For so many years, you have loved your car. You have driven it everywhere. You have been very careful about using it. You have also been very dedicated to keeping it in good running condition, taking it to the mechanic for its scheduled preventive maintenance all the time.
Despite all the love and care, however, the car does start to feel old at some point. For instance, the seats may have already become torn and will no longer recline. On the other hand, your car may also be struggling with broken windows. Meanwhile, it is also possible that the car is already dealing with some mechanical problems such as weak brakes and a faulty transmission or engine.
In situations like this, having the car fixed up again may end up costing you a great deal of money. Hence, it would make sense to invest in a brand-new car instead. This way, too, you can be assured that there will be no more maintenance headaches.
At the same time, it is also important to consider the safety rating of your old car. As you may know, newer cars tend to be safer to drive around than older models. That’s because new models already come standard with various life-saving features such as airbags, collision avoidance systems, lane departure alerts, and more. Replacing your old car with a new one can be seen as a more responsible move.
Now, if you’re finally ready to part ways with your car, it’s time to prepare yourself to deal with a scrap yard. As you may know, a scrap yard is a business that treats your car as one huge pile of scrap. After it has determined its value, it will pay you to part with your vehicle for good.
Before you contact a scrap yard though, there are certain things that you need to be aware of when it comes to dealing with them. Here are some that you need to remember.
25 Be sure to remove all the valuable parts and items before you junk your car
Before you junk your car, you may want to consider removing car parts that can be resold. These include the engine, headlights, batteries, tires and more. Since they can be recycled, someone would be happy to take them off your hands. On the other hand, it's also possible for you to have some other valuable items inside your car. This is especially true if you treat your car like your second home. In fact, you may even also have some accessories lying around your car. Stuff like necklaces, watches, and bracelets, along with other items of good value. Go over all the compartments and holders and see to it that everything is empty. Meanwhile, be sure to check the seats too. Sometimes, small items such as watches can get stuck and become hard to find. And of course, don’t forget to remove all the items you have in the trunk. This may include your personal first aid kit and tool box.
24 Don’t forget to remove the license plates on your car
So here you are, all set to junk your car. You are certain you have removed all of your personal belongings inside, so it is considered bare. Now, you have to turn your attention to the license plates because it is very important that you remove them before turning your car over to the scrap yard. When it comes to license plates, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
This plate is there to identify both your car and yourself.
In other words, you have a legal association with your car’s license plate and if the car you are turning over becomes involved in an illegal activity or incident, you can be held liable. Moreover, according to the company Cash Auto Salvage, your DMW will most likely ask for your license plate when you go to cancel your car’s title.
23 Be sure to cancel the car’s insurance first too
Throughout your time with your car, car insurance can be incredibly helpful. In case you and your vehicle become involved in an incident, it can cover expenses which you would have to shell out on your own otherwise. This is precisely why many tend to favor comprehensive insurance, which covers damages to your car even if the accident was deemed to be your fault. The moment you decide to junk your car, make sure that you cancel the car’s insurance first before turning it over. This is to avoid any recurring costs from the insurance before the policy expires.
22 You need to sort your own scrap first
Here’s what you need to know about scrap yards. They mean business. And by that, we mean that they are always looking to find the best ways to make the most profit out of your scrap. This may explain why they might bundle your scrap in such a way that you are rather disadvantaged. As scrap metal company Capital Scrap Metal LLC has explained, “Scrap yards have notorious ways to make sure they pay you lesser than what your junk is worth. One way is to bundle everything and pay you a flat price. Be proactive and sort your scrap into different metal categories to get the most value.”
21 Figure out what type of alloy the scrap metal you have is
You may not realize it, but there are different types of alloy available in the world and they typically have quite specific uses. According to Diversified Metals, some types of alloys include aluminum alloys, nickel alloys, stainless steel products, and gold alloys.
Aluminum alloys are used to create tarnish- and heat-resistant alloys. Hence, you would often see them in various mechanical components. These include airplane body panels and car engines. Aside from aluminum alloys, however, you might find that your car has other types too. Be sure to do your research so you can get the best price for all the scrap from your car.
20 Remove the non-metal components, if necessary
When it comes to junk cars, there are just dealers who tend to be picky. As Cash Auto Salvage has revealed, “While some dealers can buy your junk car as is (complete with non-metallic parts), others would prefer to buy after it has been stripped down to bare metal.”
If this is the case, you may have a better chance of being able to sell off your junk car the moment it’s done being stripped down.
That means emptying all the fluids from the car, removing the seats and even scrapping all the plastics off it. If you don’t feel confident doing this on your own, it might be best to seek assistance from a professional.
19 They will use a magnet to determine the value of your scrap
Yes, that’s right. The value of all that scrap from your car will be determined with the help of a magnet. Don’t worry, that is always how things are done when it comes to scrap yards. In fact, this is how they deal with various metal parts in the scrap.
