How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps (2023)

Over 2 million UK drivers scrap their vehicles which have reached the end of their lives and simply cost too much to run anymore. But how do you scrap a car? The scrapping process can be confusing if you're new to it.

By the end of this article, you'll understand:

  • What scrap metal is
  • Where you can scrap a car
  • How to scrap a car
  • How scrap metal prices work
  • What documents you need to scrap a car
  • And plenty more besides!

Page Contents

  • Summary
  • How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps
  • What is Scrap Metal?
  • Where Can I Sell Scrap Metal Near Me?
  • Scrap Car Prices
  • How Much Does it Cost to Scrap a Car?
  • Can You Scrap Cars For Cash?
  • What Do I Need to Scrap My Car?
  • Can I Scrap My Car Without the Logbook?


If you want to scrap a car, you must do so responsibly. This means finding a registered ATF who will ensure that they recycle 95% of the metal in an environmentally friendly way.

The scrapyard shouldn't charge you but, as scrap metal prices fluctuate, they may try to if prices are very low.

(Video) How do I scrap my car? - Scrap your car in 3 Easy Steps #shorts

You must always inform the DVLA when you scrap a car and ensure that you are paid by bank transfer or cheque. You can also claim back any unused road tax.

And, while it is easier to scrap your car with the logbook, you shouldn't be penalised if you don't have one for your car.

How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Apply to take the reg number off your car if you want to keep it (i.e. it's a personalised plate). This costs £80.
  2. Find a registered ATF near you who will scrap your car.
  3. Complete the relevant paperwork with the ATF. This involves the yellow 'sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle' section of your logbook and a Certificate of Destruction, which usually arrives within a week.
  4. Receive payment for your vehicle.
  5. Notify the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency) that you no longer own your vehicle. You face a £1,000 fine if you don't.
  6. Cancel any remaining insurance and ensure you get your unused road tax refunded.

Donate Your Car to Charity Instead?

While it's quite easy to scrap a car, it still might be too much hassle for you. If your car isn't worth much or you don't have time to compare ATFs, you might want to just get the car off your hands as quickly as possible.

Well, Charitycar or Giveacar could be the perfect solution. They collect your vehicle free of charge and either scrap the car or sell it at auction. All the profits go to charity, so you get the satisfaction of doing a good deed as well.

How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps (1)

What is Scrap Metal?

Scrap metal refers to any waste metal or metallic product which has recyclable value. These parts can be used again to build new cars and appliances or as raw building materials.

Scrap metal also has monetary value, so you can make a tidy sum when you scrap your car. The EU has created an 'End of Life Vehicle Directive' which demands that 95% of every new car must be recycled.

We create 8 million tonnes of scrap metal each year, so it's important to reuse as much of it as possible.

How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps (2)

If your car isn't in sellable condition but you don't want to fix it up, the best option is to sell it for scrap.

(Video) How to Sell Your JUNK Car - The Right Way! | WheelHouse

However, you can't just hand over the keys to anyone who offers to scrap your car. You must complete the process responsibly.

Where Can I Sell Scrap Metal Near Me?

A law passed in 2005 made it illegal to scrap a car anywhere but an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). Whoever scraps your vehicle must have an Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency license to prove they recycle car parts properly. This is to minimise the impact of scrapped vehicles on the environment.

You can find your nearest authorised scrap metal dealer online, either by going direct or using a comparison site.

However, you can easily get burned when searching over the internet...

Make Sure You Check Everything

Removemycar highlighted how easy it is to find an unauthorised scrapyard online. They searched for 'scrap my car' and got the following results:

  • Only 9 of the 25 results were ATFs
  • Out of 11 sponsored links, only 5 were ATFs or ATF networks. The other 6 were 'Lamp Post Traders'.
  • Out of the 7 local search listings, only 1 was ATF registered.
  • Out of the 7 organic search results, only 1 was an ATF registered company and 2 were ATF comparison sites (including Removemycar).

Sadly, this proves how many unscrupulous scrappers there are in the UK. When you scrap your car, you must understand how to complete the process legally.

How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps (3)

Here's a simple explanation of how to scrap a car. Underneath, we've also included 5 other points you need to know to scrap a car properly

Scrap Car Prices

It's hard to predict how much your car is worth as scrap. For starters, the market price regularly fluctuates. This is due to inflation, the value of the pound and supply and demand.

(Video) How to Scrap an Alternator - Was it Worth it?

