Staying Inside The Lines: Laws To Know When Scrapping Your Car

Staying Inside The Lines: Laws To Know When Scrapping Your Car

21st Dec, 2016

When it comes to scrapping your car, getting the legal stuff right is vital. We’ve done what we can to simplify the process as much as possible for you, but there are very good reasons why it’s all important to dot those i’s and cross those t’s. Here are just a few!

If You’re Handy With A Toolbox…

scrap metal car parts

It’s perfectly legal to strip your for parts, if you’ve got the tools and skill to do it, and as long as you declare the vehicle off-road (which means storing it on private land such as your drive or garage). However, it’s worth knowing that you’re legally obliged to declare what parts are modified or removed when it comes to actually scrapping your car, which might mean you end up getting a lot less money for it. In case you’re unsure, online quotations like the ones provided by our own site remain the easiest method to find out how much your car is worth.

Authorised Treatment Facilities

ford focus being scrapped

All of our partners at Scrap Car Network are Authorised Treatment Facilities. ATFs are monitored by the Environment Agency and as such are the only facilities legally qualified to process your car. Workers at an ATF have been checked for safety and competency, ensuring the proper handling and disposal of potentially harmful substances like oil and battery acid, as well as lubricants and other chemicals. You might be surprised at the amount of unassuming but potentially dangerous materials in your car; if they’re stored incorrectly, even tyres can pose a fire risk!

This close monitoring by the Environment Agency also ensures that appropriate materials can be salvaged and repurposed. Recycling materials saves massive amounts of energy compared to manufacturing new parts from scratch, and EU legislation now requires that 95% of scrap car materials are recycled.

The Legal Background: CoDs and the DVLA

dvla paperwork

ATFs are also the only facilities that are able to dispense official Certificates of Destruction, which they’ll do within seven days. Basically, it’s proof that you’ve handed the vehicle over for scrap; if you don’t have it in your hand, you might still find yourself liable for vehicle tax, or even traffic offence penalties. The ATFs themselves are legally required to keep copies of the transaction for up to three years, so their authenticity can be regularly checked.

Dodgier companies will attempt to fob you off with Destruction Certificates or Certificates of Collection, but don’t be fooled! Using an ATF is important because checking the legal stuff is primarily your responsibility: if it’s discovered that your car isn’t disposed of properly, the long arm of the law will be reaching for you first. For the same reasons, it’s vital that you informing the DVLA when scrapping your. Make sure to fill in a V5C document – this tells the DVLA that you’re not responsible for the vehicle anymore, and effectively transfers ownership. If you don’t, you could find yourself slapped with a fine of up to £1000 – which is a letter absolutely nobody wants to get through the door.

What Happens If I Don’t Do Any Of This When I Scrap My Car?


Unfortunately, there are still a lot of dodgy dealers about, which is why the government keeps such a tight rein on the industry. Since the Scrap Metal Dealers Act of 2013, it’s illegal to be paid in physical cash for your car; like all reputable organisations, we pay you by cheque or bank transfer.

All this paperwork and record-keeping might seem tedious, but there’s a very good reason for it: it allows the government to track every stage of the process. Everyone – including the Environment Agency, the ATFs, and you – has a responsibility to make sure that the process is fair, safe and legal. Without this government oversight and paperwork, unscrupulous companies would be free to:

  • Prevent you from getting a fair deal on your scrap car
  • Dispose of parts or fluids improperly, causing environmental damage and even risking human health
  • Sell on damaged or otherwise unsafe cars for personal profit, which could then end up back on our roads

This last one is an especially major issue; if your car is later involved in an accident or crime and legally still registered to you, it could cause you no end of headaches.0

Happily, at Scrap Car Network we solve those trust issues right out of the gate. Every one of our partners is a registered ATF, and we ensure you always get the Certificates you’re due. And if your car can be repaired and resold, we even notify the DVLA on your behalf! Click here for other reasons to choose Scrap Car Network, or enter your details on our homepage for an instant scrap car quote!

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial