Frequently Asked Questions

All of your questions about scrapping your car, answered!

Find out everything you need to know about selling your scrap car with CarTakeBack. Choose one of the frequently asked questions below to see the answer. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please contact us.

Your scrap car quote

To calculate what your scrap car is worth, we’ll need your registration and postcode. If you don’t have these details you’ll be able to enter your car and location details manually. We may also ask you some questions about your car’s condition. If you’re unable to answer any questions, we may make some assumptions. Your answers and our assumptions will be shown to you alongside your quote. In addition, your car must meet certain minimum requirements.

We’ll use this information to give you the best price available for your scrap car from competing CarTakeBack branches in your local area.

When we provide a quote, it will be based on the following minimum requirements:

  • you are able to provide photographic ID and proof of address;
  • your car is free of all finance charges, such as a hire purchase or loan agreement;
  • your car is free from any additional waste, such as litter, refuse or rubbish;
  • your car is powered by a petrol, diesel, electric or hybrid powertrain as originally manufactured;
  • your car (or light van) has no more than 9 seats (i.e. not a motorbike or HGV); and
  • your car is accessible (in the case of a collection) meaning that it is parked on solid ground with inflated tyres, so that it can be safely winched onto a recovery vehicle.

If any of the above criteria are not true, the instant quote initially provided may need to be revised. You’ll be given the opportunity to provide further details.

We may ask you some questions about your car’s condition such as:

  • What’s the approximate mileage?
  • Do you have the keys?
  • Has it ever been written off?
  • Does it start and drive?

If you’re unable to answer any questions, we may make some assumptions about your car’s condition. Your answers and our assumptions will be shown to you alongside your quote.

These questions are in addition to the minimum requirements.

Yes, we are pleased to be TfL’s Scrappage Partner. Make sure you use the correct TfL ULEZ Scrappage link to ensure you receive a Certificate of Destruction from our Authorised Treatment Facilities in order to complete your scrappage scheme application.

The condition of your car

CarTakeBack branches buy cars and vans of any age, in any condition. It doesn’t matter if your car is roadworthy with plenty of miles left on the clock, or it has a high mileage, it’s failed its MOT or it’s beyond repair and ready to be scrapped – our buyers will compete to offer you the best price.

No, we buy damaged cars. However, we may ask for information about the extent of any damage. These explanations should help you.

Major damage means the car has been damaged due to incidents such as an accident, collision, fire, flood, act of theft or vandalism.

Wear and tear means reasonable minor issues for the age of the car, which may include rust, small dents and scratches but no major damage.

Undamaged means there’s no visible wear and tear or damage.

After you’ve got your quote you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your quote and provide further details.

No, we buy cars that have missing parts. However, we may ask for information about any missing parts. You should declare any missing major parts to us as this can affect your quote.

These explanations should help you.

Your car is complete if all minor and major parts are present. Don’t worry about the odd missing wheel trim, interior trim, body trim, badge, parcel shelf, aerial, spare wheel or aftermarket audio player, but these should not be excessive in number.

Major parts are those which may have a value when recycled, such as the engine, electronic control unit, gearbox, bodywork, seats, battery, catalytic converter and wheels. The catalytic converter must be an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) version, as opposed to an aftermarket replacement.

Minor parts are the essential components needed to pass an MOT, such as the lights, mirrors, wipers, steering, braking, suspension, safety and emissions components.

After you’ve got your quote you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your quote and provide further details.

No, we buy cars that have a high mileage.

No, we buy cars without keys. However, if you’ve told us your car starts and drives, you’ll need to provide the keys.

No, your registration certificate (also known as the V5C or logbook) is not essential and this will not affect your quote. However, it helps if you can try to find it as it can make things easier. If you don’t have your registration certificate we may ask you to provide personal identification.

No, we buy cars that have been written off by an insurance company. After you’ve got your quote you’ll have the opportunity to provide further details.

No, we buy cars that don’t start and drive. By telling us that your car starts and drives you’re declaring that there are no mechanical or electrical problems. After you’ve got your quote you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your quote and provide further details.

No, we buy cars without a valid MOT. As it may be unsafe, or even illegal, to drive a car on public roads without a valid MOT, we recommend that you arrange for us to collect your car.

No, we buy cars with no service history.

No, we don’t accept cars with outstanding finance. You’ll need to settle this before you accept the quote.

