How to dispose of an old car

There comes a point with every car when it’s no longer practical or safe to prolong its life. What’s more, if you drive one that’s not roadworthy you could end up with points on your driving licence or a fine. So if your car’s reaching the end of the road, read on to find out how you can dispose of it.

Avoiding common car scrapping pitfalls

If you decide to scrap your car, there are a few points to remember before you get started.

The Scrap Metal Dealers’ Act also means it’s against the law to pay for scrap cars in cash in England and Wales – so don’t trust anyone who tries to pay in cash.

  • Sort out the documents. When a car is scrapped the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) needs to be notified using a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). These can only be issued by scrap car recycling centres, called Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs). If you don’t then you are still responsible for the vehicle and could end up being fined.
  • Keep your personal details safe. Customers in England and Wales have to prove their identity when selling their car as scrap. You’ll be asked to show photo ID and proof of address, such as a utility bill. Your information will be stored for three years, so make sure you’re sharing it with a reputable organisation.
  • Reclaim insurance and tax. When you’ve had your vehicle scrapped at an ATF and a CoD has been issued, the DVLA will refund any full months of remaining car tax (officially known as VED but sometimes referred to as road tax). You should also tell your car’s insurance supplier that your car has been scrapped. You can usually ask for a refund, or put any credit towards another insurance policy.
Find out more on GOV.UK.

Scrapping a car

People usually scrap their cars if they break down, fail a MoT, require expensive repairs, or they can’t find a buyer.

Scrapping your car should be a last resort that you may choose to do if it’s damaged beyond repair or you can’t find anyone prepared to buy it.

Remember that unless your car is a complete wreck, it may still be worth something, so you shouldn’t have to pay to get it towed away. Bear in mind that the vehicle recycler (otherwise known as a scrapyard, breaker or dismantler) may make hundreds of pounds from your cast-off simply by selling some of its parts, even if your car might just be worth the value of the scrap metal.

If you decide to go ahead, your car must be taken to an Authorised Treatment Facility to be scrapped. You will then be sent a Certificate of Destruction (CoD). It’s illegal to scrap your vehicle anywhere else. Scrapping your car will ensure that it is properly recycled without damaging the environment.

Scrap car prices fluctuate depending on the model of car, the region it’s collected in, whether it has any re-saleable parts and current market rates.

You can find an ATF dealer, more information about scrapping your car and contacting DVLA on GOV.UK.

Rewarding Recycling and CarTakeBack are the official recycling partners for a selection of motor manufacturers. All their scrap car recycling centres have ATF licences. You can also deliver it directly to a ATF if you prefer.

Get an instant quote for your car’s scrap value at CarTakeBack or Rewarding Recycling.

If your old car‘s not worth much or you haven’t got the time to arrange selling it, why not donate it to Charitycar? They will collect it free of charge and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that your car’s value is going to the charity of your choice.

You could also consider donating your car through Giveacar.

If you donate your old car, it will either be sold at auction or scrapped.

Selling your old car

If your car is still roadworthy, have you tried Selling your car?