What Happens To Junk Cars?

pile of recycled cars. Junkyard. crushed cars. recycling.

Whenever a car is no longer in use, what happens to it? There are many answers to this question, and one of them is definitely: it’s up for grabs. While some people may see junk cars as an eyesore, they also have a practical function. That’s because they can be turned into something else that you might need or want – like reuse material.

Worldwide, there are 6 million cars that are taken apart every single year. It’s all done voluntarily by people who want to do the right thing for their environment. Your junk car might end up in a scrap car recycling lot. But they might not be scrapped; they could end up being used for parts, too. More on that below!

They Are Used As Scrap

Many cars that are taken apart have their metal and plastics melted into new products. This includes the small parts of cars like the bumpers, headlights, and the plastic bumpers in the road. In fact, this happens even for old models that have been discontinued a long time ago. Today’s cars are built to last for much longer than ever before.

So when it’s time for them to be replaced, they will be taken apart and recycled by manufacturers who are creating new products from scrap metal. What remains is called secondary raw material (or recycling), which is not only used to produce new products but also as a raw material in other manufacturing processes.

The Second-Hand Car Market

Another option for old cars is to sell them to a private buyer. Private-owned companies are in fact one of the biggest consumers of used cars. They either buy old models from people who want to sell, or they purchase parts from car dealers who want to make more money by selling off their old stock. When individual buyers come into contact with a car dealer, they might look at wrecked cars as an opportunity for a bargain. Therefore, it wouldn’t be surprising if most junk cars find their way into this market some time in the future.

Useful Parts Are Recycled & Used for Other Cars’ Repairs

When old cars are scrapped, their metals and plastics can be recycled or even put into well-used cars. The materials are used to repair other cars, especially those that are damaged in collision. There’s also a third option for the car owners themselves – keeping them as an antique.


Many people assume that cars and their parts aren’t recyclable simply because they were created out of non-ferrous metals such as alkylate (i.e., steel) or aluminum. Though there are many metal parts in cars, most of them are made of steel. And steel, in turn, is made mostly out of iron and zinc (with some small amounts of other elements). Iron itself is a very versatile element that can be used to make things such as household appliances.

They Can Be Remodeled for décor

Another option for car owners is to have their cars restyled. Many people are now used to seeing recycled vehicles on the road an’ don’t think twice about them. But what makes something recyclable is more than just the materia’s it’s made of, but also h’w it’s used in the end.

Some people want to keep their cars around as an antique, as art, or as a storage or garage-sale item. Others might want to update their vehicle and make it look better when they drive in it every day. Whatever reason they have for doing so, recycling and reshaping old cars can create the desired effect.

The point is not just to recycle cars and parts, but to do it responsibly. By recycling, you can use old models as what they were originally made for. And by reshaping them, you can create something entirely new that people will see as their own personal car. Recycling also helps with conserving the environment and it’s a lot less expensive than using traditional disposal methods.

From all the above, you can see now that junk cars are not all there is to recycled vehicles. There are many other reasons why cars go to be scrapped, in addition to their age (or their condition). Just like any other part of a vehicle, the car’s metal does not have to be destroyed when it’s no longer in use. Instead, it can be reshaped into something new and useful for the environment or for people.

About the Author


Be the first to comment on "What Happens To Junk Cars?"

Leave a comment