Car makers are required to fit cars with a catalytic converter that can last for at least 8 years or 80,000 miles from the date of sale. This is described by the industry as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) catalytic converter.

Aftermarket producers of catalytic converters don’t have to fulfil the same standards, so the used part is not always suitable to be resold. They also don’t often contain the same precious metals as an OEM one, which hold a value and can be recycled.

If your car has been fitted with an aftermarket catalytic converter, you should declare it when you get a quote as it will affect the price.

Selling your scrap car

When your scrap car is collected or you drop it off at a local branch, you’ll need to have a few things ready:

  1. your reference number or a copy of your quote (either on paper or your mobile);
  2. your identification;
  3. your keys, if you have them;
  4. your documents (such as the registration certificate, service history, MOT certificate and manuals) if you have them;
  5. and finally, don’t forget to remove any personal belongings and rubbish.

On the day we’ll:

  1. check that your car matches your quote;
  2. check and take a copy of your identification;
  3. take care of the DVLA paperwork;
  4. sort out the payment.

You’ll also need to notify DVLA that you’ve sold your car. If you have any road tax remaining, you’ll get an automatic road tax refund from DVLA.

Your reference number uses the format ‘CC-0000-000000’. We’ll give this to you when you get a quote and it will be shown on any emails we send to you. Your reference number makes it easier for us to pull up your details, and guarantees the price we’ve quoted.

No, we’ll try our best to collect your car even if it’s in a difficult location. However, unless you tell us otherwise we’ll assume that your car is accessible.

Accessible means that your car is parked on solid ground with inflated tyres, so that it can be safely winched onto a recovery vehicle. It is important for you to tell us if your car is not accessible, for example if your car is blocked in, the steering is locked or the tyres are flat, as this could affect the collection of your car and the validity of the quote.

If you tell us that your car might not be accessible after we’ve provided a quote, we’ll let you know whether or not we need to adjust the price. If we do adjust the price, there’s no obligation for you to go ahead.

If you sell your car as scrap in England, Wales or Scotland you will be paid by electronic transfer or cheque. You may still be paid using cash in Northern Ireland. The restriction on paying cash for scrap cars is due to The Scrap Metal Dealers Act in England and Wales and The Air Weapon and Licensing Act in Scotland, which both mean that you can no longer be paid in cash when you sell your car for scrap, and you need to prove your identity when doing so.

There are no restrictions on the payment method for used cars. You may be paid by bank transfer, cheque or in some cases, cash, although many CarTakeBack branches prefer the security of paying by electronic transfer or cheque.

Please let us know if you have a preference and we’ll try to meet your request.

You’ll usually be paid on the day of collection, however with some branches and banks it may take up to two working days. You should contact our Customer Services Team or local branch if you haven’t received payment after two days of your car being collected.

To cancel or rearrange collection, you need to call or email us. Ideally let us know at least 24 hours before the scheduled collection. To cancel or rearrange, you’ll need to let us know your name and registration or reference number. If you’re cancelling, we like to know the reason to help improve our service.

Documentation and regulations

If you have your registration certificate (V5C), you should keep the yellow section and hand over the rest of it to the CarTakeBack branch along with your keys. You’ll need to fill in the branch’s name and address, so you can notify the DVLA, but don’t worry, our branch will help you with this.

When you sell your car with us, you’ll need to notify DVLA using one of the following methods. The CarTakeBack branch will be able to help you with this.

If you have the registration certificate (V5C)

You can notify DVLA using the website, where you will need the name and address of the CarTakeBack Branch (which will be shown on your confirmation email), your car registration, the 11 digit reference number from the latest vehicle registration certificate (V5C), the date you sold or disposed of your car.

You can fill in the yellow ‘sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade’ section of your registration certificate, and send the perforated section to DVLA – DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD. If you notify the DVLA via the website, you do not need to send the yellow section off.

If you do not have the registration certificate (V5C)

You should write to DVLA, Swansea SA99 1BD, giving your name and address, your car registration, the make and model, the date you sold or disposed of your car to us, the name and address of the CarTakeBack Branch (which will be shown on your confirmation email).

You’ll be sent a letter and an email confirmation (if you gave your email address using the website) confirming you’re no longer the registered keeper of the car, and a refund cheque for any full months left on your vehicle tax, calculated from the date DVLA gets your information – if you pay by Direct Debit, it’ll be cancelled automatically.

