Decided to junk a car for cash? Depending on your locale, you may have many options or just a few. In this article I will walk you through, where to find your local junk car buyer, how it works, what questions to expect, how much you can get, share my best negotiation tips, and what I’ve learned from the place who buys junk cars near me. The process can be very straight forward in some instances, but there are some ins and outs you should know and understand. First lets start with where to sell a junk car…

Map of Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me

For “Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me” and “Junk a Car for Cash Near Me”, see the map below…


The place who buys junk cars near me are specialized junk car buyers and are “middle men” in the process. You can also find your local auto salvage or scrap yard and see if they will purchase your clunker. Below I will discuss a few options for the types of places that buy junked cars near me.

Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me – What are my Options?

There are several options to junk a car and each of these has their pros and cons. Here are the most common solutions for getting cash for your wrecked vehicle.

Auto Salvages – BEST OPTION

These are vehicle junkyards, that buy junk cars and then sell them off as individual used parts. There are specialty yards that deal exclusively in one brand, for example a BMW yard, and there are general yards which have every make and model.


Typically salvage yards can offer you the most for your vehicle if you still have valuable components in it. Valuable components can range from anything like alternators, tires in good condition, or a navigation system. They will pay cash for your car, put it out on the lot for pick and pull, and then sell the frame off for scrap metal later on.


You shouldn’t expect to get the full value out of all the parts, but you should be able to negotiate for up to 50% of the value. Find one near you here.

Scrap Metal Yards Who Buy Junk Cars

A scrap metal yard only cares about the current metals market price for your vehicle. They won’t consider any valuable components. They will look up the weight of your vehicle and offer you the current market rate for scrap steel. Likely you will get a value per ton on your vehicles weight.


Since there is an overabundance of scrap steel in the world the value for it has gone way down over the last 10 years. These prices also vary by zip code, so it may be best to call around. Find one near you here,


If a scrap metal plant is your choice, consider removing any valuable components first and selling them independently to maximize your value. The average weight of a car is just under 4,000 pounds (so about 2 tons). You can find a list of curb weights here.

Junk Car For Cash Buyers

These are the places you see advertising “Junk a Car For Cash” on TV and online. The place who buys junk cars near me, is certainly not offering top dollar. These businesses are middle men in the process, sort of like a junk car broker. They will give you cash for your clunker and on the back end they will either sell it to salvage yard or sell it for scrap. The process is usually as easy as filling out a form, waiting for approval, getting paid, and waiting for a tow.


The advantage here when you sell a junk car is that you can often get a transaction done quickly and get some quick cash in your pocket. The downside is they provide a service for junking your car and don’t junk it themselves. This means they need to have room in their payout to make a profit and they have administrative overhead. This can significantly reduce the amount you can get for your vehicle vs dealing with an auto salvage or scrap yard yourself. To find a Junk car for cash buyer see map above.


Some specialized mechanics may buy your junked car especially if it is a popular or has a collectors market. There are auto mechanics near me that will buy any JDM related junkers as they specialize in 80’s and 90’s Nissan’s. You can find others for Honda’s, Subaru’s, and old school Toyota’s. Look to see if you have any specialized auto mechanics locally that work exclusively on your brand or model.

Craigslist, Ebay, or Other Online Mediums

Its never a bad idea to try posting your clunker online first and seeing what the market will bare. If you post on a site like craigslist you will find local people who buy junk cars. In this scenario they can either tow it or come to you to get it. If you use Ebay you will find people globally who buy junk cars and then that means its more difficult to navigate the delivery.

Charity Donation

Some charities will not offer cash for your vehicle, but will give you other incentives. Instead of cash they incentivize through other means like tax write offs and vacation vouchers. These charities are similar to the middle men junk car buyers. They will then get cash for your vehicle by dealing with an auto salvage or scrap yard. One of my favorites is Kars for Kids. Just make sure you are dealing with a legitimate 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity.

Covair Ranch

Covair Ranch in Pennsylvania

How Do You Junk a Car for Cash – What’s The Process?

We have a documented 10 step process for how to sell a junk car. It can be as easy as calling a company who pays cash for junkers, signing over your title, and then waiting for a toe truck to come. It really depends on the condition of your vehicle, what level of effort you want to make, and how much you expect in cash.


