How Do I Recycle My Car?

When a vehicle comes to the end of its life, over 95% of the parts and materials will be recycled. Scrap Car Comparison are experts in car recycling by salvaging cars where possible or supporting the scrap process.

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Car Recycling Experts

We have UK based support staff waiting to take your call on 03333 44 99 50 (free from most phones) to help you at every point of the car recycling process.

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Our prices are competitive and guaranteed. The only requirement is that you have accurately described your vehicle so it can be recycled properly.

Free collection for your recycled car

100% Free Collection

When you recycle your vehicle with us, you’ll get completely free collection included as standard; no need to take your car to a scrap yard or worry about call out charges.

What Parts Of My Car Can Be Recycled?

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.

Image showing which parts of a car are recyclable

Can Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Hybrids Be Recycled?

In a word: yes. However, the electric vehicle scrap process is far from as simple as recycling an internal combustion engine car. First of all, the batteries themselves are not only difficult to recycle (although EV manufacturers are quickly learning new ways to repurpose them) but they’re actually a pain to even remove from the vehicle in the first place. The rest of the process is equally as dangerous. Electrocution is still a concern throughout the entire process, not to mention that once the battery is removed, it is possible that it could explode if not handled by someone who knows what they’re doing.

What Is The Car Recycling Process?

The car recycling process is quite lengthy, but it’s a worthwhile process that not only benefits the planet but also benefits scrap and salvage dealers, too. The more quality materials they can obtain from your car, the more money they can make from it – which in turn means that they can offer you more money to buy your old car in the first place.

It’s important to understand that only Authorised Treatment Facilities (in other words, scrap yards with a legal licence) are allowed to undertake this procedure, so to ensure you’re never engaging with dodgy dealers, sell through Scrap Car Comparison. We work exclusively with experienced, licensed professionals who recycle according to government legislation.

Once any salvageable parts that can be reused exactly as they are have been stripped, it’s time to de-pollute the car. This step involves extracting any and all potentially harmful liquids from the vehicle, including fuel, coolant and oil. The battery will be removed too, which will also be drained and disposed of properly.

Once it’s safely been drained of any dangerous fluids, your car will then be shredded into small chunks that will be sent on their way down a giant conveyor belt. Along the way, powerful magnets will lift any metal parts out, leaving the plastic, glass and any fabric elements behind. Since cars are mostly made from metal, the bulk of the separating work is done by this point.

Next, the remaining elements are given a once-over with a large vacuum to suck up any of the more lightweight materials (like the fabrics, for example) with heavier bits and pieces continuing on to be separated using water to make objects of different weights float and sink. The downside with this part of the process (known as Heavy Media) is that plastics won’t float, so when all is said and done, they’re left over.

The good news is that they’re not sent off to a landfill; instead, they’re turned into plastic pellets which can sometimes be reused and recycled in other ways.

So that’s everything separated out, but wait – what happened to the stuff that got vacuumed up a few steps back? Well, this is where the science of car recycling gets a bit crazy. Yes, the fabrics could simply be reused in their current form, cleaned and restitched to make something new, but some of these kinds of car parts are actually turned into gas which can be used as an energy source!

How to recycle your car

step 1 iconStep One: Get a Quote

Provide your car’s details so we can determine whether the car can be salvaged or would need to be scrapped and recycled. For this we just need your car registration and postcode.

step 2 iconStep Two: Scrap or Salvage

Our quote system will determine if your car can be salvaged or not. Car salvaging means potentially fixing or stripping your vehicle of useful parts based on demand and condition. Anything that can be recycled from your car will be. If a car cannot be salvaged then we’ll recommend it being scrapped and offer you the best prices from local and regional scrap yards.

step 3 iconStep Three: Accept a cash offer & confirm

Once you have accepted the quote, our team will be in contact to discuss everything with you and answer any questions you may have. Our buyers will then be in touch to arrange a convenient time to collect the vehicle. The price agreed will be honoured based on the accuracy of the vehicle’s defects.

FAQ iconCar Recycling FAQs

How is car recycling different from car scrapping?

When you scrap your car, it doesn’t get crushed into a cube and piled up in a scrap yard to rust for years. Instead it gets broken down into its core components and often recycled into the raw materials needed to make new vehicles. So up to 95% of a car is recycled when it is scrapped.

Where do you recycle car batteries?

Car batteries are considered hazardous waste and as a result the law states that they must not, under any circumstances, be disposed of within your usual household waste. Luckily, recycling centres often have areas specifically for car batteries, so it is worth checking your local waste site to see if it can take them. You may also find that the place you get your replacement battery from will be able to recycle your old battery for you. When you scrap your car with us we’ll want to know if the battery is missing as this might affect the scrap price offered.

What parts of a car can be recycled for money?

A wide range of parts from your car could be recycled, and you may actually be surprised at just how much can find another purpose after it has fulfilled its role with you. Of course items such as seats, radios, and speakers are the more obvious, but you can also find new uses for your engine – and much of its individual parts, the battery or oil filters. You could even have engine oil cleaned and reused! If you’ have an old vehicle tyre, they make fantastic garden planters…

What parts of a car cannot be recycled?

Although the vast majority of a car can be recycled, there are still a few pieces that simply cannot be repurposed elsewhere. Whilst you might think that plastics could be recycled, but unfortunately the plastics around bumpers, headlights and other running boards and panels also contain metals or composites so cannot be recycled. Likewise some electric parts need to be treated by trained personnel in case there are any hazardous materials within.

Where to recycle old car parts?

Old car parts, whether spare or broken, can often be recycled at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre, but should not be put in your kerbside recycling bin. Some individual items may need specialist treatment, so if you’re unsure how to recycle specific parts it’s best to check with an expert.

Where can I recycle my car 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.

Can I recycle old car seats?

If your child has outgrown their car seat then you might be wondering just what to do with it. Child safety experts strongly discourage the buying of second-hand car seats, and the nature of them makes them difficult to recycle. Your local council will be able to advise if there are any services available to you, and in some cases the council will strip the seat of recyclable materials before the structural elements are incinerated with other waste materials.

Is car recycling good or justified?

Car recycling is an excellent way to remove heavily polluting vehicles from our environment whilst reducing traffic at the same time.

Rather than simply crushing a vehicle down to bits of metal that will sit on a landfill-type junkyard forevermore, recycling allows the individual materials of the car or van to be put to further use, whether that’s in another vehicle or in something entirely different. It’s also a great way of ensuring that parts that can still be used in their current form don’t go to waste, with them instead being transplanted into a different vehicle for immediate use. Plus, many drivers will switch to an electric vehicle after scrapping, too! All of this cuts down on the amount of pollution and harmful substances that our planet and its people are exposed to.

With roads becoming more and more crowded, particularly in heavily urbanised areas, public transport should be seen as more important now than ever. Recycling your car will take it off the road, freeing up more space in towns and cities and reducing congestion.

Is car recycling a legal requirement?

Yes. There is legislation in place that means every single vehicle that is scrapped or salvaged must have at least 95% of its total mass recycled. For example, if a car weighs 2,000 kilograms, then at least 1,900 kilograms worth of material has to be recycled to comply with the law.

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