What Factors Affect the Cost of a Junk Car?


Quick Answer

Factors that affect the cost of a junk car include the location of the vehicle, the vehicle's condition, the current price for scrap, and the vehicle's year, make and model. The depreciated Kelly Blue Book value also plays an important role in receiving an accurate appraisal of the vehicle.

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What Factors Affect the Cost of a Junk Car?
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Full Answer

According to Kelley Blue Book, the majority of junk cars cost between 20 and 40 percent of the vehicle’s used value. However, there are several factors that play a large role in determining the exact price.

The current price of scrap in the area is the most important factor in determining how much the junk car is worth. Most salvage yards buy junk cars for the value of the metal, rather than the available parts. In most cases, when the price of scrap is down, owners do not receive high payouts.

The condition of the junk car is an important factor that is based on the physical quality of the vehicle. For example, junk cars in pristine and clean condition are more valuable than rusty clunkers.

The vehicle's year, make and model help determine the demand for parts. The demand for parts can fluctuate depending on the type of vehicle. Additionally, as vehicles change over time, more plastic and fiberglass are integrated into the bodies. This can reduce the metal weight, which can decrease value.

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