A Quick Guide to Car Recycling

There are countless vehicles on the road at the moment, both in the UK and across the globe. More of us than ever are driving which means as well as there being many more vehicles, a lot more are being scrapped these days too.

In the UK alone, over 1 million vehicles are crushed each year, with the number being a huge 12 million in the USA. This means that the industry is huge and it isn’t going to get smaller any time soon. Here at Car.co.uk you can find your closest recycling centre and have your car scrapped quickly and easily. We’ve also come up with a short guide to give you all of the information you need to know.

Why should you recycle your car?

The UK government have made it a legal requirement that when being scrapped, there are certain procedures that all recycling centres must comply with in-order to ensure that it is done safely and as environmentally friendly as possible.

In order to scrap a car safely it must be done by experts. This is because there are many components of the vehicle that can be dangerous, such as fluids and materials that may have a negative impact on the environment or others if not handled appropriately. Experts have the correct knowledge to dispose of these parts safely and efficiently so you don’t need to worry.

Scrap metals can also be extremely valuable as the steel can be melted down and recycled into other objects. By recycling this metal, it saves us from mining new ore which can have a negative impact on the environment. Further to this point, as well as there being less water and air pollution when recycling metal, recycled steel is cheaper and therefore can be easier for people to buy without spending too much money.

What can be recycled?

Since January 2015, there has been a new legislation in place that requires 95% of all end of life vehicles to be recycled. This means that the majority of the parts are to be recycled, such as the raw materials, steel, the rubber of the tyres and the material of the interiors. However, you cannot take your vehicle to be scrapped anywhere. You are legally required to take the vehicle to an Authorised Treatment Facility which have been approved by the government to recycle vehicles safely and securely.

Which parts can be recycled for money?

Most parts of the vehicle can be resold to mechanics and other buyers for money, but this will have an impact on the price you will get for scrapping a vehicle as they are normally valued by their weight.

Another point to make is that unless you have a lot of mechanical experience, taking parts out of the vehicle to sell can be a long and difficult process. There is also no guarantee that the parts will sell well, and it would have been a lot easier to sell the whole vehicle for scrap where you are guaranteed to get something.

How is a car recycled?

There are three stages to a vehicle being recycled, depollution where the toxic waste materials are removed, dismantlement where parts are taken off the car and finally destruction, where the vehicle is crushed. Each stage is just as important as the other and should be done in an environmentally friendly way.

Depollution – To ensure that no harmful chemicals are leaked into the environment, the dangerous fluids must be removed before the car is scrapped and recycling. This included draining any coolants, antifreeze, windscreen wash and oil. These fluids can then be put into another vehicle or are safely disposed of.

Dismantlement – This is the part of the process where special parts of the vehicle are removed in-order to be recycled or resold, this includes the catalytic convertor which is stripped. As well as this, the glass in the windows can be turned into sand and reused, the plastic interior melted down to be made into new items and the tyres can also be made into tarmac.

Destruction – Once the first two phases have been completed, the car needs to be flattened into a cube using a baler. Once the vehicle has been crushed into a square shape, it can then be taken to be shredded.

What to do before the vehicle is recycled

Before you can have your vehicle recycled, you need to inform the DVLA that it is going to be scrapped. This is essential so that you are no longer responsible for the vehicle and don’t have to pay road tax on it.

The DVLA also need to be aware of the vehicle being scrapped to prevent dodgy scrap yards telling you that they’ve scrapped the vehicle when they have actually re-sold it for profit. If this does happen, the vehicle is still registered under your name and if anything happens, it could be your responsibility. It is essential the DVLA are aware of these changes that you make to ensure that you are protected.


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