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How Much Do Wreckers Pay For Cars?

Your car has suffered irreparable damage, it is deemed written off and "worthless". So, what next?

Well if you are thinking of selling it to a wrecker, the question is "how much will you get?"

When most people think of wrecked cars, they think of mangled metal and crushed plastic. But not all car wrecks are created equal.

Some cars are in far better condition than others, and as such can fetch higher prices when sold to a wrecker. Generally speaking, the better the condition of the automobile, the more money a wrecker will pay for it.

This is because wreckers strip a vehicle for parts and scrap metal to sell. As you can imagine, a car in better condition will typically have more valuable parts.

However, there are many other factors that contribute to the price a wrecker will pay for a vehicle. Below we'll explore those factors so you'll have an idea of how much you'll get for your vehicle if you plan on selling it.

Car buyer paying notes of money to seller for agreed price,

Factors That Affect The Price

While the prices can vary between locations, most wreckers will typically pay between $50 to $10,000 for a car.

Of course, there may also be times when they offer nothing if in the case of a burnt-out vehicle. On the other hand, if a vehicle has a high resale value they may offer more than $10,000.

Why such a large gap? Because several factors affect the price of your vehicle.

These factors include:

Condition of The Vehicle

Working and possibly drivable vehicles that only have minor problems will often get a higher price because wreckers can fix them up and resell them as functioning cars rather than sell them for scraps.

On the other end, wrecked cars with damaged engines or severe damage will often sell for less because wreckers know there are not many valuable components.

In some cases, cars without an engine or other salvageable parts often sell for only the price of scrap metal.

Old rusted station wagon in front yard.

Make and Model of The Vehicle

The most common cars will often sell for less because there are more of them. This means that the parts are more readily available, and thus not as valuable.

On the other hand, exotic or rarer car models will often sell for more because their parts are harder to come by.

This is a classic display of supply and demand.

Age of Vehicle

As a car gets older, it will often lose value. This is because parts will become more common and the car parts themselves will be more likely to have problems.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, classic cars or certain luxury models may actually increase in value as they age.

Two old vehicles parked in the garage


As mentioned above, the location of the vehicle can also impact the price. Wreckers in rural areas may pay less for a car because there are fewer cars available, and thus the parts are not as valuable.

On the other hand, wreckers in urban areas may pay more because they have access to a larger pool of vehicles that may be looking for spare parts.

Value of Scrap Metal

The price of scrap metal can fluctuate, and as such, so can the prices that wreckers pay for cars.

When scrap metal is in high demand, wreckers will often pay more for cars because they can sell the metal for a higher price.

Conversely, when scrap metal is in low demand, wreckers will pay less because they will not be able to sell the metal for as much.

When selling a wrecked car for the price of scrap metal, it's important to know the current price to help you negotiate a better deal.

You can find the list of scrap metal prices in Australia at This site also has prices for other parts of the world too.

Of course, it is important to note that you will not be able to get the exact price of scrap metals for the weight of your vehicle. This is because the wrecker who buys your wrecked car needs to make a profit.

Money that may determine the value of an old car.

Other Factors

Other, less common factors can impact the price that a wrecker pays for a car.

For example, if a car has rare parts or is particularly valuable for some other reason, it may sell for more.

On the other hand, if a car is particularly difficult to remove, dismantle or transport, it may sell for less.

Car seats (especially if they're leather) and high-end accessories (like underbody protection or snorkels) can also impact the price of the vehicle. Some have more impact than others.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the price that a wrecker pays for a car is up to the individual wrecker and will depend on several factors.

If you're looking to get the most money possible for your car, it's important to do your research and find a reputable wrecker who is willing to pay a fair price.

Need to know how much your vehicle's worth? Contact us for a free valuation.

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