However, if your car has lots of high-quality copper, steel and aluminium, it's likely to be worth more as scrap. These are all highly sought-after recyclable metals.

There are plenty of other factors which also affect the price:

  • The size and weight of your car. If you own a Land Rover, it's worth more than a Ford Fiesta simply because it contains more scrap metal.
  • The age of your car. Newer cars are full of more high-quality parts and so are often worth more as scrap than older cars.
  • The price and running costs of your car. Likewise, if your vehicle was expensive to buy and run, there's a good chance it will also be worth more as scrap.
  • What valuable parts it has. If parts like your clutch, gearbox and brake pads are in good condition, they can be sold as replacements for other vehicles. This will increase the price of your scrap metal.
  • If it has a catalytic converter. Cars registered before 1993 may not have this exhaust part which can reduce their scrap value.
  • When you choose to scrap your car. Scrapyards often reduce their prices at the end of the month to ensure they have enough time to process customers who are already booked in. That's why it's vital to do your research before scrapping your car.

To find out how much your car is worth as scrap, enter your reg and postcode into an online car scrap calculator.

Scrap Metal Prices Near You

Here are some rough scrap metal prices from find out what price your vehicle is worth as scrap, just enter your reg and postcode into their online tool.

Make and Model

Year of Registration

Weight (Tonnes; to 1 decimal place)


BMW 3-Series




Ford Transit




Peugeot 307




Renault Megane




Suzuki Swift




Vauxhall Zafira




VW Golf




How Much Does it Cost to Scrap a Car?

You should be able to scrap your car for free in the UK. However, some scrapyards may try and charge you.

Due to the ever-changing price of scrap metal, the scrapping process sometimes costs more than the parts' value. There may also be a charge if you live some distance from the scrapyard and ask them to collect your car.

That doesn't mean you should pay to scrap your car. There are plenty of scrap car comparison sites, such as scrapacarcomparison, cartakeback and removemycar.

(Video) How To Build A Basic Car - Scrap Mechanic | Survival Guide

Make sure you search the web to get the best price.

Most importantly, they've done all the checks for you and put you in touch with a registered ATF. That way, you know that you're scrapping your car legally.

Can You Scrap Cars For Cash?

You cannot be paid in cash when you scrap a car. You must be paid by cheque or bank transfer instead.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act of October 2013 outlawed this process.

If someone offers you a wad of cash for your car, you shouldn't accept the offer. They're unlikely to be a lawful scrapper.

The same law also requires you to show ID and proof of address when the scrapyard takes custody of your vehicle. If they don't ask to see yours, DO NOT continue with the deal.

How to Scrap a Car in 6 Easy Steps (4)

What Do I Need to Scrap My Car?

As well as ID and proof of address, you should be able to provide the car's logbook when scrapping your car. This proves that you own the vehicle and stops unauthorised or unlawful sales.

Keep the yellow slip from your logbook and make sure the ATF provides a receipt. After 7 days, you should receive a Certificate of Destruction from the ATF. This is proof that you scrapped the car and so can't be held liable for any future offences.

(Video) NEW Easy Way For Scrap Parts (Car Mechanic Simulator 2021 Gameplay) cms21

Can I Scrap My Car Without the Logbook?

Yes, you can. While it's much easier to scrap a car with the logbook, sometimes you just don't have one. They're easily lost or you may have bought a car that didn't have the logbook. To scrap a car without the logbook, you must send a letter to the DVLA informing them of the sale. It must include:

  • Your car's reg number
  • The make and model
  • The exact date of the sale
  • Name and address of the scrapyard

Some scrapyards require a logbook as further proof of ID and may refuse to process your car without one. If you find yourself in this position, you can either pay £25 for a new logbook or find an alternative scrapyard.

Don't let a less reputable dealer take you for a ride if you don't have a logbook. If someone tries to charge you a £25 fee to scrap your car without the logbook, walk away. You don't need to pay this fee.


How much scrap do you get for a car? ›

In the last 12 months the average price for scrap cars has ranged between £320 and £360. The current average value of a scrap car is £320.

Can you scrap a car without a title in Indiana? ›

Certificate of Authority – Disposal of a Vehicle

If you own a vehicle with a certificate of title that is faulty, lost, or destroyed, or you possess an abandoned vehicle, you may apply to the BMV for authority to sell, give away, or dispose of the vehicle for scrap metal without applying for a certificate of title.

