Car collection

How Long Does it Take to Scrap my Car?

So, your trusty vehicle has come to the end of its life – perhaps it’s been declared a write-off, keeps breaking down, or it would simply cost more to fix than it’s actually worth. Whatever your reason for wanting to scrap your car, van or motorcycle, once you’ve made the decision, you probably want to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible.

Here at Scrap Car Comparison, we help to make the scrapping process fast, easy and problem-free, but how long does it actually take to scrap your vehicle? Well, we’ve broken the scrapping process down to show you just how quick it can be. Read on to learn more.

Pile of used old cars at a scrapheap junkyard

How Long Will it Take You to Scrap Your Vehicle?

This is most likely the bit you’re particularly interested in – from the moment you decide to scrap your car, how long will it take until it’s taken off your hands and the money for it is in your bank account? Here are the steps you’ll need to take with an idea of timings:

1. Securing a quote – a few minutes: by using our scrap car value calculator, you can get an idea of how much your vehicle is worth for scrap or salvage within minutes. We have a network of over 100 trusted scrap dealers across the UK, so you’ll be able to choose the best option from a wide range of quotes

2. Waiting for collection – typically 1 – 3 days: how long you’ll need to wait until collection will depend on how busy the scrap dealers are, and when is an appropriate time for you. To keep the process simple, we’ll arrange for the dealer to call you to start the process. On average, collections tend to take place within just a few days of agreeing a quote.

3. Prepare your car for scrap – from 5 minutes: we highly recommend you take at least five minutes to give your car a check over before it’s collected. Clear out any rubbish, make sure you haven’t left anything you might want in there (chargers are often forgotten!), and remove any decorative items from the vehicle. This may well take longer than five minutes, depending on how messy your vehicle is, but don’t worry about cleaning your car – it’s only going to be stripped and crushed after all. Learn more about how to prepare your car for scrapping here.

4. Collection – typically 5 – 10 minutes: although timings can differ, the actual process of collection can be as quick as 5 minutes. As long as your car is accessible for the tow truck, and you have all the relevant documents ready to go, you’ll just need to show your paperwork and sign the relevant section of your V5C logbook. The collectors should be able to quickly hook your car up to their truck and you should be done. If, however, the vehicle is difficult to access, has no wheels or is unable to be pulled along, this may take a little longer – you’ll know more about this after chatting to the dealer to arrange collection in step 2. Learn more about where scrap cars can be collected from here.  

5. Payment – same day: the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 enforced a law stating that payments for scrap cars can’t be paid in cash (this is part of wider legislation to prevent car theft for scrap), so the money will instead be paid directly into your bank account, or can sometimes be paid via cheque. You won’t need to wait long, however, as once your vehicle has been collected, your payment should go through on the same day.

Average time from quote to collection: 2 days

 How Long Until the Vehicle is Then Scrapped?

Once your car has been collected, then you don’t need to worry about anything else, just wait for your Certificate of Destruction to come through, proving that the vehicle has been fully drained, de-polluted, dismantled, recycled and crushed. You can learn more about the full scrap process here, but if you’re curious about the timings for the final steps, then these can often vary depending on the dealer who collected your car and the Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) they take it to. Generally, the vehicle will be taken to the scrap yard that day, and we’d expect them to start the process fairly quickly, depending on how many other vehicles they have. Once started, it should then take around a day to process the car through all the stages of scrapping.

Once the final crushing has taken place, you can expect the Certificate of Destruction (COD) through within seven days.

As you can see, it really is a quick and easy process, so why not get started with scrapping your car today? You’ll be able to secure a quote from a scrap dealer near you within minutes.

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