Recently the catalytic converter market has been hot. The precious metals inside the auto part have been trading at record highs. Many people with junked vehicles and spare parts trying to figure out who buys catalytic converters to take advantage of the high payouts. Who you sell it to might make all the difference in the amount you receive. Below I will address where to sell a catalytic converter and tips on selling one.

Map of Where to Sell a Catalytic Converter Near Me

For “Who Buys Catalytic Converters Near Me” or “Where to Sell Catalytic Converters Near Me”, see the map below…

For most people, the easiest option is your local automobile salvage yard. There are other options however which we will cover here.

scrap catalytic converter

Places to Sell Catalytic Converter 

There are three options when it comes to selling a catalytic converter: auto salvage yards, metal scrap yard, or an online buyer.

Local Auto Salvage (easy option)

Your local car salvage yard is an easy option. These places buy used car parts all the time and will offer you cash for your used catalytic converters. Junkyards are in the business of making money though and have quite a bit of overhead. This means they need to offer you the lowest possible price for your part so they can sell it for a profit.

If you are trying to take advantage of the hot precious metals market, a junkyard will not be your best option for the best payout.

There are a few reasons you won’t get a great price:

  1. They will not offer you the best price based on your specific model (likely won’t even know what model it’s from)
  2. They don’t deal in precious metals

Local Scrap Metal Facility (easy option)

Local scrap metal facilities are just as easy as auto salvages. Your likelihood of receiving a higher payout is better as well. Scrap metal yards follow the metals market and know the rates better for the materials inside the converter. Still, though these folks will have more overhead and need to account for the extraction process of the metals which adds to their overhead.

There are a few reasons you won’t get a great price:

  1. They will not offer you the best price based on your specific model (likely won’t even know what model it’s from)
  2. They deal in various types of metals and don’t necessarily specialize in platinum, palladium, and rhodium.

Online Catalytic Converter Buyer (best paying)

There are buyers online who will buy catalytic converters the most money since they are expensive. What you need to do is send them a pic of the part and send them the serial number. Based on the serial number they will know how much the catalytic converter is worth and send you a quote. This will be the most accurate price.

There are a few reasons you won’t get a great price:

  1. Your catalytic converter model isn’t worth the best prices
  2. You can’t find a serial number for them to quote you

Why Do They Want to Buy My Catalytic Converter…

The catalytic converter contains 3 precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium. While this auto part doesn’t have huge quantities of the metals inside, the precious metals market is trading at an all-time high.

So even in really small quantities, the amount they can sell them for is a lot. While there are other factors that have boosted the market value like the pandemic and new regulations, precious metals primarily are the key drivers of why they sell for a lot.

This is part of why online buyers can offer you better prices. Since they deal more frequently with these parts and specialize they know what your specific part is worth, have a more refined extraction process, and have the buyers.

Selling Catalytic Converters

How to Sell Catalytic Converters to Get the Best Value?

If you’re looking to sell your catalytic converter and maximize its value, there are several steps you can take to ensure a successful transaction.

Firstly, it’s crucial to research and educate yourself about the market value of selling catalytic converters. Websites, forums, and online marketplaces dedicated to automotive parts can provide valuable insights into pricing trends.

Next, consider reaching out to a local scrap yard that deals with junk cars or recycling centers that specialize in catalytic converters to compare quotes. These establishments are often willing to purchase used catalytic converters for their precious metal content. You can take a quote from multiple scrap yards to get a fair price.

Show The Serial in Your Photos for More Accurate Prices

Another avenue to explore is selling your scrap catalytic converters online. Take clear and detailed photographs of your converter and provide accurate information about its make, model, and condition. This will help attract potential buyers and increase your chances of receiving competitive offers.

Consider exploring catalytic converter recycling companies as well. These companies specialize in recycling catalytic converters to extract precious metals from converters and may offer higher prices compared to many scrap yards.

By conducting thorough research, exploring multiple selling options, and being vigilant throughout the process, you can sell your catalytic converter and obtain the best possible value. Remember, staying informed, negotiating wisely, and prioritizing safety are key to a successful transaction.

