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Who buys scrap cars?

Scrapping a car

The main reason to scrap a car is if it is either not repairable or the cost of the repair is more than the car is worth. Even a new or fairly new car can be scrapped, for example if it’s been involved in a high-speed collision that means it has been written off. A repair bill may be less than the car’s value, but if you know that some items will soon need replacing, such as tyres and brake pads, it may not be financially worth it to keep the car. 

When a car is at the end of its life, it can be taken to an ATF  for scrapping. These treatment facilities are also commonly known as breaker’s yards or scrapyards. They are subject to strict laws about disposing of cars in ways that don’t harm the environment. They will then pay you for the scrap value of the car.

You do have the option to keep the car off-road and apply for the registration number to be removed from the DVLA records. You may want to do this to take out parts that can be sold.

If the car is taken to an ATF, then you must give the facility the logbook, but keep the yellow portion that indicates that you are transferring ownership, selling or part-exchanging the vehicle. You must then tell the DVLA that the car has been given or sold to the ATF. If you don’t do this, you could be fined up to £1,000.

You’ll need the 11-digit reference number from the logbook (V5 certificate). If there are any full months left on your vehicle tax, you can apply to receive a refund.

How to find a buyer for your scrap car

The easiest way to find a buyer when you’re researching who buys scrap cars is to do a Google search for “sell scrap car {your area}”. You’ll then see all the scrap car buyers in your area. You can arrange for the sale of the car either through a website form or by calling the scrap car buyer.

If the car isn’t roadworthy, then the scrap car dealer will collect it. The ATF may then strip the car of its parts and sell them. It is also possible that they will repair the car and sell it.

You can donate the value of your car to charity: there are websites that will arrange to collect your car and donate its scrap value to charity.

How much are scrap cars worth?

The value of a scrap car depends on its make, model, size and weight. Your car could be worth a couple of hundred pounds. A small Fiat 500 is likely to be worth less than a large Land Rover, of course.

Any quote you receive will be based on the car having no parts removed. It is illegal to pay for the car in cash, so expect to be paid by cheque or bank transfer.

Bear in mind that you’d normally expect to be paid more by a local dealer than one who has to travel a long way to collect the car.

Even vehicles in very poor condition have some worth, so don’t deal with people who say they will take your car off your hands for free. Interested in knowing what your car is worth? Get an instant quote to scrap your car today right here, at Car.co.uk.

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 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.

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. -

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.

To scrap your car legally, the three absolute musts are you must use an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), ensure your logbook (V5 certificate) is completed correctly, and, if the vehicle’s to be destroyed, obtain a CoD (Certificate of Destruction).

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 problem. A Certificate of Destruction (COD) can be issued to you when your car is scrapped, but you need to make us aware of this prior to collection.

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.

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.

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 processing of End of Live vehicles.