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Scrap your car and make money


When your car fails its MOT or has a fault that's too expensive to repair, scrapping it for cash might be an option for you.

car smashed

When a car breaks down, crashes or fails its MOT and the cost of making it roadworthy isn't worthwhile, it's time for a trip to that great car park in the sky - the scrapyard.

In the past, you may have had to pay to have your car taken off your hands. But guidelines put in place to avoid abandoned cars means that getting shot of your old banger should be free.

And because of the increase in scrap metal values, you should be able to get some money for your car.

The scrapping process has changed a lot in recent years. Under the EU End of Life Directive brought in in 2005, there's a recycling target of 85% for scrap cars.

This needs to take place at a scrapyard, or Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) if you're being fancy, that's licenced by the Environment Agency.

Sorting out the paperwork

The most important aspect of scrapping your car is sorting out the paperwork. When you hand over the car you'll need to show the car's V5 registration and should be given a receipt.

A Certificate of Destruction (CoD) should then be posted or emailed to you within a week.

The CoD is a DVLA certificate that proves you've had the car recycled properly and absolves you of any future responsibility for it.

Online scrap valuations

The easiest option for scrapping your car is to use a site such as or ScrapCarNetwork, which offer you quotes based on the best price from local scrapyards.

All you have to do is enter your postcode and the registration number of your car and the site will generate a number of quotes.

These may vary based on whether you deliver the car or have it picked up, but often the difference isn't a significant one.

The price offered by sites are based on the car being in an accessible location, complete, free from waste, with inflated tyres and keys available.

Selling car parts

Mechanic under car

Some motorists prefer to sell off the most saleable parts individually and then negotiate with the scrapyard a price for the remainder, so they can make more money overall.

However, this is a strategy best left to those who know their way around a motor.

If you don't fall into this category then don't attempt it, as you're unlikely to get a significantly better price than you would from selling the vehicle intact.

Also, beware of adverts offering unrealistically high amounts for your scrap car as generally, when you arrive at the scrapyard, the quote will drop dramatically.

The charitable option

Organisations such as Charity Car and Give A Car will collect your car, complete the necessary paperwork and donate the cash you would have received to a charity of your choice.

"It's a really easy way to give to charity," says Give A Car founder Tom Chance.

“We work with over 400 charities, from major ones such as Cancer Research UK to smaller and regional ones, so you'll be sure to find a cause that's close to your heart.”

Don’t forget your refund

Once your car has been scrapped and you have the CoD, ring up your insurer and cancel your policy, as you might be able to get a refund on any unused cover. Once the DVLA know that the car has been scrapped, you should be refunded any full months' worth of tax leftover.


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