The Complete Guide To Scrapping Your Car

When a car becomes uneconomical to keep on the road due to the constant repair work it requires, you may want to consider scrapping it. In this article, we walk you through the entire process of how to scrap a car and the prices you can expect from the scrapyard.

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How To Scrap A Car
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Once you’ve decided that enough is enough with your car, scrapping it may be the easiest and quickest way of moving it on. Although it can be difficult for some to wave goodbye to their old car that’s served them well over the years, scrapping a car is very easy to do and in exchange, you’ll be greeted with a sum of money.

We’ve personally scrapped a number of cars over the years (as shown in the photos) and found the process to be very straightforward. However, if it’s your first time scrapping a car, below is our comprehensive guide on how to scrap a car.

What To Do Before Scrapping My Car?

If you’ve decided that you want to scrap your car, you’ll need to prepare it ready for collection. To begin, you’ll want to empty your car of any personal belongings because once the car is collected, it’ll be dismantled and crushed shortly after.

The next optional step we would recommend is to decide whether you want to remove any parts from the car before it’s scrapped. For example, you may need certain parts to repair another car or you may even want to increase the amount of money you make by taking parts off to sell yourself. However, if you remove parts that have a significant amount of scrap value, this may affect how much you get for scrapping your car.

Finally, if you have a private plate on the car that you want to retain, you’ll want to either put it on retention or assign it to another car. The fee for retaining your private number plate is £80 and it can be retained for up to 10 years.

What Do I Need To Scrap My Car?

Once the car itself is ready to be scrapped, you’ll then want to gather the required documents, which include:

  • V5C logbook
  • Bank details
  • ID (driving license/passport)
  • Proof of address

The documents that you provide will be kept as copies by the approved scrapyard/ATF for up to three years. This is a legal requirement under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013 in order to prevent dishonest transactions.

Where Can I Scrap My Car?

Compared to a few decades ago, you used to have to pay to scrap your car but not anymore. Due to the increases in scrap metal values as well as used car parts, you should be able to get between £150 to £350 at a minimum for scrapping your car (as discussed further down in this article). However, to ensure that you get paid legally, it’s crucial that you scrap your car at an approved scrapyard, which is referred to as an authorised treatment facility (ATF).

In order to find an approved scrapyard, you can either search “scrap my car” with your location in Google or use the government’s own vehicle scrapyard portal. However, when using the government’s portal, you’ll need to select the correct portal because they differ depending on whether you live (England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland).

If you have been given a great price for your car by a local scrapyard but you are unsure if they are approved, you can always check their license on the government’s portal.

To ensure that you are paid legally for the car you are scrapping, you must be paid by a bank transfer or cheque because it’s illegal to be paid in cash. Therefore, if a scrapyard/ATF is offering you cash for your car, it’s advised that you politely refuse their offer and go to an alternative approved scrapyard.

how do i scrap my car

How To Scrap A Car

1. Find An Approved Scrapyard

As we’ve highlighted above, it’s crucial that you scrap your car with an approved scrapyard or authorised treatment facility (ATF). You can find an approved scrapyard or ATF on Google or using the government’s scrapyard portal.

2. Prepare Your Car For Collection

As your car is more than likely going to be collected by a large lorry/transporter, you’ll want to ensure it’s in an accessible place. You also want to ensure that you’ve cleared the car of all your personal belongings and that any parts that you want to keep have been removed before it’s collected.

3. Ask To See Their License On Arrival

Upon arrival and greeting of the trader collecting your car, ask to see their license if they haven’t already shown you. From our own experience, it’s usually the first thing they do to provide you with peace of mind.

4. Receive Payment Via Bank Transfer Or Cheque

Before receiving payment, the trader will usually quickly check over the car to ensure certain parts aren’t missing. For example, if the catalytic converter has been removed, this will affect the scrap value of the car.

Once the trader has completed their inspection, they’ll then ask you whether you want a cheque or bank transfer as payment. They can’t offer you cash for your scrap car and if they do, politely decline.

5. Fill Out The Paperwork

After the payment is complete, you’ll then want to move on to the required paperwork. You should provide the trader with the car’s logbook but keep the yellow “sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade” section from it. Upon this yellow section of the logbook, you’ll need to get the trader to fill it in with their details.

In terms of other paperwork, you may request that you are sent out a “Certificate of Destruction”, which is an official DVLA document that’s generated once the trader officially reports your car’s destruction. The time it takes to receive the certificate depends upon how long they take to scrap your car, which can be a number of weeks in some cases. However, it’s important to note that it’s not a legal requirement for you to obtain a copy of the certificate.

6. Notify The DVLA

Possibly the most important step in scrapping your car is to notify the DVLA after it has been collected. To do this, you can fill out the yellow section of the logbook (as mentioned above) and send it to the DVLA. Alternatively, the quickest and easiest method to notify the DVLA is to do so online by visiting their website. Afterwards, you’ll receive a letter confirming that you are no longer the keeper of the car and if there are any full months of tax left, you’ll be refunded.

7. Wave Goodbye To Your Car

Once your car has been loaded onto the transporter and all the paperwork is complete, it’s time to say goodbye to your car. This may be a sad or happy moment depending upon your experience of owning it.

8. Cancel Your Car’s Insurance

After your car has been collected and you’ve notified the DVLA that your car has been scrapped, you’ll then want to cancel your car’s insurance policy. Depending on how long is left to run on the policy, you may receive a refund. It’s worth pointing out that any unused months of tax will automatically be refunded by the DVLA after you’ve notified them.

How Much Do You Get For Scrapping A Car?

In terms of how much you get for scrapping your car, the average payment you should expect is between £150 to £350. However, the size, weight and whether any parts have been removed will reflect how much your car is worth as scrap.

The value of a scrap car has fluctuated a large amount over the last few years and there are several factors that go into how much you get for scrapping a car. For example, the most valuable parts to a scrapyard that determine how much you get when scrapping your car include:

  • Engine and gearbox
  • Catalytic converter(s) and other exhaust components
  • Alloy wheels
  • Shell, doors and other metal parts
  • Radiator (older brass and copper radiators are worth much more)
  • Battery
  • … and so much more

If any of the above parts have been removed, this will affect how much your car is worth as scrap.

It’s worth pointing out that if you don’t remove any valuable parts before its scrapped, the scrapyard will dismantle the car themselves before its crushed. Therefore, if you are able to remove parts that are worth a significant amount of money such as a double din head unit, it’s worth removing it and selling it yourself to make as much money as you can.

It’s clear to see how profitable scrapped cars are for traders and it’s for this reason why you should get a number of quotes for your car because you may be able to get more money for scrapping your car elsewhere.

Scrap Your Car vs Selling Privately

Scrapping your car is a quick and easy way to get money for a car that’s beyond repair. However, you may be able to get more for the car you want to scrap if you sold it privately because someone may fancy a project or wish to break the car for parts. Therefore, if you aren’t in a rush, we would recommend listing your car on a car selling site such as Gumtree or eBay beforehand with a reserve price. If the reserve price isn’t met, you can then proceed to scrap your car.


When a car becomes uneconomical to repair, you have the option to break the car and sell it for parts or simply scrap it. The majority of people tend to avoid the hassle of stripping it for parts and scrap their car. If it’s your first time being in this situation, hopefully our guide on how to scrap a car has walked you through the entire process and answered all your questions. As mentioned in our guide, to avoid disappointment, we strongly recommend that you call multiple approved scrapyards within your area for a valuation because the scrap value for your car may differ.

If you require further information regarding how to scrap your car, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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