Should I scrap my car?

Should I scrap my car?
10th June 20205 min read

‘Should I scrap my car?’ If that’s a question you’re already asking yourself, chances are your motor isn’t in the best condition. 
Yet before you wave goodbye to your vehicle for the last time, there are various different factors to take into consideration. Is the car really in the same category as other end of life vehicles (ELV)? Would it be worth more selling rather than scrapping? How much time do you have to get rid of the car?

If you have those types of questions, the following guide has the answers.

When should you scrap a car?

In general, people will focus on the overall condition of a vehicle when deciding if it’s destined for the scrap yard. While this is the reason why most vehicles end up being scrapped, it’s far from an exclusive deal. This is because there are several different reasons why someone may choose to go this route. Here are some examples:

It’s too expensive to run

While every car could be classed as being too expensive to run, there are vehicles out there that take it to another level. For instance, it might breakdown every two months or so and require costly repair work to patch up the issues. Then when that yearly MOT test rolls around, a failing grade could provide you with a particularly expensive bill to keep the car on the road.

These issues are not the type to simply disappear as time goes on – it’s very much the opposite. Before you throw even more cash into this vehicle money pit, it could be wise to cut your losses, scrap it, and purchase a new mode of transportation.

Number of new car registrations per year

It’s unsafe to drive

At some point, your vehicle might reach the stage where it’s simply no longer safe to drive. This could be due to everything from a sporadic braking system to a chassis weakened by rust.

Whatever the reason, it is not worth the risk of driving around in a vehicle that may cause a disaster. You also don’t want to sell it on and let someone else run the risk of using an unsafe car. Ultimately, scrapping it would be best for your well-being – and the safety of others.

It’s guzzling too much fuel

Another expense that many bemoan is the frequent cost of filling up their tank. Well, for those with an older car make/model, they will tend to feel this cost more than others. The reason for this is that older vehicles are usually fuel-inefficient – and that’s putting it mildly.

If you’re spending too much time at the petrol pump, now could be the time to invest in a new, fuel-efficient vehicle. It has the double benefit of being good for the environment and your bank balance.

It’s a write off

If you were involved in an accident that left your vehicle seriously damaged, you may have to write it off. This is especially the case if it would cost more to fix the damage than what the car is actually worth. At this point, the only real step left is to get the vehicle scrapped.

2018 car write off figures

You need the money

In certain situations, someone will want to scrap their vehicle due to needing the money. While the scrap value of a car isn’t anything to write home about in general, you also have to consider the reduction in expenses. Without the car being around, there’s no need to pay for petrol, road tax, car insurance, repairs, and so on. Alternatively, you might decide to scrap the car to add to a fund for a better, more efficient vehicle, which will save money in the long run.

Is scrapping the best financial option?

Speaking of money, you have to judge if scrapping the vehicle makes the most sense from a financial point of view. If the car is in good enough condition to sell privately to a new owner, this will likely produce a bigger profit than selling it for scrap.

On the flip side, if the vehicle is old, unfashionable, and damaged, you’re going to struggle to find a buyer that will pay above its scrap value.

You also have to keep in mind how the scrap price can fluctuate over time. For example, the value of steel could suddenly shoot up, and the scrap dealer will be able to offer you a more favourable financial package for your vehicle as a result. With that said, you’re going to struggle to predict global economic factors that can change scrap prices, so this aspect is largely down to luck.

Furthermore, you should also compare prices between the scrap yards in your local area. Certain options might be able to offer more than others – just ensure it’s an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).

Is time a factor?

If you’re deciding on when to scrap a car as opposed to selling it privately, time can be an important component.

While a person may be able to sell their car to get more money, they could be waiting around for days, weeks, even months to make the sale. It’s also more draining due to the nature of listing the vehicle, answering enquiries, arranging inspections, and so on.

When you scrap a vehicle, it’s simply a case of getting in touch with a local scrap dealer. They will be able to give a valuation for your car, come and collect it for you, and provide the money via bank transfer or cheque within minutes. 

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.