Visit a Scrap Catalytic Converter Buyer

How Much Is My Catalytic Converter Worth…

In order to know the value of your auto part, you need the serial number. Different vehicle types, models, and years all have different parts. Each of those parts contains different amounts of precious metals. In my experience, the average catalytic converter is gonna fetch between $25 and $70.

The example below shows a serial number, but different models display the serial in different places. You can look around for it or feel for it, because the numbers are embossed or engraved. Once you find the serial numbers, mark them with paint, chalk, or some tape.

Catalytic Converter Serial Numbers

Serial number on a GM catalytic converter

Above is the serial on a GM catalytic converter.

Knowing The Serial Number is The Key to Pricing

The serial number is the most accurate way of knowing what the part is worth. These numbers are used to determine the precious metals recovery recycling process and tell the year, make, and model of the vehicle. Some places like an auto junkyard aren’t even going to ask for the serial number. In fact, they probably would prefer you don’t know it. They thrive on getting parts as cheap as possible so the less informed you are the better it is for them.

Mine Doesn’t Have a Serial Number Now What?

It’s possible that your part doesn’t have a serial number, but also likely you just can’t see it. Before you assume there is no serial number, try rubbing the part with steel wool. If the part has corrosion on it, the serial number may just be hard to see. If you still can’t find a serial number, a buyer who knows their stuff will know how to price it. You can also ask your mechanic.

Will I Have to Provide Proof of Ownership?

Due to the high theft of converters, it is becoming required in some states like Indiana to provide proof of ownership in order to sell one. Other US states like California, Virginia, and Minnesota are working on updating the laws. The goal here is to reduce theft and ensure you are selling catalytic converters that you own.

Where to Sell a Catalytic Converter – Wrap Up

So there you have it, your options to sell your catalytic converter. Junkyards and scrap metal places may be the most convenient, the best price will come from an online buyer. However, feel free to search on Google for catalytic converter buyers near me to get multiple options on your screen.

Online buyers mean you need to find your serial numbers, mail in a picture, and wait for a quote. While that’s actually easier in my opinion, some people would still rather just go to a junkyard or scrap catalytic converter buyer.

While the catalytic converter is not one of the parts I recommend removing before you junk a vehicle, its recent price bump has made it an interesting part to consider. If you have a junk car or some spare parts sitting around, you might be able to get some good money for them with the right buyer.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Much Can a Catalytic Converter Be Sold For?

The market value may depend on who your buyer is. A recycler pays between $50 and $250 depending on the model you have. It’s the precious metals inside that make the part so valuable. The higher-end catalytic converters come from both high-end exotics like a Ferari or hybrid-gas electric vehicles like a Toyota Prius. Hybrid can pay upwards of $800 all the way up to $1500. Essentially different each model and buyer are variables in the prices.

What Cars Have Their Catalytic Converters Stolen the Most?

According to statistics from California, since 2017 the vehicles that have their catalytic converters stolen the most are the Toyota Prius, Ford Ecoline, Honda Element, Ford 250, Honda CRV, Toyota Tacoma, Toyota Sequoia, Ford Excursion, and the Toyota Tundra.

What is the Street Value of a Stolen Catalytic Converter?

The street value will depend on the make and model of the vehicle. Some hybrid vehicles have a converter worth up to $1500. Thieves will target vehicles based on how much the part is worth and how easily they can remove it quickly.

Why Do Thieves Target Catalytic Converters?

These are highly stolen parts because they contain precious metals such as Palladium, Rhodium, and Platinum. While the amounts of these metals inside are very small, they pay big money on the metals market. With the pandemic and job crisis, catalytic converters are being stolen at an alarming rate.

What Vehicle Has the Most Expensive Catalytic Converter?

According to 2020 data, the Ferrari F430 has the most expensive catalytic converter. It costs $3,770. On a traditional passenger vehicle, a new one can cost between $1800 and $2500 for comparison.


James is an avid junkyarder and mechanic. He has visited Junkyards in every US state and has restored over 30 makes and models of vehicles. He has several automotive and recycling related blogs that generate over 150K views a month.