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Scrapco Metal Recycling Ltd
Paddock Wood: 01892 838185
Erith: 01322 342302
Car Pile


There comes a time in every vehicle’s life when the owner has to regretfully call time on its lifespan. This can occur after an accident, an MOT failure or even just when the vehicle has reached such an age that a major breakdown seems imminent. If selling the vehicle is not an option there are several steps that a responsible car owner must take in order to remove the car safely from the road.

What is the first thing I should know?

First of all, remember that you are entirely responsible for the vehicle until the DVLA has acknowledged that the vehicle is no longer in existence as a roadworthy vehicle. If you abandon the car, or give it to someone unscrupulous who drives it without insurance or who even has an accident in the vehicle, it is your name that will pop up when the police are trying to trace the vehicle.

Can I do it myself? If not who do I call?

If you are going to break up the vehicle yourself, the first thing you must do is have it declared SORN. This means filling in a Statutory Off Road Notice, without which you will need to continue paying tax for the vehicle, even if much of the inner workings have been removed. However, it is much easier to find an Authorised Treatment Facility, or ATF. These establishments are well versed in breaking down vehicles and are fully aware of all their legal requirements – and yours!

Not only will they provide you with the proper documentation, they will advise the DVLA that you have scrapped the car through them. You can find a list of registered ATFs online, by using one of the popular search engines.

Will I have to pay to have my vehicle scrapped?

When you take your car to an ATF (and some of them offer collection services: we are among those that do!) you should not be asked to pay anything towards the breakdown and secure disposal of the vehicle. In fact, many companies offer a small payment to the car owner due to the relatively high price of scrap metal. However, to prevent car thieves making a pretty penny by lining up stolen vehicle after stolen vehicle, these companies will all need to see proof of ownership and proof of your identity.

How will I know when it’s no longer my concern?

The ATF will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction. This CoD is your proof that the vehicle has been legally and legitimately broken down, so do be sure to keep it in a safe place. The ATF will send the details of the CoD to the DVLA, who will accept that the previous owner is no longer responsible for the vehicle.

What happens to my old vehicle?

The vehicle is then broken down, with potentially valuable or hazardous fluids, such as oil petrol or brake fluid, being drained first. The car is then taken apart – sometimes, if it is a relatively rare model, with good-looking parts, these will be stripped off, cleaned up and put out for sale – with much of the metal going to a scrap yard for recycling.

You are free to enjoy purchasing a new car, or learning to love public transport, safe in the knowledge that you have done your part to remove your old or dangerous car from the road in the safest possible way. If you have an old banger that is drawing out its last days, or even if you have any questions about the process, give us a call! Our team here at Scrapco is waiting to answer all your questions today.