Unlock Cash from Your Clunker: How to Scrap My Old Car and Get Paid

Photo portrait of junk yard worker holding metal parts.

If you have an old car that’s no longer roadworthy or simply taking up space, scrapping it can be a great way to unlock some cash. Scrapping an old car involves selling it to a scrapyard or salvage yard, where it will be dismantled and recycled for its valuable parts and materials. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to scrap my old car and get paid for it.

Assess the Condition of Your Car

Before scrapping your old car, assess its condition to determine its value. Consider the following factors:

  1. Mechanical Condition: Evaluate the overall mechanical condition of your car. Determine if it’s running, if there are any major issues, or if it’s completely non-functional.
  2. Body Condition: Inspect the body of the car for any damage, rust, or significant wear and tear. The better the condition, the higher the potential value.
  3. Salvageable Parts: Identify any valuable parts that can be salvaged from your car. This includes components like the engine, transmission, catalytic converter, battery, and any other parts that are in good working condition.
  4. Market Demand: Research the demand for your car’s make, model, and year. Certain vehicles or parts may be more sought after, potentially increasing their value.

Find Local Scrap Yards or Salvage Yards

Once you have assessed your car’s condition, start looking for local scrap yards or salvage yards that purchase old cars. Consider the following ways to find them:

  1. Online Search: Use search engines or online directories to find scrap yards or salvage yards near your location. Look for those with positive reviews and good reputations.
  2. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, family, or local car enthusiasts who may have experience scrapping their vehicles.
  3. Check Local Directories: Consult local business directories or phone books for listings of scrap yards or salvage yards in your area.

Contact Scrap Yards and Obtain Quotes

Contact the scrap yards you have identified and provide them with accurate details about your car’s condition. Be prepared to answer questions about the make, model, year, mileage, and any issues it may have. Request quotes from multiple scrap yards to compare their offers.

Negotiate and Finalize the Deal

Once you have received quotes, compare them and consider negotiating to get the best possible price for your car. Be honest about the condition of your vehicle and provide any supporting documentation or photos if requested. Negotiation may involve discussing the value of salvageable parts or the weight of scrap metal.

Once you have agreed on a price, clarify the terms of the sale, including who will handle the transportation of the car to the scrap yard. Some scrap yards offer free towing services, while others may require you to arrange transportation yourself.

Prepare Your Car for Sale

Before delivering your car to the scrap yard, make sure to complete the following steps:

  1. Remove Personal Belongings: Take the time to remove all personal belongings from the car. Check all compartments, including the trunk and glove box, to ensure nothing is left behind.
  2. Transfer or Cancel Registrations: Cancel or transfer the registration of the vehicle according to the requirements of your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
  3. Remove License Plates: Remove the license plates from the car, as they typically cannot be transferred to a new owner.

Complete the Transaction

When delivering your car to the scrap yard, ensure that you have all the necessary paperwork, including the title or proof of ownership, release of liability, and any other documents required by your local DMV. Complete the paperwork as instructed by the scrap yard, and make sure to retain copies for your records.

Upon completing the transaction, the scrap yard will provide you with payment. Depending on their policies, you may receive cash, a check, or a direct electronic transfer.


Scrapping your old car is a practical way to unlock cash from a vehicle that is no longer useful to you. By assessing the condition of your car, finding local scrap yards, obtaining quotes, negotiating, and completing the necessary paperwork, you can successfully scrap your old car and get paid for it. Remember to choose reputable scrap yards, be transparent about your car’s condition, and follow the proper procedures to ensure a smooth and profitable transaction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *