How Location Impacts The Value of a Junk Car

While the make and model and overall condition of your junk car are important indicators of how much you can expect to make, the location of the vehicle and the junkyard also plays a key role in determining value. Junk yards located on the coasts generally have better access to larger scrap yards and barge access to ship scrap metal overseas. This can boost the value of the vehicles they buy, thus leaving more cash in the pocket of drivers.

The current price of scrap metal plays a major role in the current value of a junk car. When scrap metal prices are low, buyers aren't willing to spend as much on junk cars versus when it's at a high and they can get a higher return on investment. These metal prices can vary depending on location, especially when divided between the coasts and the middle regions of the United States. Many scrap metal buyers will vary their prices daily in accordance with the current market, which affects junkyards and junk car owners and what price they're able to fetch for their scrap cars.

Even if the junk car is located in a subprime area, it's still possible to get hundreds of dollars in cash for an old beater. Salvage dealers will resell what they can before scrapping the metal frame and recycling the steel and aluminum, so it can be reused and begin the process all over again.

Let's discuss how location is one of the 7 factors that determine a junk car's value.

Why Location Helps to Determine the Value of a Scrap Car

When determining where to sell a scrap car, determine which junkyards and scrap yards in your area are located near transportation. This could be railways and major waterways. Some locations send their excess scrap via barge on a river to the coast, where it can be unloaded onto larger shipments meant for overseas locations for recycling purposes.

Junk yards that are rural and far away from major transportation hubs have a more difficult time selling to scrap dealers. They may have to pay more for transportation or they may even opt to scrap the metal domestically, which often doesn't pay as much as shipping the metal to other countries.

Scrap metal prices can vary by state, though not generally by large amounts. A wide range of factors affects the current scrap metal industry, including the economy at large and any type of natural disasters that may be affecting transport. Consumers don't need to be experts on scrap prices to understand if they're getting a fair deal or not. Online junk car buyers have lower overhead and a robust network of buyers working in unison, which allows them to have an edge on local junkyards that are reliant on their community.

Supply and Demand of Car Parts Based on Geographical Location

The value of a junk car's car parts can vary by location, depending on the demand for certain makes and models in different regions. For example, in northern states where winters are harsh and roads are icy, vehicles with all-wheel drive such as Subaru are more popular and valuable. Junk yards will pay more for these junk cars because the can salvage and resell their car parts to other owners who need them. The same goes for trucks in industrial areas where most people drive them for work. These junk cars have high-value car parts such as transmissions, engines, audio systems, and more that can be sold to buyers who don't want to buy new ones. Trucks also have more metal by weight, which increases their value. Therefore, location of a junk car can affect how much its car parts are worth and how quickly the can be sold.

The Role Ports Play in Determining Junk Car Values

Most of the major scrap metal recycling facilities are located either on the West Coast or the East Coast. This is due to their close proximity to the waterways, as well as barges to load the recycled scrap metal onto to ship off to other facilities. This allows the scrap yards to ship off excess scrap metal to other countries while keeping transportation costs to a minimum. Scrap yards located in the middle of the country would have to load trucks to transport the metal to the ports, which would incur additional costs.

All of these factors play a role in a junk car's value depending on its location. Scrapyards without operations on the water may sell their metals domestically, to furnaces located within the United States. Others may build their facilities close to railways, so they can load up trains with their scrap. Some scrap yards may even opt to sell to larger scrap yards, thus allowing them to get a quick payment for their material.

Do Scrap Metal Prices Vary State by State?

Yes, scrap metal prices can be different state by state and coast by the coast. Current scrap metal prices on Scrap Register show the West Coast with a slight edge over the East Coast and a larger gap between the Midwest and Southwest when it comes to aluminum prices. Steel scrap is again led by the West Coast, with the Southwest coming in close behind.

The demand for scrap metal can vary day by day, much like the stock market. These fluctuating prices play a key role in determining how much a junk car is worth on any given day in any given city and state. The main chunk of a vehicle's weight comes from aluminum and steel, so the current price of scrap metal greatly impacts the value of a junk car depending on location.

Naturally, the best time to sell a junk car is when the demand for scrap metal is high. This can be difficult to time and more often than not, junk car owners just want to sell their scrap cars to get them out of the way and get cash in their pocket. Metal prices fluctuate in line with the local and global economy, and extenuating factors such as natural disasters and the current cost of energy.

How Does the Location Impact the Junk Car Removal Process?

