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Cash value of a used-up car battery?

I have one I need to get rid of. I found a place that will take it, but won’t pay me anything. Does an old car battery have any cash value? Have any of you folks had luck selling a faulty car battery to a metal recycler, etc?

Usually you need to return the old battery for the new one and get your $10 deposit back. I’ve never gotten anything for a battery but I do think at one time the junk yard was paying $5 for one. I was happy just to get rid of it. You don’t really want a battery laying around.

I have to go to the recycler place this weekend anyway, so I’ll just bring the battery along and see what they say. If I can get $5, so much the better.


You have something useless that contains lead and sulfuric acid.

And you want money to take it off your hands?

You’re a riot!



George, you have to be kidding.

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my scrap metal guys (think Sanford and Son’s grandsons) routinely ask to take my old batteries when they pick up my scrap metal. There must be come value in them, or they wouldn’t ask.

Like other scrap metals the lead in batteries varies in price and last summer I was surprised to get over $20 for 3 batteries, 2 automobile size and a small lawn tractor size. The local scrap yard weighs brass, aluminum and lead, including old batteries seperate from bulk scrap and they weight the entire battery. If you have no other scrap it’s likely not worth your time to wait in line to enter, again to unload, again to collect and again to get out then repair a flat tire and wash the car. Most parts stores will take it off your hands.

Seems if I play my cards right, I may get enough from that old battery to pay for my St Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner! :wink:

Last time I bought a battery, the parts store had a $5 or $10 core charge on it. I know the lead is worth something.

I believe that the EPA has required a core charge and core recovery policy for all lead acid bateries for many years. The handling & freight costs would often make recycling a big loss otherwise.

For recycling we get .65 per pound for lead acid batteries.

I had a bunch of cast aluminum last year, a broken patio set, a grill and other stuff. I looked up the scrap prices and they had dropped so much it wasn’t worth driving it to the scrap yard. I put it out by the street and a scrapper type person took it all the same day.

We have a battery recycling business here and $5 is about right for a car battery. They sell them to an actual plant that recycles the lead, acid and other materials.

Alternately, most landfills have a place to drop off unwanted batteries and they in turn move them on to a proper recycler.

+1 to Rod. The core charge was instituted to keep the batteries out of the landfills. There was a battery plant in a neighboring town for years; the site finally got cleaned up with the Federal EPA fund. Lead ALL OVER the place.

I’m with Volvo on this . . . good grief!

How much trouble does somebody want to go to, to maybe get $5 for 1 automotive battery?

Seems like the time spent is worth more than what you’ll get

In my area, there are city-run facilities . . . part of department of sanitation, actually . . . which accept hazardous waste, including paint, electronic items, used engine oil, coolant, and other stuff, including automotive batteries

George, I’d be amazed if your municipal recyclers offered you a penny. They need the revenue to offset all their costs.

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When the price of lead was high stealing batteries, including junk batteries became a problem locally and like AC condensors and copper tubing the scrap yard scanned the sellers drivers license, got a thumb print and photo before issueing the pay voucher. I gave away an old clothes washer and dryer to the fellow in line behind me once because it seemed I would be there 3 to 4 hours moving ahead 1 truck length every 30 minutes for less than $20. I’m not quite poor enough or patient enough to do that. I could cut my neighbors yard in 2 hours and make $35 if I were hungry.


At the time I stopped working there (October 2016), AutoZone had a program that would give you $10 store credit for each battery, no limit. I don’t know if the program is still in operation, though.


Are you working at a different auto parts store nowadays . . . ?

$10 store credit sounds decent, BTW . . . just a few batteries would be enough for some brakes, for example

Nope. I moved to a different area in December and have been enjoying my retirement.