Can I scrap my car without keys?

Can I scrap my car without keys?
10th June 20206 min read

When you've had a car for a while, your keys can easily get lost. Of course, most people have at least one spare set of car keys available, but what happens if you lose those as well? One of the most common questions that scrap car buyers hear is, 'can I scrap my car without keys'? The simple answer is that yes, they will. However, the process of scrapping a vehicle when you can't find the keys is a little more complicated than if you do have them. Not only will you need to provide more documentation, but you will also have to accept that you will get less money for your scrap vehicle. Here's what you need to know about selling your car for scrap when you don't have the keys.

Scrapping a Car Without the Keys

While scrapyards will buy a vehicle if the owner has lost all of the keys, they will need to see a lot of paperwork so that you can prove the car is yours. If you don't have access to the official vehicle paperwork, then all is not lost, and many scrapyards will still take your old car off your hands, but they will tend to use a deferred payment in case any ownership issues arise. There's also a high chance that you will have to pay for an HPI check as well. This Hire Purchase Investigation will be looking to see if there are any outstanding debts on the car, and it can also be used to determine vehicle ownership. 

Proving That You Own the Car

When you can't get access to your car without breaking a window, it can be hard to prove vehicle ownership. If you don't have the keys, this could be an issue. However, with the right paperwork, the answer to 'can I scrap my car without keys' is fairly straightforward. Ideally, simply having the logbook (the V5 registration document) will be enough to get the ball rolling on the scrapping process. That's because the V5 will (or should have) all of your relevant personal details filled in. That will include your name and address, as well as proof of ownership. Depending on the scrapyard, you may also be asked to provide an additional photo ID. A driving licence is usually adequate. Other scrapyards may also ask to see a utility bill in your name and with your current address for further identity checks. 

Remember: You can get a replacement logbook from the DVLA. The process costs £25 and takes around six weeks for delivery of your replacement.

Can I Scrap My Car Without Keys and Without Paperwork?

If you still have a purchase receipt for your car, then you may be able to have your car scrapped. That's because the receipt is a form of proof ownership. Unfortunately, you will face delays on payment if this is all that you can provide, or if you cannot show the dealer this type of receipt. Often, a scrap dealer will take your vehicle on trust, but payment deferrals are very likely and should be planned for. They will then make the payment once you have supplied all of the relevant paperwork. If proof of ownership is not positive, then that HPI check will have to happen, and you will have the cost of that taken from your final sale price. 

Remember: Even if you do find a dealer willing to take your vehicle without keys or proof of ownership, it is illegal to pay money in cash for scrap vehicles. Payments for your scrap car must be in the form of a cheque or a bank transfer.

Sale Price Reduction

You can expect to get less money for your car if you do not have the keys. That's because moving the vehicle suddenly becomes problematic. A car with a steering lock where the wheels are not pointed forward will make it very difficult to attach the vehicle to a winch or to roll onto a trailer. Smaller yards may struggle with this, but larger yards may have access to a flatbed truck, which will make moving the vehicle easier even with the steering wheel lock on. It will be very inconvenient to try and move a car without the keys, so you can expect there to be a substantial drop in your asking price. In some cases, the buyer may have to break a window to get into the car, and that will reduce your asking price even more. 

The answer to 'can I scrap my car without keys' is a resounding yes. It may take longer, and there may be a few additional steps before you get paid, but it is a lot easier than you might have thought. The more proof of ownership you can provide, the easier it will be to scrap your vehicle and get the price you expected.

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