certificate of destruction

What Is A Certificate Of Destruction?

12th Feb, 2018

A Certificate of Destruction is a legal document that we receive electronically from the DVLA, when we scrap your car at one of our Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATF). As our customer, you’ll then receive a copy of this certificate for you to retain as proof that you’ve scrapped your car with us. By law, every car scrapped by an ATF has to be issued with a Certificate of Destruction.

Why Is A Certificate Of Destruction Important?

Lots of reasons! The Certificate of Destruction officially releases you from any responsibility of the car, and transfers it to the new owner (that’s us!). To be exact, a Certificate of Destruction proves that your old car:

  • Is officially off the road
  • Has been processed in accordance with the law
  • Is no longer registered to you.

Every reputable scrap car breaker legally has to provide you with a Certificate of Destruction as part of their service, because it represents the final stage in transferring ownership. We’ll always send you yours within seven working days of scrapping your car with us, but if you’re using another company it’s a good idea to ensure you get yours just as promptly.

certificate of destruction

What Happens Without A Certificate of Destruction?

If you never receive one, there’s a good chance your car is still legally registered to you. As you’ll quickly find, this can end up posing all sorts of tricky problems.

For starters, without a Certificate of Destruction, your car isn’t considered to be off-road; so in the best case scenario, the DVLA could well be charging you £80 for road tax long after your car has been scrapped. Nobody wants to get that letter through the door! Even after that, it’s not the sort of thing the DVLA forgets about easily, either. They’re quite serious about taking legal action, and they can level hefty fines against vehicle owners who can’t definitively prove that they’re no longer the owners of the car.

What’s more, remember that if you don’t get a Certificate of Destruction, there’s no guarantee that your car even will be scrapped. One of the most common scams that unscrupulous scrap car dealers operate is to simply tell you that it has been, without providing you with a Certificate as proof. If you’re happy to take their word for it, that leaves them free to (for example) make very superficial repairs on your car before selling it on to an unsuspecting new buyer.

This means that not only is someone else driving around in a potentially unsafe vehicle, but if it’s caught on the roads (and it will be), it will still be registered to you. Similarly, if your car is deliberately used for something illegal, you’ll be the one facing the consequences.

Unfortunately, even if you’re the victim of a disreputable scrap car breaker, the DVLA won’t accept you simply pointing the finger. Whoever you’re dealing with, the DVLA sees it as ultimately your responsibility to make sure you get your Certificate of Destruction, so the buck definitely stops with you!

A word of warning about your COD

A Certificate of Destruction is very carefully worded, and another common trick for unscrupulous car dealers is to try and fob you off with a false but similarly named document. Don’t accept any made up names like Certificates of Collection, Documents of Destruction, or Certifications of Destruction. They’re close, but no cigar. Don’t get tripped up!

How Do I Get A Certificate of Destruction?

Of course, you don’t have to worry about any of that with Scrap Car Network. Every single partner within our network holds the status of Authorised Treatment Facility, having been vetted and continually monitored by the Environment Agency. Our entire business model has been carefully developed to make everything as easy and simple as possible, and this includes your Certificate of Destruction.

When you scrap your car with us, you’ll need to quickly fill out your details on Section 9 (the yellow section) on your V5C, which is sometimes known as your logbook. Then, tear off Section 9 and send it to the DVLA, and don’t forget to tear off and keep Section 3: Notification of Sale or Transfer of a Vehicle. When we come to pick up your car, one of our drivers will then take the rest of the logbook off your hands.

  • If you don’t know our details: our drivers are only too happy to provide this information for you when we come to collect the car.
  • If you don’t have your logbook: don’t worry – you’ll just need to visit the DVLA website to declare that you’ve scrapped your car.

Once your vehicle arrives on-site, we’ll book it in and check both its VIN and registration to ensure that they match the ones on our records. As we scrap the car, we electronically confirm this with the DVLA. In acknowledgement, they’ll send you a Certificate of Destruction, as proof that you’ve fulfilled your obligations and that we’ve done our jobs correctly too.

Do you need to contact the DVLA? If you still have your log book and you’re able to provide us with all the information we need, you don’t technically need to contact the DVLA. We’d still recommend doing so anyway though – just in case.