What to do when your car is uneconomical to repair

What to do when your car is uneconomical to repair

Recycling is important for the future of the planet – but it’s an added bonus when motorists can make some money from it.

Ignoring the so-called ‘scrappage’ deals promoted by most manufacturers to sell their new cars, approximately 2 million elderly cars are scrapped every year in the UK.

Most of these are between 10 to 16 years old and have reached a point where they’re thought to be uneconomical to repair or sell on.

Car Recycling Practices

It’s a legal requirement for 95% of a scrap car to be recycled and some businesses are doing this better than others. We’d probably all agree that the best form of recycling a car is through re-use so if it can’t be sold to another, ideally all suitable parts that can be salvaged should be, and sold on as parts. Then any hazardous materials such as oils, batteries and tyres need disposing off so they don’t cause serious environmental damage, ending up down the drain or in landfill.

Materials such as glass and plastics then need separating out, as we are used to doing at home, and re-used where possible. For example, dashboards can be shredded to make animal bedding, tyres to make play area surfaces and seatbelts to make bags, wallets and pet harnesses.

Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, there’s a sector of this industry that isn’t to be trusted.

We’re talking about car dealers who say a car is uneconomic and then sell it on at a profit. And unlicensed scrap car recycling centres who damage the environment by not recycling old cars correctly and who don’t have the legal authority to deal with the necessary paperwork.

‘A simple way to spot them is if they offer you cash for your scrap car’ explained Kathryn Byng of CarTakeBack.com.

Offering you cash to scrap a car is now illegal in England, Wales and Scotland so, with the exception of Northern Ireland, any payment for a scrap car must be traceable and therefore made by cheque or bank transfer.

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s when scrap prices were low people often had to pay to have their vehicle taken off their hands but there are other ways of disposing with an elderly car, to suit the occasion.

Car Disposal Choices

If you want to earn from thisCarTakeBack.com is the UK’s largest scrap car recycling company with a network of over 300 scrap car recycling centres throughout the UK. Currently the average payment for a medium-sized car is about £60 including collection, though it could be more if there are any re-usable parts to add to its scrap value. CarTakeBack.com claim that all vehicles are de-polluted by their centres in an environmentally friendly way. By entering the postcode and the registration number of the car they would like to scrap into the CarTakeBack website you’ll get an instant quote. Collection, payment and the legal paperwork can all be handled online or you can call 0330 066 95 85.

To give your car to a charity – some motorists donate their old car to charity via Charity Car which has already raised over £248,000 for registered charities like Oxfam and Cancer Research UK as well as smaller local hospices.

So your car goes to a good home – When it’s an elderly car, often left behind after its owner dies, it might have little remaining value but be a reliable motoring workhorse for the right car enthusiast. In which case you might Google ‘classic car club’ for the make in question to see if they might advertise it, for free, to go to a loving home eg The Citroen Car Club or similar.

NB: If you scrap a car correctly, you’ll be sent a DVLA Certificate of Destruction as proof that the car is no longer on the road. If you’re selling a used car to another you’ll notify DVLA. Either way, these actions will automatically trigger a refund of any remaining tax.

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