Who Pays the Most Money for Junk Cars in the US?

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

You’re probably researching who gives the highest payout for junk cars, right? Your neighborhood mechanic could offer to buy your car for junking and parts, but we want to show you who pays the most for junk cars so that you can get the most money for your vehicle.

Who Buys Junk Cars in the US?

Let’s see the possible buyers for your damaged vehicles and find out who gives the best price for junk cars.

  1. Online buyers — You can list your junk car on craigslist or eBay. Some people pay for junk cars to salvage parts for their DIY repair projects. Mechanics, who are looking for specific parts, can also be prospective buyers. Although these online marketplaces have a global reach, you are limited to selling to buyers near your area. 
  2. Junkyards and scrap yards — If you have a junkyard or scrap yard near you, they constantly look for scrap cars to salvage parts and strip them for metal. If your car is pretty banged up, they would probably base their price on your car’s weight. The bigger the junk car, the more metal it can salvage. Often, you have to pay for towing, so remember to factor this.
  3. Auction houses — Most salvage yards and insurance companies have business relationships with auction houses where they would list junk cars for bidding. If you have an auction house near you or at least in the state, you can directly contact them and have your junk car listed. Some would shoulder the cost of towing and removal, but often you would need to pay for this.
  4. Junk car buyers — These are companies that live-and-breath junk vehicles, and they are the ones who pay top dollar for junk cars. We are proud to say that JunkCarsUs is one of the leading junk car buyers in the USA, with offices in nearly every state. Unlike others, Junkcarsus will include towing for free and provide instant quotations. 

Factors that Affect Junk Car Value

Not every junk car is priced the same, as there are a number of factors that affect the cost. Some vehicles are on the list of the highest-paying junk cars, and there are also several others that barely interest any drivers. Here are the main factors that can positively or negatively affect the selling price.

Make, year, and model — The year, manufacturer, and model of a car are factors that influence a junk car’s value. 

Older vehicles and vintage car models have a demand for parts that, in many cases, are not manufactured anymore. So if you have a classic auto like those manufactured by the now-defunct American Motors Company, collectors would snatch up the rare parts and drive the price.

On the flip side, commonly driven cars like Toyotas and Hondas will also sell for more because their parts are constantly in demand. Most junk car buyers prefer buying these types because they are considered “fast-moving” products — meaning these can be flipped or resold quickly.

European junk cars would also fetch a hefty sum because of the lack of parts and materials in the USA.

Mileage — A vehicle with high mileage may suggest that the parts and components are in poor condition due to heavy use. As a result, the higher your car mileage, the less money you will receive. All things being equal, a vehicle with less mileage will be more valuable compared to the same with higher mileage. For reference, let’s say 2 similar cars are sold, but one has 100,000 more miles. Expect the difference to be between $1,000 to $2,000.

Condition — There’s a wide gap in value between a junk car and the ones considered clunkers or rust buckets. If your car is still starting or can actually run, then it has a good chance of being sold at a higher price. If you’re selling a car with a blown engine but with intact seats, engine blocks, and frames, expect the price to be a bit higher. 

For comparison, if you have a junk car like a Honda Civic or Toyota Camry sitting in an open garage gathering rust for years, it will probably be worth about $50 to $100. But if the same car was sold right after being salvaged or after suffering major engine damage, it could probably fetch about $500 to $1,000 or more.

The size of the car — This can also fall under make, year, and model, but we feel it deserves a separate category. Large junk vehicles like an SUV, van, or truck can fetch more money compared to sedans for the simple fact that it has more metal. Some junk car buyers, like scrap yards, buy these cars for the total amount of metal that can be recycled. 

Older vehicles have more metallic materials than modern cars and will fetch a higher amount. However, selling them as scrap metal is not advisable as you are getting the least value for your junk cars, with most buyers shelling out only $100 to $200.

Location — If your car is non-running or is not road-worthy, then the towing fee will play a significant role in the selling price. Junkyards and scrap car buyers will usually charge towing fees and will compute this based on the distance between the car and their office. This means the farther you are, the higher the towing fee. Most might charge $100 to $300 for towing, which will be deducted from the sale of your car. 

However, car buyers, like Junkcarsus, include towing as a free service for all our deals. Also, since we have offices in almost every state, we have a service crew ready to assist. Some places like California and Texas have a high number of vehicles, so junk cars sold here have a higher value compared to other states due to the demand for parts.

Who Pays the Most Money for Junk Cars in the US

To give you an idea of how much you can get for a junked car, here’s a table showing the prices offered for popular vehicles in the USA. Since pricing is based on many factors, we decided to show the range of prices we have historically offered for the vehicles listed below.

Vehicle Make and Model

Junkyards & Salvage yards*

Other junk car buyers


Ford - F-150 (1999)



$425 to $7,250

Ford Escape (2013)



$750 to $3,275

Mercedes-Benz C-Class (2004)



$325 to $2,950

Nissan Maxima (2010)



$350 to $3,250

Volkswagen Jetta (2004)



$550 to $1,875

Ford E150 (2006)



$875 to $4,250

Toyota Pickup (1991)



$475 to $4,700

Chevrolet TrailBlazer (2007)



$650 to $2,650

*Based on $130 per 1 ton of scrap metal

Consider Selling Your Car to Junkcarsus

You can sell your junk car through eBay and craigslist, but you’ll deal with constant calls and messages from prospective buyers who will try to lowball you.

Auction and bidding houses might hold your car for weeks if it’s not sold. You can’t get the money fast, you’ll have to wait.

At Junkcarsus, we buy salvage cars and offer the highest pay for junk cars of any type and in any condition. We even put in free towing and documentation services in case you lost the car title.

Give us a call at (855) 547-1550, and our friendly car experts will gladly answer all your inquiries. We can immediately quote a price, and if you agree, we can close the deal instantly. We can then schedule same-day pick-up so you’ll get your cash ASAP. 


Where can I get the highest payout for junk cars?

Junk car buyers, such as Junkcarsus, give the highest payout for junk vehicles. If you know how to scrap your car for parts, you might earn more cash, but not all of them might sell. You can also sell your junk car online, but you have to deal with lowballers and dozens of inquiries. Junkcarsus can give you top dollar fast, and deals can be done on the same day.

Who pays the most for junk cars?

Junk car buyers like Junkcarsus usually pay the most for junk cars. Some auction houses can pay when bidding goes in your favor, but this takes time, and you have to wait for the process to be completed. You can also sell it for parts, but some would sell better than others. If you want to sell the entire junk car in one go, it will be better to sell it to Junkcarsus.

Does mileage affect the price of junk cars?

Yes, it does. The more miles on the odometer, the lower the price for your junk car. A vehicle with high mileage means that the engine, parts, and components are heavily used and may be in poor condition.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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