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Catalytic Converter Scrap Price – Updated Guide

As a car owner, I was always interested in the value of my catalytic converter. Is the catalytic converter scrap price high?

I did some research and was surprised to learn that the price of scrap catalytic converters can vary depending on the type of metal they contain and the market conditions.

Now, I make sure to check the current scrap prices and properly dispose of my old catalytic converter to earn some extra money and help reduce pollution.

Catalytic converters have long been the standard for pollution-reducing exhaust systems.

They have been used to control toxic hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions from vehicles for decades now.

They are installed as a system in most vehicles. A catalytic converter is made of a ceramic honeycomb base which uses precious metals to aid in the breaking down of toxic gases into harmless gases on contact with a liquid catalyst and at an incredibly high temperature (1,370 degrees).

The precious metals are platinum and palladium, which remain expensive materials.

Therefore, catalytic converter scrap prices tend to be high.

This guide will articulate the catalytic converter scrap prices.

What are catalytic converters made of and why are their scrap prices high?

The catalytic converters are made of ceramic honeycomb. The base is metallic, wherein precious metals are embedded.

The ceramic honeycomb structure is the carrier for these precious metals.

The purchase price of a catalytic converter incorporates the individual prices of precious metals.

These metals include platinum, palladium and rhodium which form the platinum group metals (PGM).

In addition to this, manufacturers also add other materials like nickel and chromium for durability purposes.

The price of these precious metals varies and varies greatly by country.

The United States is known to have the highest prices for platinum and rhodium, which makes catalytic converters expensive in that country.

Another thing is that the scrap value of most cat converters depends on the quantity of precious metals in them.

Subsequently, the amount of precious metals is dependent on the maximum temperature and volume of exhaust a specific car model emits.

For instance, sports cars typically emit more exhaust gases compared to sedans.

The catalytic converters of these cars are made of stronger ceramic honeycomb material and contain more precious metals.

Consequently, the catalytic converters of sports cars are worth more as they contain more precious metals and have a high volume of exhaust gases per unit volume than those catalytic converters of sedans.

Generally, a cat converter may contain about 3 to 7 grams of Platinum, 2 to 7 grams of Palladium and 1 to 2 grams of Rhodium.

When you do the Math, you’re likely to get at least $600 for the precious metals and that amount could go higher depending on the market value at the time of the sale.

This means that you can expect a little more than $600 in catalytic converter scrap prices per gram of platinum, palladium and rhodium.

That’s why these devices will always have a high value in the scrap market.

Which catalytic converters have the highest scrap value?

When looking for catalytic converters that are worth more in terms of scrap value, the first thing that should come to mind is sports cars and pickup trucks.

These cars usually have an exhaust system which is efficient and powerful, thus having a high emission of precious metals into the catalytic converter.

Sport cars and pickup trucks further enhance the exhaust system to get better performance.

So, you can expect a good amount of platinum, palladium and rhodium in their cat converters.

And if you are looking at catalytic converters prices that are worth more based on your location in the United States, you should know that the majority of states pay higher prices for precious metals like platinum and palladium.

This is because these metals are not mined in the U.S and must be imported from other countries like Russia, South Africa, and various other countries in Europe.

Therefore, the price of precious metals is dependent on the international market.

As of 2021, cars that had the most expensive and extremely valuable catalytic converters included the following;

  • Ferrari F430 -$4,500
  • Lamborghini Aventador -$3,700
  • Dodge Ram 2500 -$4,100
  • Ford F250 -$3,300
  • Ford Mustang -$1,800

These cars and more lead to the high catalytic converter prices.

As per legislation, catalytic converters must be 100% recyclable.

Placing a recycling value on these devices makes them more attractive to buyers of catalytic converters and the scrap value will rise dramatically.

How much are precious metals worth in catalytic converters?

As noted, the precious metal contents in a catalytic converter determine its scrap value.

The more precious metals that are in the converter, the higher its scrap value will be.

Aside from the three known metals, you’ll also find a few others like copper, nickel and lead, amongst other trace elements.

Copper is added as it helps in antennae and also reduces emissions in the form of copper sulfate.

