How To Scrap Your Old Car – And Make Money Doing It

Aside from your house, a car is perhaps the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy in your lifetime, which makes it all the more painful when it bites the dust and is written off – and never mind the inconvenience of being car-less.

But even a vehicle that can’t be repaired needn’t leave a gaping hole in your finances; it’s incredibly easy to scrap your car for cash, as UK-based company Sell The Car point out, and you may get more money back than you think! 

What Condition Does My Car Need To Be In?

Any condition at all – it doesn’t matter if it’s working well bar one component, or if the whole thing’s crumbling like a soggy house of cards. It might affect the amount you’re able to get for the vehicle, but even the most dilapidated cars will generate you some kind of financial reward. 

So long as it’s metal and you own it, the scrapping company will likely take it! 

What Documentation Do I Need To Scrap?

There are two absolutely essential bits of paper that you need if you’re going to take your car in to be scrapped for cash. The first is your V5 registration document – this will show that you’re the keeper of the car, and in a legal position to be able to hand it over for salvage. The second is a form of photo ID – usually a driving licence. This will basically be a cross reference for the V5 to ensure you really are the person named on the document, and that it is registered to the same address on the V5 document.

They’re all basic identification methods to prevent, or at the very least curb, the number of stolen cars illegally sold for scrap – so long as the car is yours, you can scrap it! 

How Does The Process Work?

It’s relatively simple and hassle free, as most scrapping companies are willing to do a lot of the legwork for you. The first thing you need to ensure is that the scrapyard is an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), and is licenced by the government’s Environment Agency. Most ATFs will offer a quote online with your registration number, whereas others may require you to take your vehicle down to their yard for a quote.

From there, you take your car to the scrapyard itself (or have it collected), where it will be inspected and weighed, before the money finally comes your way! Fairly thorough inspections take place, as people have been known to fill fuel tanks with water or add heavy objects in the boot/door panels to increase the weight and get more money.

Finally, you’ll receive an official Certificate of Destruction from the DVLA to prove that your car has been recycled in line with EA guidelines, and that the scrapyard takes responsibility for the vehicle.   

How Much Will I Get?

This entirely depends on the vehicle you have, and the condition it’s in – scrapping companies will be able to salvage more of the vehicle and more of its parts if it’s in a better condition, so may offer more for those vehicles. However, they’ll usually buy any vehicle as the metal the car is made from is worth something too them – it can refined and melted down before being sold.

Companies will generally offer you a quote before you commit to handing over the keys, so you won’t ever be put on the spot. They can often inspect your vehicle, too, so you can get as fair a price as possible – after all, even though it’s scrap it’s still your car!

What About Tax & Insurance?

You can claim this back as well! It’s another great financial gain for getting shot of your vehicle. As soon as you’ve taken the vehicle to an ATF and you have your Certificate of Destruction, you can claim back any remaining car tax and you should be able to claim back some of your remaining year of insurance as well (though some companies may charge a ‘cancellation fee’ if you choose not to stay with them). 

This guest post was written by Tom McShane – blogger, thrift enthusiast and writer for UK-based scrapping company Sell The Car, who buy any old vehicles for scrap.

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