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Do I have to inform the DVLA when I scrap my car?

Yes, you do. Confirming the sale of your car is an important part of the scrapping process – and, if you don’t, you may be held liable for charges that relate to the vehicle – even after you’ve sold it. 

Fortunately, it’s a straightforward process. To let the DVLA know you’ve scrapped your car, you just need to complete section 9 of the V5C log book form – or, if you’ve got a V5C that was issued after April 2019; section 4. You’ll need to record the date of the sale and details of the company buying your car, before signing it – and getting the person who’s recovering the car to sign it too.

When you have this information, you can actually inform the DVLA online using their dedicated service – between 7am and 7pm. Alternatively, you can just return the tear-out section of the V5C to the address on the rear, and your collection driver will take the rest of the form with the car. 

What happens if I don’t have the V5C form anymore? 

It’s not uncommon for people to misplace their V5C log book form – so, don’t panic if you can’t find it. If you’ve recorded the 11-digit reference number from the front of the form, you can still complete the process online – but, if you haven’t, you’ll just need to write or type a quick letter to the DVLA.

In your letter, you should explain that you have transferred the vehicle to a dismantler – and state your name and address details, the vehicle’s registration, the sale date, along with the name, address, and VAT number of the dismantler who collects your car. Since you’re unlikely to have this information until collection time, it’s worth printing or writing your letter first – leaving spaces to for the recovery driver to sign and fill out their company details.  

When complete, you should send your letter to:

DVLA
Swansea
SA99 1BD

What happens if you don’t inform the DVLA?

Although many people don’t realise it, failing to update your owner details for your vehicle can result in a fine of up to £1,000. As such, it’s vital that you complete the small amount of paperwork needed when you scrap your car.

As well as fines, there are some instances where vehicle owners have been automatically fined for offences they’re not actually liable for. For instance, if the DVLA’s computer system thinks the car is untaxed – but is still registered in your name, you may receive a penalty in the post.

Don’t forget, the collection driver that picks up your car will be happy to assist if you’re not completely confident filling out your paperwork.

Don’t order a replacement log book

Since scrapping a car isn’t something you’re likely to do very often, it’s not uncommon for people to be a little uncertain around the paperwork involved. Occasionally, scrap yards that don’t meet our strict customer services standards will see this as a chance to make a little bit of extra profit when they buy a car – telling customers they will knock the £25 DVLA log book replacement fee off the price they give.

Although Car.co.uk’s partners will never do this, it’s not unheard of with other scrap car buyers – so be alert if you choose to look elsewhere for prices too. You don’t need a replacement log book – as the scrap yard will receive a new one when you inform the DVLA that the car is sold.

Other related FAQs

Looking for more related content to this? We’ve picked a selection of related topics that you may find helpful

The answer unfortunately is no. Once your MOT has expired you must get it renewed immediately. If you’re found to be driving without a valid MOT certificate, you could be fined up to £1,000.

You can get in touch with your insurance company and cancel your cover after your car has been collected. If you cancel your insurance before collection, you’ll be breaking the law if you drive the car on a public road. -

It’s illegal to sell a car with outstanding finance, so before you scrap a car you need to have paid off the outstanding finance amount. Technically, a car with outstanding finance is the lender’s property, not yours.

Scrapping your car can be the solution when repair or running costs are greater than your vehicle’s value. If your car has been written off, deemed unsafe or no longer in use, these are all additional reasons to scrap it.

Yes, you can. Before your car is collected, you’ll need to ‘retain’ your registration with the DVLA; either online or through the post. Your registration will then be held on a retention certificate, ready to transfer to another car.

Don’t worry – our scrap partners aren’t concerned about the condition of your car. Whether your vehicle is roadworthy – or badly damaged and in need of disposal; we’ll help you maximise the price you receive.

When a car is scrapped, any hazardous materials are removed, along with any parts considered harmful to the environment. Tyres will be removed for recycling, the car will then be crushed and separated into plastic, fibre and metal, and recycled.

Yes. Vehicle tax is no longer transferable from owner to owner – so, if you’re scrapping your car, we recommend that you get in touch with the DVLA soon after collection to reclaim any tax that may be owed.

ATF stands for ‘Authorised Treatment Facility’ - another name for a scrap yard, breaker’s yard or vehicle dismantler that meets with strict government guidelines relating to the handling of scrap cars.

When a car is no longer roadworthy, it still has some value. An Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) will pay you the scrap value of your car, which could be well over a hundred pounds, depending on the model.