amounts you’ll get from scrap car dealers can sometimes be a welcome surprise – especially since we offer free collection here at Scrap Car Network!

In fact, we’ll happily take a whole range of car types off your hands, including:

  • Scrap cars and ELVs (end-of-life vehicles)
  • Insurance write-offs
  • Damaged or faulty cars
  • MOT failures (you can scrap a car without a valid MOT)
  • Old cars
  • Used cars (if your car is in roadworthy condition, we’ll try and find a buyer for it)

Whether you’re selling your car or scrapping it, some of these vehicles can be worth more than others, depending on their overall condition and the type and severity of the damage they’ve sustained. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but worth bearing in mind! You may also want to think about:

Should I remove parts from my car?

If you’ve Googled the question ‘how much will I get for scrapping my car?’, there’s a good chance you’ll have come across articles and forum posts on motoring message-boards which recommend stripping your scrap car for parts before scrapping it.

However, unless you have specific motoring and mechanical knowledge, this is rarely a good idea. If you’ve got the expertise to remove them and knowledge of what they’re worth, some parts can fetch a good price, but going down this road has a corresponding cost on the value of your scrap car.

the most commonly replaced scrap car parts feature image

If you scrap a car that’s got parts missing, it’s automatically worth a lot less to the scrap yard (including our partners here at Scrap Car Network), and they’ll usually deduct the value of those parts from the final price. This can be especially costly for the heaviest individual parts of your scrap car, such as the tyres or engine.

At what mileage should I scrap my car?

Mileage matters when selling your car privately, but when scrapping it there’s no hard and fast rule here – it mostly depends on the individual vehicle. Some cars will die abruptly at 50,000 miles, whereas you might find that others can happily last well into the hundreds of thousands.

Now, although mileage isn’t technically a factor in itself when scrapping your car, it does matter because it’s tied up with other influential factors. For example, cars with high mileage often end up with more natural wear and tear, and depreciation will have started to set in, which does affect how much you’ll get for your scrap car.

That means mileage can sometimes be a useful gauge of the car’s value to other owners, so can be worth considering when you’re deciding whether to sell it privately or simply scrap it. If you’re planning on running it until it dies, on the other hand, it’s not something that should be a major source of concern.

How long should I wait to scrap my car?

Given the frequent fluctuations in the scrap car market, some people prefer to keep an eye on scrap metal value and wait for the optimum time to scrap their car, so that they get the very best prices. However, there’s one major problem with this approach, and that can be summed up in one word: depreciation.

With very few exceptions, all cars lose their value over time, and some do that a lot faster than others. Any minor gains you may make from the market conditions are likely to be outweighed by the continual effect of depreciation, so on the whole it’s far better to scrap your car sooner rather than later.

A few final tips on how to maximise how much you get for your scrap car

While market factors are more or less up to chance as far as drivers are concerned, there are a few final things you can do to make things easier for the professionals who come to collect your car, thus ensuring that you get the maximum amount of cash for it. This includes:

  • Ensuring that your car is in an easily accessible location
  • The tyres are inflated properly
  • That it’s tidy and free from any loose waste, like food or papers
  • The keys are readily available

Now, we don’t necessarily need the keys to scrap your car here at Scrap Car Network, but it still makes life easier if you do! Making sure that the tyres are inflated and that the car is easily accessible is perhaps more (if not most) important.

If the car is locked away in your garage with flat tyres, for example, then moving it can incur extra effort, manpower and therefore cost from the scrap yard. This is very likely to have a knock-on effect on how much you get for your scrap car.

Here at Scrap Car Network, we do everything we can to help you maximise how much you get for your scrap car. And with 40 years of experience behind us and thousands of happy customers, it’s fair to say we’re pretty good at doing it, too! It’s never been easier – all you have to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site to get a free, instant valuation of your car.

So…want to find out how much yours is worth?