Deciding what to do with an old car is not an easy task. Car owners tend to debate between scrapping it or trading it in. 

Both the options allow you to turn junk into cash. However, more people opt for trading because they assume they get more money this way. That is not always the case. Some junk car yards offer a decent amount for old cars. 

Our guide will help you decide which of the two options is better suited for you. This way, you make the most out of your old car. 

Understanding Trade-In

Trading in a car is not as easy as you think and is especially daunting when you try to trade in an old car. But it is easier than trying to sell the car yourself

By trading in, you essentially give the car to the dealership in exchange for credit towards a new car. 

The trading in the process itself is fairly easy, the dealership does all the paperwork. However, dealerships won’t offer you the best price. They are in the business to make money and low-ball car owners with older vehicles, because they know you will have a hard time selling it on your own. 

The condition of the car plays a vital role in trading it in. You won’t get much for a banged up, old car. So, when it comes to picking between scrapping your car and trading it in, the vehicle’s condition is the determining factor. 

Understanding Scrapping Your Car

Scrapping your car is the ideal option if you have a car that isn’t worth repairing and trading in because it isn’t drivable. You may have a car in a bad condition but still runs well, so it makes sense to invest some money to repair it so you can get a decent trade-in value. A value that is much higher than what you’ve invested in the repairs. However, for those that won’t give you a return on your investment, scrapping them is the best option. 

Junk car yards typically offer between $100-$600 for a car. That may not seem like a lot, but when you have a car that doesn’t run, getting anything is better than nothing. Most junkyards will even tow the car. So, all you have to do is contact them and they take care of the rest. The process is fast and easy. 

For those that care about the environment, scrapping is the best option. The process helps the environment in numerous ways from recycling car parts to metal which can be used to manufacture new cars. This impacts the environment in multiple ways from reducing the amount of energy needed for metal production to reducing pollution and protecting trees and wildlife which are endangered during the metal production process. 

But that might not be enough for some. So, when you are picking between the two options, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

What is the condition of your car, is it good enough to trade in?

Let’s face it, between the two options trade-in will get you more cash. But that is all depending on the condition of your car. If it runs and isn’t completely rusting away, you are likely to get more than $500 for it. Assess the vehicle's condition, seek help from a mechanic if you need it. The condition will ultimately decide whether you should scrap it or trade it in. 

How much would it cost to repair the car?

If the car isn’t in too bad a condition, it may be smart to invest some money to get more in return. Let’s say you have a car that runs well but needs some cosmetic touch ups. You could get a better trade-in value if you spent a couple of hundred dollars on touch ups. 

Ideally, you don’t want to spend any money on a car that won’t get you much in return. So, think long and hard as you answer this particular question. Only invest in repairs if you know for certain that the amount the car trade-in value appreciates will be more than what you’ve invested. Otherwise, don’t waste your money or time. 

Does your province offer any incentive for scrapping a car?

If you live in British Columbia, scrapping your old car might be more beneficial than trading it in. Along you get from the junkyard, the province provides incentives to car owners that scrap it. The SCRAP-IT initiate gives $6,000 towards a new EV purchase. Check to see if your local government has such programs to help you decide whether to scrap or trade-in your vehicle. 

How much do you care about the environment?

Let’s be honest, old cars are not great for the environment. Not only do they run more fuel but also pollute more. Scrapping the car ensures that it no longer pollutes the environment. The body, car, and salvageable parts of the vehicle are recycled. Sheets of metals are produced which can be used in manufacturing a new car. Recycling metal requires only 26% to 40% the energy for production when compared to creating new metal sheets. It is much better for the environment overall. 

For those that truly value the environment and are conscious of the carbon footprint they leave behind, there is no better option than scrapping an old vehicle. 

Final Thought

Trade-in or scrap? The question most car owners ask when they are thinking of getting rid of their old car. We have covered factors, from the vehicle’s condition to possible incentive programs for scrapping, that should help you decide. 

Picking between the two options requires a bit of homework. But it will be worth it since your choice will likely result in a higher cash return for your car.