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Recycle Car Batteries for Cash Right Now (11 Options)

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In the world of making money, there are so many ways to do so, but some options, such as the one I’m about to talk about, are often not thought of.

I’m talking car batteries, even if it doesn’t work.

Since the average car battery can last three to five years, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to replace yours sooner or later.  Or, maybe you just have some lying around the garage for one reason or another.

Well, instead of tossing your car battery out (at an approved center, of course), did you know you could get a few dollars for it in some cases?

Yes, even if it’s not working, old car batteries can still be recycled, one of which is through reconditioning, where a mechanic will try to store the charge help convert it to energy, whereas another option is via taking it apart and reusing the components within it.

If you’re going to get rid of it, you might as well make a few dollars in doing so or at least try.  It’s not going to be much, but hey, it’s better than nothing.

In today’s post, I wanted to talk about the many strategies you can use when it comes time to recycle your car battery for cash.

At least attempt a few of these options and I can almost assure you that you can walk away with a few bucks.

How to Recycle Car Batteries for Cash

Call a Local Scrap and/or Junkyard

Almost all local car junkyards are willing to pay you cash for just about anything car related, including batteries.  Generally, these buyers will want your battery only for the lead core that can be recycled over and over again.   Some may want it for the lead and plastic inside.  This all depends on the type of car battery you have.

In some cases, they may ask that it’s in working order before they accept it, but this isn’t always the case.

Since all cat junkyards have its own rules, I would just recommend you find one nearby and call them up or even email them if they have the option.  If you’re lucky enough to find a buyer, plan on getting about $7 to $11 per battery.

To find one, Yelp and Google are your best bets.

Search Google for a Local Buyer

There are a lot of independent businesses out there that are often willing to buy your car batteries, but since there are so many, it would be next to impossible to list all of them.

But, to make it easy, I would recommend you at least google “buy car batteries near me” or “buy car batteries + your zip code.”

In doing so, you should be able to find at least one or two options that could work for you.

For example, I found this recycling center in New Jersey that listed its prices and what kind of car batteries they accepted.

In most cases, if you’re able to find something, the company will often provide either a phone number and/or contact form you can use to gather more information.  Some will even show you what they are willing to pay you.

Try eBay

Yes, eBay does allow you to post car batteries, but before doing so, I would recommend you at least see if anyone has sold your battery in the past.

To do this, simply search for your car battery and then filter your results so that you’re looking at the most recently sold items.  This can be done on the sidebar on the left side menu if you’re using your desktop, or in the case of your using your phone, it’s beneath the “filter” button, followed by “show more” and lastly by clicking on the sold button.

In doing this, you can see what other batteries sold in the past.

If you’re happy with the prices you’re seeing, put yours up for sale and hope for a sale.

Check Out a Metal Recycling Center

Like a junkyard or scrap yard, a metal recycling center can be yet another option to consider.

Oftentimes, these metal recycling centers will not pop up in using the search terms I mentioned prior, so I recommend at least searching for “metal recycling center near me” to see what comes up in your area.

As long as the center is updating its website, you can often find the rates directly on the website, which could give you an idea as to what you could get for your used car battery.  If you don’t see the rates, then it’s best to pick up the phone and see what they are willing to give you.

Post on Craigslist

Hey, it doesn’t hurt.

Put up a “for sale” post on Craigslist and see if anyone is interested.  This is a much better option than eBay in most cases as you can meet the buyer in person and void the hefty shipping fees.  Hey, batteries aren’t light!

Oftentimes, people will undercut people on Craigslist and turn around and recycle/sell these batteries themselves.

Regardless, if you don’t want to do a lot of work and want someone to come to you, this can be a decent option.

Aside from creating a post, you can also look for people who are looking for people who want to get rid of car batteries such as yourself.

Post on Facebook Groups and/or the Marketplace

Like Craigslist, consider checking out local Facebook groups to see if you find anyone willing to buy a car battery off you or even post an ad to see if there are any takers.

I have written countless times in the past in regards to taking advantage of free Facebook groups.

And, to find one, follow the “groups” tab, search for your city and then choose one that seems to be quite active.  No matter where you live, I can assure you that there’s an active group.

Once you’re approved, either search older posts to see if there are any listings or simply post an ad if it’s allowed.

If you don’t feel like joining a group, that’s fine, too as you can use the free Facebook Marketplace to list any item.  Once posted, it will then be blasted to Facebook members in your area.

Check out Autozone or Advance Auto Parts

Autozone and Advance Auto Parts will always accept your older car batteries and will recycle them free of charge on site, however, not all locations participate.  It’s best to call a location ahead of time just to confirm, but these tend to be your best options.

Napa and O’Reilly are other retailers to check with, however, they don’t have as many locations.  Regardless, they may want to buy your battery.

While these big-name auto parts retailers will take your old batteries, there are occasions where they will actually give you a gift card in doing so, usually around $10 or so.

Now, before you get excited, however, do let it be known that you often have to purchase another battery and/or make some sort of purchase to qualify for this free gift card.  You won’t receive credit most of the time; rather, a store credit.

These deals aren’t always active, but if you’re in the market for a new car battery, at least check out the official websites to see if any deals are currently happening.  It’s a great way to get rid of your battery and get paid for it.

Download the free iScrap App

The free iScrapp app is cool in that it will connect you with multiple junkyards in your area.

Simply download the app, open it up and as long as it can read your geographical location, it will show you the many scrap yards that may want your used battery.

Like many of these tips, I would highly recommend you call the yard before showing up, but the app does provide a “yard profile,” in which you can view to see what they are accepting at that given time.

Consider Reconditioning

Even though your battery may seem dead or even confirmed being dead by a mechanic, it doesn’t mean you have to spend $200+ on a brand new one.

Instead of buying new, consider finding a professional nearby that’s able to recondition your battery for you to bring it back to life.

To recondition, you can either consider doing it yourself as there are a ton of videos online teaching you how or consider searching Yelp/Google to find an expert near you.

Just make sure you do the math to ensure it makes financial sense to do so.

Yellow Pages

And, lastly, if you’re old fashioned, open up your local phonebook, if you even have one, and see if you can find a local scrapper who’s willing to take your battery.  However, searching online is much easier, at least to me.

In many cases, you can find some of these listings in the automotive section.

Again, like the many options I already mentioned, give a few places a call and see if they are willing to accept your battery and what they are willing to give you.  It’s always best to compare!

Pawn Shop

As long as your battery is in working condition, a pawn shop may want to purchase it.  Before you waste your time and go to one, however, be sure to call ahead of time to see if they may be able to offer you a quote over the phone.

If you have ever sold to a pawn shop before, do let it be known that they are the “middleman,” which simply means that they will often low ball you so that they can turn around and sell it for a profit.

If you want to maximize your earnings, I would recommend this tip as one of your last resorts, the main reason I put it at the end of my list.

Final Thoughts

Whether your car battery is dead or you have one laying around, let it be known that it is possible to earn a few dollars applying the strategies mentioned above.

As these manufacturers recycle the lead core to help keep costs as low as possible, this is the main reason there’s still a demand for your car battery, even if it’s not working.

While you’re not going to get rich in doing so, it’s a decent way to make at least $10 or so that you can apply to your future car battery purchase.  Plus, you’re helping the environment as you should never ever throw your car battery away.

In the meantime, if I’m missing any options, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Tom Nathaniel

Hi! My name is Tom Nathaniel, and I created LushDollar to help share my honest thoughts on everything money. You won't find gimmicks here. It's the Internet's most honest money site after all. I graduated from Arizona State University, and I have worked in the finance industry since 2006, consulting with multiple Fortune 5000 companies.

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