Cash For Cars

Paying cash for cars is part of the vehicle recycling process that dismantles derelict automobiles for spare parts or scrap metal. The exchange of cash for cars has since become a corollary trade in the automotive industry to promote efforts on environmental protection and social responsibility.

United States

In the United States, the US Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) Vehicle Recycling Partnership (VRP) LLC sees to the proper management of end-of-life vehicles in the United States in particular, and the North American continent in general. In 1991, USCAR’s VRP – which includes Daimler Chrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation – began its intensive campaign to maximize vehicle recycling in the United States.

Today, more than 95 per cent of all vehicles in the United States go through a market-driven recycling infrastructure, with no added cost or tax to customers. More than 75 per cent, by weight, of each end-of-life vehicle (ELV) is recycled.[1]

With American automakers taking a proactive stance in government and private industry efforts on vehicle recycling, the cash-for-cars trade has become more lucrative than ever. There are a number of internet-based companies that have evolved to handle the end-of-life vehicle market, advertising themselves as the “Fast, easy and convenient” final step in the automotive life cycle.

The simple process is highly beneficial for the environment and even more beneficial to customers (sellers of ELV). In the cash-for-cars trade, the amount the junk car will pay varies greatly based on the year of the car but on average ranges between $150 to $500.

In 1976, Hughes v. Alexandria Scrap Corp. was argued before the Supreme Court of the United States. It was a result of the creation of a program in Maryland with regard to purchasing junked cars and paying a bounty to licensed scrap processors who had exchanged cash for cars bearing the State’s license plates. The issue on the table was to determine whether such a program, which provided for imposing more stringent documentation requirements on out-of-state processors, Constitutionally discriminated against or burdened interstate commerce on car dealerships exchanging cash for cars that had been rendered unserviceable. The case effectively favored the State


In early 2009, a voluntary program, called Retire Your Ride, was launched by the Government of Canada to encourage motorists across the country to give up their old vehicles that emit pollutants. A total of 50,000 vehicles manufactured in 1995 or in years prior were targeted for permanent retirement.

In cooperation with the Clean Air Foundation and community stakeholders, the program created cash-for-cars incentives for vehicles traded and put up for recycling. When the Retire Your Ride campaign ended in March 2011, over 130,000 vehicles have been retired under the program.


In Australia, the term cash for cars is also synonymous with car removal. Only in Victoria, companies must acquire a LMCT and other relevant processing licenses before the procurement of vehicles. Some time it takes to check every vehicles history and After that It can be processed for wrecking and recycling purposes. Both Cash For Cars and Car Removals services are asked for cars coming to the end of their road life.

New Zealand

New Zealand motor vehicle fleet increased 61 percent from 1.5 million in 1986 to over 2.4 million by June 2003. By 2015 it almost reached 3.9 million. This is where scrapping has increased since 2014. Cash For Cars is a term used for Car Removal/Scrap Car where wreckers pay cash for old/wrecked/broken vehicles depending on age/model.


  1. United States Council for Automotive Research“Vehicle Recycling Partnership”.
  2.  Supreme Court of the United States“Hughes v. Alexandria Scrap Corp., 426 U.S. 794 (1976)”
  3. BBC (6 August 2009). “Scrappage scheme boosts car sales”
  4.  European Union“Directive on End-of-Life Vehicle 2000/53/EC”



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