A Beginners Guide to Scrapping your Car

Scrap truck collecting a car

What are your options when you need to dispose of a  Scrap Car because it’s a MOT Failure, Accident Damaged, or Non Runner i.e. it’s a write-off?

There are two main different types of scrapyard (or what these days are called ‘Authorised Treatment Facilities’ (ATF).  The two options you normally have are:

  • The first type of ATF whereby they buy your scrap car and crush your car for the purpose of recycling the metals.
  • The other type is a ATF that takes off the good parts from your vehicle to restock it’s shelves and the parts are then they recycle these parts by selling them to the general public and within the car trade (so they can repair their car).

The second type of ATF above will usually pay more for your car, and collection tends to be free (in most cases).

This industry has gone though a lot of changes in the last few years, now it is a governed industry and under the EU End of Life Directive has a recycling target of 85 per cent for scrap cars and which is due to rise to 95 per cent this year.

Metal prices have increased over the years and now instead of making a payment to dispose of your car, you should be offered (in most cases) a payment for your scrap car and the price will fairy depending on the metal prices at the time you are looking to disposing of your car.

Helpful Advice

If filling in a form online for a quote it is often best to be honest with the description you give about your car so there is not a show down when they come to collect your car. Beware of Company’s that are offering unrealistically high amounts for your scrap car and when they turn up the quote will drop dramatically.

Make sure the paperwork is in order

You will be asked to provide your V5 registration document and Driving Licence in a card format (with Photo ID) or Passport with a utility bill so that a Certificate of Destruction (issued by DVLA) can be issued and then sent to you in the posted. The certificate of destruction has both your details and the ATF company’s details on it and is your prove that you have disposed of the car properly and absolves you of any future responsibility for it.

Online Scrap Car valuations

There are different types of company you can use to dispose of your car and you will receive different prices from different company’s for your car. If you find a company that does it all (rather than use another company to collect your car for example) they buy your car, sell on the good parts from your vehicle and then recycles the metals you will find they will pay the most.

The price may vary based on whether you deliver the car or have it picked up but often the difference is not a significant one, it is also based on the car being free from mould, free from waste, the car being in an accessible location and complete with keys and inflated road worthy tyres.

Car collection

Selling your car parts

If you like getting your hands dirty, have the space and time and have the tools to take off the parts, then perhaps this is for you. It’s a good way of making the most money if you know what sells and what doesn’t. However it might perhaps be best left to the professionals as you might find yourself taking off parts that does not sell. Do not forget once your have your Certificate of destruction to claim back your month/s of unused road tax and car insurance!


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