Scrap car. “Scrap” is one of those words without many positives – perhaps some people still use “scrappy” as a good thing, as in “they’re a scrappy team.” But even there, it probably means that that team has a lot of spirit, but not a lot of skill. When used of a car, the word is nearly always negative – terminal, in fact. Scrap cars are cars at the end of their usefulness. They’re too old, too broken, or too unsafe to drive. The only value a scrap car possesses is the value of the metal in its components.
You won’t be able to take your scrap car back to the place where you purchased it. As a general rule, the companies that make new cars aren’t interested in dealing with old ones. Neither can you just park your car by the local metal recycle bin. To properly dispose of your old car, you’ll need the services of a legitimate scrap car dealer. In this article, we’ll look at what a scrap car dealer does, why (and when) you might need one, and how to locate one.
What scrap car dealers do
As we’ve started to explain above, a scrap car dealer takes your old, good-for-next-to-nothing car and turns it into scrap metal. At least, that’s what a good dealer does. Unfortunately, there are also more than a few unsavory dealers out there. In the hands of the wrong sort of scrap car dealer, your car might be repaired or resold, despite not being roadworthy or safe. In the worst-case scenario, this means that potentially dangerous vehicles could be put back into circulation.
Fortunately, while there are still untrustworthy dealers out there, there is also a way to avoid them. The DVLA has certain requirements for facilities in the UK to deal with scrap cars appropriately. Once the standards are met, these dealers, recycling facilities, and repair shops gain approval as Authorised Treatment Facilities, or ATF’s.
Why you might need one
Why you might need a scrap car dealer or ATF, and when you might need one, are often the same thing. Under normal circumstances this occurs when your vehicle outlives any usefulness. If it has been sitting in your garage for the past 10 months, completely beyond repair, it may be time to see what you can get out of it. The car certainly isn’t earning you any money sitting there!
How to find a reliable scrap car dealer
Is there any way to tell the bad scrapyards from the good ones? Well, it’s always best to start with the DVLA’s own list of ATF’s. Keep that as a reference while you search for local scrap car dealers, most of which will be easily found online. There are numerous websites to help you do price comparisons. It is not uncommon to make between £100-£300 for your car, although that price varies widely. Car size, age, and weight are all huge factors, and the value of the car to the scrapyard hinges on the current price of scrap metal – which can change literally overnight.
Do your shopping, and when you’ve found a dealer who sounds good, check against the DVLA’s list.
Tips and tricks
- Certain scrap car dealer will collect your car. Be sure to negotiate the price beforehand to keep the process as pain-free as possible. This also discourages underhanded dealers from offering you less in-person.
- You do not require the V5C logbook to scrap a car, but if you do have it, it should be turned in with the vehicle to the ATF. See our article on logbooks here.
- Be sure to inform the DVLA that you’ve scrapped the car! Find a convenient online form here.
Scrap car dealers may sound like an intimidating lot, but the process of scrapping your car is far simpler than it used to be. Armed with the information above and some common sense, you’ll be able to easily dispose of your old car, and maybe get a bit of pocket money out of it as well!