Scrap My Car: What You Need to Know

You may be reluctant to admit that it's time to scrap your car, but whether you've had an accident, failed an MOT or it's just time to get rid of the old banger, there are a few things to bear in mind.

When it comes to choosing a dealer or company to scrap your car, you're in luck; there are a lot of them about willing to pay you a great price and collect your car for you. But it's important to make sure that you're getting the best deal with a reputable dealer. In 2005, a law was passed, stating that cars can only be scrapped at ATFs (authorised treatment facilities). Make sure that whoever you choose has an Environment Agency license or equivalent, to guarantee that they will scrap your car without harming the environment.

Many of the large, online sites will ask for details about the condition of the car to determine whether it has any value for potential resale. Often, listing every minor fault with your car can drag the value down significantly. However, if they find any other faults you haven't listed, they can change their quote and offer less than you were expecting. Accept a fixed quote before they come to collect your car, so you know exactly what you are getting. Don't forget, it is illegal for anyone to pay cash for your scrap vehicle - so if they try to pay cash, take your car elsewhere.

If you want to take some of the parts off your old vehicle before you scrap it, you will have to make a Statutory Off Road Declaration (SORN) if it isn't taxed. You may find that scrap dealers will be less likely to accept a car if you have removed parts. If you think your car may still hold significant value or if it's in good condition, it's always worth calling up the car scrap service and speaking to someone, to see if you can get more money for your car.

When you scrap your car, you will receive a Certificate of Destruction. Make sure you get this - you could still be liable for traffic offence penalties or tax if you don't have one. The ATF will tell the DVLA that your can has been scrapped - but you also need to send section 9 of your V5C to the DVLA.

If you have a personalised number-plate, make sure you send a v317 form to the DVLA to retain your registration. If you don't do this and your car is scrapped, you will lose the registration and it will be put up for resale.

What happens to your car at an ATF?

Scrap dealers will want to recover as much value as possible from your old car. What's more, ATFs which are better at recovering value from your vehicle are likely to offer you a better price, as they can increase their own returns. If your car is still in a usable condition, or if the value can increase significantly from some simple repairs or parts, the dealer may sell your car on. Often, the car will be scrapped for the value of the scrap metal. ATFs with more advanced metal processing machinery are likely to recover the most value from your car, whilst keeping any wasted material to a minimum.

So don't just accept any offer on your car without checking who you are selling it to. Do a bit of research and make sure that your car will be dealt with and recycled responsibly, for the best price you can get. Sites like are useful, as they have a network of carefully chosen ATF partners across the UK. Scrap Car Network will offer you a great quote, and a local collection partner that you can trust will come and collect your car for free. They also help to sustain charities across the UK, making your old car go that little bit further. Head to their website and enter your reg number to get an instant quote.