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Can I Scrap a Car That’s Not in My Name?

Over the last few decades, an increase in cars being stolen to be sold for scrap meant the government increased regulations in the scrap market. This means if your vehicle has been taken by someone, they’ll struggle to send it off for scrap without proof that the car, van or motorcycle is theirs.

However, there are several reasons why you may want to scrap a car that isn’t registered in your name – perhaps you’re helping a friend or relative to scrap their car, for example. Maybe someone lives overseas or isn’t able to get to their vehicle to sell it for scrap.

In these cases, you may find yourself wondering what can be done.

woman searching how to scrap a car without title

Can I scrap a car that isn’t registered to me?

In short, yes you can. However, there are several documents any person needs to show before they’re able to scrap a vehicle, and you’ll need to make sure you have these to show the collector. While the car doesn’t need to be in your name, you do need to prove that you’re associated with the owner in one way or another.

So, how can you prove you’ve been given permission to scrap a car? This comes down to paperwork. You can see a full list of the documents needed to scrap a vehicle here, but the key item is usually the V5C logbook – you’ll need to have the relevant sections filled out by the car’s owner. No access to the V5C? Well, while it is possible to scrap a vehicle if you don’t have the V5C document, you’ll instead need to provide other proof that you are the owner. If you’re not the owner, you’ll need their proof of identity instead, as well as an indication from them that they’re approving the scrappage.

Therefore, you’ll need:

·         The relevant section of the V5C document, completed and signed by the owner (if available)

·         A letter from the owner, granting you permission to sell the car for scrap

·         Photo ID for the owner

·         A utility bill for the owner

The above is required so the scrap collector knows the vehicle hasn’t been stolen. Dealers are required by law (as detailed in the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013) to see proof of identification and ownership before being able to remove and pay for the car, van or motorcycle, and will themselves face a hefty fine or worse for ignoring these rules.

Can I sell a car for parts without a title?

If you’re DIY-savvy and have the tools, it’s easy enough to strip the parts from your car and sell them on sites like eBay, Gumtree or Facebook marketplace. You won’t need a title or other paperwork for selling used car parts. However, you may wish to sell the shell of your car once you’ve stripped and sold all the parts. You will need some paperwork to sell the rest of your car as scrap: proof of ID, the V5C and it’s not essential but it helps to have the service/MOT history.

Can someone scrap my car without my permission?

Luckily, there are a number of roadblocks to prevent this from happening. For starters, it is now illegal to buy and sell scrap cars for cash. The process also requires a valid form of ID, like a driving licence or passport, as well as proof of address.

If the seller cannot present the V5C document or the keys for the car, then the yard may make a Hire Purchase Information (HPI) check. This check costs the seller money, and will reveal if the car has been registered as stolen.

Scrapping a car when someone dies

If a friend or family member has passed away, you could find yourself in possession of their vehicle. If the car is in good condition and you’re keen to keep it, then you have the choice to notify the DVLA and let them know of the change of ownership (check out our comprehensive guide to buying or selling a vehicle when the owner is deceased for more), sell the vehicle on for salvage or reuse, or you can scrap the vehicle if it’s in poor shape.

If you choose to scrap, then you’ll need the V5C document and identification information as above – ideally with the deceased’s photo ID and utility bill. It may be worth having a copy of their death certificate handy to show to the dealer if necessary. You’ll then fill out section 9 of the V5C log book and proceed as usual. Once the car is scrapped, you’ll receive a Certificate of Destruction to prove that the vehicle is no longer on the road.

If you’re selling the car then you’ll need to fill out the relevant sections of the V5C to either the individual or motor trader you’re selling it to. You’ll then send this, along with information showing your relationship to the person who died, the date the person died and who should be paid any vehicle tax refund (vehicle tax cannot be transferred to a new owner) to the DVLA’s Sensitive Casework Team:

Sensitive Casework Team



SA99 1ZZ

The DVLA has more information on the Gov.UK website.

 If you’re ready to scrap a vehicle, you can start the process by using our scrap value calculator to see how much your car, van or motorcycle could be worth. We’ll compare quotes from our trusted network of scrap dealers to find you the best option at no cost to you. 

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