Scrap Car Recycling

CarTakeBack specialises in providing an authorised scrap car recycling service. We're the largest scrap car recycling network in the UK!

There are laws in place to reduce the impact that scrap cars can have on the environment.

  • To start with, any business handling scrap cars should have an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) permit - all CarTakeBack recycling centres hold one of these Government licenses. 
  • Every scrap car must undergo a depollution process to remove all of the toxic materials. 
  • Then, as much of the car as possible needs to be recycled in order to hit the Government's scrap car recycling target of 95%.

How a car is recycled

Cars don't just get crushed into a cube! When a car arrives at the scrap car recycling centre there's lots that goes into depolluting and recycling it. Fluids such as fuel, brake fluid, even windscreen washer fluids have to be safely removed from the vehicle, ensuring that no excess chemicals leak into the environment. Airbags have to be securely detonated. Any parts that are in a good condition are salvaged for reuse, to get the maximum life out of them. It's now ready to be crushed, this is usually done to make vehicles easier and more efficient to transport for further recycling. The cubed or crushed vehicles are then safely transported to a shredder plant. These facilities take in the vehicles which are then processed into smaller pieces and separated into the metal, glass, plastics and fabrics, which can then be recycled for use in various ways. At this point there is just 5% of the vehicle leftover that can't be recycled, it becomes top cover for landfill.

This process is just for a regular petrol or diesel vehicle, but as you might guess, there's even more involved in decommissioning an electric vehicle! Not only do the high voltage batteries need to be safely disconnected and removed from an electric or hybrid car, but various other high voltage systems and powerful magnets also need to be carefully made safe before taking the rest of the car apart.

The sophisticated post-shredder separation technologies employed by CarTakeBack’s shareholders have been successful, both in extracting value and reducing the amount of waste ending up in landfill, with greater volumes of shredder waste material heading for further processing. This is predominantly due to huge investment by CarTakeBack shareholder S. Norton & Co, in the Shredder Waste Advanced Processing Plant (SWAPP) operated by plastics specialist Axion Polymers. This large scale facility produces a high quality end recycled plastic product, for which there is sufficient demand to make the whole process economically viable.

This powerful combination enabled CarTakeBack and its car maker partners to meet the UK’s statutory 95% reuse, recycling and recovery obligation, two years ahead of it coming into force. CarTakeBack’s years of experience and ongoing investment will help to ensure that targets such as these can continue to be met, and we are futureproofing our operation to make sure we can continue to offer the same high standards for recycling electric and hybrid cars and vans too.

Scrap Car Recycling

Scrap car recycling to the highest standard

Every scrap car sold with CarTakeBack that is ready to be scrapped is recycled to 95%. CarTakeBack has met or exceeded the Government's car recycling target in each and every year, since it was introduced as part of the End of Life Vehicle regulations.

DEFRA, the Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is responsible for regulating parts of our industry. They make sure that car manufacturers provide a convenient free take back service for end of life vehicles (ELVs), and that the demanding recycling and recovery targets are met. CarTakeBack are long-standing members of the Government's Consultation Group for ELVs.

Check out our FAQs about how the law affects us

Instant valuation to recycle your car

By entering your car registration and postcode, you'll get a free quote showing you how much you can get for your car whether it's a scrap car ready to be recycled, or it's a car with some miles left in it.