Scrapped Car

Is there a wrong time to scrap my car?

14th Feb, 2023

Contrary to what some people think, timing isn’t always everything when it comes to scrapping your car. Now, it’s true that it’s sometimes possible to get a slightly better deal on your scrap car depending on exactly when you send it off to be scrapped – we detailed a couple of these tips and tricks in our previous post on scrap car prices. However, when it comes right down to it, most of the timing-related savings can be fairly trifling, often out of your control, and to be frank lots of people find that the few extra pounds they’d get often aren’t worth the extra effort or inconvenience involved in, say, keeping their old car on the driveway as they wait for a fluctuation in the scrap car market.

Having said that though, there are a couple of instances in which timing does indeed make a difference – but only in some very specific circumstances. Here, we’ve summed up a couple of the most important!

After you’ve taken it to pieces

As you may know if you read our piece on scrap car prices, it’s crucial not to take parts off your scrap car if you’re keen on getting the very best price for it. That’s not to say it’s impossible to make money on the parts, but it takes a lot of expert knowledge, a lot of time, and there’s no guarantee that they’d be worth more individually than they would have been if you’d left them attached to the car.

Taking out something as critical as an engine, for example, could cut into the price you’d get for your scrap car by as much as £60. And considering most small cars only go for a little over three-figure sums, that’s a significant cut – with no solid chances of recouping the cost by selling that engine separately.

Similarly, it’s vital to ensure that your car has all four wheels, otherwise it can pose a real issue for when it comes to be collected! If you’re unlucky, whoever’s collecting it won’t be able to get it onto a recovery vehicle at all, which means that there’s a possibility they’ll have to come back later with different equipment – and level a callout charge for the wasted time in the meantime.

Before you’ve cleaned it

So, taking parts off your car is something that ideally shouldn’t be on your to-do list. But cleaning it is definitely something that should. You don’t have to get it nice and sparkling – as it’s going to be recycled after all – it’s more just to make sure that there’s nothing left inside it. You may have already read our post on the strangest things left inside scrap cars, which range from tiny things like loose change to rather more puzzling discoveries like prosthetic limbs.

There have been plenty of heart-stopping scenarios where scrappers have discovered animals in cars moments before they were due to be cubed. The owner of one particular scrapyard tells of spotting a lost kitten in one scrap car just as the vehicle was due to be destroyed. Thankfully, the kitten was eventually reunited with its owners.

In a rather less heart-warming tale, that same scrapper also once realised that a different vehicle shell was full of rats – something he only discovered once the vehicle was already being hoisted 30 feet into the air. To hear him tell it, the rats abruptly started spilling out of it in a nightmarish cascade, and “hit the ground, going splat, but they didn’t die”. He calls the incident “completely barmy”, and we don’t know about you, but we’re inclined to agree.

Now, thankfully incidents like this are relatively rare, but it’s still worth giving the interior of your car the quick once-over before you send it off to meet its maker. (Well, not its literal maker as they’re probably based in Europe, but you know what we mean.) If nothing else, there can often be surprising amounts of loose change sequestered between those seats.

If your car is difficult to get to

The moment you decide to stop driving your car, ease of access mostly ceases to be an issue. After all, what does it matter if it’s blocked in, or locked in a garage, if you’re not about to drive it anywhere? Well the answer of course is that it doesn’t – not until someone like us comes to pick it up.

Now, our recovery teams are good, but they’re not miracle workers. If they can’t physically reach your car to get it on to the recovery vehicle, then there’s a chance that they’ll have to come back another time. And if that’s the case, you’ll risk having to pay a callout charge. It’s not a crippling amount but it can be deeply irritating, especially since it can eat into the price you’ll get for your scrap car.

So, if your car is blocked for whatever reason – whether it’s because your garage door is stuck, or because you’re having building work done on your drive, or even simply because there’s someone else parked in front of it –don’t forget that it needs to be easily accessible by the time the recovery team arrives. It can be annoyingly (and needlessly) expensive otherwise!

If there are still outstanding paperwork issues

Getting the paperwork sorted is an often tedious but unfortunately essential part of owning and running a car. What’s more, due to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013, all car recycling entities (including us) are legally obliged to take a few personal details from the owner of every car we scrap. The idea is to ensure that a clear paperwork trail is established, so that we can prove everything is above board if it’s later found that the car may have possibly been involved in any unscrupulous or criminal activity.

That means that if you still have any lingering issues with paperwork – for example you don’t have your V5C, or you don’t have any details of the car’s previous owners – then it’s best to get those sorted if you can, well before the car makes its way over to us. While we can technically scrap your car without a V5C, issues over paperwork can sometimes end up delaying the scrapping process, which could potentially cause unnecessary hassle both for us and for you.

Of course, if you’ve ever got any questions or need any clarification, it’s worth taking a quick look at our How It Works section. Alternatively, feel free to give us a quick call on 0300 100 0027, and one of our team will be happy to help.

We’re all passionate about providing you the very best prices when you scrap your car with us. Don’t just take our word for it – get an instant online quote today! It’s free, and there’s zero obligation until you decide you’re ready to proceed. Just enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and within seconds you’ll be looking at your very own instant online quote. Ready to find out how much your car is worth?

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