What to Do Before You Scrap a Car

scrap a car

Want to know what to do before you get rid of your car for salvage?


There are currently more than 32 million registered cars across the UK. However, although the lifespan of cars is increasing with new technology, most don’t last longer than 20 or 30 years. This means you will probably have to buy a new one at some point in your life and get rid of your old one.

In that case, you have a few options of how to get rid of it. You could sell it on yourself, trade it in to a dealership, or you could scrap it. Every year, more than 1.2 million people in the UK scrap a car!

Before you start Googling ‘scrap my car’ there are certain things you should get organized. Read on to find out everything you need to know about how to scrap a car.

1. Remove all personal belongings before you scrap your car

Before selling a vehicle for scrap, you should make sure that it is cleared of all of your belongings. Scrap dealers do not want to spend time cleaning out cars before scrapping those. So presenting yours in good condition might get you a better deal. 

Clearing your car out is also a matter of personal safety. Once you have handed your car over to the scrapyard, you will not be able to get into it again. Even something as small as a crumpled up receipt can contain valuable personal information that you don’t want to leave lying around.

2. Remove Any Valuable Parts from your scrap car

Scrap car removal services offer you a great way to make some money back on your old car. That said, the dealers are mainly interested in the larger materials that make up cars, such as steel, copper, and aluminium. This is why they often determine the value of a vehicle based on its weight. 

However, there are some lightweight items in your car that you could sell separately to make a little more money. For example, you can usually remove radios, entertainment systems, and GPS devices from cars. You could take these down for resale at a secondhand shop or dealership.

If your car’s catalytic converter is still working then you may also want to sell this to the scrap yard separately. Catalytic converters contain platinum and rhodium, which are extremely valuable metals. Selling yours on could seriously bump up how much you get for your old car.

3. Look for a Licensed Scrap Car Dealer

You should always do a bit of research before deciding which scrap dealer to use. This will ensure that you get a good price and great service. However, it will also ensure that your car is disposed of by people with the right qualifications. 

All quality scrap dealers have licenses and they will be happy to show you these if you ask about them. In fact, a lot of them have their licenses hanging in their offices. When checking a license, always make sure that it is still in date.

A license demonstrates that a scrap dealer has passed the appropriate inspections and has the right training and equipment to scrap cars properly. This is the best way to ensure that you dispose of your old car safely.

4. Make Sure You Have Your Paperwork in Order before Scrapping

Before you can sell your car to a dealership, they will need to see confirmation that you are the real owner. After all, they don’t want to accidentally scrap a stolen car! 

A car scrap pick up service will want to see your vehicle registration document (also known as a V5.) Not all V5 documents act as proof of purchase. So a dealership may also ask to see: 

  • A current certificate of insurance 
  • A scheduled certificate of insurance 
  • A sales invoice from the dealership where you bought the car

These should all have the vehicle registration number on them along with your name. It is worth asking a dealership about what documents they need before you arrange to scrap your car. If you can’t produce them then they won’t take your car.

5. Decide What You Want to Happen With Your Car Plates

Every car in the UK has a unique number plate on the back of it, which the authorities can use to identify it. So what happens to your plates when you scrap a car? 

Most number plates are scrapped along with your car. However, you can apply to retain your number plates if you want to. In that case, you need to make an application using a Retention Document (also known as a V778) to the DVLA.

Applying to retain your number plates can take a while so make sure that you allow plenty of time for this. You should not hold onto your number plates unless your application is approved.

6. Cancel Your Car Insurance

When you are no longer driving a car, you may let the insurance lapse. However, if it is going to be on the road, however briefly, it must have car insurance.

Some insurers may let you cancel your policy early. So once you have received official confirmation that your car has been scrapped you should get in touch with them. The last thing you want is to be paying insurance on a car that you can no longer drive! 

Keep These Tips in Mind If You’re Going to Scrap a Car

If your car has reached the end of its life it could still earn you a little money towards your new one. Knowing how to scrap a car properly will ensure that you get the best possible deal for your old motor. So keep these tips in mind. 

Ready to make some money on your old car? Then get in touch today for a quote about your vehicle’s scrap worth!

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