First you should assess the situation. Do you want to get the most value or just need to dump the vehicle quickly? If it’s the later, a junk car buyer is an easy choice. If it’s money you want then you should at least do a proper assessment of your options…

First Do a Basic Assessment of your Options

Here is my basic assessment on how to go about figuring out my best option if I was looking for cash:

  • Figure out how much is the vehicle worth in it’s current condition (Use KBB value only as a reference point)
  • Figure out how much is the vehicle worth if repairs were done (if that’s even possible)
  • Look how much the vehicle may go for on Craigslist or Ebay based on comparable vehicles
  • Look up any high quality individual parts and what you could sell them for (like a high end navigation system)

Next you would decide if you should …

  • Don’t fix it and junk it /scrap it or Don’t fix it and sell privately
  • Fix it and keep it, fix it and junk it, or fix it and sell privately
  • Don’t Junk/Scrap it yet…sell of some of the quality individual components myself

For more guidance check out: Fix it, Sell It, Or Part it Out.

If Junking or Scrapping Is Your Best Option, Follow These Steps…

If you have decided to move forward with selling your clunker for cash, do the following steps…

  1. Remove all personal belongings from the vehicle.
  2. Find your title, then cancel your insurance and registration.
  3. Research the vehicles value. Kelly Blue book is a good starting point.
  4. Remove any valuable parts that you can sell yourself.
  5. Remove license plates and turn them in to DMV.
  6. Siphon the gas and use it for yourself.
  7. Wipe clean any personal identity information (PII) in any of the vehicles computers (learn more here)
  8. Call around to places who buy junked cars to consider multiple offers.
  9. Consider alternative options, like donating the car for a tax write off.
  10. Sell the vehicle and arrange transport or delivery.

For more details on our 10 step process listed above, click here.


When you call a place who buys junk cars near me, be prepared to negotiate. Be familiar with the Kelly Blue Book Value (KBB) and the current scrap metal steel prices. The KBB is really just a reference, you will get nowhere near that price. Be honest about the condition, if it runs state that, and mention any valuable components of the vehicle that you plan on including with the sale. A car that runs has more value to a salvage because they may be able to fix it and flip it or sell it at auction.


You may be asked to provide dated pictures of the vehicle via email if you are negotiating on the phone or via an online form.

What Kind of Questions Will The Place Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me Ask?

The most common questions you will be asked during a negotiation are the following:

  • What is the year, make, and model of the vehicle?
  • What is the condition of the vehicle?
  • Is the vehicle driveable? If not do you know why?
  • If driveable: How many miles are on the vehicle?
  • Do you have the title?
  • Do you have any photographs to prove the condition of the vehicle?
  • How do you expect to transport the vehicle? Delivery or tow?

Will They Buy a Junked Car Without the Title?

Most reputable businesses will not purchase your junked vehicle without the title. It is too much risk to them that you might be selling a vehicle that you aren’t the owner of. There are some places that do it and you can find them here. If you do own the vehicle and don’t have the title, you can try this site here. Replacement costs and process vary by state. For more info on how to junk a car with no title, click here.

My Vehicle is Undriveable, Will They Tow It?

Yes, most places will tow your vehicle. You should be aware though that not every one does this for free. It depends on if the junk car buyer has their own wrecker or if they depend on a 3rd party towing service. Make sure you negotiate the transport when you negotiate the price. Some places will send you a bill for towing if you are not careful. This is an underhanded practice that shady buyers do.

Who Buys Junk cars Near Me

Two old rusted out classics cars at a junkyard

When I Sell A Junk Car Near Me, How Much Money Can I Get?

This will depend on several factors such as:

  • Who is buying your junked vehicle (Salvage yard, Scrap Yard, Junk Car Buyer, etc…)
  • If your junked vehicle is driveable
  • If your junked vehicle still has valuable parts in it
  • The year, make, model, and weight of your vehicle
  • Your location because scrap prices will vary by zip code

Its best to remember this isn’t like selling a used car, where you check the KBB value and get trade in money. You should have reasonable expectations. If you could get the KBB value, you wouldn’t be junking it in the first place.


If you are calling a salvage yard about a 2012 Nissan Altima you may be able to get a few hundred bucks, if the car still has valuable components. The same 2012 Altima will only fetch you about $90 in metal at a scrap yard (prices vary by zip code).

How Can I Get The Most Value From Selling a Junked Vehicle?

The best course of action is considering all of the factors listed above and accessing your specific situation. Then figuring out based on the condition of the vehicle, what is the most amount of money you can get.


If your car has:

  • some valuable components call a salvage yard for highest value
  • some valuable components you can sell yourself, do that first, then call salvage
  • no valuable components and isn’t driveable, call a scrap yard
  • needs to be gotten rid of quickly, call a junk car buyer

If you are junking a collectible car you can also try a specialized auto salvo. For example a Jeep will yield a better return at a Jeep Salvage yard then a standard run of the mill auto salvo.


