There may come a time when you need to dispose of an old car / old vehicle but how do you actually get rid of it? This question will be one that is common with owners of old, possibly damaged vehicles. Should I sell it? Scrap it? Or just give it away? Every year in the UK between six & seven million used cars are sold, with two million being scrapped.
There are strict environmental rules on how cars should be disposed of via the end of life vehicle directive, with other new rules designed to combat the rise in the theft of copper and other metals making it illegal for owners to be paid in cash when scrapping their car. So what is the best way to rid yourself of an ageing car? Where can you obtain the best price? And how can you be sure the buyer isn't some rogue who will take your car, yet leave you still liable for potential speeding tickets and fines?
Selling your Car
Autotrader is probably the one place to start. You can enter your car registration and mileage for free, and then it finds the vehicle and gives an immediate suggested selling price. Advertising on the site costs from £9.99 to £19.99. In many cases it may say said the car is worth around a certain amount, however that isn’t taking into account the MOT and tax renewal dates and whether the vehicle is likely to pass its MOT. Gumtree is another option. The advantage is that advertising is free (although it will encourage you to pay for premium services) and clearly the site has lots of old bangers for sale. Again however a sale isn’t guaranteed and you may be in need of carrying on with your insurance or obtaining a tax disc until it is sold.
How about Webuyanycar.com? This site prefers you have an MOT lasting at least one month and two sets of keys – both fails for many car owners looking at getting rid of an old vehicle. Plus you would have to drive it to a local centre ... and they're not keen on "non-runners", which is the case for many people in a scrap/sell position.
The good news is that the days when drivers had to trawl round dodgy car breaking yards are over. Now just pop "scrap my car" into Google and up comes dozens of companies just like ours that promise to collect your car within days – and pay you as well. But are these safe? Many of these companies can be a bit fuzzy with the details when mentioning licences and certificates and also offer to pay in cash (this is illegal and immediately rings alarm bells). Also many of these companies won’t guarantee that your car will be scrapped and may actually be prepped to be sold abroad or at home. Rules introduced in 2005 make it a legal requirement that any car sent to be scrapped must go to an Authorised Treatment Facility. All car scrap yards must have a licence issued by the Environment Agency or Scottish Environment Protection Agency to ensure that scrapped vehicles don't harm the environment (all that battery acid, gearbox oil and engine parts) and that they are recycled appropriately.
What happens next? Dig out your V5 ownership document, follow the instructions and send the relevant part to the DVLA, which should confirm to you that you're no longer responsible for the car. The scrap dealer should send you a Certificate of Destruction, and should also tell the DVLA you don't own the car anymore. If the dealer says they'll pay you in cash it's a sure sign they are dodgy. Under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act, introduced last October to combat metal theft, particularly copper from railway lines, it is illegal for anyone to pay cash for scrap cars. Most will issue a cheque or make a payment directly into your bank account. When selling, you have to give proof of identification, such as your driving licence or passport. Remember to claw back any road tax or insurance you have on the vehicle. You can reclaim any unused complete months of road tax from the DVLA by downloading form V14 and returning it along with your tax disc to the DVLA.