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Scrap Car or Salvage Car – What is the Difference?

One of the most common questions we (Remove My Car) are asked is: what is the difference between a scrap car and a salvage car? We can understand why people outside the industry find this a bit confusing, so we will try and make it clearer for you.

Scrap Cars are generally end of life vehicles (ELVs) that are ten or more years old. This isn’t a strict rule, and there are some notable exceptions, but by and large, scrap cars of that age don’t really have parts worth re-using. The entire car will be sent for disposal and recycling. As you would expect, scrap cars are worth less than ELVs with parts that can be salvaged. If you are shopping around for prices, you may find it more difficult to sell a scrap car due to its lower value – some dealers prioritise cars with salvageable parts. The Peugeot 106 below would be classed as a scrap car.

scrap car

Salvage Car is a term used to describe a scrap car that can be made roadworthy again or has parts that can be sold. Salvage cars are usually, but not always, less than ten years old. There are many dealers that specialise in spare parts for certain models of car and so will have a greater interest in certain cars. The BMW below is one car we purchased as a salvage vehicle

salvage car

What Happens to Cars that have Parts for Salvage?

If your car can be repaired or has parts that can be salvaged, it will be sold to either a:

Dealer who can make the car roadworthy without making a loss. They will then sell it on as a used car. Specialist breaker who can dismantle the car and then sell the parts on

Dealer who sells the car on to a specialist car breaker. 

Any cars that have no salvage value will be disposed of at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF). As we only use registered ATFs, you can be sure that the scrap parts will be disposed of, and recycled, legally and correctly. The registered ATFs have to meet strict recycling and waste standards that are set by government agencies.

What Happens to ELVs that are Scrapped?

Cars that are too old or damaged to have any salvage value are also known as End of Life Vehicles (ELVs). When you sell an ELV to Remove My Car, one of our registered ATF members will collect your vehicle and take it away for disposal and recycling. They will depollute, recycle and dispose of the ELV in accordance with regulations.

scrap car depolluted 


How to Tell if Your ELV is a Scrap Car or Salvage Car

You would need scrap industry knowledge to know for certain whether your end of life vehicle (ELV) is a scrap car or salvage car. But as a rule of thumb, you can use the 10 year rule – older than 10 means scrap car, younger means salvage car. However, there are certain cars that do have salvage value beyond the 10 year limit, such as classic cars and rare cars. 

If you have a car that has extra salvage value, you will find that many instant online quotes are too low. This is simply because they have to cover the worst case scenario, which is that your car has no salvageable parts due to wear and tear, damage, rust etc. But there is a way to get the price your car is really worth: the RMC auction. 


Top 5 FAQs

Q. Does RMC collect FREE of charge?
A. Yes, we collect FREE of charge
Q. Are there any costs what so ever?
A. Its a 100% FREE service
Q. How long does it take you to collect?
A. On average, within 48 working hours
Q. How do I get paid for my car?
A. Cheque Payment or Bank Transfer
Q. Are the payments Guaranteed?
A. Yes, you are protected by the Remove My Car Payment Guarantee

Cash Ban Due to SMDA 2013

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 replaced all previous legislation, but the big change was car breakers as well as scrap metal dealers weren't able to buy any scrap metal for cash, including vehicles. Companies also now have to take copies of the persons Photo ID and a recent utility bill. Want to know more? Read more HERE

Recycling News

Vehicle recycling specialist Remove My Car has had its ELV recycling target service recognised by the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). 

RMC Payment Guarantee

If you dispose of your car through us, you'll also benefit from our payment guarantee for added peace of mind. Find out more at Why Choose Us

Head Office

Remove My Car Ltd  
Gemini House
Hargreaves Rd
SN25 5AJ 

RMC Promise

✔ No Transaction Fees
✔ FREE Collection on All Cars
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Scrap Metal Prices Falling

Yet again theres been further drops in metal prices, it's now the lowest in 6 years since the last crash in 2008/2009. Slowing economic growth in China is the biggest contribution for the fall in demand and its not looking to increase anytime soon!

New Road Tax Laws

From October 1 2014, motorists have no longer needed to display a paper tax disc in their windscreens. Instead they are asked to pay their road tax online, via the DVLA Website

Paper License to be Scrapped

Its now been confirmed as part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary burden by Ministers, from 8 June 2015 DVLA will no longer be issuing the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence. Existing paper counterparts will be no longer valid and drivers are advised to destroy their counterpart after 8th June 2015. 

Latest Metal Prices

February 2016 Metal prices are significantly lower than any period within the past 6 years. Prices on average are £30 Per Tonne for light Iron. Lowest being around £20 Per Tonne and the highest being around £40 Per Tonne.

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