Can I scrap a car without wheels?

Can I scrap a car without wheels?
10th June 20205 min read

Can you scrap a car without wheels? It’s a question that more and more people are asking. One of the main reasons for this is simple: aftermarket alloy wheels can often be worth more than the actual scrap car.

Yet what challenges are presented by taking off the wheels? Will a scrapyard accept a scrap car without wheels? Will removing the wheels even generate extra money in the end? The following article will explore those questions.

Will a scrapyard collect a car that has no wheels?

They might. There is no clear ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answer to the question. Certain scrapyards will turn down the opportunity to collect a wheel-less car. There are two reasons why this might be the case. Firstly, due to the added time and effort required to pick up the vehicle, the scrap dealer may consider the job as one that simply isn’t worth it. Secondly, it’s possible the scrapyard doesn’t possess the specialist equipment to collect a car with no wheels.

On the other hand, other scrapyards could be willing to help you out. They will own the right equipment and recovery vehicle for the task. 

However, if you are trying to scrap a vehicle with no wheels, it’s important to be as transparent as possible from the start. During the quote process, include all of the information about the car – like the missing wheels – for the convenience of the dealer. As mentioned, they will require specialist equipment to collect the car, and they won’t simply bring this along for a standard job. You could also end up paying for an unnecessary callout that sees the scrap car remaining in your drive.

How does missing wheels affect the scrap value?

Understandably, if the wheels are missing, you’re not going to receive as much money for scrapping the vehicle. Simply missing the wheels means the scrap weight is lower, which obviously means the scrap value is also lower. 

Yet this isn’t the only way the value can be hurt. For example, the wheels could be seen as salvageable with resale value – an aspect that may cause a scrap dealer to offer more money for them. 

If you look at the full picture, the value of scrapping the car will also be hurt due to the added cost of collection. A dealer will be unlikely to provide the service at the same cost as normal. The task is much more difficult and time-consuming than a regular collection job, and this will typically be reflected in the quote. 

Is it worth selling the wheels separately?

When people decide to upgrade their cars, one focus will usually be on the wheels. Alloy wheels are, after all, one of the easiest and universal accessories that can be installed on a vehicle. 

This type of aftermarket upgrade also tends to be an expensive one. Specialist rims can cost hundreds, even thousands of pounds. As a result, if someone is faced with having to scrap their vehicle, they will often go down the route of selling the wheels separately, 

Yet, will this effort result in a higher profit margin? 

This could ultimately come down to a number of factors. If the rims are for a well-known car brand, such as BMW and Porsche, their resell value could be high when auctioning them off. However, a scrap dealer might also be able to offer you a fair price for the wheels. 

The alloy wheels scrap value, and how the price may fluctuate over the years, can also come into play. For example, the scrap value of aluminium rims is notoriously volatile. In 2018, the aluminium alloy wheels scrap price will have been at a sky-high rate.

Historical price of aluminium graph

Since then, however, the price of aluminium has continually plummeted. Ultimately, if aluminium is used, this will affect the alloy wheel scrap price and the amount of money a scrap dealer will offer.

This also works in the other direction. If the alloy rims scrap price drops, its value on the aftermarket will inevitably do the same. This means it may not be worth removing the wheels in the first place.

If you decide to remove the wheels, there’s one solution that can work for both parties: replacing them with the original wheels. If this is a viable option, there’s no issue for the scrap dealer when collecting the car, and you also get to keep – and sell – the removed wheels. It’s a win-win.

What if the tyres are missing or damaged?

If it’s the tyres, rather than the wheels, that are missing, does this change the situation? In general, the story is the same. If a scrap car dealer is willing to accept a vehicle with no wheels, they’ll be open to doing the same if the tyres are no longer attached.

What if the tyres are damaged? Based on the previous statement, it doesn’t take much investigating to decipher the answer. Whether the tyres are low on tread, damaged, punctured, or flat, the car can still be collected by those who have the specialist equipment to do so.

There’s also a notable benefit of having damaged tyres. As the scrap value of a vehicle is based on its weight, damaged or flat tyres are not going to compromise the number. They will typically still weigh the same regardless.

Share this story:

Related blog posts

Check out our blogs and industry news, which includes advice, tips, and guides around topics related to scrapping your car.