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Scrapping a car: everything you need to know

If you’ve spent any time at all on the ASM Metal Recycling website, you’ll already know that one of our most popular services is scrapping cars. Around two million cars are scrapped in Britain each year and for many people it remains by far the most sensible financial option.

But, what if you’ve never done it before?

We thought it would be a good idea to take a look at everything you need to take into account when scrapping your car. Of course, we’d always recommend picking up the phone and giving us a call, but if you just want to find out a little bit more about the whole process, keep reading.

Your car will need to be scrapped by an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF)

This is one of the most important legal requirements involved in car scrapping: indeed, you can be prosecuted for scrapping your vehicle using a non-licensed firm!

ATF licences are issued by the Environmental Agency or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and you can get information on the relevant processes from both bodies.

We at ASM are proud to be a licensed ATF.

You’ll need to obtain a certificate of destruction (COD)

Once your chosen ATF has agreed to scrap your car, you’ll receive one of these certificates within seven days. This is simply your proof that you handed over the vehicle and are no longer legally responsible for what happens to it.

Important: if you’re scrapping a type of vehicle that is not a car, light van or three-wheeled motor vehicle, then you won’t be able to obtain a COD. However, if this is the case, the ATF will instead notify the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) who will then update the vehicle’s record.

You will need to complete the V5C Vehicle Registration Form

This is the case with every form of vehicle, even those that the ATF is responsible for reporting. You’ll need to fill in the V5C certificate and send it to the DVLA. Once you’ve sent it, it should take fewer than four weeks for a receipt to be sent to you.

Remember: it’s your responsibility to follow this up: if you don’t receive your response, get in touch with the DVLA as soon as you can to resolve the matter.

(Oh, and we’ll make things easier for you to remember here: the V5C is otherwise known as your car’s logbook. A few recent changes have been made to this documentation, though, so it’s worth checking out this PDF from the DVLA).

It’s also worth noting that on a few occasions, the ATF may decide to resell the vehicle rather than scrap it. They’ll notify you if they want to do this, and you’ll need to fill out the complete section 9 of your V5C and then send it to the DVLA as normal.

If you’ve got an insurance write-off

If it was your insurance company that decided to write the car off rather than you, you’ll need to complete the ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section of the registration certificate before sending it in to the DVLA. Keep the rest of the certificate, as on some occasions your insurance company may ask you to send the rest to them for verification purposes.

If you’ve got a personalised registration plate

If this is the case, you’ll need to fill in form V317 (which you can find more out about here). This is something you need to do immediately, as delaying could lead to you losing your entitlement to the personalised registration.

If your insurance firm is scrapping the car, you need to make sure they don’t dispose of it until the registration plate has been transferred. Once this has been done, the insurance firm should then issue a letter confirming that they’re happy to either transfer or retain the number. (You should also receive a copy of the engineer’s report confirming the vehicle’s details).

Keeping some of the parts

If there are parts of your car you’d like to strip out and keep - upgraded parts, for instance - you need to make a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) and give it to the DVLA so that they know the vehicle is no longer being driven.

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

Many ATFs will happily accept the partially stripped vehicle, but you will need to fill in and send the ‘Notification of sale or transfer’ section of the logbook to the DVLA.

Remember, you can always ask questions

This is quite a lot to remember, so if at any point it seems a bit much, remember you can easily get hold of the DVLA at their home page here.

And, of course, if you’ve got any more questions about scrapping a car, give our friendly team a call today on 01296 33 77 11. We’ll help take care of the whole process for you.