5 Ways the Pandemic Has Caused Junk Car Values to Soar

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Junk Car Values to Soar

In 2021, the price of junk cars reached an all-time high. The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly played a role in this increase. There are many different factors that come into play when determining the value of a junk car and how much cash for cars you can get. Below we will look at five of the top factors as well as the effect the pandemic has had on them.

Global Supply and Demand

There’s an obvious difference between the demand for old cars and the supply of new ones. Newer vehicles have, unfortunately, been harder to find and, when buyers do find them, they’re overpriced due to inflation. This is true for more than just new vehicles. Older vehicles are being affected as well as more people turn to buying pre-owned or used cars instead of newer ones.

When the pandemic hit, the world ended up in shambles. The car market was not left untouched. There have been issues with microchip shortages and increased prices on metals and other goods that have contributed to the volatility of the car market and the global supply and demand.

Car selling and auction websites don’t help the matter. They also drive the price of used and pre-owned vehicles up. With more people buying used vehicles, less used vehicles are being brought to junkyards which gives them an incentive to offer more cash for junk vehicles.

Metal Shortages

Catalytic converters are a valuable piece of any car, if not the most valuable. These parts are made of high-priced metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. As such, catalytic converters have always been bought for top dollar by car manufacturers and junkyards alike.

Over the last year, there has been a global shortage of these metals, resulting in fewer catalytic converters being made and the price of your junk vehicle rising due to the parts inside of them.

Platinum and rhodium are currently at record values, and platinum has reached a six-year high. These shortages are definitely one culprit of increasing junk vehicle prices, but eventually, the shortages will end, and the prices will level out again.

Increase in Auto Parts Theft

Junk cars are often left unsupervised in yards and driveways. Some people just don’t have the time to deal with them. However, some people have too much time and are making it their priority to help themselves to strangers’ car parts.

That’s right, auto part theft has tripled recently thanks to the increase in catalytic converter costs. If a thief gets to your catalytic converter before you have the chance to sell your junk vehicle, then your vehicle could be worth hundreds of dollars less.

Thieves know this and they know what they’re doing. It’s as easy as getting under a vehicle with a hacksaw. The ease of this theft and the increase in value of these auto parts is certainly driving the criminal minds to steal more.

New Car Production Halts

Since microchips are also in short supply, the production of new cars has slowed down. That’s because newer cars, with their newer technology, use microchips in several different compartments.

Newer cars come with two to three dozen microchips installed in them. These microchips control everything from infotainment screens, fuel management, stability control, window motors, navigation systems, and more.

Fewer microchips mean less production of new cars. This results in people turning to buy used and pre-owned cars and the competition causes prices to rise even more. 


Cars aren’t inflation-proof. With all the shortages and the demand is higher than the supply, inflation has caused the value of vehicles, including used and junk cars, to increase.

Inflation means that your money has been slightly reduced in value. While inflation is nothing new, the rate that which inflation has been rising has increased fast.

Prices have increased in almost every form of goods and services. From food to entertainment, and yes, cars, too, have been affected.

New cars, used cars, and even junk cars are fetching a higher price than they were two years ago. The market is still volatile, though, and this can change at any time. Inflation can cause things to go up and down so the price you’re guaranteed for your junk vehicle today, may not be guaranteed tomorrow.


Now is the best time to sell your junk vehicle, especially if you’ve just been letting it sit idly by in your yard or driveway. The prices for junk vehicles and their parts, especially the catalytic converter, are at all-time highs. However, although the price may be up today, it could be down tomorrow.

CashForCars.io offers their junk car removal services to 17 different states and their process is quite simple, too. They have an online questionnaire you can fill out or you can call and talk to a live person regarding the state of your junk vehicle.

Once you have answered all the questions sufficiently, you will receive an instant cash offer. Be as honest as you can during the questioning process, as this will prevent obstacles when CashForCars sends its handlers to collect your junk vehicle.

If you accept the offer, there will be a few more questions asked: the name and contact number of the owner(s), where the junk vehicle will be picked up, and, occasionally, photo evidence of the condition the vehicle is in.

Once everything is agreed upon, handlers will be dispatched to the previously mentioned location. After a quick inspection of the vehicle to ensure that you didn’t leave any details out, you will then be prompted to hand over the keys, title, and vehicle in exchange for a check.

The handlers will then tow away the junk vehicle and you’ll have less clutter and more money than what you had before.

It’s that simple and straightforward and with the prices as high as they are right now, you definitely shouldn’t wait to sell your junk vehicle. You never know what the prices will be like in a week from now.

Dylan Miller

I am a Chicago native and regular contributor to "Locar Deals". I have a master's degree in English, am an automobile content creation specialist, and have written professionally for a variety of automotive companies over the past few years. I write on a variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to ten-year-old gas guzzlers and everything in between. And I love sharing valuable car buying tips with consumers from all walks of life.

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