The moment your metals are ready, they are all put under a magnet.
Those metals that get attracted to magnet become categorized as ferrous metals. Meanwhile, those that refuse to stick to the magnet will be classified as non-ferrous metals. These include aluminum, steel, gold, and copper. Typically, non-ferrous metals fetch more value.
18 Prepping the metal can get you more money
When it comes to dealing with scrap yards, the more prepared you are when it comes to your metal, the more money you can possibly earn. That’s because prepping the metal parts from your car will ensure that it will fetch a much better deal.
As Capital Scrap Metal LLC has explained, “The workers at the scrap yard and those behind in line with you will not be happy to see the unsorted scrap you dragged in. For instance, if you have copper wires, strip them to ensure there are no iron or steel bits within. The pure copper will not stick to the magnets that dealers use and so, you have a better chance to get more money.”
17 Expect scrap yard to buy low and sell high
Just like any other type of business, scrap yards are determined to make the most money out of any junk car that they process. That means when they deal with you, their goal is always to be able to buy low and sell high. Exactly how will they be able to do this? Well, for starters, they can choose to treat all of your car parts as one big pile of junk and price it accordingly. In this case, they would not even bother to segregate the types of alloy that your junk has and price these individually. In the end, you would still receive some money for your junk car. However, it is not as much as you should have gotten.
16 Make sure you check current prices before you go to the scrap yard
When you’re about to do business with a scrap yard, you have to know how to play it smart. Just like when you were still shopping for a car, you need to be thorough in checking prices so that you can get the best price for your junk.
Go online and write up a list of scrap yards that are in your area.
Once you’ve listed every single one of them, go ahead and make an inquiry. You can go there personally or even give them a quick phone call. Ask about their current prices for scrap metal. Also, be sure to do this a few times since the price of scrap metal tends to change every day.
15 The first thing they will ask is how much do you have
When it comes to the scrap metal yards, you can be sure that workers mean business. And so, the moment they meet you, their first question would be exactly how much you have. By this, they are referring to the amount of scrap you are planning to offer them. Typically, they want a big volume because that’s also where they can make the most business. As Capital Scrap Metal LLC further explained, “When you call the scrap yards to check for prices, this is what they are interested to know first. Remember, you will always get better prices for a larger quantity of scrap metal, and so will they.”
14 They can choose to sell salvaged items for possible reuse
For some car owners, junking a car means simply letting it go, regardless of any and all possessions that are still inside. Because of this possibility, scrap yards tend to go over your junk car extensively and make sure that any salvageable items would be pulled out immediately. These can include reusable car parts such as the doors, engine, and seats. On the other hand, they may also find other miscellaneous items such as jewelry, small appliances, and collectibles like trade cards. Once these items have been recovered from a junk car, a scrap yard may choose to sell them to help make more money out of your car.
13 Take note of the actual market price
Just like other commodities, scrap metal tends to be subject to a certain market price. For instance, the company Iron Mike Scrap Metal Services has taken note that the current market price for scrap aluminum bearing steel is $0.18 per pound. Meanwhile, scrap bare bright copper currently has a market price of $2.45 per pound.
On the other hand, clean scrap aluminum wheels have a market price of $0.62 per pound.
Before you go to any scrap yard in your area with your junk car, be sure to take note of all the current market prices. This way, it will be easier for you to determine if your scrap is being priced fairly.
12 It’s best to negotiate for a better price using past performance
Just like with any other type of business, it is always easier to negotiate with a scrap yard when you have done business with them in the past. This is because you will then be seen as a regular customer. As Capital Scrap Metal LLC has explained, “Scrap yards save your account and order information on their systems. If you are a frequent supplier of scrap metals, you can get a weekly, monthly quarterly statement reports. Use these reports to politely ask for a better price for your scrap. Even if they refuse, you can always use the report to negotiate prices with other dealers in your area.”
11 Always shop around and look for the best deal
Just like all the retailers at the mall, scrap yards may also be keen to offer some good deals for the car you’re about to scrap. Make sure you don’t miss it by simply inquiring with one scrap yard before making a decision. Hence, you should shop around and do some research with regard to your car. As Cash Auto Salvage has explained, “Dealers will always try to acquire the car at the lowest possible price, so up your negotiation skills a notch. Gather as much information about the car as possible, since dealers and brokers will typically want to know the extent of damage before throwing you an offer. It also helps to have a rough estimate of the car’s value before taking offers. You can ask your mech to give a rough estimate, then call several junkyards and compare their offers.”
10 Make sure the junk dealer you are working with is licensed
Today, there are various stores claiming to be a legitimate scrap yard business. However, some of them are not and these people can simply cause you trouble. To make sure you are dealing with a legit scrap yard business, make sure that they are licensed to operate.
Go ahead and make your way to the yard and ask to see junk car dealer’s license.