A Certificate of Destruction is an official DVLA document which is issued by the CarTakeBack branch when they recycle your scrap car, using our electronic link to the DVLA’s vehicle registration database. The certificate proves that you’ve disposed of your car correctly and prevents you from being penalised.

You should sign the certificate within the ‘Holder/Owner’ section, as soon as you receive it and keep it for your records.

An official DVLA Certificate of Destruction has:

  • the DVLA logo at the top;
  • ‘Certificate of Destruction’ written underneath the logo;
  • a unique 12 digit certificate number (Certificate No);
  • the date that the certificate was issued (Date of Issue); and
  • the signature of a representative of the CarTakeBack branch (Issuing Establishment) which accepted your car.

Image of a DVLA Certificate of Destruction

If you haven’t got the registration certificate, instead of using the yellow ‘sell, transfer or part-exchange your vehicle to the motor trade’ section to notify DVLA, you should write to them telling them that you no longer own the car.

We recommend that you use our template letter to DVLA, where you should include the name and address of the CarTakeBack branch, make and model of your car, the registration and the date of sale.

You’ll be sent a letter confirming you’re no longer the registered keeper of the car, and a refund cheque for any full months left on your vehicle tax, calculated from the date DVLA gets your information – if you pay by Direct Debit, it’ll be cancelled automatically. If you don’t receive this letter within four weeks, you should contact DVLA.

If DVLA records are not updated correctly when you sell or dispose of your car, you could get an £80 fine, be liable for any traffic offence penalties carried out in it, as well as tax in arrears, County Court Judgements, a further fine of £1,000 and even prosecution.

The Certificate of Destruction from CarTakeBack and written confirmation from DVLA (which you should receive if you’ve notified DVLA yourself) are both proof that DVLA have been notified correctly.

If you sell a car as a scrap car in England, Wales or Scotland, we have to confirm your identity. All you need is a current photocard driving licence, as this confirms your name, date of birth and residential address.

If you don’t have a photocard driving licence, you can show another form of photo ID from list 1 below, along with separate proof of address from list 2 below.

1. Accepted forms of photo ID:

  • a valid UK passport
  • a valid passport issued by a European Economic Area state, or
  • a valid UK biometric immigration document.

2. Accepted proof of address (which must not be older than 3 months):

  • a bank or building society statement
  • a credit or debit card statement
  • a council tax statement or demand letter
  • a utility bill (e.g. gas, electricity, water), but not a mobile phone bill.

If you have a personalised registration (also known as a private plate or cherished plate) that you wish to keep, you must transfer or retain it before you sell your car, otherwise you’ll lose it. You can retain your registration online or by post.

View our step by step guide on how to transfer or retain your private plate >

If there’s still some road tax left on your car, after you’ve notified DVLA that you’ve sold your car, they will refund any complete months that remain.

The car tax refund will be automatically triggered when either:

  • you notify DVLA of the sale using the yellow section 9 of your registration certificate (V5C/3); or
  • the recycling centre issues your Certificate of Destruction.

DVLA will post a cheque to the registered keeper shown on the registration certificate (V5C) within 6 weeks. If you don’t get your refund within 6 weeks, contact DVLA.

Visit the DVLA website for more information on car tax refunds >

The End of Life Vehicle Regulations apply to scrap cars and vans that have a gross vehicle weight of up to 3,500kg. End of life vehicle (ELV) is another name for what’s normally known as a scrap car, junk car, breaker or salvage vehicle. The regulations were designed to reduce the impact that scrap cars have on the environment. They were introduced in two parts.

The first set of regulations came into effect in 2003 and require scrap cars to be depolluted before destruction. This involves the removal of fluids, tyres, battery and hazardous materials, before any of the remaining parts or materials can be reused or recycled. Depollution can only be carried out at Authorised Treatment Facilities (ATFs) holding the appropriate environmental permit. The regulations also require ATFs to issue last owners with a Certificate of Destruction, through which scrapped vehicles are deregistered.

The second set of regulations came into effect in 2005 and mean that both producers (vehicle manufacturers and professional importers) must establish national networks of ATFs to provide “free take-back” of their “own marque” ELVs. For the vehicles dealt with by these networks until 2015, producers had to achieve 85% reuse, recycling and recovery targets, as did ATFs not forming part of a producer’s network. From 2015 onwards, that target became 95% by weight of the vehicles.

