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How to make money scrapping your car

by Hugh Wilson | 09 Oct 2017

It’s always a sad day when a beloved and long cared-for motor is finally ready for the great highway in the sky, but drivers can take some comfort from the fact that it’s now possible to make money from scrapping your car.

That wasn’t always true. Back in the 1990s and early 2000s the price of scrap metal was so low that abandoned vehicle numbers peaked at around 350,000 a year, because people had to pay to get rid of them.

Then, in 2005, the EU End of Life Directive was brought in. This meant that car manufacturers became ultimately responsible for ensuring that vehicles were recycled properly and that, regardless of any fluctuations in metal prices, cars could be disposed of for free.

Money in your pocket

These days scrapping your car isn’t just free – it can leave you with money to put towards your next vehicle. Around two million cars are scrapped in the UK every year, most between 10 and 16 years of age.

Depending on make, model and location, motorists can get between £100 and £300 for their scrapped vehicle.

On sites like drivers simply enter the registration number of the vehicle they want to recycle, together with their postcode, and get a quote for their car from one of Cartakeback's national network.

They can then either have their vehicle collected free of charge or deliver it to the recycling centre themselves. For example a Peugeot 406 in Chelmsford might be valued at £120 (collected) or £160 (delivered to local recycling centre), while a Vauxhall Vectra in Edinburgh could bring in £160 (collected) or £175 (delivered).

Focus on recycling

We still tend to think in terms of ‘scrapping cars’, but the emphasis is now much more on recycling them. Traditionally only metal was recovered due to its value, but now the glass and plastic material which used to end up as landfill is also separated for recycling.

Hazardous materials such as oil and batteries, which could cause serious damage to the environment, have to be disposed of correctly.

Cars should only be scrapped at a car recycling centre with an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) licence – the licence requires businesses to invest in the necessary equipment and buildings needed to recycle cars properly.

The EU recycling target is due to increase to 95% in 2015. Customers need to prove their identity when selling their car as scrap and show ID and proof of address when handing over their vehicle.

To prolong the life of your car, and keep it out of the scrapyard for as long as possible, get it serviced regularly at your local Approved Garage.

Quick steps to selecting your Approved Garage…


Firstly, pop in your postcode or town


Select a garage near your location


Speak to a trusted mechanic, send an online enquiry or book online


Then, sit back in the knowledge that your vehicle is in safe hands