Last Updated on February 15, 2024 by Nasir Hanif

Many people who want to make extra money by selling car parts will turn to local junkyards or scrap yards. However, it’s important to know that not all scrap yard buyers are equal. It’s best to sell your catalytic converters to an online buyer who understands the value of precious metals like platinum, palladium, and rhodium. 

Get Paid 

Depending on where you live, multiple junk yards, salvage yards and scrap yards may buy your converter for cash. If this is the case, it’s always best to call ahead so that you can be sure they will pay a fair price for your catalytic converter. You should also find out how they pay: The scrap yard often offers you an online payment system or promises to send you a check. Verify that the company is reputable and has a record of paying for scrap metals. Many scrap catalytic converter buyers can tell what kind of car your converter came from by looking at the serial or model number (you can remove the rust to reveal this number). Some can even tell if it’s an original factory converter or an aftermarket replacement. 

Get a Quote 

On the illicit market, catalytic converters of valuable metals can fetch hundreds of dollars. Criminals tend to target them during car thefts. Junkyards, scrap yards, and online buyers will purchase these units for varying prices. These are the recommended routes for selling a catalytic converter, as they understand the value of the precious metals involved and can offer you a fair price. 

When contacting buyers, provide clear photographs and the year, make, and model of the vehicle for which the converter was designed. It will help ensure you receive a proper quote and get top dollar for your unit. It will also prevent fraudulent transactions, as buyers can verify the unit’s authenticity by checking its serial number. 

Clean It Up 

Catalytic converters typically get purchased from new and used vehicle dealers, auto junkyards, muffler shops and other similar industries. Because each second-hand converter contains platinum — which can fetch $1,000 per ounce or more — they’re highly sought-after recyclable assets. Rhodium is also included in the mixture, but it’s less valuable than palladium and platinum because it doesn’t work as well to remove toxins. Instead, rhodium is more useful as an additive to increase platinum’s effectiveness. 

Thieves are known to steal catalytic converters, particularly from hybrid electric vehicles. These automobiles typically have more expensive CATs that can fetch a high scrap metal price on the black market. Fortunately, there are a few things car owners can do to prevent theft and ensure they receive the right price for their converter. 

Cut Off the Exhaust Pipes 

During the Great Recession, stories circulated of criminals targeting and stealing catalytic converters. While stealing this small component that primarily works to clean exhaust fumes may seem strange, thieves were after the precious metals like platinum and palladium the converters contain. Those precious metals can fetch an expensive price on the black market, making old and broken catalytic converters ideal for recycling. This process also saves energy, time and costs associated with mining new metal ore. 

If you plan to sell your converter, cut off the thin pipes that stick out of either end. It will make it much easier for the scrap yard to identify what kind of vehicle your converter came from, which can help them give you an accurate quote. 

Contact a Scrap Yard 

Many scrap yards, junkyards and salvage yard buyers will purchase your catalytic converters for recycling. They will send it to a recycling plant where the precious metals, including platinum, palladium and rhodium, can be extracted for reuse in various products. It is important to know your vehicle’s year, make and model, as this will help you get a more accurate quote from the scrap yard for your catalytic converter. Knowing this information can also prevent you from being taken advantage of by a scam artist. 

You should always choose a buyer specializing in purchasing and selling car parts like the catalytic converter. It guarantees a fair price and that your old catalytic converter is recycled. It will also lessen the harm that mining non-renewable resources does to the environment.