crane scrap cars

The weirdest things found left in used and scrap cars

21st Dec, 2020

We process over 10,000 cars every year here at Scrap Car Network, and we’ve found our fair share of strange stuff in them from time to time. Upon a little further investigation, it seems we’re not the only ones. Breakers, mechanics and new owners have sometimes stumbled on some pretty shocking stuff in cars that have passed into their possession, whether those are scrap cars, used cars, or rental cars. And as you’re about to find, some of those things are weirder than others…

Animals living in scrap cars

Take a trip to, and you’ll find all sorts of strange stories from new owners about what they’ve found in their cars. One particularly hair-raising example comes courtesy of the new owner of a Mini Cooper, who discovered a large three foot snake happily curled up inside. According to that new owner, they bought the car online, which begs the question – when the heck did a snake have an opportunity to get in there? Did it slip in at some point during transit, or was it already ensconced by the time the car was dispatched?

Another equally unsettling example comes from The Scrappers in Bolton. Its boss, Terry Walker, tells a rather terrifying story of discovering a group of rats clustered in one particular scrap car. The most horrifying part was that this discovery was made when the car had already been hoisted 30 feet into the air.

“They all leapt out, hit the ground, going splat, but they didn’t die.” He said. “They just got back on their feet and ran off as though they’d been on a fairground ride. It was completely barmy. There must have been at least 20 of them.” Rather him than us!

Some discoveries are a little more heartwarming, though. Terry also tells of having discovered a small kitten in one scrap car, which he deduced had travelled 20 miles from Oldham to Bolton. It was eventually reunited with its owners!


End-of-Life cars with a whole lotta love

Abandoned items in scrap cars might not necessarily be horrifying when you find them, but even so, you’d probably wish you hadn’t. A lot of dealers, mechanics and breakers periodically find sex toys in the vehicles they take apart, including vibrators and fluffy handcuffs. Maybe not quite such an issue if the car in question is about to be taken apart, but if you’re an unlucky new owner who’d planned to be driving it around, you’d probably want to give your new purchase one last blitz with the bleach, just in case.

Other cars might be home to equally distinctive reminders of love, ranging from the deeply treasured – such as the ultrasound image left in one Scottish car – to the merely poignant, such as the old wedding ring left attached to the spare key of a car sold in England.

Spare parts, anyone?

There are, apparently, people who’ve been known to leave body parts in the cars they’ve rented or sold. Thankfully not the fleshy kind, just prosthetics – but in many ways, these aren’t nice to stumble across either. The customer of one car rental company in Liverpool was apparently a fairly easy-going person. So easy-going, in fact, that they failed to notice they’d gone home without their prosthetic arm. The report doesn’t explicitly state that it wasn’t left clutching the steering wheel like Thing T. Thing from the Addams Family, so we’re forced to assume that it was.

And we’re not squeamish here at Scrap Car Network, but even so, we think we really wouldn’t be too happy discovering a prosthetic eye in the back of a car we’d received, as one UK car rental company did. The owner never returned to get it, which we think was a little shortsighted of them. Presumably they just decided to overlook it.

Money money money

We can identify with this one – we occasionally find the odd coin ourselves during the course of our car recycling here at Scrap Car Network. But that’s nothing compared to the £10,000 found in a large envelope under the passenger seat of a car in Melksham in Wiltshire. You know funnily enough, that owner did manage to find the time to return for that particular item.

Or turning to the States, a Jalopnik user tells the story of a used car dealership which found a swathe of hundred-dollar bills in the car they won at auction. All that was counterfeit, though – which does raise a couple of pressing questions about the integrity of its former owner.

Some investments are a little more… substantial. Another Jalopnik user recalls the particularly frustrating journey they spent struggling with their tyres, which eventually went flat. After a little further investigation, they realised why – the car was weighed down by multiple bars of solid silver.

Before you scrap your car, we recommend giving it one last once-over. You know, just in case there are any exotic animals, lovemaking aids or bullion hoards still in there that might have slipped your mind. Whatever the case though, you can always count on us here at Scrap Car Network to get the best price for your car. It only takes 10 seconds to find out how much your car is worth – just enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll get you your very own instant scrap car quote!

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