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Why can I not get paid in cash?

“I want to sell my scrap my car for cash” is a common request from Car.co.uk customers – but few people realise that doing so would be against the law. 

Here, we’ll explain a little about the law that surrounds scrap car collections, the payment methods our scrap partners use, and why scrapping your old car for cash might mean you get a second-best price.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013

In 2013, the government revised the law that surrounds scrap metal collections – by creating the Scrap Metal Dealers Act. The act outlines a series of conditions that scrap dealers must abide by to ensure they keep their licence to trade as a scrap metal dealer.

Part of the Scrap Metal Dealers act details how payment can be made for metal that a dealer buys. Since scrap yards are considered scrap metal dealers and scrap cars are considered scrap metal – these rules apply when payment is made for your vehicle.

Section 12 of the act states clearly that a scrap metal dealer must not pay for scrap metal by any means except cheque or electronic transfer of funds. Doing so would mean a potential fine of up to £5,000 – and repeat offences could mean having their scrap metal licence removed.

Do scrap yards ever deal with cash?

While the scrap yards that are part of the Car.co.uk network do not handle cash – that’s not to say all scrap yards or traders follow these rules. We know it might be tempting to use a service that will pick up scrap cars for cash – but it could leave you exposed to legal issues.

Following the Scrap Metal Dealers Act is an important part of becoming an ATF – an Authorised Treatment Facility that handles scrap cars in line with government and environment agency guidelines. Only ATFs can begin the process that will see your vehicle officially dismantled and removed from the DVLA registration system – so if you’re dealing with a scrap yard who doesn’t follow the law, it could mean you’re passing your car to someone who will not handle it correctly.

If your car is not processed correctly – you may remain liable for any legal proceedings relating to the car after it’s collected. If you want to be sure you’re protected and that your car is disposed of correctly, using Car.co.uk’s quick and simple car scrapping service will ensure this is the case. What’s more – you’ll always be paid promptly after collection – in a way that is fully legal and keeps you safe. 

Are you selling to a scrap yard?

You may find ‘scrap yards’ who offer scrap car removal for cash – but beware, in many cases, this situation is not quite as it seems. 

In some instances, car traders will pose as scrap dealers and pay cash for your car. However, they will simply be planning to sell your scrap car to an ATF and get a better price. Again, using our service will mean you always get the best price from a genuine scrap yard.

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).

Yes, our network of dismantlers can scrap vehicles that are registered in other countries. You’ll need to inform the governing body in the country that the car is from; usually by sending them the completed registration document.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.