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The Complete Guide to Scrapping Your Car

  Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Every year in Britain, around two million cars are scrapped.  It might be that you’ve decided that scrapping your own car is the best financial option.  If that’s the case, then keep reading: this is our complete guide on everything you need to know about the scrapping process.

What you need to know about regulations

Car scrapping is relatively simple.  However, as with all things vehicle related, there is some paperwork involved.

There are thorough legal regulations in place that you must meet; all of them designed to help the scrapping industry operate whilst minimising the environmental damage caused.  (A number of car parts can be very environmentally damaging if not disposed of properly, so it’s understandable that the laws are in place).

The most important regulation is this:

It is a legal requirement that your vehicle is scrapped by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).

ATF licenses are issued either by the Environmental Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, and any firm will be able to demonstrate their certification.  You can be prosecuted for scrapping with a non-licensed firm.

(ASM Auto Recycling is a licensed ATF).

The Certificate of Destruction

When an ATF agrees to scrap your vehicle, you will be issued a Certificate of Destruction (CoD).  This will be delivered within seven days if you’re scrapping a car, light van or 3-wheeled motor vehicle.  Again, it is a legal requirement.

The CoD is proof that you’ve handed the vehicle over and are no longer responsible for it.

Important: If you’re scrapping a vehicle type not listed above, you won’t be able to obtain a CoD.  However, the ATF will notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), who will then update the vehicle’s record to show that it’s been scrapped.

Looking to scrap your car? Click here for a free quote

V5C Vehicle Registration Form

Even in situations where the ATF and DVLA are responsible for registering your vehicle to be scrapped, you are still legally required to complete section 9 of the V5C vehicle registration certificate and send it to the DVLA.

Once you’ve done this, you should receive a response letter within four weeks confirming receipt.  If you don’t receive this response letter, it is your responsibility to follow up, ensuring that the vehicle’s records have been updated.

If you’re not sure what we mean by V5C, don’t worry: you probably know it as your car’s log book! (Recent changes have been made to the log book – this PDF from the DVLA offers a comprehensive guide).

Worth remembering:  On some occasions, it may be that the ATF makes the decision to re-sell the vehicle rather than scrapping it.  If that occurs, they will notify you, and you will need to complete section 9 of your V5C (the ‘Notification of Sale or Transfer’ section) and again, send it to the DVLA.

A note on insurance write-offs

If the decision to write your car off has been made by your insurance company rather than you, then you will need to complete the V5C/3 ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section of your registration certificate and send it in to the DVLA.  In some cases, your insurance company may then ask you to provide the rest of the certificate.

Personalised Registrations

If you have a personalised registration plate, you’ll need to fill in Form V317 (for more information on form V317, click here). It’s important to do this straight away, as not completing the form could lead to you permanently losing your entitlement to the personalised registration.

On the occasions where your insurance firm is responsible for scrapping the vehicle, you’ll need to inform them not to dispose of it until the registration plate has been officially transferred.  The insurers should then issue a letter confirming that they’re happy to transfer or retain the number.  (You should also get a copy of the engineer’s report confirming the vehicle’s details.)

Using your vehicle for parts

It may be that your vehicle has certain parts that you’d like to strip out and keep. (This is particularly common with drivers who’ve spent money upgrading things like the exhaust or the wheel rims).  If you want to remove parts of the vehicle before you scrap it, you’ll need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) to let the DVLA know that the vehicle is no longer being driven.  This will also stop you having to pay insurance or vehicle tax.

The SORN will be valid until you take your vehicle to an authorised ATF, or inform the DVLA that you no longer own it.

If your chosen ATF accepts a partially stripped vehicle (and many will), then you will need to send section 9 (‘Notification of sale or transfer’) of the V5C to the DVLA.


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is the branch of the UK Government responsible for maintaining the database of cars and drivers in the UK.  If you have any queries to do with vehicle ownership or responsibility during the scrapping process, the chances are the DVLA will be best placed to help.  Here are their contact details (their homepage is here):

Vehicle Customer Services
Longview Road
SA99 1AR

Tel: 0300 790 6802
Text: 0300 123 1279

ASM Auto Recyling

We are an experienced vehicle scrapping firm that prides itself on paying fair prices and offering excellent levels of customer service.  If you’re considering scrapping your vehicle, then give us a call today on 01844 268 940 (Opt.2) or drop us an email and we’ll be happy to give you a quote and arrange pick-up.

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