Can you scrap a car without a title in South Carolina? ›

A demolisher or secondary metals recycler (SMR) may not get rid of a vehicle without at least one of the following: Valid title. Magistrate order of sale. Sheriff's disposal authority certificate.

How do I scrap a car without a title in Michigan? ›

In order to scrap a car without a title, you'll need to provide some other form of documentation that proves you're the rightful owner of the vehicle. This could be a bill of sale, registration, or any other document that shows you're the legal owner of the car.

How do you get rid of a car? ›

Call three or four vehicle recyclers, and aim to pick the best offer that's made – you'll soon get a feel for anyone trying to take you for a ride. Obviously, it's illegal to sell or dispose of a vehicle which has an outstanding finance agreement.

What is the abandoned vehicle law in Indiana? ›

Indiana Code (IC) 9-13-2-1 states that a vehicle is considered abandoned if it is: Located on public property illegally; or. Left on public property without being moved for twenty-four (24) hours; or.

How long before a car is considered abandoned in Indiana? ›

A vehicle is considered abandoned if it meets one of the following descriptions: on private property and over 3 years old, mechanically inoperable, and in a location visible from public property for 20 days OR on public property and partially dismantled or missing major mechanical parts OR on public property for a ...

What is the Indiana Code 9 22 3? ›

(a) A certificate of salvage title is required for a motor vehicle, motorcycle, semitrailer, or recreational vehicle that meets any of the following criteria: (1) An insurance company has determined that it is economically impractical to repair the wrecked or damaged motor vehicle, motorcycle, semitrailer, or ...

How does cash for clunkers work? ›

What is Cash for Clunkers? Cash for Clunkers is shorthand for the Car Allowance Rebate System. This government incentive program passed in response to the 2008 recession to spur auto sales. The plan gave participants up to $4,500 for their old running vehicles (cash for their clunker).

Is Peddle legit? ›

Peddle is a legitimate car-buying company that has bought more than 2 million vehicles from consumers. The company has an A+ rating and accreditation from the BBB, along with a 4.6-star rating average on Trustpilot from more than 116,000 reviews.

Do I need to notify DMV if I junk my car in California? ›

Prior to dismantling a vehicle, the vehicle owner must submit an application to DMV to record the vehicle as “Junk.” When an owner dismantles a vehicle prior to doing this, the owner is subject to an investigative service fee. The following must be submitted: The evidence of ownership for the vehicle.

How do you get around a salvage title? ›

A salvage titled car may be reclassified as a “rebuilt title" car (or in some places “reconditioned” or “assembled”). To remove a salvage title, you will need to purchase the car, have it repaired, get it inspected, and file the correct paperwork.

What does an orange title mean in Michigan? ›

A rebuilt title in Michigan is also called an 'orange title. ' This certification means the car receives a certificate with the word 'totaled' stamped. Receiving this title means the insurance company had to write off the car as a total loss after the damage.

Can you scrap a car without a title in Wisconsin? ›

If you lost your title, you don't need a replacement title to junk the vehicle.

What is the scrap value? ›

Scrap value is the worth of a physical asset's individual components when the asset itself is deemed no longer usable. After a long-term asset—such as machinery, vehicle, or furniture—has gone through its useful life, it may be disposed of. Scrap value is also known as residual value, salvage value, or break-up value.

How much does my car weigh? ›

Open the driver's side door of the vehicle, and look for the weight label or sticker on the sill. Locate your car manual and look up the section on specifications for your vehicle.

How much is a scrap car worth in Ireland? ›

The scrap value of a car is determined by several factors including the make and model of the car, the year it was manufactured, and the current market conditions. Generally, the scrap value of a car is worth between 10-25% of the vehicle's Kelley Blue Book value.

What is the average age of scrap cars in the UK? ›

RAC - The average age of a car at scrappage is around 14... | Facebook.


1. How to Get Started on a Project Car (it’s easier than you think)
2. Scrap Your Car In 3 Easy Steps at the Highest Price Guaranteed!
3. How To Remove ANY Scuff Mark From Your Car (No Tools, Easy) (2023)
4. Auto Wrecker Philadelphia - 10 easy ways to get cash for your junk car
(Auto Wrecker Philadelphia)
5. Clean & Detail Your Car Engine in 5 Minutes!
(Silver Cymbal)
6. How Wrecked Cars Are Repaired | Cars Insider
(Insider Cars)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated: 16/09/2023

Views: 5948

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.