Junked Vehicle Negotiation Tips:

  • If the car is driveable, negotiate a higher price
  • The KBB value assumes good condition, but use it as a reference for your cars worth
  • Don’t wait to junk the vehicle, the longer you wait the less it is worth to a salvage yard. The most valuable parts rust and corrode.
  • Don’t agree to any offers that have conditions
  • Don’t sign over a title without having your money first
  • Negotiate the terms of pickup and get an understanding of who pays for the tow
  • Get everything in writing
  • Weigh the vehicle yourself and make sure they offer you a fair price for the weight.

Read this article: How to Get The Maximum Vale for Your Junked Vehicle

The Places Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me is Low Balling Me, Why?

Some places who buy junked cars near me, drive a really hard bargain. They will tell you that your vehicle is worthless, but they will take it off your hands for free. Remember no vehicle is truly worthless, it is likely worth something to someone. They are in the business of making money, the less they pay for it, the more they can profit. Just remember its a business and not personal. They are going to get parts off the car or money for scrap metal…its not worth zero!

What are Scrap Metal Prices and How Do They Effect My Sale?

Scrap metal prices are effected by the metals commodity trading market. These prices fluctuate daily based on the global markets. The markets that make junk car prices fluctuate are the price of steel and the price of aluminum as these two metals make up a majority of your vehicles weight.


A scrap metal buyer will look up your specific vehicle, get its’ weight, and then figure out how much scrap metal value is on it. This determines the price you get for your vehicle when you sell it for scrap. Scrap metal prices will also vary by zip code.

I Just Want to Junk My Car for $500 cash, Is That Possible?

If you had a newer vehicle and it still had valuable components it is possible at a salvage to get $500. Depends on vehicle and condition though.


It is less likely at a scrap yard unless you have really heavy vehicle like a 2006 Lexus RX in which case you could get over $600 based on the prices today (April 2020). Most cars at a scrap yard will yield less than a $100 in metal.

Other Ways to Find Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me

Instead of searching for “who buys junked car near me”, you can search “Junkyards Near Me” or “Auto Salvage Yards Near Me”. Naturally these business are amongst those who buy junked cars, but may not come up in your search results for “junk a car for cash”. Try searching for automobile salvages and local scrap metal facilities.

What Will The Salvage Yard Do With My Car, After They Buy It

This will depend on where it ends up. A scrap metal place will drain the fluids, crush it, and separate the the metal. A salvage yard will drain the fluids and put it out for pick and pull. Many of the parts will get reused and recycled. Either way about 80 to 85% of a vehicle is recyclable. You can find out more about what happens when a car gets recycled here. If the car runs they may take it to auction or fix it and flip it.

Who Buys Junk Cars Near Me – Conclusion

The junk car buyers market is ripe with options because it is very competitive amongst businesses. Just look at all the ads for “Junk A Car for Cash”, they are everywhere. Knowing your cars value and condition is the primary starting point to getting rid of your old clunker. Everything really depends though on what you want to get out of the car. I think what’s most important is having reasonable expectations. Many people have sentimental value in their junkers and have trouble understanding why their cash offer is so low. When you sell a junk car you need to let go of expectations and negotiate without emotions and in good faith.


By junking the vehicle you are also doing a service to the environment by keeping it out of a dumps or a landfill. This is what I have learned from the place who buys junk cars near me.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Gives the Best Price For Junk Cars?

Every junk car buyer will claim to offer the best rates. Prices fluctuate daily based on the scrap metal market. The best thing to do is call several junk car buyers and find your best offer. You may find a better offer in a neighboring state. Typically the best junk car buyers have a network of top buyers which will allow them to pay fair market value for your vehicle, regardless of the condition.

Who Buys Cars That Don’t Run?

There are several types of business that will buy a car that doesn’t run. Salvage yards, junk car buyers, and scrap metal yards are viable options each having their pros and cons. You may also want to consider a company like Copart who buys vehicles that don’t run and then holds a salvage auction. According to Kelly Blue book a non running car is worth about 20-40% of the cars used value.

What is My Car Worth at a Junkyard?

Junk car prices fluctuate daily based on the current scrap metal market. You can expect an offer between $250 and $500 for most cars. Your offer will be based on the vehicles weight, year, condition, damage, and functioning parts. A vehicle that runs will often receive a higher offer.

Should I Donate My Car or Junk It?

Junk cars have a perceived value for between $250 and $500. A junkyard will pay you cash on the spot based on factors such as vehicle weight, year, condition, damage, and functioning parts. A Charity will offer you a tax write off based on the same factors, however tend to make tax write off’s slightly more favorable then junkyard cash offers. They will then sell off the functioning parts and scrap metal to use for administrative costs and funding community projects. It’s best to call around and get offers to find where you will get the most financial benefit.