v5c document

What Documents Do You Need When Scrapping Your Car?

Whether your vehicle has been written off in an accident, failed its MOT or simply reached the end of its lifespan, if you are looking to scrap it there are specific documents you will need to present.

To help ensure you have all the right documents, we’ve compiled a handy list of the required paperwork in order to save you time and help you successfully go about scrapping your car.

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Man signing paperwork with car key on the table

Documents needed to scrap your car

In order to scrap your car, you will need to present the following documents:

Vehicle registration document (V5C)

The vehicle registration document, also referred to as a V5C. This is the vehicle logbook and is the most important document required to scrap your car.

The V5C confirms the registered keeper who is responsible for the vehicle. It also prevents an unauthorised sale of your vehicle.

V5C car log book with a car key on it

Find out more about scrap car documentation.

Log book

Your log book is just the colloquial term for the V5C registration document. If you’ve been told to ensure that you’ve got either your log book or V5C, then the two simply mean the same thing, so just make sure that red document is with you when you go to sell the car.


The V5C/3 is the yellow slip from your vehicle registration document, and you must present this when looking to scrap your car. This slip is used to inform the DVLA that you no longer own a vehicle. It is imperative that this is sent to the DVLA as if, for whatever reason, the car is not scrapped straight away, you could be liable for any future penalties it may receive if there has been no update on the DVLA system to say you no longer own it. Also ensure you keep your receipt from the Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF), as this will provide you another layer of proof that you have sold your car.

V5C selling, transferring or part exchanging

Personal identification & Proof of Address

It is a legal requirement to provide a form of ID, such as a driving licence or passport when scrapping a car, whether you have the V5C document or not.

A British driving licence

Much like your personal identification, the law states that you must also provide proof of address. This is to ensure that the purchase of your scrap car falls in line with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013. These regulations were put in place to clamp down on dodgy dealers and the selling of stolen cars, so while it might seem frustrating to have to dig out your passport or a recent utility bill, it’s to ensure that you’re not going to end up being conned.

Certificate of Destruction (CoD)

Once a vehicle has been given to an ATF to be scrapped, the ATF will issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD).

A Certificate of Destruction (CoD) is the certificate that proves you have had your car recycled. It can only be issued by a centre with an ATF licence. The V5C/3 section will be completed and exchanged for a CoD, and this needs to be sent to the DVLA.

A CoD also clears you of any responsibility for your vehicle following the scrappage. Once the DVLA receives your CoD, they will automatically refund any unused road tax back to you.

Find out about how your car is recycled in a three-step car recycling process.

Do I need to SORN my car before I scrap it?

If you are simply selling the car complete as scrap, then no, you do not need to SORN your car before it is wheeled away. However, if you are planning to break down the car to sell as parts before scrapping the rest, then in that case yes, you must SORN your car before scrapping it.

You can find out all about the SORN process and how it all works on our dedicated page, here.

How to scrap your car

Scrapping your car couldn’t be easier. Gone are the days where you’d have to trawl through the yellow pages or literally go and visit your local scrap yards. Instead, with Scrap Car Comparison’s service, it can all be done from the comfort of your sofa.

Free Online Valuation

With just your car’s registration number and your postcode, you can get a free online valuation from one of our knowledgeable team. We’ll scour your local area to find the best quote for you without you having to lift a finger. Once you have received the quote, it’s locked in for 24 hours, or guaranteed completely if you accept. This price is subject to inspection, which means as long as you have been totally honest, you have nothing to worry about, but if you have given false information as to the quality of your car, the quote may be renegotiated upon collection.

Arrange collection

Once you have accepted the quote from one of our trusted buyers, they will be put in touch with you directly to arrange a convenient time and location for your car to be collected. While there is no blanket timeline as to how soon this collection can take place, it is often within a matter of days. This means your troubled set of wheels will be out of your hair sooner than you may have thought, and certainly much faster than if you were to go through a private sale. 

