How is the value of scrap metal determined?

If you’re a metal merchant or tradesman seeking the right price for your scrap metal, you’ll be keen to know when it’s the right time to get top value for your scrap materials. With the commodities market and stock market fluctuating by the minute, it’s understandable if you’re not quite sure how it all works. Within this article, we’ll discuss the key factors that determine scrap metal prices, helping you understand the industry a little bit better and appreciate how these factors can influence one another.

Domestic and global scrap metal markets

It’s important to note that it’s not just the domestic scrap metal market that influences scrap metal price. The international market plays a key role here too. The UK is the fifth-largest scrap metal exporter on the planet, and prices charged for scrap metal globally will influence how much value scrap metal is worth in your local scrap yard. As Kent’s leading scrap metal dealer, we scour the markets and monitor up-to-date rates, which allow us to keep up with the latest price trends and offer you the best value price for your metals.

Supply and demand

As with many commodities and goods, the supply and demand weigh heavily on scrap metal’s value.

Major price factors include:

  • The pace of the UK construction industry, when the demand is slow, the price for scrap metals will decline.
  • When the industry picks up, scrap metal becomes a more precious commodity, and prices rise.

Location, location, location

The scrapyard location can also play a part in the prices of scrap metal offered. Those scrapyards near cities and ports capable of transporting scrap metals overseas will have fewer overheads than an inland, rural yard. If a scrap yard is near a rural area where scrap metal is harder to source, the dealer may be more willing to pay a premium to take it off your hands.

Material quantities

If you need to sell your scrap metal, you will likely have greater leverage in value if large quantities are available. Typically, scrap dealers will be keener to buy your scrap if they can acquire it in bulk, reducing the cost per kilogram. If you can hold on to your scrap metal until you have a bulk amount, you may get a better price.

Ferrous vs non-ferrous metals

Non-ferrous metals are the most valuable scrap metals for recycling. Common non-ferrous metals include aluminium, copper, brass and lead. The simplest way to determine if your scrap metal is non-ferrous or ferrous is to test if the metal is magnetic. If the metal is magnetic, it is a ferrous metal. Ferrous metals tend to be less sought-after by metal recyclers, but they will still recoup some value if you have large enough quantities of them.

Did you know?

At Reclamet, our recycling site purchases a comprehensive range of ferrous metals, including scrap cars. We also purchase non-ferrous metals, including all the types of non-ferrous materials. If you have significant quantities of scrap metals, we offer a local scrap metal collection service. We’ll send an expert team member to pick up and transport the metals to our approved scrap yard, where we use only the latest processing technology to dispose of and recycle your materials. All you have to worry about is getting paid for your scrap!

Call Reclamet, The scrap metal specialists you can rely on:

Call: 01843 823554 / 01843 823224

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Reclamet reviews

Great service from Tony in the tyre department cheers

adrian burford
adrian burford2021-07-31

Always good professional service would highly recommend 👌

Albert Snelson
Albert Snelson2021-07-31

Very good service and cheap.

John Sani
John Sani2021-07-31

Really friendly and helpful.

Keith Reading
Keith Reading2021-06-30

A good experience, we needed two part warm tyres for the wife, we turned up, the tyres fitted and we drove away 30 minutes late job done. 🙂

John Gregory
John Gregory2021-06-30

Excellent customer service and communication. Prompt pick up of old car and all personnel were friendly and professional.

Sarah Trigg
Sarah Trigg2021-05-31

Good price for scrap metal.

Found the experience very easy and all staff i dealt with were very helpfull

Jerry Borrie
Jerry Borrie2021-04-30

Booked in for my car to be collected. very efficient, well organized with no issues, money paid straight into my account the same day. The driver was very helpful and polite. Would happily use this company again.

Margate Missy
Margate Missy2021-04-30

Brought my car in to be scrapped and was offered a fair price, much more than i expected to get for my mini. The owner of the business - Stuart was very helpful along with the girls in the office and the weighbridge. Would happily recommend to friends and family.

Verity Smith
Verity Smith2021-04-30

Great place found the staff very helpful and pleasant would definitely recommend them

chris obrien
chris obrien2021-04-30

Fabulous service and very straight forward. I found Stuart to be immensely helpful and knowledgeable.

Andy Morrison
Andy Morrison2021-04-30

Fantastic service. Recommended.


Excellent service from start to finish. A special mention to Sacha and Gus for their professional and helpful approach.

luke stevens
luke stevens2021-04-30

Excellent service they had exactly what I needed.

Gary Gould
Gary Gould2021-04-30

Was unsure where to begin with locating a certain part, was recommended to Reclamet and now wouldn't go anywhere else, easy and quick process to buy what I was looking for.

Leon W
Leon W2021-04-30

Fantastic business to trade with. Stuart and the team are all extremely helpful, would highly recommend

Daniel O'Brien
Daniel O'Brien2021-04-30

Needed a few parts for my van a week ago kieran was very helpful and knowledgeable part fits and works thanks for the help highly recommended extremely professional and outstanding customer service

Adam Burkett
Adam Burkett2021-03-18

Very happy with the service I received. Helpful and friendly, even changed the battery for me. Would try them for parts fist before anywhere else.

Craig Alexander
Craig Alexander2020-11-27

Honest, great communication, great prices. Friendly. I had a damaged catalytic converter from an attempted theft and Reclamet was the only company that had adequate communication and was not dodgy as most of the other scrap metal dealers seemed. So it was well-worth my drive from central London to Kent to get the £784 they paid me for the catalytic converter. Impressive :-)

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson2020-11-27

Great people to do business with.

Steve Ranger
Steve Ranger2020-11-20

Friendly staff helpful and have most things in stock

Sam Small
Sam Small2020-11-20

Always go for puncture repairs, £10. Also do new and part worn tyres

Mark Wilcox
Mark Wilcox2020-11-11

Absolutely brilliant, needed some steel re-bar for a project, super friendly staff, let me pick out what I needed. Excellent, highly recommended. Will come back!

Bambi Sham
Bambi Sham2020-11-11

I needed a part for my car but didn't want to pay through the nose. i went to the shop and they found the part i needed quickly. i was very happy with my purchase.

Justin Evans
Justin Evans2020-11-11

Brilliant service

Terri Green
Terri Green2020-10-11

Very friendly both over the phone and in person. Had all the parts I needed. Matt was extremely helpful and went out his way to find all the parts I needed.


Got new wheel for my fiat 500 less than third of price as another dealer, highly recommend

Lucy Bryant
Lucy Bryant2020-08-11

Bought two new tires, balanced and fittedStaff are professional and courteous.

Alex Broadley
Alex Broadley2020-08-11

Bought a car from them no problems at all highly recommend to all.

Nigel Nelly
Nigel Nelly2020-03-11

Great service, no problems had a new tyre fitted, and new headlight for my car. Very reasonable prices. Staff polite and helpful. Will use again.

Vicky xxx
Vicky xxx2020-02-11

Brilliant service as always,Good price and fitting.

Adam Messenger
Adam Messenger2019-12-11

Great price, quick job, excellent all round.

Chris Hazelden
Chris Hazelden2019-12-11

Saying goodbye to my faithful old car was a wrench but the man at the kiosk was so kind. Excellent service, no mucking around but understanding. Good rate for scrap too. Thank you.

Davina Holness
Davina Holness2018-12-11

Good as gold every time I visit.

Graham Palmer
Graham Palmer2018-04-01

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