From a wider viewpoint, location can determine the current scrap car prices. In a more narrow view, the physical location of the junk car, such as in an old garage, can also affect the junk removal process and its overall value. If a scrap car is unable to be driven and in an inconvenient location for a tow to get it, this will increase the cost of the transport and therefore, decrease the cash amount that the owner receives.

Depending on where the scrap car is in relation to the junkyard, this can also affect the cost of transport. The further a tow truck has to drive to and from the location, the more it costs. Junk car buyers shouldn't charge an extra cost for towing on top of their offer, they should bake it into the final price.

Metropolitan areas with several junkyards within the city limits will decrease the likelihood that the tow truck has to go very far. In more rural areas, where there is one or no junkyards within a 30-40 mile radius end up decreasing the value of their junk car is due to location and proximity to the salvage yard.

Top 10 Locations Where Scrap Cars Are Worth the Most

Some of the most common models found in junkyards across the United States are Nissan Altimas, Honda Civics, and Toyota Camrys. This data was derived from the values from the cities that frequently provide Junk Car Medics with vehicles. As the data shows, not all of these cities are major metropolitan areas — such as Spring, Texas. Large cities often have better access to transportation, as well as relationships with larger scrap metal facilities where the vehicle will inevitably go once it has been salvaged for parts.

Miami, FL $968.53
Philadelphia, PA $791.32
Orlando, FL $770.45
Houston, TX $755.25
Brooklyn, NY $743.57
Fort Lauderdale, FL $665.83
Nashville, TN $645.00
Brandon, FL $635.56
Las Vegas, NV $631.79
Tampa, FL $605.00

It's important to note that when studying the above data, the three states with some of the highest populations — Texas, Florida, and New York — have all made the above list. Texas accounts for four of the top 10 spots, with New York securing three. This provides junk car buyers with a much larger population to sell salvage parts to. This expanded buying audience allows them to buy junk cars for more, which also benefits the owners of said cars who leave with more cash in their pockets.

Another consideration to make when determining why location matters for junk car values is that in cities such as Texas, which has mild winters and little to no road salt during the winter, cars are less likely to suffer from rust. This boosts value automatically when compared to scrap cars that have succumbed to rust over the years. Rust can cause corrosion and potential damage to internal parts.

How Much Can I Junk a Car for In My City?

To determine how much you can junk your car for in your area, you'll need to do a bit of research. First, look up comparable years, makes, and models to find a price range. Then begin compiling a list of local junk car buyers, such as junkyards and auto salvage businesses, as well as online junk car buyers. Request free, no-commitment quotes and see what the average value of your scrap car is to these buyers.

Once you have a range of prices, this is how much your vehicle will be worth in your area. Choose the top price and sell your junk car to that buyer. If none of the quotes that you received met your expectations for what your junk car was worth, it's time to reset expectations. If nobody is willing to offer you a higher price for the scrap car, then it's arguably not worth that amount.

Online buyers are often able to streamline the process by working with a network of buyers to boost the overall value of the vehicle. If you find that you can't find a fair deal in your city, request an online quote to see if you can get more cash for your junk car.

Is It Worth it to Transport a Junk Car to a Nearby City?

No, it's always best to sell your junk car where it is. If you live in a rural area and your local junkyard is offering you $50-$100 under what you could potentially make in a larger metropolitan area, it's not worth the time and effort. There would also be the additional expense of hiring a tow truck to transport the vehicle if it isn't drivable. Many buyers will include the cost of the tow into their final offer, though this is generally for a predetermined radius and not 100+ miles.

If you're not happy with the offer provided by a local junk yard, consider requesting quotes from online junk car buyers. These buyers often have less overhead, so they can offer more money for your scrap vehicle. Buyers such as Junk Car Medics provide quick and fair quotes that allow the seller to spend less time trying to sell their vehicle.

Location Matters Less When Working With Online Buyers

Online junk car buyers have the tools and resources to provide fast quotes and fair prices. Junk Car Buyers works with a large operation of buyers across the country to help provide you, the seller, with the best possible deal for your unwanted car. Our reputation is backed by thousands of reviews of happy sellers from all 50 states. We partner with the top junkyards and recyclers in your area to offer excellent service and cash in your pocket.

We make the process as pain-free as possible, from the 24/7 online quote system to the towing and payment of your scrap car. We'll take care of the details and ensure that you're getting a fair price on your junk car and save you the time of dedicating hours to researching scrap metal prices and the value your car has depending on its location.


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