When the time comes for you and your old car to part company what are your options? We can get really attached to our cars, can’t we and it’s almost as if we are rehoming a pet! However, when it comes to cash, we need to be realistic.
Basically, you have 2 choices. You can either sell your repairable vehicle or recycle it by selling it for scrap. Your choice will depend on the age and condition of your car but also on how much you can afford to let it go for. If you want to buy a new car you will obviously want to generate the most cash you can from the sale to fund this new purchase.
Disposing of a secondhand vehicle – your options
Sell your repairable car
There are plenty of online sites for selling secondhand vehicles. We’ve used Webuyanycar.com in the past. If you use this type of online service, however, be aware that you may get less than you would if you organised the sale yourself.
On the other hand, selling your car yourself will involve time and cash for activities such as advertising in local papers, updating MOTs, checking service histories and valeting the vehicle, and that’s without taking into account the time it takes to see potential buyers and negotiate an agreeable sale price. You need to weigh up whether the time and hassle is worth it or whether to bite the bullet and take a lower sale price to get the car off your hands.
Recycle your secondhand car
Even though your vehicle is no longer road worthy, it may still be worth something as scrap. Since 65% of a car is made from steel and the remainder made up of materials such as other metals and glass, it’s far more environmentally friendly to recycle the old metal. Once all the useful parts have been removed from the vehicle, it is compressed and sent to the recycling factory.
How do I know how much my car is worth?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer for this as it will depend on each individual car.
One of the best ways to find out how much your vehicle is worth is to do your research. This means contacting several local dealers and getting a valuation from them. By doing so, you will get an idea of an average price for your vehicle, and know if any dealers are trying to haggle you down to a lower price.
Once you have spoken to several dealers, you can then work with them to get a price you want. If you know the maximum amount your vehicle is worth, you can barter the dealers against each other and hopefully get a good deal.
What influences scrap car prices?
There is no one thing that determines the price of a scrap vehicle, there are several factors that need to be considered:
Weight of the vehicle: The most important factor to take into account is the weight and size of the vehicle. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the vehicle, the more money you will get when it is scrapped. This is because a larger vehicle will have more steel to be scrapped and will therefore have a higher value.
Missing parts: Following from the weight of the vehicle, if it has parts missing then the vehicle will be lighter and therefore be valued lower when it comes to be scrapped. Also, if the vehicle is missing parts or they are damaged, these parts could have been removed and sold by the dealer separately, making the vehicle more valuable. If they aren’t there or are too damaged to use then you could lose money.
Market fluctuation: The price you get for scrapping your vehicle depends on the price of scrap metal at the time. The market dips and increasing depending on how much scrap metal there is around. It could be worth speaking to someone in the know and holding on until there isn’t as much metal around, then your vehicle might be worth more.
Common scrap car prices
Although you cannot get a definite price for scrapping your vehicle until you do a full valuation or meet a dealer, here are some common prices for cars that have been scrapped:
- Vauxhall Corsa – £104
- Vauxhall Astra – £121
- Volkswagen Golf – £128
- Volkswagen Polo – £105
- Ford Focus – £129
- Ford Fiesta – £116
- Toyota Yaris – £106
- Toyota Corolla £115
- Fiat Punto – £95
- Nissan Micra – £92
- Audi A4 – £148
- Audi TT – £147
Where can I scrap my car?
Across the UK there are several scrap yards that will collect and scrap your vehicle. The most important factor to consider is that you take it to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). These are the only government-approved companies that are legally allowed to scrap your vehicle.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the hassle of phoning around and negotiating with scrap dealers, there are plenty of companies online who will arrange this for you and you can get an instant idea of the scrap value of your car by using an online calculator.
Notifying the DVLA of the vehicle sale
Don’t forget that you will need to notify the DVLA when you sell or scrap your car. You can do this online or via post using your registration certificate (the V5C logbook).
If you don’t have the V5C, then you should write to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD with:-
- name and address
- car registration
- make and model
- date of sale or disposal
- details of who you sold the vehicle to
You should then receive a letter and an email confirmation that you are no longer the registered keeper of the vehicle. You should also receive a refund cheque for any full months left on your road tax.
Documentation if you scrap your vehicle
If your car is scrapped, you should receive an official DVLA Certificate of Destruction from the company who scrapped your car. This certificate proves that you have disposed of your car correctly and avoids future penalties.