How CarTakeBack meet the regulations

All CarTakeBack branches are ATFs and when they recycle your car, they carefully remove all hazardous materials, such as the oils, batteries and tyres. The metal is then separated from the other materials at sophisticated metal recycling plants. In order to meet the higher recycling rates of 95% set by the regulations, CarTakeBack separates the glass and plastic material for recycling, instead of it going to landfill. CarTakeBack’s further investment in recycling meant that our recycling centres were ahead of the game, having reached this target, two years early, in 2013.

All businesses that handle scrap cars, which means car dismantlers, scrap yards, junk yards, salvage yards and breakers, have to obtain an Authorised Treatment Facility environmental permit from the Environment Agency in which country they’re based. That’s the Environment Agency in England & Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency or the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It’s the responsibility of the Environment Agencies to carry out regular visits to ensure compliance with the regulations.

All of CarTakeBack’s branches hold a valid Authorised Treatment Facility environmental permit.

The standards required by the permit were set by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). They require businesses to invest substantially in buildings and equipment, concrete surfaces and sealed drainage systems. This is needed to stop toxic chemicals leaking into the ground where they could end up polluting the ground and water supplies.

Only sites holding an Authorised Treatment Facility environmental permit can register with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) which enables them to issue you with a DVLA Certificate of Destruction.

The End of Life Vehicle regulations make the car makers responsible for maintaining a scrap car recycling network which is within easy reach of people who own their brands. The network must be able to treat cars legally and without harm to the environment as well as meet recycling targets. All of this must be at no cost to the car’s last owner.

CarTakeBack has been the official scrap car recycling partner for car makers in the UK since 2005. CarTakeBack makes it possible for every single owner of any of 29 different brands, to be within easy reach of a scrap car recycling centre, no matter where they live in the UK. Not only does CarTakeBack guarantee not to charge customers as part of this service, but we go much further by finding the best price being offered by local recycling centres.

Find out more about CarTakeBack being approved by the car makers >

Yes, our Waste Broker’s Licence is CBDL126531. You can see further details on the Environment Agency website.

Yes, CarTakeBack has a Scrap Metal Dealer site licence under the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013.

SMDA Licence

About CarTakeBack

CarTakeBack launched in the UK in 2005 and is the largest scrap car recycling network in the UK and the official partner to major car brands. We specialise in buying scrap cars, as well as cars with high mileage, MOT failures, damaged, broken and faulty cars, plus old cars with some miles still left in them. We’ll find you the best price for your car, no matter how old your car is – or the condition it’s in. We can collect your car from you, or you can drop it off locally at one of our 300 sites across the UK. Our Customer Services Team is on hand to offer help and advice when you sell your scrap car, and we even take care of the legal paperwork.

Find out more about CarTakeBack >

As well as providing a service to the public, we also work with businesses, such as car dealerships, auction houses and MOT centres. We also work with the police, the insolvency service and local authorities. We have provided support to vehicle manufacturers, car dealerships and Transport for London throughout various scrappage schemes.

Find out more about how CarTakeBack can support your business with car scrappage >

Yes, CarTakeBack has been approved by car makers to be their exclusive scrap car recycler in the UK. You can rest assured that we’ll treat you and your car to the high standards that they expect.

CarTakeBack is contracted to car makers representing over 30 brands. These include:

Alpine, Aston Martin, Citroen, Colt, Dacia, Daimler, Datsun, DFSK, DS, Ford, Hillman, Humber, Infiniti, Iveco, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lotus, Mazda, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Polestar, Range Rover, Renault, Seres, Simca, Skywell, Smart UK Automotive Ltd (Electric Vehicles), SsangYong, Sunbeam, Talbot, Tesla and Volvo.

Don’t worry if your make of car is not in this list, you can sell any make and model of scrap car with us. CarTakeBack scrap car recycling centres treat all makes of car to the same high standards.

Find out more about  CarTakeBack being approved by the car makers >

No, unfortunately we do not sell spare parts.

We always appreciate hearing comments from our customers. If you have any comments or suggestions about our service then please feel free to contact us. We’ll only publish your review if you’ve given us your permission.

We have press releases, media information and contact details for our press officer on our media page.

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