Scrap Car Prices UK: What To Expect For Your Old Banger

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Scrap Car

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Is it time to purchase a new car? Are you wondering how much value you have in that old banger that doesn’t like to start some days? One of the strongest options available to you is to scrap your car. Car scrap value has been going up over the last several years thanks to stronger regulations and environmental protections that have been put into place around the UK and the European Union at large. To get the most value for your older car, you’ll need to know what fair scrap car prices happen to be.

Several factors influence the price you’ll receive for your scrap car;

  • Age
  • Condition
  • Weight of vehicle
  • Make & model of vehicle
  • Pick up or delivery

Prices can broadly range from as low as £0 (it’s rusty junk, please just take it away!) to £50-£250 for your more standard junk car not worth selling or trading in, depending on its condition and the vehicle recycling centre that you approach.

Almost all scrap car prices are based on the tonne. These prices fluctuate day by day, so what you may be offered today could be more or less than what you’ll be offered tomorrow. By tracking trends in pricing, you’ll be able to see how much your scrap vehicle could be worth. By knowing the weight of the vehicle, you’ll know if you’re getting an accurate quote.

Here are some of the other questions that you may need to have answered if you’re interested in scrap car prices in the UK.

  • How much will I be paid if I decide to scrap my car? The price that a car scrapper will pay is based on each individual car. You can often put in your registration number and get an instant quote on the amount that you’ll receive. These scrap car quotes carry no obligation with them, so you can use them as a measuring stick as you weigh your options. 
  • How will I be paid for my scrap car? 2013 legislation throughout the UK requires you to be paid for your scrap car with a cheque or an electronic money transfer. This is designed to prevent thieves from stealing vehicles and then selling them for scrap to get cash. Copper theft from railroads was the main reason to pass these new laws, but car scrap value has also increased since the new security measures have been enacted. There may be specific circumstances in Northern Ireland and Scotland, however, where cash for a scrap car may still be available.
  • What kinds of scrap cars can a recycling centre take? If your car is less than 3,500kg in gross weight, then most recycling centres will be able to take your vehicle. Vehicles over this weight or vehicles that are not a van or a car may not be taken. You will need to speak with your local centre directly if you have this need.
  • What happens if I allow my scrap car to be collected? If you need someone to collect your scrap car for you, the first thing you must do is accept their payment offer. Once this happens, you will be contacted with a collection date and time. In England and Wales, the seller’s identification must be verified before the vehicle can be removed.
  • Who takes care of the DVLA paperwork? If you have time remaining on your tax and insurance, it is probably a good idea for you to take care of the DVLA paperwork so you get a proper refund. Otherwise the agency who will be scrapping your car will take care of the paperwork for you. You will need to remove the tax disc from the vehicle. The agency purchasing your scrap vehicle will not do this for you. If you sell your car for scrap in Northern Ireland, then you do not need to contact the local DVA. The recycling centre will do this on your behalf.
  • How is the payment sorted? Before you hand over your keys, make sure that you have your payment arrangements sorted. This might mean having a cheque given to you at the time you hand your keys over. You might have a contract for an electronic transfer in exchange for the keys. Whatever you decide upon, make sure you are comfortable with the full arrangement before finalising any proceeding that involves your scrap car.
  • How long does this process take? Most agencies are able to begin scheduling your scrap car retrieval within a few hours of accepting their quote. Many scrap cars for cash will be picked up for free and you’ll simply receive your payment upon removal of the car. Delivering your scrap vehicle may or may not affect the quote that you’ll receive. 
  • What information do I need to provide? If you want to scrap a car for cash, then you’ll need to provide a phone number, an email address, and other relevant contact information that will help the agency pick-up your car and pay you in your preferred method. 
  • Is my quote a guaranteed price? Most agencies will provide you with a reference number for the quote that is received for your scrap car. You will need to provide evidence of this quote through the reference number in order to receive the quoted price for the car.
  • Do recycling centres sell spare parts? Most recycling centres do not offer spare parts for sale. The goal is to recycle the entire vehicle, not to part out the vehicle, for profit. This means you’ll receive a quote for the scrap price of your car that is based on the current trading price per tonne.
  • If I’m dropping off my scrap car, do I need to make an appointment? Although most agencies find it helpful to have an appointment set so they know when to expect you so that you can be paid, most of them do not require a set appointment. Recycling centres often have working week hours where they are open and many are also open on the weekends. It is important to find the opening hours of your preferred centre to make sure you can drop-off your scrap vehicle and then get paid for it.
  • What do I need in order to prove my identity? Most scrap car owners will be able to prove their identity with a current photocard driving license. This will confirm your personal details. Otherwise you will need a valid UK passport, a valid EU passport, or a valid immigration document combined with a proof of address. This proof of address could come from a credit card statement, a council tax statement, utility bills, tax demand letters, or a bank statement.
  • Do I need a Certificate of Destruction? The Certificate of Destruction is a DVLA document that has an electronic link to the vehicle registration database. This provides evidence to the taxing authority that your vehicle has been destroyed. Without this document, you may still be liable for insurance and road tax.
  • Do all scrap metal merchants have the ability to create a Certificate of Destruction? No. Only those who are authorised to sell scrap cars for cash are able to create this document. If it is not an Authorised Treatment Facility, then the agency looking to scrap your vehicle is not regulated and may cause you to pay road tax and insurance because there is no authentic proof of destruction.
  • Are there times when I won’t receive a Certificate of Destruction? If you choose to sell a van for scrap instead of a car, then you will received a Notification of Destruction instead. Any time a vehicle has a gross weight that is above 3,500kg, you will receive the Notification instead of the Certificate. This also applies for motorbikes that might be used for scrap. If the recycling centre believes that a vehicle repair is more environmentally responsible than scrapping the car, you will not get a Certificate of Destruction either.
  • Can I still scrap my car if I don’t have my registration certificate? You may also choose to write a letter to the DVLA to inform them that you no longer own the car that is being scrapped. If you do this, then make sure to inform them of the recycling centre that purchase the scrap car, what the registration is, your car’s make and model, and the date of the sale.
  • What happens if I don’t contact DVLA when I scrap my car? If you scrap a car that becomes operational again, you may be subject to any fines or penalties that are carried out in the car. You will also be responsible for paying tax, an £80 fine, and possibly be liable for prosecution. This is why it is so important to sell your car for scrap to an Authorised Treatment Facility.
  • How can I tell if my local recycling centre is the best option? Future regulations on recycling centres means that scrapping a car must meet certain standards. A clapped-out car, for example, must be 95% recycled and that alloyed metals must be separated before they can be sold to manufacturers so that new products can be made. Even plastic and glass are being recycled today so that they don’t enter landfills. The best local centres meet these standards right now, even if it isn’t required of them as of yet.

Your car scrap value depends mostly on the weight of your vehicle. Know this weight and what current market process and you’ll be able to receive fair scrap car prices every time you need to get rid of an old car.


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