Can I scrap my car without a title?

Can I scrap my car without a title?
10th June 20204 min read

The car title, more commonly known these days as the Vehicle Registration Document (V5C), is important for any car owner. If you’re going to be scrapping your vehicle, there’s no doubt you will have searched all over for the title. Yet it’s not uncommon for the document to be destroyed or misplaced.

In this case, you will likely panic at the thought of unleashing the wrath of the DVLA. However, can you sell a car for scrap without a title? 

Do you need a title to scrap a car

So, can you scrap a car without a title?

It’s the big question. ‘Can I scrap my car without a title?’ If you typed that question into Google with little hope of a positive response, you may be surprised at the answer. This is because you don’t need a title. You are legally still allowed to scrap your vehicle despite not having the document on hand.

Admittedly, the process becomes somewhat more complicated without the title – but not to the point where you’ll be constantly stumped as to what to do next. Plus with the following information, there won’t be any confusion when it comes to scrapping your car without a title.

Avoid paying for a duplicate title

First of all, there is one viable option available where you can get out of the problem with ease: by ordering a replacement title. You can order one by phone or post, and further information is available via the DVLA’s “Get a vehicle log book (V5C)” page. 
However, you should avoid going this route.

Why? Well, there’s one big reason: the cost. If you want to order a duplicate title, you’re going to have to fork over £25. It may not be a significant amount of money, admittedly, but it’s still £25 you don’t need to spend. In addition, you will learn how simple it is to avoid this bill and get your car scrapped without issue.

What if a scrap dealer refuses to buy a car without a title?

When it comes to getting your car scrapped, it’s imperative you take it to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). If you head to an unauthorised location – even unwittingly – you could be faced with several fines, and your actions will also be considered illegal. It’s fair to say the car title would be the last thing on your mind at that point.

Yet even when you do turn up to a legitimate ATF, you could still have a troublesome time. For instance, some scrap dealers will simply refuse to purchase your vehicle if it isn’t accompanied by the title. The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013, which states a seller has to supply a photo ID and proof of address when scrapping a car, has caused most dealers to relax their stance on demanding a title, but there are others who remain set in their old ways.

Furthermore, the ATF may demand your vehicle undergoes an HPI check. Along with conducting a thorough check into the background of the car – and showing you do, in fact, own it – you will typically have to pay for the privilege.

Let the DVLA know

When answering the ‘Can I scrap a car without a title?’ question positively, it all revolves around this step. Assuming the ATF takes ownership of your vehicle without issue, you will need to get in touch with the DVLA by post and notify them about the car’s status. As well as briefly detailing the situation, the letter must include the following:

  • Your name and address 
  • The date you sold the vehicle
  • The car’s registration number
  • The car’s make and model
  • The name and address of the scrapyard

While it’s important you send out the letter as soon as possible, it’s even more imperative you include all of the above information. If you miss out any of this information, the DVLA will not accept the notification. This means the vehicle will remain registered to you until you send back a letter that is approved. It goes without saying, but the last thing you want in this situation is a delay – especially when it can take the DVLA up to four weeks to respond by post. 

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