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The Ultimate Guide to Scrapping Your Car

Posted in General

Scrapping your car is a very good idea if you want to get rid of your old vehicle and buy a new one. This is not a difficult process, but there are a few things to take into consideration. We have created a short guide with the documents and guidelines you need to start scrapping your car properly. Here are the things to focus on...

How much time does it take to scrap a car?

If you want to start scrapping your car, you are not alone. Up to eight million cars are scrapped per year in Europe. This is a fast way to get rid of your vehicle, as selling it takes a lot more time and effort. You just have to arrange for the vehicle to get scrapped. Once you find the right authorised treatment facility, they will pick up your vehicle and scrap it for you. Once the vehicle gets scrapped, you will receive documentation showing that the vehicle was disposed of.

This comes in the form of a certificate of destruction. Usually the certificate arrives within a day from the scrapping date. And that’s it, once you get the certificate, you know 100% that your vehicle was handled accordingly and that there are no issues. It’s a great way for you to dispose of your vehicle, while preparing to get a new one.

What documents do you need to scrap your car?

You will have to provide the ATF with a proof of address, photo ID and the V5C logbook. The logbook is not mandatory, but if you have it, then it’s a very good idea to share it. You can keep your license plate if you want, or you can give that up too. In case you want to keep the license plate, you need to make an application. It will also come with a charge too, so try to keep that in mind.

Once you gather these documents, you will need to start asking ATFs for a quote. When you study quotes, it’s a really good idea to find a facility close to you. On top of that, you will also want to have the best price available for your car. Keep in mind that you can only scrap your vehicle at a registered ATF. Doing it anywhere else will be a criminal offence, and you may be fined.

Asking for multiple quotes from ATFs to see what you are getting for the money is very important. You should also ascertain whether you have to drop your car off to them, or if they will arrive and collect your car. Ideally, you want the ATF to handle everything, so car pickup should be a part of the quote, if possible.

It is important to accept payment via cheque or bank transfer only. In some regions, accepting cash for when you’re scrapping your car is against the law, so try to keep that in mind. As we mentioned earlier, you can give the V5C registration document to the ATF, but it’s important to retain that yellow section. What you need to do is to send that to the DVLA to let them know the car was scrapped. Share the details like make, number and car registration number. You also need to share where the car was disposed of, and when the vehicle was scrapped. Informing the DVLA is mandatory.

Is it possible to scrap the car without keys?

Yes, you can still scrap the car without keys. But there are some caveats. For example, you will need paperwork that proves you own the car. This comes with additional costs, which is something to keep in mind. The ATF needs proof that you actually own the car, as they won’t scrap it otherwise. Sharing the V5C registration document will be more than enough here. If you don’t have the V5C, then you must find some alternative documentation like the bill of sale for that vehicle.

ATFs will charge you extra because you don’t have keys. That means you might end up getting less money than expected for your car. Smaller yards might not even be able to handle this process. Because the car is locked, scrap dealers need to winch it onto a truck, and that will cost extra. They will also have to break into the vehicle and line the wheels. Sometimes, the ATF might even have to run an HPI vehicle history check, just to ensure the car is yours. All these things will cost extra and they will be deducted from your fee.

Identifying the scrap value of your car

The thing to keep in mind is that the scrap value is based on the car weight. Normally, large and heavy cars tend to command the most money. Simply put, a Land Rover will usually give you twice the money or more when compared to a regular Toyota for example.

When you’re scrapping your car, there are other things like model, make and age that will influence its scrap value. There are times when expensive cars will also bring the most money when scrapped. Rare metals found in cars will also end up bringing more money too. Of course, if there are missing parts, the ATF will identify that, and the scrap value will be lower. In fact, every missing part will bring a fee deduction. Ideally you want to have the complete car, otherwise you will end up with less money from scrapping.


After you finish scrapping your car, you should fill out the yellow section in the V5C, and send it to the DVLA. This allows you to declare that your vehicle was scrapped, and you will bring the scrapping process to an end. It’s a very important thing to keep in mind, since you can get fined if you’re not declaring the scrapped car. Once you do that, the process is finally over, and you don’t need to worry about anything else. As you can see, scrapping your car can take a little bit of time, but you should get a good return from the process.

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