Did you know that car shoppers can now expect to shell out an average of $46,000 for a new ride? Yet, despite such high prices, worldwide sales of new cars still range from 74 to 78 million units yearly.
With so many vehicles on the road nowadays, you’d have to wonder what happens once they reach their end of life. You may even be asking this question because your old ride stopped working, leaving you with a scrap car.
The good news is that even junk vehicles, including those totaled in an accident, still have loads of uses. Below, we’ll discuss what they are and what to do with scrap cars, so keep reading.
1. Recycled Metal
Steel and iron, which are infinitely recyclable, comprise about 65% of automobile parts. Their quality and properties don’t degrade even if you keep recycling them. Around 90% of these metal components in end-of-life automobiles undergo recycling.
So even if scrap cars no longer run, they still have significant value in metal recycling. That’s because metal recycling uses less energy than new metal production. For example, new steel from recycled ones uses up to 10 times less energy than new steel from virgin iron ore.
If you have the time to part out your scrap vehicle, you can remove its trunk, panels, hood, and doors. These components have the largest concentration of steel and iron.
Aluminum, used in automotive alternator housings, radiators, and wheels, is also endlessly recyclable. It’s also in transmission cases, fluid coolers, and engine heads. So you can harvest these aluminum components from your non-working car and sell them as scrap.
2. Glass Recycling
Glass is also 100% recyclable and doesn’t lose its purity or quality, no matter how many times you recycle it. Recycling glass also uses less energy to make new glass than making new glass from raw materials. It can even help reduce air and water pollution related to glass manufacturing.
You can take an old vehicle’s windshield and side and rear windows to a glass recycling facility. They may also accept your ride’s glass headlamps and taillights as long as they’re intact.
3. Functional Used Part Sales
Does your clunker still have its working infotainment gear, like a stereo or GPS device? Maybe its cameras and heating and air conditioning system still run. If so, consider taking these out and selling them in their used condition.
4. Whole Car Recycling
Call a scrap car recycling company if you want to dispose of a scrap vehicle with the least possible effort. These businesses buy entire junk vehicles for cash. Most also offer free car removal services.
How much a junk car recycling company will pay you depends on your car’s make, model, year, and condition. Expect a higher paycheck if it’s an SUV or pickup, as these cars have more recyclable content than sedans. A vehicle with no part removed will also rake in more than one with missing components.
You can always request a free price estimate of your ride when you call a junk car recycling company. Share pertinent details, such as if it’s missing a wheel, a door, or has broken glass.
If you like the company’s offer, you can schedule your car removal service with them. One of their workers will pick up your car and haul it away for free after paying you in cash.
5. Repurposed Materials
Repurposing materials involves using an object for something other than its original purpose.
For example, you can use your scrap car’s rubber tires as swings in your backyard. You can also use some as a plant pot.
Rubber tires are also excellent mulch materials. A tire-shredding service can chop or grind them up for you. Then, you can use the rubber mulch as a shock-absorbing cover for play areas or walkways.
Another idea is to repurpose vehicle glass into a dining or coffee table. You can use the other metal parts of your ride as the furniture’s legs or body. If you want to use it outdoors, apply a weatherproofing sealant on the metal parts.
You can also use car door handles as hardware for your cabinets or shelves. If you want more storage, you can use a glovebox as a hanging container.
6. Car Donations
Some charitable organizations accept both old and junk vehicles. They often work with scrap yards to turn donated cars into funds they can use for their organization.
You won’t receive any cash for your donation, but you can get a tax write-off. Plus, most charities that accept junk car donations pick up donated vehicles for free.
Most importantly, you can help out people in need when you donate your junk car.
7. Automotive Mechanic Training Materials
Vocational schools and community colleges also accept old and junk car donations. They use these as materials to educate and train would-be mechanics.
Whatever your car’s make, model, year, or condition, a school will likely take it. They will disassemble it and repair it as part of their education programs.
Training courses in mechanic schools also usually involve rebuilding donated cars. They often use parts from donations to build working automobiles too. They then give away these functioning vehicles to charities and organizations.
Since it’s still a donation, you can get a tax write-off if you give away your junk car to a mechanic school. The institution will also likely offer free pickup and towing as a token of gratitude.
Make Your Scrap Car Usable Again
As you can see, a scrap car has many other uses, considering all the recyclable materials it contains.
So if you need cash, you can sell its metal and glass parts to recycling facilities or its used parts to buyers. You can also help out those in need by donating your ride and still enjoy a tax write-off. Alternatively, you can repurpose car parts and turn them into artsy furniture.
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