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What is an ATF in Car Scrapping?

When scrapping your car, it’s important to make sure it’s being disposed of at an ATF – it’s a legally required authentication to prove the scrap process is legitimate, safe and environmentally sound. Learn more about ATFs and why they’re important with this guide.

A crushed car being lifted on to pile of other crushed cars in scrap yard

What Does ATF Stand for?

In car scrapping, ATF stands for Authorised Treatment Facility.

What is an Authorised Treatment Facility?

An ATF is a facility that is authorised and licensed to dispose of waste motor vehicles (often referred to as End-of-Life vehicles or ELVs). They are usually monitored by the Environment Agency (EA) to ensure they are able to perform all of the below correctly:

  • Have all the correct planning permissions and permits to treat ELVs, including a scrap metal dealer’s license and environmental permit
  • Be able to depollute or expertly dispose of any hazardous waste from vehicles
  • Supply Certificate of Destruction documents through the DVLA system to prove that the owner’s responsibility for the car has finished
  • Safely handle and store car parts
  • Meet recycling and recovery targets according to government regulations

So, simply put, this means ATFs are able to scrap cars in a responsible and legal way. You can learn more about how they function, as well as the importance of ATFs with our guide.

All scrapyards will need to be registered as an ATF, and hold a certificate of competence, with environmental management systems in place in order to dispose of a vehicle.

What if a Scrap Dealer isn’t ATF Registered?

Dismantling vehicles and dealing in scrap metal without an ATF is illegal – there are all kinds of hazardous components and fluids that could be bad for the environment if not dealt with properly.

Also, only ATF licensed yards can provide you with a Certificate of Destruction. Without one of these, then the DVLA will still consider the car to belong to you. If, somehow, the vehicle was to appear on roads again, then you’d still legally be the registered owner and you could incur costs as a result.

The Environmental Agency regularly runs visits to sites to check they’re running effectively, and also to confirm that all venues acting as scrapyards are legally legitimate. In some cases, they’ll also advise on the necessary changes required to become an official, legally recognised ATF.

How to Tell if a Scrap Yard is an ATF

If you’re not sure whether a certain scrap yard is an officially authorised facility, then you can check using the ATF forms at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Simply add in any details you have, such as the address, and if the facility is registered it should show here.

An easier way is to use our quick and easy services here at Scrap Car Comparison – all the scrap valuations and quotes we provide are with fully licensed ATF scrap yards, meaning your car will be disposed of legally, responsibly and safely.

Check out our Scrap Car Collection FAQs for more information about requirements for scrapping your vehicle. Then, why not get started on scrapping your car today?

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