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What to do when I scrap my car?

Your options

The first thing to do when scrapping your car is decide whether you want money in return based on the scrap value, or whether you wish to donate any scrap value to a charity of your choice.

A simple internet search will reveal the companies in your local area that offer a scrapping service in return for a predetermined value. These companies more often than not will also collect the car from you as part of the agreement.

Another option is to donate the scrap value of the car to a charity of your choice. Again, a simple search will highlight all the companies in your local area that offer this service. They’ll then decide whether to auction or scrap your car, dependent on its condition. Afterwards, you’ll be presented with a receipt as proof of donation.

The process

To avoid receiving a fine from the DVLA, it’s important that you inform the agency of your decision to scrap your car.

If you wish to remove certain parts of the vehicle prior to scrapping it, make sure you register the car as being ‘off road’ first. This procedure is referred to as SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice). Once you’ve done this, your car can be stored on your drive, in a garage or on private land until you’re ready to hand it over to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). Failure to do this means that you’re still liable for car tax and insurance.

Once you’ve decided how you’re going to scrap your car, you’ll need to locate the logbook (V5 certificate). Fill the document out carefully and hand it over to the ATF. They’ll keep the document and return to you the ‘sell, transfer or part-exchange’ section. At this point you will be issued with your Certificate of Destruction (CoD) and you need to keep hold of this as proof of the transaction for possible future reference.

If you’ve lost the logbook, it’s still possible to scrap your car. You’ll need to contact the DVLA for more information, or you can apply for a new V5 certificate, which will incur a small fee. Bear in mind that this can take up to six weeks.

Things to remember

If your vehicle has a private number plate assigned to it, you’ll have to apply to have it removed from that particular car. Search for ‘removing a private number plate’ and this will direct you to the correct website. There may be a small fee incurred in the removal. Once completed, the plate is then available to be assigned to a new vehicle. Don’t forget to remove the plates themselves once you’ve completed the transaction with ATF.

People often leave personal possessions behind too, so give the boot a check, along with the glove compartment and any other storage spaces within the vehicle.

Once the vehicle no longer belongs to you, you can claim back any unused car tax that you may have paid upfront. Also don’t forget to give your insurance company a call, informing them of the change of ownership. Cancel your policy or, if you have a new vehicle, transfer the details, making sure you are still legally covered.

Finally, when it’s time to hand over the keys, make sure the spare key is given up too and that you have removed any personal keys from the key ring.

Other related FAQs

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

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.

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.

If you’re entitled to any unused road tax when you scrap your car, you should get in touch with the DVLA to reclaim it. Since tax discs were phased out, this can no longer be done at a post office – so you’ll need to contact the DVLA directly, either on the phone, by post, or using their website.

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, 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.

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 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.

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.

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, 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.