How to tell the DVLA when you’ve scrapped your car

2nd Oct, 2018

As you’d expect, the DVLA are pretty strict when it comes to scrapping your car. In fact, it’s a legal requirement to tell the DVLA when you’ve scrapped your car, and unless you let them know in good time, you may end up unnecessarily costing yourself on things like road tax. On top of that, they may even fine you around £1000. That’s a letter nobody wants through the front door!

It’s worth noting that as far as the DVLA are concerned, writing off and scrapping your vehicle follow the same processes as selling it to your insurance company. Now, when you use Scrap Car Network to scrap your car, we’ll even notify the DVLA for you when we send you your Certificate of Destruction. However, if you’re using a different scrap car company or you’ve sold your car to your insurers, here’s what you need to do!

How to tell the DVLA know when you’ve scrapped your entire car

If you’re not planning on keeping any parts (including the number plate) at all from your car, there are two main ways to keep the DVLA informed when you’re finally coming to getting rid of it.


 The most common way by far to let the DVLA know is online, through the government’s official website. You’ll need to know three key things:

  • Your vehicle registration number
  • Your 11-digit reference number from Section 4 or Section 9 of your logbook or V5C
  • The name and address of the Authorised Treatment Facility who took your vehicle. They’ll need this even if you didn’t technically get any money for recycling your car

If your logbook was issued after April 2019, you can find your 11-digit reference number in Section 4. If your logbook was issued before 2019 though, you’ll be able to find this number in Section 9. 

It’s a pretty fast, easy process online – although obviously, it’s even faster to have Scrap Car Network do it all for you!


By post:

If you want to let the DVLA know by post instead, it’s an equally simple process as long as you have all the paperwork to hand! (This includes the name and address of the scrapyard.)

Once you have all those details to hand, it’s just a matter of filling in the relevant section of your logbook, putting it in an envelope and sending it on to the DVLA’s offices. Their address is:



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The same rules apply as to online – if your logbook was issued before April 2019, then you’ll need to fill out Section 9. However, if you received your logbook after April 2019, then Section 4 is the one you’ll need to fill in.

If you’ve sold your car to your insurance company, they might sometimes ask you for the entire logbook. If that’s the case, you just need to make sure you send a letter to the DVLA with details of your insurance company and the exact date that you handed over your car. That way, they can get the information they need from your insurers directly, and that’s your part in it over!

What happens if I’ve lost my V5C, or don’t have my registration document?

If you’ve lost your V5C, or you don’t have it for any other reason, then you’ll still need to let the DVLA know, just to explain the situation. 

This letter will need to include:

  • Your full name and address
  • The make and model of your car
  • The car’s registration number
  • The details of the scrapyard (including name, address and VAT number)

Some people (understandably) recommend replacing your V5C or vehicle logbook before you scrap your car. It’s not a job that takes terribly long, but it costs £25, and you’ll need to wait at least five days for it to arrive.

When you choose us here at Scrap Car Network, we can actually save you all that – in other words, you can still scrap your car even if you’ve lost your V5C. However, if this is the case, it’s your legal responsibility to ensure that the DVLA is informed, in writing, and to be honest the best way of doing this is generally just to do it yourself. It saves a lot of hassle and uncertainty that way!

Scrap your car with us today!


How can I be sure the DVLA knows I’ve scrapped my car?

The DVLA are generally pretty good communicators – as you’d hope from a government agency! Once they’re all up to speed on the status of your scrap car, they’ll make sure to contact you to formally confirm you’re no longer the legally registered keeper of the car.

Depending on how you’ve initiated contact with them in the first place, they may let you know in the form of:

  • a letter explicitly confirming you’re no longer the registered keeper
  • an email confirmation with the same
  • a refund cheque for any full months remaining on your vehicle tax

It’s a good idea to file this letter away when you receive it, just in case.

If you haven’t had communication from the DVLA within four weeks of your first contact with them, you might want to give them a quick call on 0300 790, and find out what the situation is. (If you provided them with your email address, they’ll send you an email confirmation, so it’s a good plan to give your inbox a cursory check before you pick up the phone!)


Whether you get an email from them or a letter, they’ll always immediately refund any months you’ve got left on your vehicle tax. This is calculated from the day they get your information, which is yet another reason why you shouldn’t hang around in letting them know. You might end up paying vehicle tax on a car you don’t even own anymore! If you pay by direct debit though, this will cancel automatically – which might save you a bit of a headache.

Of course, here at Scrap Car Network, our entire business model is designed around the concept of saving you as much time and money as possible. When you scrap your car with us, we’ll sort out the Certificate of Destruction (so you know we’ve responsibly, legally processed your car), and we’ll even contact the DVLA on your behalf! You can click here for more reasons to choose us, of if you’re all ready to go you can simply go straight to our homepage and enter in your car reg and postcode for your very own instant online scrap car quote!

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