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How the Price of Scrap Metal Affects the Cash You Get for Your Car


Are you planning on selling your older vehicle for cash and are wondering why you’re getting quoted a lot less money for the car, truck, or van than what you were quoted for another car that you recycled years ago?

The answer to this question has nothing to do with the scrap metal dealer that you called and it has everything to do with the state of the scrap metal market in 2017.

One of the big differences in the scrap metal industry between 2007 and 2017 is that the price of scrap metal has changed and now it’s not uncommon for dealer’s like to get a lot less money for scrap metal than we did 10 years ago.

Thanks to a recent article from we know that the average car, truck, or van has approximately 2,400 to 3,000 lb. of steel. This accounts for over 55% of the vehicle’s weight and there is also approximately 300 lbs. of aluminum in each vehicle on the road today.

When you decide to sell your vehicle to a company like what you really are doing is selling your car, truck, or van for the current value of the scrap metal in the vehicle.

Depending upon the make, model, and year of your vehicle your car, truck, or van may have a variety of precious metals in it including aluminum, copper, and steel. These metals can be sold to other scrap metal dealers for cash or they can be sold back to vehicle manufacturers like Ford, Mazda, Chevy and other automotive companies who will, in turn, use those metals for manufacturing new cars.

Besides putting those recycled metals into new vehicles, recycled metals can also be used for building materials, smart phones, wire, and other household items that we use every single day.

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Scrap metal prices have also dropped because the demand for scrap metal also dropped as well plus many car manufacturers these days make their vehicles out of materials other than steel and most building manufacturers are now constructing apartment buildings and homes with materials other than precious metals.

Besides having a low demand for scrap metal in the world, the supply of scrap metal is also very high right now. This means that builders and car companies have an overabundance of scrap metal to choose from and it’s another example of why scrap metal prices have fallen from $480 a ton in February of 2015, to just $50 a ton during the beginning of 2016.

cash for car

Understanding the Scrap Metal Market

As someone who is planning on selling their car, truck, or van for cash it’s important for you to know that metal is also a commodity much like diamonds, oil, water, and other precious minerals in the world.

As we stated earlier in this article, the price of scrap metal in the world is affected by supply and demand both in China and also in other countries like India where they have been building like crazy in recent years.

10 to 15 years ago, China was heavily dependent on scrap metal dealers in the United States but now thanks to their technologies, China has the ability to produce their own steel to keep up with demand in their country and they even sell off steel to the global marketplace.

Besides China Improving upon their steel making technology, the country has also developed new ways to produce finished steel, also known as Billet Steel, which is used as a substitute for scrap steel in countries like Turkey.

Sadly, this is also being another thing that has affected that scrap metal market in the United States since developing countries like Turkey or no longer buying or depending upon the USA for scrap steel.

One thing that has been helping scrap steel prices in the United States is import tariffs that the United States has imposed on countries like China. This is helping increase the price of scrap steel and other precious metals over the last six months but the reality is that China still has over 100 million metric tons of steel waiting to be used so it could possibly be up to 4 years before the demand for scrap steel in the United States gets back to where it should be.

scrap metal prices

Does this mean that you should not junk your car?

After reading this article, you’re probably asking yourself if you should still junk your car or not. The answer to this question is yes, you should still sell your junk vehicle for cash because, recycling does help the environment and it also helps to beautify your neighborhood as well.

To get the best price for your used vehicle or to learn more about jumping your car, contact us today by calling (888) 913-5816 or click here to connect with us online.