When it comes to scrapping a car, the catalytic converter is often one of the most valuable parts.
Since they are made from rare metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium, they can fetch a high price at the scrapyard.
But not all catalytic converters are created equal. Some cars have converters that are worth more than others. Which might make you wonder, what cars have the most expensive catalytic converters for scrap?
List of vehicles with the most valuable catalytic converters:
- Ferrari F430 – $7540
- Lamborghini Aventador – $6240
- Ram 2500 – $3460
- Ford F-250 – $2804
- Ford Mustang – $1500
In general, luxury cars and sports cars tend to be the highest-paying catalytic converter for scrap. This is because they often have larger engines that require more powerful catalytic converters. As a result, scrap yards will pay more for these parts.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, certain models of Honda and Toyota have been known to have particularly valuable catalytic converters.
In this article, I’ll discuss what cars have the best catalytic converters for scrap and what makes a catalytic converter so expensive.
If you’re looking to get the most money for your scrap catalytic converter, be sure to read till the end where I discuss how to prepare your catalytic converter for scrap.
What Is A Catalytic Converter?
A catalytic converter is a device that helps to reduce emissions from a car’s engine. It does this by converting harmful pollutants into less harmful substances.
Catalytic converters are typically made from platinum, rhodium, and palladium. These are all rare metals that can be quite valuable.
What Cars Have The Most Expensive Catalytic Converters for Scrap?
The most expensive cars for catalytic converters to scrap are the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Aventador, and Ram 2500.
The Ferrari F430 has a price of $3,770 and it uses two catalytic converters which put the total cost at $7,540.
Second, on the list is Lamborghini Aventador (which technically should be third) has a price of $3,120 but it also uses two catalytic converters which put the total cost at $6,240.
While the above two cars are luxury cars, next on the list is a popular truck – Ram 2500 and its catalytic converter can cost around $3,460. Thankfully, it only uses a single catalytic converter so the restoration cost isn’t as high.
Ford F-250, one of the most popular trucks in the US, is fourth on the list with a price of $2,804 for its catalytic converter.
Finally, the Ford Mustang is the fifth car with the most expensive catalytic converter with a replacement cost of $1,500.
Here’s a quick list of vehicles with the most valuable catalytic converters in 2023.
Catalytic Converter Value
$3,770 (2 units)
$3,120 (2 units)
For other cars, depending on the type and model of the car, a catalytic converter might cost anywhere from $800 to $1,200.
Remember, the more powerful the engine, the more expensive the converter will be.
Why Your Catalytic Converter is So Expensive?
The cost of a catalytic converter depends on several factors such as the vehicle make and model, size, shape, and design.
The amount of precious material used also contributes to the overall cost. For example, most aftermarket converters use ceramic honeycomb substrates while some OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) use more expensive metallic elements such as platinum, rhodium, and palladium.
Due to the recent boost in metal values, platinum is priced at around $902 per ounce which explains why some converters can be quite expensive.
The level of sophistication of the design also adds to the cost. Newer converters often have more catalyst wash coat loading, larger substrate surface areas, and other design enhancements that result in better emissions reduction performance.
All these factors contribute to making your catalytic converter one of the most expensive parts of your car.
Unfortunately, it also means that if your car has an expensive catalytic converter, it can be a target for thieves.
Which Cars Are Most Likely to Have Catalytic Converters Stolen?
Your car’s catalytic converter is an important emissions control device, so it’s no surprise that it is a popular target for thieves.
Since not all vehicle’s catalytic converters are priced equally, there are cars that are more likely to be targeted by thieves since the stolen catalytic converters can be sold for a higher price.
If we look at the nationwide data, these 10 cars are the most targeted vehicles for catalytic converter theft, and their approximate scrap value.
Car Model and Year
Catalytic Converter Scrap Value
1985-2021 Ford F-Series pickup trucks (F-150, F-250, etc.)
1989-2020 Honda Accord
2007-17 Jeep Patriot
1990-2022 Ford Econoline vans
1999-2021 Chevrolet Silverado pickup trucks
2005-21 Chevrolet Equinox
1997-2020 Honda CR-V
1987-2019 Toyota Camry
2011-17 Chrysler 200
2001-21 Toyota Prius
How To Prepare Your Catalytic Converter for Scrap
There are a few things you need to do in order to get the most money for your scrap catalytic converter.