Don’t turn in your car if they fail to produce one. On the other hand, there are states that offer some e-services on these license checks. In this case, all you have to do is get the dealer’s license and get it verified online.
9 Make sure the scrap dealer’s scales are certified
Aside from checking if a junk car dealer has an actual license to operate its business, you also have to make sure that the scales they are using have already been certified. This would help ensure that you get a fair weight measurement and price for your junk car.
You may not realize it, but some scrap yards tend to use scales that are faulty or tampered with.
Because of this, they result in a significantly lower weight measurement of your car. When this happens, your junk car tends to receive a lower value than what it should get. You end up getting paid a lot less, too.
8 Insist on getting the weight of your scrap in pounds
When dealing with a scrap yard, be sure to remember this golden rule: transact in pounds or do not transact regarding your junk car at all. If they refuse to use pounds as the unit of measurement, it’s best to walk away and take your scrap car someplace else.
As the website Southern Resources has explained, “A common scrap dealer scam is to convert pricing to some other term such as “eaches”, “penny-weights”, “price per piece”, etc. This is a bright red warning flag that your scrap dealer is trying to deceive you. Pounds are straightforward. Make sure your material is weighed accurately & get paid your price per pound for every pound you have.”
7 Have a formula locked in, one that’s based on the published market
Aside from insisting that pounds be used as a unit of measurement throughout your negotiation with the scrap yard, it’s also important to make sure that you have a formula already locked in.
According to Southern Resources, “You should sell on a formula based on a published market such as AMM (American Metal Market) or the LME or the COMEX. Scrap dealers often quote a big, sometimes even losing, price to get your business, then they lower the price after you get comfortable and stop paying attention. Protect yourself by contracting a formula with your chosen scrap metal recycler, so that your price automatically raises when the market does.”
6 Be aware of all the associated fees
If you think dealing with a scrap yard simply entails offering your car and getting paid to have it junked, you are completely wrong. In fact, there are certain hidden fees that you may find yourself being billed for.
To avoid being subjected to so many unclear associated fees, insist on being quoted for a flat rate.
According to Southern Resources, this is an “as is, where is” price that will already be inclusive of fuel charges, standard handling, container rental, transportation, and administrate tasks. Once you have received the said price quote, you may want to confirm that these are the only costs that you have to pay for. This way, you won’t be surprised by an additional bill.
5 Be clear on what is being deducted
While in the middle of transacting with the scrap yard about your junk car, you need to make sure that you are clear on all the deductions. If possible, it is advisable to have an exact verification regarding this. For instance, Southern Resources explained, “if your scrap metal is in a barrel, know the exact weight of the empty barrel before loading or have the scrap dealer transfer its contents & weigh your barrel back. In the cases where estimation is unavoidable (percentage recovery, projected labor, moisture deductions, etc.), it is acceptable that the scrap dealer keeps a little cushion or errs on the side of caution but insist on an accounting to make sure it seems reasonable to you.”
4 Make sure you get a settlement report
When it comes to dealing with a scrap yard, it is always best to keep things well documented. That means you have to insist on getting a settlement report for your junk car. Ideally, this settlement report would reflect an itemized receipt of every single transaction related to you. This is how you are able to completely check all of the associated costs that you have to pay and not another dollar more. If the scrap yard is honest in doing business, they surely would not mind giving this report to you. On the other hand, you may also want to check if the scrap yard can provide you with a settlement report before you decide to turn in your junk car.
3 Consider other possible ways to junk your car
Sure, dealing with a scrap yard and getting some money for your junk car may be one way to make the most out of your auto investment one last time. However, there are also other ways to junk your car without having it to scrap it into various parts.
For instance, you can also consider giving your junk car away to a charity.
This way, the charity may sell off your car and use your proceeds to fund several worthy charitable causes. Not only is this good for the soul, but you can also get a tax deduction in the process. Indeed, it’s a win-win situation.
2 Make sure you use up your gasoline before scrapping it
So, the time to take your car to the scrap yard is getting closer. At the moment, your car is still running and in fact, it even has a full tank. Before you take it to be junked though, why not use the gas up first?
Here’s what you need to know.
The amount of fuel in your car is practically irrelevant when it comes to determining its value for scrap. Hence, it makes sense to consume as much of it as you can already. Go ahead and take your car for a final spin. This time, you no longer have to worry about staying fuel efficient.
1 Consider picking out some items for your own DIY projects
Especially if you are the crafty type, you never know when inspiration might hit. That said, you also never know when you may be needing any part of your car for your very own DIY project. If you think you will have use for some components of your car, consider taking them out and setting them aside. It would help if you can put them all in your garage, shed, or storage facility so that they don't end up accumulating dirt while waiting to be used. Go over your car components carefully and decide on what you may need. Once you’ve figured this out, ask help from your mechanic to safely remove it from your car.