How to scrap a car

Last updated by on June 29th, 2017

When it comes to an ageing car, sometimes enough is enough and no amount of money, care or attention is going to bring it back to life.

Whether your car’s been involved in a crash and is irreparable or you’ve run it into the ground, sometimes scrapping your car is the only option.

1. If your vehicle is an insurance write-off and it’s getting scrapped

If your insurer has declared your car as a write-off they will normally deal with getting it scrapped – but there are still a number of things you must do.

What to do if your insurer scraps your car?

– Send your V5C logbook to your insurance company but keep the yellow V5C/3 slip from it

Inform the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that your vehicle has been written off. You can be fined £1,000 if you do not inform the DVLA

– Apply to take the number off your car if you want to keep the registration number

2. How to scrap your car

If you’ve run your car into the ground and there’s no value in selling it on, scrapping is probably the only option but you need to decide whether you want to keep any parts or not.

If you want to keep some parts from your car:

– Register your vehicle as off the road with the DVLA using a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN)

– Remove any parts you want from the vehicle

– Apply to take the registration plate from the vehicle if you want to keep it

– Get your vehicle scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF)

– Give the V5C logbook to the ATF but keep the yellow V5C/3 slip

– Inform the DVLA that your vehicle has been scrapped through an ATF

Depending on the parts you remove from your car, the ATF may charge you to scrap the vehicle.

For example, if you remove the essential, profitable parts, like the engine or gearbox, the ATF may charge a fee. If you removed a hub cap or headrest, you’re unlikely to be charged a fee.

If you’re not interested in keeping any parts from your vehicle, the process is a lot simpler:

– Apply to keep the registration plate with the DVLA if you want to keep it

– Get your vehicle scrapped at an ATF – this will probably be free as you’re not keeping any parts

– Hand over the V5C logbook to the ATF but keep the yellow V5C/3 slip

– Inform the DVLA you have taken your vehicle to be scrapped at an ATF

In both instances, whether you want to keep parts from your car or not, you must inform the DVLA or you could face a £1,000 fine.

What happens when I hand my car over to be scrapped?

Once you hand your car over to an ATF, they will then decide what they’re going to do with it.

They can either scrap it completely or repair it and sell it on themselves.

If it’s scrapped completely you will get a certificate of destruction and they should also pay you the scrap value of your car too.

If the ATF decides to repair and sell your vehicle on you will also be paid.

Can I scrap my car myself?

It’s illegal to scrap your car yourself and it must be scrapped at an AFT.

Related articles that you may find useful

The guide to buying a new car
The guide to buying a used car
The guide to buying a van
The guide to buying a motorbike

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