Know information about your catalytic converter
The first thing you need to do is to know as much information about your catalytic converter.
This includes the brand, model, engine size, type (ceramic or metallic), and age of your converter.
You should also know how many catalytic converters are in your car (usually one or two) and where they are located.
This will help you determine the correct category it falls under and get an accurate quote.
Most times, you’ll find a VIN number or serial number on your converter. This can be really helpful in properly evaluating the value of precious metals in your catalytic converter and getting the right quote.
You can send your VIN/serial number to RRCats.com to get a quote.
Original vs aftermarket
The value of your converter will also depend on whether it’s an original or aftermarket converter.
OEM converters are typically made with more expensive metals such as platinum and palladium which makes them more valuable than aftermarket converters (installed after factory construction.)
However, not all aftermarket converters are created equal. Some aftermarket converters are made with lower-quality materials and designs which makes them worth less than OEM converters.
Cut off exhaust pipes
You’ll notice that there are exhaust pipes (typically made from steel) on both ends of the catalytic converter. While preparing your converter for scrap, you’ll need to cut off these exhaust pipes.
You can use a Sawzall or any other type of cutoff tool to do this as it’ll help you get a better value for the catalytic converter.
The exhaust pipes can be cut as close to the shell as possible but be careful not to damage the guts of your converter when cutting the pipes.
Once you’ve cut off the exhaust pipes, you should have two open ends with only the cat shell remaining.
Leave the honeycomb in
Every catalytic converter has a mesh-like structure called a honeycomb. This is where the chemical reaction that cleans exhaust gases takes place.
The honeycomb is made from ceramic or metal and contains small pellets of platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
When you take your converter to a scrap yard, they will weigh the total unit including the honeycomb.
So, don’t ever remove the honeycomb as it will make it difficult for the yard to estimate the correct value of your converter and you might damage the shell in the process.
Is My Catalytic Converter Needed To Be Replaced?
The answer to this question is mostly determined by where you live. Some states do not conduct emissions testing and hence are unconcerned if your converter fails.
Other states, such as California, have strict automobile emissions rules. Failure to fix your faulty converter will almost probably result in a failed emissions check in states with these higher criteria.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most valuable catalytic converters in vehicles?
The most costly catalytic converter, as per data from 2020, belonged to the Ferrari F430, which cost $3,770.00. Furthermore, the F430 required two of these, so a complete replacement would cost $7,540 before work.
What are the best scrap catalytic converters?
Platinum is the best metal for overall performance in the field of catalytic converters.
Palladium is a precious metal because it is more expensive to utilize than Platinum, it is usually reserved for high-end luxury catalytic converters.
What is the value of a stolen catalytic converter?
The converters can be sold to metal recyclers for $20-$200 depending on the metal utilized. As in the case of rhodium, the recyclers extract the metal and resale it for up to $6,000 per ounce.
What is the value of platinum in a catalytic converter?
The PGMs in a catalytic converter can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more, depending on the age and type of car. Cars that are newer and/or smaller are closer to 0. Catalytic converters for larger, older automobiles could cost up to $600.
What is the gold content of a catalytic converter?
Platinum, Rhodium, and Palladium are all used in catalytic converters. Catalytic converters, on the other hand, are not made of gold. The ceramic weight varies greatly depending on the car model, but on average, the ceramic weight is just less than 1 kg, and the precious metal percentage is between 0.2% and 0.5%.
Where can I sell my catalytic converter for the best money?
Converter King, a part of Metro Metals, will compensate you the most for your catalytic converters.
Catalytic converter scrap prices can vary depending on the type of converter and the precious metals inside.
In addition to the above list, some BMW, Porsche, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley cars also fall under the list of cars with the most expensive catalytic converters.
So, if you happen to own such a car, make sure to take extra precautionary measures to protect your catalytic converter from thieves.
And if you’re planning to scrap your converter, follow the tips mentioned in this article to get the best value for it.
Robert Bacon is a car nerd and automotive lover who has dedicated his life to understanding the inner workings of vehicles. He holds a degree in mechanical engineering and has spent years working as a mechanic and engineer for some of the world’s top car companies. In his spare time, he enjoys writing about cars on this blog and tinkering with his 2016 Toyota Mirai in his garage.