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Should I scrap my car?

If you’re asking yourself ‘should I scrap my car?’, you’ve probably got sound reasons for wanting to do so. Whether it’s getting old and needs constant repairs or it keeps failing its annual MOT, there are plenty of sensible reasons to consider scrapping your vehicle. While no one can answer this question for you, here we explore some of the many circumstances in which cars are sometimes taken to be scrapped.

Scrapping a vehicle that’s been written off

If your car was seriously damaged in a traffic accident and is no longer roadworthy, it may need to be written off. The price you must pay to repair your car so it’s fit for driving again can sometimes be higher than the actual value of your vehicle. In such a case, scrapping your car can be the right decision.

Scrapping a vehicle that’s unsafe to drive

At some point in a car’s life it may become unsafe to drive. Whether rust has weakened its chassis, or it’s got issues with the braking system, or it’s no longer safe to drive for other reasons, it might be time to scrap it. Don’t put lives in jeopardy by continuing to drive it or selling it on. Instead, arrange an appointment at your local Authorised Treatment Facility for your own safety and that of others.

Scrapping a vehicle with expensive running costs

Whether due to age or irregular servicing, sometimes cars frequently break down. Each year it might fail its MOT or require costly repair work to ensure it can make the grade. With its poor mechanical history, it’s unlikely to fetch a high price if you try to sell it, so it may be better to consider scrapping it. While a scrap car typically only fetches between £100 to £300, sometimes it’s better to cut your losses and stop paying expensive bills to keep an unreliable car on the road.

Scrapping a car that’s no longer in use

If you’ve got an old model sitting in your garage at home that never gets used, you might consider scrapping it. Cars not in use with a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) can be taking up valuable space on your property. You might have even cannibalised it for parts to fix up other vehicles and be left with an unsellable shell. Having trouble finding a buyer and in need of more room? Scrapping might be an alternative option for letting that old car go.

Scrapping a car when time is a factor

Selling a car can be a time consuming process. If your unwanted vehicle is an older model or in poor condition, it might not get much interest, meaning it takes you time to secure a buyer. If you’re selling your car privately, you have the additional work of listing your vehicle and completing the sale. Buyers will often wish to inspect your car and arranging and conducting such meetings can slow down your selling.

Scrapping can be a quicker way to sell off your vehicle with quotes easily available over the phone or online. Often the scrap yard will even collect your car to make life simple and pay you by cheque or bank transfer. A transaction that might normally take weeks or even months can be managed in minutes, making scrapping ideal when you’re in a rush to sell and need some cash quickly.

Other related FAQs

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

When scrapping your car, you must inform the DVLA. You’ll need your logbook to pass onto the ATF (Authorised Treatment Facility). Afterwards, you’ll be given a Certificate of Destruction (CoD).

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.

Someone else can scrap your car for you but they must take it to an authorised treatment facility (ATF) and hand over all appropriate paperwork for it to be done legally.

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.

Yes – it’s important that you inform the DVLA when you scrap your car, as you could be liable for any on-going charges relating to it if you don’t. The quick and easy way to inform the DVLA is by completing and returning section 9 (or section 4 on post-April 2019 documents) of the V5C log book form.

It’s illegal to scrap someone’s car without their permission and take payment. The Scrap Dealers Act requires that individuals scrapping cars provide photo ID and proof of address and are never paid in cash, ensuring transactions can be easily traced.

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.

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.

No. It’s important that your car is free of rubbish and personal belongings - as our scrap partners are not equipped to deal with anything other than the car.

When a car is no longer roadworthy and needs to be scrapped, there’s probably a scrap dealer near you who will collect the car and pay you money for this. It’s easy to find a nearby scrapyard.