How to safely recycle your car – and get the best price in the process

The British Metals Recycling Association is today encouraging motorists to follow a few simple steps to ensure they dispose of their vehicle responsibly.

Doing so will help the environment, assist in the race to net zero and help drivers get the very best price for an unwanted vehicle.

The call to action comes in the wake of Global Car Recycling Day, an initiative which the BMRA was proud to support.

The campaign, launched by BMRA member CarTakeBack, is helping drive awareness and aims to magnify the fact that some members of the public are still unaware that cars can even be recycled.

James Kelly, CEO of the BMRA, said: “As the voice of the UK metals recycling industry, and with many ATFs and vehicle recyclers in membership, BMRA is delighted to support car recycling and its goal to improve regulations and increase awareness of responsible car recycling.

“It is essential that, as an industry, we continue to strive to implement the most efficient ways to recycle cars and raise awareness of the de-pollution of both traditional as well as electric cars as more reach end-of-life. Recycling cars helps to conserve precious natural resources and will be key in the drive to net-zero, not just in the UK, but across the globe.”

According to CarTakeBack, there are eight important steps to consider to ensure you get the best price for an unwanted car and to ensure you are using a responsible car recycling service.

These are:

Timing – In the short term, sell your car for scrap when it has the highest possible value: scrap car values fluctuate regularly, but you can easily track and check the latest prices online. However, don’t leave it too long to scrap your car – whatever the reason for holding onto it, waiting too long will only devalue your old car in the long term.

Don’t remove any parts – car parts are the most valuable part of your vehicle; you’ll get the best price for your scrap vehicle when it’s not missing components.

Compare buyers – scrap car buyers all have different reasons for purchasing your car, offering different prices: compare quotes in your local area, or use a service that does that for you, to ensure you’re getting the best deal for your used or scrap car.

To ensure your scrap car is processed legally, choose a car recycling centre that holds an Authorised Treatment Facility environmental permit from their regional Environment Agency. This means your car will be de-polluted and recycled responsibly.

If your car is being scrapped ensure you use a service that will issue you with a Certificate of Destruction. This is an official DVLA document that proves you’ve disposed of your car correctly and prevents you from being penalised and facing fines.

Use a service with car collection – getting your car to a scrap car recycling centre can be a hassle, costing you time and money. Always take advantage of this service if your car isn’t working properly, is untaxed or not insured.

Be clear about the condition of your car and get a fixed, guaranteed quote – be aware that less reputable companies may appear to offer a great price but could have many hidden fees.

Unless you are in Northern Ireland, a red flag for an unlicensed scrap yard is the offer to pay you cash for a scrap car. Due to the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 in England and Wales and the Air Weapon and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015, no one should be paid in cash when selling their car for scrap. So, when you sell your car as scrap in England, Wales or Scotland you will be paid by electronic transfer or cheque.

Scrapping your old car in line with the law has never been easier. And the latest data from May shows that the average price paid for a scrapped car was £250, up two from April. June’s report is now available:

CarTakeBack says the top three most scrapped car models are the Ford Focus, Vauxhall Corsa, and Ford’s Fiesta.

The Ford Focus is the most frequently scrapped car with the average scrap price fluctuating between £280 and £312.

The Vauxhall Corsa is the second most frequently scrapped car with prices fluctuating between £215 and £232. And the Ford Fiesta is the third most frequently scrapped car with CarTakeBack, with scrap prices fluctuating between £234 and £296.


  • 65% of a car is made up of steel, all of which is recyclable. Much of the remaining 35% is also recyclable. These parts could be recycled.
  • Metal body – melted ready for re-use for any manufacturing or construction process that requires steel
  • Interior fabric – can be shredded and re-used in home furnishings
  • Interior leather – recycled for use as bags, belts of other clothing and accessories
  • Dashboard plastics – often recycled and re-used
  • Tyres – recycled used on artificial sports pitches or to surface children’s playgrounds
  • Batteries – the metal within car batteries, particularly cobalt, can be recycled
  • Catalytic convertor – numerous precious metals are used in the production of catalytic convertors; it is desirable to recycle these
  • Glass – the glass from car windows is removed, the laminate covering is separated from the glass, and the glass can then recycled and can be used on other glass products
  • Engine oil – this can be re-used for fuel