How much to scrap my car?

How much to scrap my car?

With over 1.4 million cars and other vehicles scrapped in the UK reported in 2018, it might be daunting to consider getting money for your car if you want to scrap it.

How much you get for scrapping your car depends on a number of things, including:

  • The price and value of commodities like recycled steel
  • The specifics of your car (make, model, age, size, weight)
  • Whether or not your car has valuable parts
  • Whether your car is scrap or salvage
  • How far you are from your dealer

This is like how insurance policies (like Home and Car) depend on various factors specific to you. We go through a lot of the details in our article about how to scrap a car, here, we’re looking specifically at the monetary value of scrapping your car, whether after an accident or not.

Can you get money for scrapping a car?

You can absolutely get money for scrapping a car! Online car scrapping services say you can get £1,000 or more for your car, at the time of writing the average car scrap value per tonne is £190. With an average car weighing in at 1.4 tonnes, that puts an average payout at £266.

Can I get paid in cash?

In most cases, no, you can’t legally be paid in cash for scrapping a car. For the scrap metal dealer to operate legally in nearly every circumstance, you’ll need to get paid for your scrap through an electronic transfer of funds like a credit or debit card. It’s been this way since 2013.

This legislation was put in place to help reduce crime within the scrap industry, so if anyone tries to pay you in cash these days, it’s probably best to walk away and try to get someone else to scrap your car.

Car scrappage schemes

There have been a few specific scrappage schemes that could pay out a decent amount of money if you qualify. If you have an older model car and are considering selling it on, have a think about scrapping it with a new-for-old allowance instead. That way, the likely higher emissions, older car you were previously driving is fully off the road.  

Historically there was a scrappage scheme as a part of London’s ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) requirements, but the scheme is now closed to new applications. If you were eligible, you could get up to £2,000 to scrap your car.

Because of this, many car manufacturers' global scrappage schemes have closed and not been replaced. Kia still has a scrappage scheme open, which could save you up to £2,250, as does Renault, which could save you up to £2,000.

Scrap vs. salvage

Scrap cars are also called end-of-life vehicles. They’re basically beyond repair and have slim to no chance of returning to the road. What’s valuable are the parts still intact. Scrap cars are often cars that have been in accidents, failed their MOT, or just…got old enough that they stopped working.

A salvage car, in short, has the potential to be road-worthy again. They’re typically graded on a scale of:

  • Breaker (B): Not repairable, a scrap car
  • Repairable (C): Estimated cost to repair exceeds the market valuation of the car.
  • Repairable (D): Estimated cost to repair is less than the market value of the car.
  • Repairable Structural (S): Damage to the structure (frame of chassis) and the owner or insurer has decided not to repair.
  • Repairable Non-Structural (N): Little to no damage to the structure and the owner or insurer has decided not to repair.

If classified as a salvage car, the less the repairs cost, the more likely the seller is to get more money for it. Oftentimes buyers of salvage cars do this as an investment strategy. While not a hard and fast rule, all but B and C grade salvage cars often will sell for more than scrap cars.

If I strip parts, what parts get the most money?

While we can’t necessarily say these parts will get the most money, these are the parts that are either easy to take out of a car or are relatively sought after:

  • Engine: if you want a working car, you pretty much need an engine, so there should always be demand. The mileage of your car here will probably be a determining factor in how much money you get.
  • Gearbox: like engines, if you want a roadworthy car, you’ll probably need a gearbox. Whether all the gears engage and your car’s mileage will help determine how much you get when selling.
  • Airbags: buying new from manufacturers is pretty expensive, so second-hand airbags are pretty popular. As long as they’re undeployed, you should be able to get money for them.
  • Seats: these are easy to remove and often fetch a decent price.  

A few final thoughts…

Realistically, scrapping your car will return a few hundred pounds to you, which, to be fair, is nothing to sneeze at. It could definitely help you buy a new car, that’s for sure.

There are some additional opportunities and likely a bit more than a few hundred pounds if your car is classified as salvage, you want to go to a specific manufacturer that’s still offering a scrappage scheme, or if you want to sell your car for parts.

Scrapping your car, regardless of how much money you get from it, is an option to consider, particularly if you live in London or Birmingham, to potentially help reduce carbon emissions by taking an older car off the road.