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How to scrap a car

  Wednesday, 10 January 2024

Every year in Britain, around one 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 guide on everything you need to know about what to do to scrap a car.

How to scrap a car

What you need to know about regulations

Scrapping a car 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, whether or not you’re selling your car online: It is a legal requirement that your vehicle is scrapped by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).

ATF licences are issued either by the Environment 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. Rest assured, ASM Auto Recycling is a licensed ATF.

What do I need to scrap my car?

So what documents do you need to scrap a car?

There are a few documents you’ll need to scrap your car or to sell it as salvage. They shouldn’t be hard to get together, but they are essential if you want your car to be scrapped and recycled by an Authorised Treatment Facility. They are the following:

  • V5C registration certificate (logbook)
  • Proof of address
  • Photo ID (driving licence or passport)

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, or for any related taxation.

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 DVLA, who will then update the vehicle’s record to show that it’s been scrapped.

If you have scrapped a vehicle type listed above, it is your responsibility to inform the DVLA that you’ve taken your vehicle to an ATF to be scrapped without keeping any of its parts. Failure to do so will result in a £1,000 fine!

At ASM Auto Recycling we handle all the paperwork for you!

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All cars wanted, including MOT failures and non-runners.  We offer prompt collection and immediate payment.

V5C Vehicle Registration Certificate

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 (V5C/3 form) of the V5C vehicle registration certificate and send it to the DVLA, or notify the DVLA online.

By acknowledging receipt, the DVLA in effect confirms that you were once the owner of the vehicle, and that you have authorised the scrapping.

How to scrap a car without a V5C

If you can’t locate your vehicle’s V5C document, all is not lost. Legally speaking, it is perfectly acceptable for you to notify the DVLA in writing, providing you include the following details:

  • Confirmation that the vehicle was sold for scrap
  • Proof of your address and other relevant personal information
  • Contact details of the buyer
  • The date of the sale
  • The registration number, make and model of the car

Using your vehicle for parts: SORN your car

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 notify the DVLA that you no longer own it.

Avoid cash payments when scrapping a car

If you’re offered cash for your used or scrap vehicle, be wary. It is illegal to scrap cars for cash across England, Scotland and Wales. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 was changed in 2013 in order to reduce incidences of metal theft. Ensure payment is made to you via bank transfer or a non-transferable company cheque.

Scrapping a car with ASM Auto Recycling

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, we will give you an instant online valuation, and handle all the paperwork for you.

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