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The continued growth of scrap car recycling in the UK

  Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Scrap car recycling is booming. It’s a professional, heavily regulated industry that plays a key role in the UK’s drive to environmental sustainability.

The scrap car recycling company CarTakeBack recently reported that in 2021, scrap car prices reached record highs in the UK. The average price in December was £266, £73 higher year on year. The average price for the whole year was £240, a rise of 51% on 2020.

So why is the current scrap car recycling market so buoyant?

Demand for ferrous metals is high

Like many raw materials, metal is hard to come by at the moment.

We have seen how the electronics industry has been hit by the semiconductor shortage, and the same is true of metal. More demand is being placed on the scrap metal recycling sector as a result and prices are inevitably rising. 60% of a car is steel and iron, and it is these ferrous metals that are so much cheaper to recycle than source new.

People are also holding onto their old motors a little longer. According to a January 2022 report in Auto Express, the average age of cars being scrapped is creeping up (from 15 years old in 2020 to 16 years old in 2021). Why?

Tightening household budgets and the rising cost of living are factors. It may also be because car owners are thinking about the transition to electric vehicles. Are people saving for a future EV purchase down the line rather than buying another petrol or diesel car?

With the supply of cars not keeping up with the demand for metal, scrap metal recycling centres are paying more.

Recycling initiatives

Scrap metal recycling is one of the most tangible aspects of ‘Reuse, Reuse, Recycle’ initiatives and plays an important part in the UK government’s 25 year environmental plan.

85% of the material content in a scrap vehicle and its parts can be extracted or recycled. This is important because every tonne of recycled steel saves 1.5 tonnes of ore and 0.5 tonnes of coal needed to replace it if it wasn’t recycled.

The recycling process also saves 70% of the energy, 40% of the water and 75% of the CO2 emissions in new metal production. Metal was also the second most recycled material in the UK last year.

What should you look out for if you want to scrap your car?

If your Hyundai has died or it’s game over for your Rover, it might be time to scrap your car. Here are some key things to bear in mind:

  • Scrap car dealers must be registered as an ATF (Authorised Treatment Facility). These licences are issued by the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency
  • A Certificate of Destruction will be issued by the ATF after they agree to scrap your car
  • It is illegal to pay for a car to be scrapped in cash (no more wads of notes!) 
  • The DVLA must be informed that your car has been scrapped. You will need to provide the V5C registration certificate (or logbook) with your vehicle

Using ASM Metal Recycling to scrap your car means that you will be recycling it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Find out how much your scrap car is worth by contacting ASM today.

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