Everything comes to an end at some point, and that includes your car. If you find yourself in a situation where you can’t sell your car on and it is not financially worth keeping, you always have the option of scrapping it as a last resort. Hopefully by the end of this article you will know how to scrap a car and also how to get the best price for scrapping your car.

Why scrap a car?

Most of us have had a car that has caused no end of stress and worry at some point or another. It may have unsustainable large running costs, it may be unreliable and constantly break down. Sometimes as an alternative to selling it, scrapping the car may be the best option.

The car is unsafe to drive

It is common for most older vehicles to make a concerning sound every now and then. But as time goes on the car can become more unsafe to drive, especially if it has not been maintained. If this is the case the safest option is to scrap it, it is not worth putting yourself and other road users at risk.

The car has been written off

If your car has sustained damage in an accident and the cost of repair is higher than the value of the car then the best option is usually to scrap the car. Usually ownership of the car will transfer to the insurer who will “salvage” it. However you do have the option to buy back the vehicle at the cost of a reduced payout. This can sometimes be profitable but you are also responsible for ensuring it is scrapped appropriately.

No time to sell the car

It is not common but sometimes in life you dont have time to sell the car, you may be moving away for example. Scrapping you car can be a useful way to get rid of it quickly and generate a bit of cash, however if you are in this position it is probably worth checking what you would get for selling it quickly to a service like webuyanycar.

Not able to sell the car

If you find yourself in a position where you don’t have need of the car but can’t seem to sell it then scrapping can always be a good last resort. But again it is worth comparing the scrap value to what you would get with a service like webuyanycar as they will take a car in any condition.

how to scrap a car - cars that have been scrapped

How much can you get for a scrap car?

Like everything how much you can get for scrapping your car fluctuates depending on a variety of factors

Size and weight

The size and weight of the vehicle is a factoring in determining its scrap value, the larger the vehicle, the more scrap metal there is to sell on.

Value of the car

You wouldn’t expect to sell a Ford KA for the same price as a top of the line Mercedes and it is no different when it comes to scrap. A more valuable car will fetch a higher price for scrap than a low tier one.

Valuables on the car

If the car has been stripped for any valuable parts before scrapping then the scrap value will be significantly lower. The scrap dealers usually make more money by selling things like the battery, catalyst or any other valuables.

The scrap metal market

Like the stock market, the price of scrap metal fluctuates from one day to the next. The value you can extract from you car is also dependent on the value of scrap metal at the time of scrapping.

So what is the average car scrap price in 2023?

As of today the average scrap price for a car is £330.

What is interesting that the average price you can get for scrapping a car has been rising quite significantly over the past few years.

YearAverage Car Scrap Price

As you can see the average price has increased from £120 to £330 since 2019, that represents a 175% increase in the average value.

How to get the best price for your scrap car?

If you opt not to use a nationwide service like webuyanycar then you can sell to the local scrappers yourself, and have good chance of getting a better price.

There is a few things you can do to get a better price when scrapping a car:

  • Sell to a scrapper as local as possible – Quite often when it comes to scrapping a car, the vehicle will be immobile and need collecting. The closer you are to the scrap yard the shorter the distance they have to travel to collect, which will aid in getting you a better price.
  • Do not remove any valuable parts – you may be tempted to keep the battery, tyres or other valuables but do not remove them. The scrapper is more interested in obtaining these items over the scrap metal. If you remove valuable parts you can expect the price to decrease.
  • Do not leave the car unused for too long – Time will break down the valuable part of the car as they can rust or break. If you leave it too long before scrapping the value in the car will decrease along with the money you can extract from it.
how to scrap a car - man working in a scrap yard
A man breaking up a scrap car

How to scrap a car?

The process is fairly simple and does not involve much work. Just follow these steps:

  1. Declare a SORN if necessary – If the vehicle is going to be off the road and you don’t intend to scrap it for a couple of months, declare a SORN with the DVLA. This way you will not be charged for Road Tax on the vehicle and any unused tax will be refunded.
  2. Obtain a quote and arrange collection – This can be done via webuyanycar or google for a local scrap yard. If using a website just input your registration number and enter your address details along with a time. If using a local service, have your details ready when you speak to them and arrange a good time for collection.
  3. Be ready for collection – Make sure you are ready on the collection date. Have proof of ownership, identity and proof of address available.
  4. Tell the DVLA – If you hadn’t already declared a SORN, make sure that you inform the DVLA that the car has been scrapped. You don’t want to keep paying road tax on a vehicle that does not exist. And that is it, pretty simple right?

What documents do you need to scrap a car?

There is a few documents required if you want to scrap your car, make sure you have them available:

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of address
  • VC5 Certificate
  • Certificate of destruction
  • V5C/2

You don’t need a VC5 Logbook to scrap the vehicle if it does not have a current MOT, is declared SORN or is out of date. If this does not apply to you but you dont have the VC5 to prove ownership you will need to contact the DVLA.

What happens to a scrapped car?

Once the car is collected it is no longer yours to worry about. However you may be curious about what happens to a car that has been taken for scrapping.

Firstly it depends on if the car has been taken for scrapping or for salvage. If for salvage then it may be repaired and made road worthy once again. If for scrapping this is what happens:

  1. Car is taken to an Authorized Treatment Facility – An authorized treatment facility is a scrapyard or breakers yard that is authorized to dispose of vehicles following the strict government guidelines. The car is taken here for scrapping.
  2. Valuables are removed for salvage – If some parts are in acceptable condition and could be sold on as spare parts, the scrappers will remove these items from your car. This may be things such as the battery, tyres, catalysts, mirrors or anything that could be of value.
  3. Car is depolluted -All fluids are drained from the car along with any hazardous materials. This process is done with great care as the government has strict guidelines on this.
  4. Car is crushed and scrap is sold– Once all the valuable and hazardous materials are removed the car is ready for destruction. It is crushed into a metal cube and then the scrap metal is eventually sold on. This metal is melted down and used for new products.

So now hopefully you know how to scrap a car and how to make get more money for your car. It may feel like a waste but the materials do go on to be used in other products and it is the easiest way to sell a car that is otherwise difficult to move on.

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