Nickel is a catalyst for platinum and is also used to reduce sulfur oxide emissions.

But still the real value of your old cat converter comes from the highly sought-after metals namely platinum, rhodium and palladium.

Their prices are as follows;

Part/Material Percentage Recyclable Price Range per kg in Scrap
Platinum 6-10% Yes $40-60
Palladium 3-5% Yes $30-40
Rhodium 1-3% Yes $100-1000
Ceramic substrate 30-70% Yes $1-2
Steel shell 10-20% Yes $0.50-1.50
Heat shield 5-10% Yes N/A
Insulating mat 5-10% Yes N/A
Gasket 1-3% Yes N/A
Fasteners and brackets 1-3% Yes N/A

These metals can be used for industrial purposes or jewelry making.

Their prices may vary by country and the buyer.

Catalytic converter scrap prices will also depend on whether you’re looking at catalytic converters of newer cars or older vehicles.

In addition, the prices of these precious metals depend on the market.

However, you can get at least $0.75 per pound for platinum, palladium and rhodium from a scrap dealer or recycling center.

The complete database of catalytic converter scraps prices

There are many types and models of catalytic converters and their prices may vary from one to another.

In addition, fluctuations in the market value of precious metals also affect the price of a catalytic converter.

These converters are made of high quality material and have a lot of precious metals that are essential for the car’s performance.

On that note, below is a chart with all the different types of catalytic converters and the scrap value of each.

Catalytic Converter Model Estimated Scrap Price
Air Tube $100
XBody $400
Euro 4 High Performance $60
Malibu Legal Lacrose $80
Direct-fit Mitsubishi Outlander 3 $100
Large Chrysler $100
Small Flow $150
SE Low $190
Regular PRE $100
GM Medium $250
AC/Thin Pipe BL $190
Standard Domestic $230
GM $320
High-grade Domestic $280
Foreign Small $300
Foreign Medium $390
SE Medium $390
SE 5 Line $340
BL Thick Pipe $350
SE High Grade $870
XL Foreign $590
SE 6 Line $440
Jeep $254
Exotic Small $561
Exotic/Fat Slant Low $650
Super Exotic/Fat Slant HI $772
Torpedo HI $975
Torpedo 3B $570
Jumbo Bead $130
Regular Bead $60
Camry $150
02 Slant $480
02 Straight $700

Final Thoughts

Catalytic converters are a very important part of cars and play significant roles in the vehicle’s emissions.

Your catalytic converter is basically a fuel concentration manifold that eliminates most of the exhaust fumes emitted from the engine; thus lessening pollutant emissions.

Catalytic converters have very high scrap value as they contain a lot of precious metals that give them the highest value for recycling.

It is essential to know how much your catalytic converter is worth as you may need it for parts or money.


What is the highest-paying catalytic converter for scrap?

The Ferrari F430 and Lamborghini Aventador have the highest catalytic converter scrap value.

What is the best way to scrap a catalytic converter?

The best way to scrap a catalytic converter is to sell it to a reputable scrap metal buyer or recycling center. Catalytic converters contain precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which have value as industrial raw materials.

By selling your catalytic converter to a scrap metal buyer, you can earn money and help prevent the release of harmful emissions into the environment. It is important to do research and find a reputable buyer to ensure that you receive a fair price and that your catalytic converter is recycled responsibly.

What’s in a catalytic converter that is worth a lot of money?

A catalytic converter contains precious metals, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium, which are worth a lot of money. Because of their high value and rarity, these metals are in high demand for industrial uses, such as electronics manufacturing and jewelry production and are often becoming a target for criminals to steal them from unsuspecting victims

Their value can actually exceed $500 per ounce.

Why Are Catalytic Converters Getting Stolen

Catalytic converters are a common target for thieves due to the precious metals they contain, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The report found that the number of catalytic converter thefts increased by 36% between 2017 and 2019, with a total of 48,547 thefts reported in the United States.

The high value of the metals in catalytic converters makes them an attractive target for thieves, and the ease of removal and resale makes them a challenging crime to prevent.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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