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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. Alternatively, you can use the comparison scrap car service provided by Car.co.uk.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.