You might not think to check if your car’s been scrapped. After all, if it’s sitting on your driveway then you’d assume the answer is no. This might not always be the case, however…
You don’t want to buy a used car that was destined for the scrapyard – it can pose danger to you and other road users. So, it can be a good idea to check whether a particular car has ever been scrapped.
Cars that have been badly damaged in an accident may well end up being scrapped. However, unscrupulous folks may attempt to make dodgy repairs and try to sell the car. It’s important then that a second-hand car has been recorded as scrapped.
This guide will walk you through how to check if a car’s been scrapped, as well as how to make sure your own car has been recorded as scrapped.
How to check if a car has been scrapped
The easiest way to check if a used car has been scrapped is by using an online HPI checking service. As well as telling you if the car’s been recorded as scrapped, you’ll also be able to find out if the car has outstanding finance or has been stolen.
A basic report from hpicheck.com will cost you £10 and you’ll get all the essential information. You’ll find out if the car is scrapped, stolen or written off, as well as whether the car has outstanding finance or not.
For an extra £10, you can find out if there are any mileage discrepancies, how many owners the car has had, and how much it should cost you to run. You can find out more about HPI checks by taking a look at our guide.
How to make sure your own car has been scrapped
When you sell your car for scrap, you have to inform the DVLA online or by post. Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive confirmation from the DVLA that the car is marked as scrapped.
You may think that’s the end of the story, however, there is something else you can do to make sure the car has been destroyed.
The recycling centre that took your car will be issued with a Certificate of Destruction (COD) once the car has been crushed. While it’s not essential that you have a copy of this, you can request one when the car is picked up for extra peace of mind.
Car scrap check FAQs
What documents do I need to scrap my car?
You’ll just need your V5C logbook when scrapping your car. This is how you notify the DVLA that the car has been scrapped.
Where can I scrap a car?
You have to take your car to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) to scrap your car. These businesses must have a licence to deal with hazardous materials such as batteries and engine oil.
A quick search online should reveal your closest ATF.
How long does it take for a car to be registered as scrapped?
You should receive confirmation from the DVLA within four weeks that your car is registered as scrapped once you’ve sent off the paperwork. If you haven’t heard anything after four weeks, contact them again to check that it’s gone through.
Can I check if a car has been scrapped for free?
While you can check certain details about a car for free on the gov.uk website, this won’t tell you if the car has been scrapped. There will be a fee from most services that provide this information, however, it could be worth every penny for the added peace of mind.
What should I do if I buy a car registered as scrapped?
This could prove to be a real headache, so it’s worth checking these things before buying a used car. If you are unlucky enough to buy a car that’s registered as scrapped, your first port of call is the dealer or person you bought it from.
You won’t be able to insure a vehicle that has been scrapped either, as it no longer exists on the DVLA’s database. If you do end up buying such a car, it could end up being a total loss.
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