A green car being loaded onto the back of a flatbed truck

Preparing your car

When the day of your collection comes, it’s important to make sure that all of the relevant documentation is with the car to make the collection process as seamless as possible. Also make sure you’ve removed anything that you want to keep as you won’t be getting it back once it’s gone through the scrap process.

Notify the DVLA

Once the checks are complete the buyer will load the scrap or salvage vehicle onto their recovery truck and complete their part of the paperwork. From here you’ll need to complete section 9 of the V5C and ensure it is signed by the collector. If the buyer has subcontracted an external recovery firm to collect your vehicle, you will need to write “NOT PRESENT” in the new keeper’s signature box. Once section 9 has been completed and signed by yourself it will need to be sent to the DVLA.

The car scrapping process

Did you know that part of the law surrounding the scrapping of cars dictates that at least 95% of a car must be recycled? You’d be surprised just how much of a car can be reused, in a wide variety of ways

The depollution process

The good news here is that almost every part of your car has the potential to be recycled – It’s by no means just the metal. Throughout the process, the different materials will be separated so that they can be recycled in their own way, essentially using the same process that you use when you recycle your bottles and boxes at home. Glass, fabrics, (some) plastics and, of course, metal can all be isolated during the recycling process and will be repurposed and reused again, either in the automotive industry or in an entirely new field.

Disposing of fluids safely

The recycling of any form of motor oil is a tricky task as it is regarded as hazardous waste. If you need to dispose of any oils from your car’s mechanical systems, you’ll need to check your local listings to see where your nearest suitable location is. If you need to store the fluids before you can reach your local recycling site, then you should do so in an airtight container, as it can be very difficult to recycle if it gets contaminated. The same goes for batteries, which can hold potentially harmful substances.

Recycling your tyres

If you’re replacing your tyres at an approved tyre centre, then the centre is more than likely going to be able to recycle your old ones for you. If you do change them at home you might be able to dispose of them by contacting a specialist company for a small fee. Finally, some recycling centres are able to take old tyres, but you should check before travelling to them.


Once all the recyclables have been removed from your car, then it will be sent to its final destination at your chosen ATF. It will go through the crushing process, first crushed to reduce the volume, then fed into the machine. The pieces of metal then move along the feeder pipe to the shredding section, with twin rollers preventing too much metal going into the shredder and getting blocked. Then, heavy-duty hammers spin rapidly, breaking down the metal which is then spewed out at the other end. All other materials, such as glass, rubber, plastic and carpet are separated from the metal chunks and taken away separately to be recycled. 

Did you know the largest shredder in the world can be found in Wales? Every hour, 450 cars or 350 tons of metal are processed at the LYNXS Shredder. It’s so powerful that it has to be connected directly to the Welsh National Power Grid to get sufficient power!

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How to know if your offer is the best price

If you’ve been speaking to scrap yards off your own back and you’re unsure whether you’ve been quoted the best price for your car, then a quick call to us will confirm whether or not this is the case. With our nationwide network of certified buyers and team of experts on the phone we will ensure you get the very best price for your car, and that will include a free collection – something you likely won’t get elsewhere.

Things you can do to increase the price

Some people might suggest that you break your car apart to sell as individual parts to get a better price, but there are flaws to that logic. You’ll need to factor in the cost of your time and materials taken to break apart the car – plus any storage space. If your car does have parts that could be used elsewhere, then that will be taken into account as part of the quote process.

Other ways you can keep the price as high as possible include making sure you have all of the paperwork together, as well as any service history and two sets of keys. All of these will help get a better picture of your car, and make it more attractive to prospective buyers, especially if being sold as salvage rather than scrap.

How to know to salvage rather than scrap

The difference between scrap and salvage is relatively simple – a scrap car is a car that will not, at any point, return to the road. A salvage car, however, is one that can be repaired, or at the very least broken down for spare parts. If your car only has one major defect rendering it useless, but still has items such as the engine, gearbox or similar in good condition, you could find you can get a much higher price by selling as salvage.

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