How a Car is Scrapped

Elias Hubbard
May 23, 2018

When your car is coming to the end of its life and is costing more money to fix and maintain than it is worth, it may be high time that you bite the bullet and send it off to be scrapped.

In the UK, cars have to be legally scrapped by what are known as Authorised Treatment Facilities where the car has all of is hazardous materials properly removed and disposed of, with all the parts that can be recycled done so according to the law. There are plenty of ATFs nationwide, including this leading car scrapping company in Lancashire, which are authorised to carry out the disposal process.

In 2016, nearly 2.5 million new car sales were recorded – one of the highest numbers since records began – which means that many older cars will have been headed for the scrap heap. Estimates state that over one million cars each year are crushed and left at the scrapyard. This is why the government are determined to increase the rate of cars which are recycled, and with EU law dictating that 95% of cars need to be recycled, it is hardly surprising!

How is a Car Scrapped?

When a car is scrapped, it has all its hazardous materials removed as part of what is known as the Vehicle Depollution Process. First, the lead-acid battery is detached and dealt with separately. The acid within a lead-acid battery is highly toxic, corrosive and harmful to the environment, so due care and attention must be taken to ensure that it is disposed of properly. Plus, some of the metals within a battery can also be harmful to the environment.

After the battery is dealt with, the tyres are removed and taken to a specialist recycling centre which is equipped to deal with tyres. The burning of tyres is a massive issue all around the world and so a big part of having cars recycled is to reduce the prevalence of tyre fires, which produce plumes of thick, toxic, and smelly black smoke.

All the car’s fuel, fuel tank, oils, anti-freeze and any other potentially hazardous liquid is removed and disposed of, as these can contaminate water sources and pollute soil if they are just dumped recklessly. After the car has been depolluted and has had all its hazardous materials removed, it is ready to be crushed and recycled.

After the car is crushed, all its metal, plastic, and other materials are separated and recycled. The applications of a recycled vehicle are endless, with plastics being melted down and refined so they can be made into all manner of new products, and all the steel components being made into new vehicles, furniture, and even buildings!

Before Scrapping Your Car

Before you go ahead and scrap your car, you will need to notify the DVLA. If you do not notify the DVLA, they cannot know that you are no longer legally responsible for the vehicle and you will, in their eyes, be liable for it. Until you have notified the DVLA, you will still need to pay for road tax, be liable for any other taxes, and could also end up being served with tickets for traffic offences should the car be used by somebody (unlikely, but still possible!).

When your vehicle has been crushed and dealt with, you will be sent a Certificate of Destruction by the DVLA within seven days. It is a legal requirement to notify the DVLA and you could be fined for not doing so, and you avoid many a potential headache too. It’s a very simple process and does not take very long at all.

Give Your Car to Charity

If you’re having a hard time letting go of your old pride and joy, perhaps a charitable application would make it a little easier! There are lots of UK-based initiatives which will take your old and broken car off your hands, have it recycled, and then donate any proceeds to charity.

If you do not need the money for your old car then this is a fantastic option, and it is an easy way for you to do your bit for charity too. The company will come and collect your car from you free of charge and send it to any one of multiple ATFs nationwide. The car will then be broken down, recycled, and the money which you would have been paid for it will be handed over to charity. It’s a brilliant initiative that leverages charity to promote the positive impact of recycling cars and you can learn more here.

Recycling your old and broken car is a fantastic way to do your bit for the environment and is a simple, pain-free way to get rid of something which would otherwise be collecting dust in your garage.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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