If you want to scrap your old car – what are the options?

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If your car has reached the end of its days or it’s too expensive to repair, you may need to scrap it. Find out how to get paid for its scrap value.

Scrapping your car – the basics
The most important thing is to make sure you get a certificate that proves your vehicle has been scrapped. If you don’t you could be liable to pay traffic fines if your car is resold rather than scrapped and the new owner breaks the law.

1. Make sure your car is scrapped at an ATF – an authorised treatment facility. It must be licensed by the Environment Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

2. You should be given a certificate to show your car has been scrapped, within seven days of the scrappage. Its correct name is a Certificate of Destruction (CoD).

3. The ATF will tell the DVLA that you don’t own the car anymore.

4. You should complete section three of your V5 document (which relates to the sale or transfer of your car) and send it to the DVLA.

5. You should then receive a reply from the DVLA confirming that you’re no longer responsible for the car. If you don’t get this letter within four weeks, you should contact the DVLA.

SAVVY TIP: You will only receive a certificate if you scrap a car, a light van or a three wheeled car (but not a three wheeled motorbike!). But you should still scrap your vehicle at an ATF.

6. You should get a letter from the DVLA refunding your unused car tax. You’ll only get a refund of full months.

If your car is sold
If the scrap dealers don’t want to scrap your car but want to sell it, you won’t get a certificate of destruction, but you’ll still need to fill in section 3 of your V5 document.

If you sell your car for parts
If you know what you’re doing, you may decide you’d rather sell your car for parts. In this case, you have to fill in a SORN (statutory off road notification) to confirm that you no longer have the vehicle on the road.

SAVVY TIP: It’s a legal obligation to keep your car taxed even if you don’t drive it, unless you’ve filled in a SORN, so you’ll have to do this (every year) until you dispose of the car by taking it to an authorised treatment facility.

If your car’s written off
If your insurer has written off your car they will normally dispose of it, so you’ll need to fill in section 3 of your V5 certificate as before.

Where to scrap your car
The main thing is to make sure you scrap your car at an ATF. You can check online to find one near you, or you can scrap your car via a site that will tell you the best price you can get for your car. There are several sites doing this:

Cartakeback.com: You put in your car registration, your postcode, email address and postcode and you’ll get a quote. You can get quotes that include picking up your car or if you deliver it to the scrapyard.

Motorwise.com: You just input your registration number and postcode and you can get an instant quote.

SAVVY TIP: There are dozens of sites that come up if you type ‘scrap car’ into Google. I’ve listed two that seem to get fairly good reviews, but check the latest reviews if you use them and check out other sites carefully.

Other scrapping options
You don’t have to use a scrapping service, you can always recycle your car or give it to charity.

Charity Car — the charity arm of cartakeback.com. So, if you take your car to the nearest CarTakeBack ATF centre, you can donate the value of your car to one of the charities that Charity Car partners with. There are dozens of charities that you can choose to donate to.

Give a Car – this is a not-for-profit social enterprise that will collect your car (normally within three days) and will either scrap it or take it to an auction. The proceeds will be donated to charity.

Gift my car – this works in a slightly different way. It has its own charity/recycling arm and money raised by selling your car will be used for one of its own projects, unless you specifically ask for it to be donated to a charity of your choice. Cars will be picked up within seven days.

Photo credit: Morguefile/

Related articles:

If you’re taking your car on holiday, make sure it’s insured

What are your rights if you buy a second-hand car?

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