scrap car no wheels

Can I scrap my car without wheels?

16th Jul, 2021

The short answer is that it’s not impossible, but it’s certainly a whole lot more difficult. And crucially, it’s probably going to have a big impact on the price you get once you’ve decided – I need to scrap my car. Any scrap car dealer who can do it is likely to knock a fair bit off the amount they’ll give you for your end-of-life vehicle, and there are relatively few who’ll be able to tackle the job in the first place. Here’s all the key stuff you need to know!

Why is it so difficult to scrap a car without wheels?

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – without wheels, a scrap car is an absolute nightmare to try and move. The majority of scrap car breakers will collect your car by rolling it onto a recovery truck, which is easy enough even if the car is basically nothing more than a shell. As long as it’s got the wheels intact, it can be generally be moved. (Electronically locked parking brakes sometimes pose their own little obstacles, but nothing an experienced breaker can’t deal with.)

But if your car has missing wheels, or no wheels at all, then obviously it’s not about to be rolled anywhere. Instead, the scrap car breaker is going to need a specialised crane to winch it up onto a recovery vehicle, and quite simply, the majority of breakers don’t have these at their disposal.

If you’re lucky enough to find one who does, even with the right equipment and skill, it still takes a lot longer to safely lift and remove the car. That kind of job is going to take up more of their time, equipment and resources than it normally would, and those increased overheads are going to be reflected in your quote.

There’s also the fact that tyres and wheels are valuable in themselves – which, by the way, is one of the many reasons we’d always advise against removing any parts from your car before you scrap it. The tyres and wheels are both quite heavy, and since a car’s scrap price is largely based on how much it weighs, their removal could end up taking a surprising amount off the car’s total value.

If you have no other choice – such as if your car’s wheels were stolen – the best thing to do is simply be as up-front about it as you can, at the earliest opportunity. If the scrap car dealer turns up without the right equipment, it’s a waste of their time, and since they’re likely to charge you anyway for the callout, it’s also a complete waste of your money.


What if I want to sell my aftermarket alloy wheels?

As we’ve just touched on, we’d generally strongly advise against taking any parts at all off your car, both because of the difficulties it can eventually pose when actually scrapping your car, as well as the impact it can have on the price you’ll get for it. Don’t forget, there’s no guarantee that the price you’ll get for these individual parts will outweigh the amount you’ll ultimately lose from the scrap car’s total value!

Catalytic converters are an excellent example of the type of component you shouldn’t remove, but understandably things are a bit fuzzier when it comes to aftermarket modifications like alloy wheels. In fact, alloy wheels are some of the most common upgrades that drivers make to their cars. They’re not necessarily cheap either, so it’s not surprising that you might be tempted to sell yours!

Now, if you’re weighing up whether to do that, really the choice is up to you. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the value of certain alloys can fluctuate based on financial markets – aluminium in particular can be especially volatile. So in other words, unless you’ve got some serious market savvy, you might not end up saving yourself enough to make the entire thing worth the effort.

If you do still decide to go ahead anyway, it’s a good idea to replace the original wheels, so that the car can be recovered. If you don’t have these, make sure you take the first opportunity to mention it to the scrapping company (such as us here at Scrap Car Network), and we’ll see what we can do.

What if it’s just the tyres that are damaged or missing?

Missing wheels are definitely a problem, but to be honest, missing or damaged tyres are less so. Ultimately, the main thing is that the car is in a state that allows it to be rolled onto a recovery truck. Without tyres it’s going to be noisier and more difficult, and could well damage your drive, but it can technically be done. Without wheels on the other hand, it’s impossible without the right equipment. So in a nutshell, missing or damaged tyres will have less of an impact on the price, but you should still probably expect a couple of quid to get knocked off for the extra difficulty.

If your car has all its wheels and tyres still intact though – or you’ve got the means to replace them – then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Moving them is the difficult part; it’s all plain sailing from there!

In fact, you’ll be glad to hear that here at Scrap Car Network, generally we can collect your car no matter what state it’s in – whether it’s been involved in a collision or just failed its MOT certificate. You can count on us to get you the very best price when you choose us to scrap your car. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you an instant online quote before you can say cash for cars. It only takes a few seconds. Curious to find out how much your car is worth?

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