Whether you refer to it as recycling, scrapping or junking your vehicle, you may want to remember these tips when you're ready to scrap your car or truck.

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Cars and trucks are the most recycled product manufactured in the US today. Automobile recycling provides millions of tons of scrap steel for the production of new goods while helping to reduce the consumption of resources and energy, as well as pollution emissions, necessary to keep the manufacturing industry rolling along. And for people with old or damaged cars, scrapping a vehicle can be a nice way to make a little extra cash as well as clear up some space in the garage.

Whether you refer to it as recycling, scrapping or junking your vehicle, you want to make sure you do your homework beforehand to make sure you avoid any issues and the process goes as smoothly as possible. With that in mind, here are a few tips to remember when you’re ready to scrap your car or truck.

Consider Your Options

When deciding to get rid of your car, take a minute to consider all of your options. For instance, if the car still runs and is suitable to drive on the road then it is probably going to be worth more money to sell than scrap. Consult Kelley Blue Book and consider putting it up for sale online to see what kind of offers you get. Even selling it for $500 is likely better than the scrap value of the car.

If your car or truck doesn’t run, and you have the tools and knowhow, it’s worthwhile to consider if you want to scrap it yourself and sell the parts individually. This can open up a wider range of selling options and get you more money.

Comparison Shop

Once you’ve decided to scrap the car and how you want to go about it, call around to your local junk and scrap yards to find out what they are willing to pay for your car. Generally, they will provide a unit price for every hundred pounds. If they will only provide a flat price for your car then keep shopping around, as per unit pricing will typically give you a better deal.

This is why it’s a good idea to understand the value of your car, and its parts, before you start weighing your options. You want to make sure you know which parts have the most value on the secondary market so that you can recognize if the scrap yard tries to treat you unfairly. Also check with the better business bureau and do a quick online search to make sure the yard you choose has a good reputation and history of fair business practices.

Know the Rules

Each state’s DMV has different regulations governing the scrapping of automobiles. That’s why it’s a good idea to review the laws governing auto junking in your state. You want to be sure to follow the proper procedures for dealing with license plates, titles and registrations so that the record of the transaction is documented properly and you avoid any unnecessary regulatory issues.

Additionally, states have paperwork you need to fill out that is specific to scrapping a car. It can be on the back of the title or a separate form provided by the DMV. Regardless, make sure you’ve completed these forms beforehand to streamline the process as much as possible.

Know the Yard’s Requirements

Just as each state’s DMV has different rules for junking cars, each scrap yard can have different requirements for prepping the car for recycling. Do they require you to remove any fluids (gas, etc.), specific parts, tires, interior items or glass? Sometimes they will also offer more if you remove certain parts of the vehicle yourself.

Note that catalytic converters are often treated differently than other parts. Since they are targeted by burglars some yards won’t accept them, however other yards will pay extra money if you remove and sell it separately. These preparation conditions can vary greatly, so make sure you know what the scrap yard wants from you as well as if there’s anything you can do to earn extra money.

Keep this in mind for any other part of the car the scrap yard may not want as well; certain parts, such as curved auto class, can be worth a lot of money on their own. Also find out what documentation they will need from you and be sure that any of these requests adhere to the local DMV regulations.